Opinion: Streetscape volunteers deserve respect

By Glen Rasmussen

The Light’s article last week quoting La Jolla Town Council and interim Business Improvement District Advisory Board (and former Promote La Jolla) President Rick Wildman challenging myself and Egon Kafka as not “legitimate” with respect to serving on the Streetscape Committee does not promote volunteerism nor cooperation between community groups, as should be one of his roles.

 I am sure many readers are turned off by the politics of volunteering in La Jolla and the last thing any volunteer needs is to be totally surprised to see his or her name in print challenging one’s volunteer spirit. My wife read the article and was also shocked by its inferences and inaccuracy.

Rick is incorrect: Unless unbeknownst to me has my appointment was rescinded, I was appointed by each the LJTC, PLJ and the interim BID, and therefore still do “legitimately” serve on Streetscape as an LJTC appointee. If Rick is right that “the Town Council controls Streetscape” then it must still exist, despite PLJ’s demise. Because the interim BID has all but stopped functioning pending the newly forming BID, Streetscape has continued to meet through a group of concerned volunteers, headed by Egon because of his volunteer spirit, decorating for the holidays. Thank you, Egon.

I think what Rick should have said was that PLJ breached the Streetscape Agreement when it lost its BID contract. Streetscape still functioned through the Advisory Board, the LJTC and the City. The city, by operating the interim BID, kept it alive and looked to the Advisory Board and Streetscape for input on such things as the hanging baskets, tree trimming and the “Clean News” to try to inspire merchants and visitors to keep the Village clean.

Many volunteers, including Egon, came to the Streetscape meetings. It will re-form when the new BID gets its contract. Maybe the LJTC will be a part of that. “Legitimacy” has no part of the equation when we are talking about volunteering to help keep our Village as beautiful as we can, despite all the challenges.  We don’t need to create more difficulty.

   
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