La Jolla merchants group begins working on image, structure

Phil Coller
Phil Coller

By Kathy Day

Still in its organizing phase, the La Jolla Village Merchants Association board last week set about housekeeping chores such as determining who will sign checks and who will serve on committees.

The meeting was held at the La Jolla Woman’s Club, which will host the board at 8:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.

While board President Phil Coller and member Tom Brady are researching banks willing to work with the group and give them a line of credit so they have funds to work with, the board agreed to require five signatures on checks over $10,000 and only two on those under that amount.

They also named people to serve on committees to work on branding the new organization, which is seeking a contract with the city to manage the La Jolla Business Improvement District.

“Most, if not all of use believe we need an image, a story — something that tells everyone … what we’re here for,” said Phil Coller of Everett Stunz, the group’s president. “We are merchants, not the whole of the community.”

Reza Ghasemi, who was on the board of Promote La Jolla, emphasized the need to stay focused within the boundaries of the Village district. “We need to avoid taking money outside,” he said.

If it gets the city contract, the group stands to get access to about $360,000 initially along with another $25,000 in money from a special fund that can be used to pay staff. Regular annual assessments are expected to bring in about $160,000.

Other committees that will help get the group moving forward an organizational group to look at a formal structure, a special events committee, design and maintenance.

The group also asked Realtor Claudette Berwin to explore options for temporary and permanent office space that might include a meeting room.

The next meeting is set for April 13.



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