A whopping 14 candidates — three current trustees running for reelection and 11 new hopefuls — are running to fill 10 La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) seats up for grabs in the upcoming election, 3-7 p.m. Thursday March 7 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.
Six are three-year terms, one is a two-year term, and three are one-year terms.
The dozen-plus had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their priorities during the Feb. 7 LJCPA meeting. Biographies will be posted on lajollacpa.org
Here is an abridged version of the candidate statements given (in alphabetical order):
Eamon Callahan: “I’m fairly new to La Jolla … (my wife and I) moved here from Rancho Santa Fe. At that time, I was on the Rancho Santa Fe Association board of directors, basically doing the same thing as this committee. … I have a good background, but admit I’m not as qualified as some of the other people running, but I have a new look on things. There are a lot of similar problems, between Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla; the biggest problem we had was billionaires who wanted to do whatever they wanted to do.”
Michael Costello (running for re-election): “I started coming to these meetings in 1989. Ever since, I’ve done more and more with the organization. ... In 2006, I started on Development Permit Review Committee and it was a very good experience. The nice thing about these organizations is we have a La Jolla Community Plan, and my heart is in keeping with compliance to the Community Plan and the City’s Municipal Code. When there is some sort of conflict between the neighbors and the (building permit) applicant, these meetings provide the perfect forum for taking away that rub and smoothing it out. That’s where these organizations really shine.”
Dan Courtney (running for re-election): “I ‘ve been on the CPA for 10 years. 20 years ago, I got involved with La Jolla Shores Association and was chair for one year and I was on the La Jolla Town Council for four years. What I try to do is look at things with a sharp eye, try to look out for the interests of the community. We have a beautiful place and we need to be careful to protect it.”
Tony Crisafi: “My experience with the community groups is 22 years as a member of either La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee or La Jolla Development Permit Review committee. I chaired one or the other for 14 years. I would offer, as an architect and member of these sub-committees, my background in architecture to view land use and land-use issues brought from the City to LJCPA. I believe as trustees we should have knowledge of the City’s general plan and the La Jolla Community Plan and apply related policies evenly to those items before the community groups.”
Dolores (Dede) Donovan: “I think I’m second for the longest time in La Jolla, at 61 years. I am running for my second term on LJCPA. I have been on La Jolla Shores Association since 2011 (with the exception of one year), I serve on the La Jolla Shores Advisory Board, and have served on the Permit Review Committee, so I am very familiar with the planning rules and regulations. … My role on the CPA would be one that fosters civility because I dislike some of the warfare people engage in ... I’d make sure the CPA is conscious of considerations of maintaining existing neighborhood character.”
Jim Fitzgerald: “I am a 30-year resident of La Jolla and a retired businessman. I’m running because I know from past experience how important and what impact land-use decisions can have on the quality of life in the community. I served previously as a trustee and as chair of the Planned District Ordinance committee. … I’ve demonstrated the ability to be balanced in my judgements; I respect the integrity, the process and the rules by which we govern, and I’ve always tried to see that those rules were applied equitably and fairly, without impartiality to anyone that has come before this body.”
John Fremding: “I might be the newest guy here, I moved to La Jolla four-and-a-half years ago. … I have a degree in environmental design and had a design studio in Pasadena for 30 years and did a lot of historic preservation. What I would like to see preserved here, is the best of the best, and the best of the new. … In Bird Rock, I have witnessed the 50-percent rule and it is a joke. It is totally misunderstood, so I would like to work on that. Down the line, I would like to see La Jolla become a separate City.”
Ted Haas: “I’m a La Jolla resident of 67 years and practiced law, especially aviation law, so I am sensitive to the airplane noise issues we are now experiencing. I do some volunteering (as a docent on the USS Midway and delivering Meals On Wheels), so I have some community experience, not this kind, but I look forward to having a chance to serve in this capacity.”
Cindy Hazuka: “I moved here from the Bay Area seven years ago. I have an engineering undergrad and Ph.D. in biology, and spent about 15 years as a research scientist. I’ve never been involved in a community planning group before, but I’ve been coming to these meetings for six months. I’ve learned how decisions are made here and how they impact the community. I’d love to get involved and make sure decisions that are made are the right ones for the right reasons. I have a steep learning curve, but I’m up to the challenge.”
Dave Ish: “I’m concerned about La Jolla’s residential and commercial neighborhoods and how they’ve been impacted by out-of-scale development that stretches, in my opinion, past the intent of the Community Plan, and against what the citizens want. We need to put ‘planning’ back in the Community Planning Association, along with the very important project review process. … I would listen to residents and business owners most impacted by development. Their rights, along with the Community Plan, would determine my vote. (One of) the issues I’d like to see resolved is clarification of the 50-percent rule.”
Greg Jackson: “Unlike everyone else who has spoken, I’m a relatively new La Jolla resident. The purpose of the LJCPA, I think, is about conflict management and goals. … In focusing on decisions one by one, it’s easy to lose sight of goals and principles. So we need to strike a balance between long-term thinking and the endless series of problems to be solved and decisions to be made. … Tensions between long-term and ad-hoc approaches, difficulty agreeing on principles, the risk that exceptions become policy and constant negotiations, are all things I’ve dealt throughout my career and I think will serve this committee well.”
Nancy Manno was not in attendance, but a statement was read for her: Nancy Manno is a La Jolla resident since 1974, a member of the La Jolla Historical Society and former member of LJCPA for six years. She has administrative experience and was often an evening voice on what happened at LJCPA. She is committed to serving the community.
Kathleen Neil: “La Jolla is my home and I love it. I walk around almost every day. … I started attending LJCPA meetings in the mid-1990s and have attended regularly since then, I’ve also attended City Council meetings. Like other trustees, I believe individuals have a responsibility to their communities and to their families, I believe in volunteerism and community involvement. If I am chosen, I will focus on adding my efforts to keeping La Jolla an open and vibrant community.”
Glen Rasmussen (running for re-election): “I’m a native San Diegan and La Jollan since 1972, I’m a practicing attorney and most of my practice is in the area of property law. I learn a lot about land use while I’m here because I listen to what everybody has to say. There are excellent candidates on the slate this year, and you can’t go wrong voting for any of them. I do my best to make the best decision for the community.”
Current trustee David Little called this “an outstanding slate of candidates.” Those who have attended one meeting in the last calendar year are eligible to vote, but must provide photo identification. An updated membership list will be posted before the election at lajollacpa.org