Enhance La Jolla to ponder capital project ideas

During their second meeting, held Tuesday, June 13 at La Jolla Riford Library, Enhance La Jolla board members voted to form an ad hoc committee to come up with ideas for capital improvement projects that could be implemented throughout The Village within the next few months. Initial ideas include hiring a security detail, trimming trees and adding trash cans around town.

Enhance La Jolla is the board charged with administering the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), which was approved by business and property owners within its boundaries in November 2016. Funding for ongoing maintenance in the Village — including landscaping, street power-washing, trash collection and graffiti removal — will be generated by assessments that will begin to be collected later this year.

Because of its non-profit status, the organization can also receive grants and private funds to carry out capital improvement projects in public areas. La Jolla Community Foundation, another non-profit involved in the creation of Enhance La Jolla, has offered $65,000 raised by its membership to implement a project within the MAD boundaries.

To decide on which projects to bring to the Foundation for funding, members of Enhance La Jolla came up with several ideas. First, chair Bill Tribolet spoke of the possibility of contracting the services of a security company.

“I was in Del Mar Heights not long ago, and they had a security guy (who) was riding a Segway,” he began, “and I noticed people stopping him, asking him questions, and he would point here and there, and everybody seemed to know him, and it was very impressive.”

The security detail has an approximate cost of $60,000 a year for three days per week. “(For this) six-month period (before the MAD funds kick in) it will cost $30,000 to get it started,” Tribolet said. “Let’s see how it evolves, and moving forward, I think we can raise the $60,000 for the project.”

Trustees agreed with the concept, but member Mark Dibella cautioned, “Having this effort three days a week could provide an unrealistic sense of security in the Village ... What about the other four days a week? What if there’s a security issue on the patrolman’s off day?”

Board member Ruth Yansick offered a different proposal. “I started looking up Girard Avenue and I saw a lot of trees that needed trimming,” she said. From there, the discussion went into the possibility planting matching trees on different Village streets.

Board member and publisher of the La Jolla Light, Phyllis Pfeiffer, explained, “The La Jolla Community Foundation had several meetings with The Village Garden Club of La Jolla trying to implement this. The plan was to plant the same trees down Girard Avenue and on Prospect Street. The Garden Club was excited about managing the project, but then we realized, if we planted them, they were going to die because who was going to water them?”

For trustee Nancy Warwick, her preferred community improvement route would be to use the money to fundraise for a bigger project. “(We could) put together a plan for the Belvedere Promenade project. It has a lot of community support already. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s highly controversial.”

Member David Marino disagreed. “We need to make an impact with that money. It’s not about making noise, but getting something done.”

The ad hoc committee formed will be chaired by Dibella with trustees Warwick, Marino and Peter Wagener. It will report back at a later meeting.

As for the timing of the capital improvement project, something could happen before the year ends. “La Jolla Community Foundation has a meeting in November, so we could announce the plans then,” Pfeiffer said.

In other Enhance La Jolla news:

Management contract: Enhance La Jolla is in the process of signing a contract with the City of San Diego that will allow it to carry out projects within the MAD boundaries. It was discussed during the meeting that, for liability purposes, Enhance La Jolla would compile a list of tripping hazards within the MAD boundaries and send it to the City.

Other committees: It was decided that Steve Haskins would chair the bylaws committee; Andy Nelson, the Request for Proposals (RFP) project; and Pfeiffer and Yansick, the hiring committee to recruit a part-time administrator.

— Enhance La Jolla next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the library, 7555 Draper Ave.