Judy Halter exits La Jolla Parks & Beaches, takes Open Water Swim to Kiwanis Club

From left going around the table: Ann Dynes, John Leek, Patrick Ahern, Judy Halter, Melinda Merryweather and Barbara Dunbar discuss a motion at the final La Jolla Parks & Beaches meeting of 2019.

At its final meeting of the year, Dec. 9 at the Rec Center, La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) voted to transfer funds and programming for the La Jolla Cove Swim to the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla.

“We just aren’t a big enough organization (to oversee it),” said chair Ann Dynes. “We don’t have enough volunteers. In my judgment, we are not equipped to handle the kind of active programs that organizer Judy (Halter) is planning.”

(Dynes cited the annual swim as well as the four concerts in the park this summer to be funded by the swim event’s proceeds.)

The La Jolla Cove Swim Committee reportedly wanted the change so its donors could have the tax advantages of working with a 501(c)3 organization.

Dynes continued: “Our little executive committee would love to do (the concerts), but I was going to lose a treasurer and I already don’t have a vice president, so I don’t have a choice.”

(LJP&B treasurer John Shannon confirmed that he threatened to resign if burdened with the extra work.)

LJP&B unanimously voted to transfer the $47,818.11 proceeds from the La Jolla Cove Swim to the Kiwanis Club by check, as well as the right to the event’s name.

Dynes informed the group that Halter also resigned her LJP&B board seat, and that this would be her final meeting. Halter had been with the group since 2013.

“I tried to talk her into staying, but she’s got a full plate with her other projects,” Dynes said. “She’s been a really terrific member of our board.”

Moratorium on new Scripps Park events?

LJP&B considered a moratorium on endorsing new special-event permits at Scripps Park. Board member Mary Ellen Morgan, who placed the item on the agenda, explained events that have taken place at a certain time of year for a number of years may begin to feel entitled to the park during that time, precluding legacy events that may have taken a few years off.

She added that a moratorium would merely preclude LJP&B from placing new events on its agenda to recommend until the City finalizes its Parks Master Plan.

“We’re trying to avoid (recommending) any new events — especially commercial events — before we get the guidelines,” Morgan said.

Opposition to the motion began with board member Patrick Ahern and quickly spread.

“There may be something new that we really want to happen,” Ahern said. “Maybe Windansea Surf Club is doing an event for special-needs children. They would not be able to come to this committee for support. I am opposed.”

Some discussion erupted about exemptions for non-profit events, or for new events — such as the La Jolla Cove Swim, July fireworks and Concerts in the Park — that are tied to previously approved historic events. But the group decided to table the item to its January meeting.

Also at LJP&B ...

New board member: Barbara Dunbar of Bird Rock was seated as LJP&B’s newest board member.

New belvedere: A $2,825 maintenance check was approved for Neri Landscape Architecture to draw up designs for a new belvedere at Windansea Beach, approved in concept by LJP&B last year to replace one destroyed by vandals in 1982. The permits would be pulled by a group called Friends of Windansea, explained LJP&B member Melinda Merryweather. But Dynes said that LJP&B would need to approve the design and budget first.

Point stakes: Additional maintenance to the tune of $470 was approved for replacing four-year-old rusted stakes with new ones at Whale View Point. The stakes are used to rope off a trail through vegetation that LJP&B wants to preserve.

Half Marathon a go: LJP&B’s support of the La Jolla Half Marathon on April 26, 2020 was approved unanimously.

Bike path funding: A transfer of $722 for the Fay Avenue Bike Path to the Kiwanis Club was tabled until next month, so board member Sally Miller can do more research into the matter.

Cove Pavilion costs: Council member Barbara Bry’s rep Steve Hadley reported his office requested a breakdown of why the new La Jolla Cove Pavilion (rest rooms) will cost $5.7 million.

“How much was for public outreach, environmental review, design, permitting, infrastructure?” Hadley said.

“I don’t know if that will make us feel any better or not, but at least we’ll know how the money is being spent.”

— Those interested in joining the LJP&B board, may visit for information on eligibility and the process for becoming a candidate for membership.

— La Jolla Parks & Beaches group next meets 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.