Town Council special meeting
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4
La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.
[Editor’s Note: The following story has been edited and expanded from a version appearing in the Aug. 30 print addition of the
La Jolla Light
- It is based on phone conversations with Rick Wildman and Ken King that did not occur in time to meet the paper’s publication deadline.]
By Pat Sherman
Following the abrupt resignation of La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) president Cindy Greatrex — and the subsequent resignations of the organization’s second vice-president John Weinstein, treasurer David Woo and secretary Sonia Marie Olivas — the LJTC'S board of directors has planned a special trustees meeting to address what some of them are referring to as a council reorganization.
The meeting is open to the public and will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the La Jolla Rec Center on Prospect Street.
“As the LJTC is reorganizing and preceding to staff community leaders’ positions, we do it with grace and respect for La Jolla,” said trustee Mary Soriano, via e-mail. “The LJTC has so much potential to be a sound voice of sound decisions on behalf of (the) La Jolla community, our home.”At the beginning of the Town Council’s Aug. 9 meeting, Greatrex announced that she was stepping down as council president, after leading the organization for just four months.
Greatrex, who also has served as president of Independent La Jolla, presided over the duration of the August LJTC meeting, saying only she felt that first vice-president Ken King is “a fantastic businessman and leader” and “the right man for the job” of council president.
Per LJTC bylaws, King would serve temporarily as acting president of the council, though the trustees must vote to install him as president if he is to assume the position.
“If I’m nominated, I would accept the nomination,” King told the
La Jolla Light.
However, several anonymous sources close to the
have questioned whether King is fit for the role. At the special meeting, called by trustees Steve Haskins, Nancy Gardner and Peter Wulff, the board will discuss the recent trustee resignations and consider ousting first vice-president Ken King (per council bylaws) and censuring immediate past-president Rick Wildman (per Robert's Rules of Order), followed by the election of new officers.King, a businessman and owner of San Diego Pools, has missed at least two LJTC meetings since April, as well as four of its executive committee meetings and the council’s regular SunSetter events.
King, who said he moved from Rancho Santa Fe to La Jolla Shores more than two years ago, is past president of both the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club and Alpine Kiwanis Club, and currently serves as treasurer of the Rotary Club of La Jolla and its philanthropic foundation.
Speaking with the
Tuesday afternoon, King said he missed the executive committee meetings because they occur at the same time as the Rotary’s board meetings (4:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month). King said both he and past LJTC President Rick Wildman suggested to the Town Council’s nominating committee that the LJTC change the time its executive committee meets to accommodate King’s schedule, as it did once before when another member had a similar conflict. King said his commitment to Rotary is not more important, but a prior one that needs to be honored.
“The world doesn’t revolve around my life, by any stretch, but I did tell them if you want me as first vice-president and to be at executive committee meetings, you have to change the time,” he said.
King said he missed the regular May and June LJTC meetings (held 5 p.m. the second Thursday of the month) due to a planned vacation, and to attend a rehearsal dinner for his daughter’s wedding.
King ran twice for Congress, once during a 2006 special election to replace former Congressman Randal “Duke” Cunningham (a race King eventually dropped out of) and in 2008, when he ran unsuccessfully to succeed fellow Republican Duncan Hunter in the 52nd District.
Sources close to the
have suggested that the trustee tensions stem, in part, from former LJTC and Promote La Jolla President Rick Wildman’s notions that the makeup of the town council was not influential enough, and that King, whom Wildman knows through Republican Party circles, would make a better president.
Wildman, who twice ran for state Assembly, first as a Democrat and later as a Republican, told the
that as LJTC president he strove to keep the organization nonpartisan (in accordance with its bylaws), and thought Greatrex would make an ideal president based on her involvement with Independent La Jolla.
“I didn’t want Cindy to leave,” Wildman said, adding that he sent an e-mail to the recently resigned trustees suggesting that they ought to reconsider leaving their positions. “I don’t even know what everyone’s politics are (on the LJTC board of trustees). … I don’t know what Cindy’s politics are. Cindy always seemed kind of conservative to me, but I didn’t care about anybody’s politics because that didn’t have anything to do with the Town Council.
“It’s just bizarre,” Wildman continued. “If there’s anybody that’s nonpartisan, it’s me. I know a lot of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. … I go to both party’s events. My brother is a Democratic legislator and very good friends with (civil rights activist) Tom Hayden.”
Wildman also denied allegations the
received from an anonymous source, stating that at an Aug. 2 LJTC executive committee meeting, he “yelled and screamed that Ms. Greatrex was not qualified to be president of the Town Council because she did not have political connections (Republican) nor did she have any money, and claimed Mr. King should be president of the Town Council because he had both those things.”
“Not only didn’t it happen, it isn’t my style,” Wildman maintained. “Nobody’s ever heard me yell at anybody.”
Wildman said what he conveyed at the Aug. 2 executive committee meeting was “my belief that we all needed to work together and needed to be more involved in getting out to community events, getting to know people. ... For five years, me and a group of people have been getting together to get things done and avoid any partisanship.”Provided King is not removed from the board, he said the Town Council will forge ahead at its regularly scheduled meeting, 5 p.m. Sept. 13 at the La Jolla Rec Center.
“Bumps in the road occur in every organization," he said. "I don’t see it to be anything other than that.”