Opinion: To be clear, Independent La Jolla is viable achievement

Guest Commentary / Opinion / Our Readers Write:

In response to a resident's letter in the Oct. 10, 2018 La Jolla Light regarding Independent La Jolla, please allow me to correct some misunderstandings.

Independent La Jolla is chartered by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCO), which are regional service planning agencies of the State of California, to pursue Cityhood via the Special Reorganization process. LAFCOs across California manage the process from A-Z with an entity such as Independent La Jolla, charging fees for the work they perform.

The path from Village to City is an established, but lengthy, one that covers every aspect of governmental affairs. On a County level alone, there are 91 special districts in San Diego responsible for providing over 15 different types of services within both the incorporated and unincorporated portions of the County.

The services provided vary depending upon the needs of particular communities, available finances, anticipated population growth, and service demands. There are also a myriad of City and State agencies, as well as the California Coastal Commission involved. As it stands, there are 137 different land entities at various landmark points in the LAFCO process. These entities are hamlets wanting to become towns, towns to villages, villages to cities.

The legislative process alone is fairly complex. I attend meetings in Sacramento on a quarterly basis, meeting with City lobbyists on efficient ways to attain Special Reorganization. For the past four years, there's been a push in State Legislature to enable villages to only require a ballot vote of their village alone in order to qualify as a City. If this measure passes, only La Jollans would vote on our Special Reorganization fate.

The letter-writer mentions a "new law" in Special Reorganizations that he did not see explained on our website. There is definitely no new law. The laws surrounding the formation of California cities have not changed in decades. There were minor changes after the San Fernando Valley ballot measure in 2002, but even those were centered more on community involvement than process change. These are not listed on our website as they are not pertinent to San Diego County.

The letter-writer also mentioned that he does not find our website informative enough. We were a bit puzzled by that, as every current Special Reorganization document is posted there. This may be a navigation issue. Simply click through the drop-down tabs at the top of the landing page, and every document is there.

He also suggested that the website is outdated, but after analyzing our site this weekend, we believe we've figured out the confusion there. We have a section on the site called "2016 Documents." This section contains documents updated by the State in 2016, which is the last year any documents were updated.

Our website, up since 2004, is very active, as we receive more than 2,000 unique visitors a month, in part, because we have the current California documents posted. In October 2018 we had 2,763 unique visitors, which is excellent for a local non-profit.

Our Facebook page, which has been up since 2011, lists 3,796 Followers — also excellent for a local non-profit. So we definitely do our utmost to ensure that all information is publicly available and presented in a format that is comprehensive, but also navigable, and viewers have been responsive to that.

If anyone would like to view Special Reorganization documents by e-mail instead, please e-mail us at independentlajolla@sandiegocities.org

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