Bird Rock merchants share business concerns with council

State Senator Toni Atkins rep Miller Saltzman (right) presents a commendation recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Bird Rock Community Council to board members David Dunbar, Barbara Dunbar, John Newsam and Joe Parker at the group’s Feb. 4 meeting.

Bird Rock Animal Clinic owner Craig Bender, representing the newly formed Bird Rock Merchants Association, delivered a rather solemn update to the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) at its Feb. 4 meeting at Bird Rock Elementary School.

“A lot of businesses have been moving or failing, so a lot of us are trying to brainstorm what the businesses can do to work more closely with the people who live here,” he said. “There are a lot of empty shops on the strip. If you want the businesses to be here, then part of the solution is creating something, so they want to be a part of us.”

Bender said the independent group was pursuing the feasibility of several strategies, including a Bird Rock farmers market. “We’re waiting for insurance issues to be resolved,” he said.

He added that the independent group has discussed lighting for the street trees and a “Welcome to Bird Rock” sign to help promote the Bird Rock brand.

“We’re open to other ideas,” he concluded.

MAD landscaper wanted

The Request for Proposals (RFP) process to select a new landscape contractor for the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) is underway, secretary Barbara Dunbar announced. Interested landscapers should visit before Feb. 20 to apply.

At BRCC’s Nov. 5 meeting, civil engineer and MAD consultant Matt Mangano expressed his frustration with the company currently maintaining the roundabouts on La Jolla Boulevard and elsewhere in Bird Rock, stating “they have not kept up to speed with the standards we would expect for what we’re looking to deliver to the community and what the community expects.” That company was not directly hired by BRCC but rather inherited the MAD contract from a company that it acquired.

LaCava apologizes for campaign signs

Former BRCC president and current District 1 City Council member candidate Joe LaCava spoke during public comment, acknowledging complaints about the placarding of La Jolla with election signs.

“All the signs I am responsible for are always with the permission of the property owner,” he said. “But there is an independent group that has also put out signs on my behalf. And, by law, I cannot tell them what to do with them.”

As part of campaign finance law, LaCava explained, “there can’t be any coordination between what they’re doing and me … So, if you don’t like where they were placed, you can call the number on the signs and complain.”

Also at BRCC

Looking Forward to a fix: According to Steve Hadley, rep for District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry, a design fix for the La Jolla Boulevard roundabout at Forward Street — which floods so predictably when it rains that residents have taken to calling it “Lake Forward” — will be completed by the City’s Transportation & Water Department this fiscal year.

Silver lining: Miller Saltzman, representative for State Senator Toni Atkins, presented the Bird Rock Community Council with a certificate of commendation on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Welcome back, Joe! Joe Parker, president of Bird Rock Community Council until 2016, has returned to the board to serve as vice president.

Gala set: The Bird Rock Foundation’s 39th annual gala and auction benefiting Bird Rock Elementary School will be held March 14 at Venue 808 in Downtown San Diego. Tickets at

— Bird Rock Community Council next meets Tuesday, March 3 at La Jolla Masonic Lodge, 5655 La Jolla Blvd.,