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Four candidates vie for La Jolla Community Planning seat

Candidate John Shannon says ‘our greatest responsibility is to take an active role in bettering our surroundings.’
Candidate John Shannon says ‘our greatest responsibility is to take an active role in bettering our surroundings.’
(Ashley Mackin)

La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) will hold a special election during its July meeting, to fill a vacancy left by a trustee who resigned due to health issues. At the June 2 LJCPA meeting, John Shannon, Shelia Palmer and Claude-Anthony Marengo announced their candidacies for the seat.

LJCPA president Cindy Greatrex explained the election will run 3-7 p.m. Thursday, July 7 at the Rec Center. “Only current LJCPA members will be allowed to vote and proxy voting is not allowed. You must provide proof of identity with a photo ID,” she said. “Upon closing the polls, the ballots will be counted and the tally will be presented to me as soon as practical and I will certify and announce the results during the meeting.”

Each candidate was given two minutes to introduce themselves, which Shannon and Palmer took advantage of. Marengo submitted a candidate’s statement, as he was not present. Information on all three candidates can be found at lajollacpa.org

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Shannon, who joked that he “practiced” his speech to get the timing right, said he works in La Jolla and believes “our greatest responsibility is to take an active role in bettering our surroundings.”

That philosophy brought him into community service years ago. Having spent eight years on the Pacific Beach Planning Group (four as chair), Shannon is a member of La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group and several other city ad hoc committees.

“As a longtime member of La Jolla Cove Swim Club, I’m passionate about preserving the natural beauty and accessibility of our natural coastline, supporting healthy vibrant, walkable communities, and supporting local small businesses,” he said. “I have a great interest in understanding, anticipating and heading off problems before they start. If chosen to serve, I will continue my commitment to bettering La Jolla.”

Palmer, a La Jolla resident and business owner for more than 40 years, said the greatest difficulty she sees is the conflict between “residential interests and people making a profit out of property.”

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“I think we can convince both sides that there isn’t an antagonist there. Similar communities have expensive properties but have not jeopardized their integral qualities. We would be 100 percent better off if we didn’t have this constant antagonism between people involved in investment real estate … and their neighbors. I plan to make this my course of work.”

Candidate Sheila Palmer says she sees a conflict between residential interests and people making a profit out of property.
Candidate Sheila Palmer says she sees a conflict between residential interests and people making a profit out of property.
(Ashley Mackin)

Marengo, a principal with Marengo-Morton Architects, has lived in La Jolla for 40 years and is a homeowner and business owner. His service commitments include: past president, past vice president, and past treasurer of LJCPA; past chair of the Coastal Development Permit Review committee (now known as DPR committee); member of the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance committee; member of the Mayors Task Force for parking in La Jolla; vice president of Coastal Access and Parking Board; and currently La Jolla Village Merchants Association president.

“I truly love our community,” he wrote in his statement, “and I want so much to keep La Jolla the jewel that it is in all our hearts. If you have a complaint about something, you need to get involved, and I guess you can say I like to stay involved. I wish to put my years of experience to good use to help our community. Please vote for me.”

Following the meeting, Greatrex contacted La Jolla Light to state that resident Bob Whitney would also be running for a seat, although he did not speak at the June meeting nor submit a candidate statement.

The seat available terms out in 2018. In addition to these three candidates, write-in candidates will be allowed, but ballots containing more than one vote will not be counted.

In other LJCPA news:

— Klein project OK’d: After an hour of discussion, the Klein Residence at 2585 Calle de Oro in La Jolla Shores was approved. Originally presented to LJCPA in February, La Jolla’s Permit Review Committee determined findings could not be made to approve the requested Coastal Development Permit and Site Development Permit to demolish the single dwelling unit to construct a new 10,938-square foot two-story residence with attached garage. However, after communications with neighbors (many of whom were at the meeting to support the new design) and architect Paul Benton explaining the revisions and how they addressed committee concerns, LJCPA approved the plans.

— Coming next month: Pulled from the consent agenda, two items were docketed for the July meeting — discussion about the “Demos Gracias” mural in La Jolla Shores and a request to eliminate the two-hour parking in front of 6626 and 6628 La Jolla Boulevard between Kolmar and Rosemont streets. The latter was approved by La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation advisory group last month.

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— UCSD working group: It was decided that three LJCPA trustees —Greatrex, Helen Boyden and Dolores Donovan — will sit on the working group formed to better communication between UC San Diego and La Jolla and University City.

Noting several projects in the pipeline, UCSD planner Anu Delouri said, “This (working group) is to help us streamline the communication effort because there is a lot happening and at these meetings, I can give snapshots, but it’s hard to provide in-depth understanding of all the construction and everything else happening on campus.”

An inaugural meeting was slated for later this month, and reports will be given as appropriate.

— Website update: Although the current LJCPA website is “fabulous and amazing,” said chair Greatrex, a new site is being developed. “We’re going to archive the information on our current website publicly as lajollacpaarchive.org and as of this month, launch a new lajollacpa.org that is more user-friendly, so any of us can update it when needed.”

— La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, July 7 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. lajollacpa.org


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