Meet the candidates: 9 La Jollans running for 7 local planning board seats

La Jolla Community Planning Assocition members who have attended at least one LJCPA meeting between March 2019 and February 2020 are eligible to vote. They must present a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Additional information can be found at
(La Jolla Light File Photo)

• La Jolla Community Planning Association vote set for March 5 at La Jolla Rec Center

Nine candidates — including four current trustees running for reelection — are vying for the seven seats open on the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA). Eligible members can vote from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, 2020 at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St., La Jolla. Six openings are for three-year terms; one is for a two-year term.

The slate of applicants provided introductions and expressed their reasons for wanting to serve on the LJCPA during the Feb. 6 meeting. Here is an abbreviated version of their candidate statements (in alphabetical order) with complete biographies posted on

Patrick Ahern: “This organization does something that gets me excited. Because it is directly advisory to the City of San Diego, it makes a difference. I have been doing this type of work for about 30 years, starting in downtown San Diego and now here in my community where I grew up. I’ve been very involved on the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Parks & Beaches, La Jolla Historic Review Committee, and with this group and several others. I respect individual rights and also the rights of our community. By past development and being involved, I believe I can help move us forward to continue our work.”

Helen Boydon: “I have been a homeowner here since 1959 and would like to serve as a trustee, as I’ve been a trustee before. I’ve been active in supporting my neighbors dealing with UC San Diego parking issues and influencing projects such as traffic light (Torrey Pines and Glenbrook) and stop signs on La Jolla Scenic Drive. I’ve felt frustrated and rebuffed by the City’s seeming indifference to implementing the La Jolla Community Plan and La Jolla Shores PDO. It is important to involve the neighbors and give each side (neighbors and builders) a good hearing at our meetings. La Jolla needs to retain its community feel, and that is one of the things this group does. I would like to return because the work you do here is very important and I’d like to participate in that.”

Larry Davidson: A statement was read for Davidson since he was not in attendance. “I am a registered Professional Engineer in California, and have formal training and expertise in permitting, planning and sustainability. My wife and I live happily in Windansea. Over the past six years, I gained firsthand knowledge regarding the La Jolla Community Plan as the properties next to our home have undergone the development application process. I am particularly focused on environmental and quality-of-life issues facing our community such as NextGen Airport Noise, affordable housing and sustainable development. I am committed to making La Jolla a better place for us, our children and grandchildren.”

John Fremdling: (Running for re-election) “I have been on the LJCPA for the last year. It has been a tremendous experience. I am also on the DPR committee which is a real eye-opener as far as what goes on and what works. I’ve been here the shortest time, having moved here six years ago (because my kids moved to this area after attending college here) from Pasadena where I had a successful design studio specializing in historic residential buildings, preservation and remodeling. I’ve enjoyed the LJCPA work; every day is a learning process. I would like to continue on the LJCPA.”

Dave Gordon: (Running for re-election) A statement was read for Gordon since he was not in attendance. “I have been a resident of La Jolla Shores for more than 15 years and have been a LJCPA trustee for three years and want to continue to serve. In all my years of community service, I have always tried to maintain an open and honest environment where all of the members of our community can be heard. While many of us have differing opinions, we should all have a chance to be heard. I strongly support, not only the letter of the law of the Brown Act, but also the spirit of that law. I’m committed to helping the LJCPA treat all residents, businesses and other individuals fairly while doing everything we can to maintain the beauty and tranquility of our community within the governing laws, codes and guidelines.”

Greg Jackson: (Running for re-election) “My wife and I live in The Village (mother and sister also live in La Jolla) … we plan to be here for a long time. La Jolla’s future is directly important to us, as it is to everyone who lives and works here. That’s why I would like to continue working as a trustee. During most of my career, I ran big university technology organizations and was often involved in strategic planning. LJCPA owes it to homeowners and developers to proceed thoughtfully, fairly, expeditiously, transparently and consistently. The rules are supposed to help, but sometimes they don’t. As a trustee this year, I think I have helped LJCPA keep La Jolla on the right track with well-balanced feedback and I’d like to continue doing that.”

Bob Steck: “I moved to La Jolla 11 years ago and served two terms on the LJCPA. It is a wonderful organization and it really does make a difference. I have a business background and believe in taking a business (non-emotional) approach to evaluating projects. My philosophy is that the LJCPA must continue to strictly adhere to the rules set forth in the Community Plan. One area of opportunity is to implement a process of following projects once they leave the LJCPA in order to make sure the plans are properly executed.”

Ray Weiss: A statement was read for Weiss since he was not in attendance. “I am a 64-year La Jolla resident, a La Jolla commercial property owner, and I work in La Jolla. I served as a trustee from 2007 to 2019, and am interested in returning in order to have a positive influence on La Jolla’s future. I am committed to work for a rational balance among the competing interests of our community, while also striving to maintain and improve the quality of life that makes La Jolla a special place to live, work and visit.”

Suzanne Weissman: (Running for re-election) “I have lived in La Jolla for 39 years, been a LJCPA trustee for two years and served as its secretary for the past year. Writing the minutes for every meeting has been a challenging, but valuable, experience learning about this community and its interaction with the City of San Diego development process. A strong, vital community planning group is the most effective way to keep its residents informed of development activity … and to maintain the unique attributes of this community while it grows and modernizes. I will work to keep the LJCPA a strong voice in the community and with the City planning and development services.”