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La Jolla Town Council will vote for 6 trustee seats

Eight candidates are running for six La Jolla Town Council seats.
Eight candidates are running for six available La Jolla Town Council seats. Clockwise from top left: Brook Baginski, Ernie Casco, Cody Decker, Michael Dershowitz, Charles Merriman, Carolyn Marsden, Christy Littlemore and Ron Jones.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The La Jolla Town Council will vote to fill six trustee seats by its March meeting from a slate of eight candidates.

Ballots are emailed to current Town Council members. The six candidates amassing the highest number of votes will be sworn in at the meeting Thursday, March 11. The term for a trustee is three years.

Below are statements made by the eight candidates at the Town Council’s Feb. 11 meeting:

Brook Baginski: The 10-year La Jolla resident said she had visited here since she was a child. “It’s my all-time favorite place. Living here, I’ve met so many people who are actively involved in the community and it inspired me to get involved myself,” she said.

“I’m very passionate about our local businesses. They really know how to bring together the community, as well as make memorable experiences for all other visitors and locals. My objective would be to support them in any way possible throughout the pandemic and going forward.”

Ernie Casco: A former contractor who worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Hilton, Casco said he’s “truly living the La Jolla life. I fly hang gliders and paragliders and enjoy every sport from the beach to the snow. I’ve been attending many La Jolla and city meetings and I’m interested in many issues,” including the lease at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

“I’m a heart transplant patient; I might be the youngest here, with a 14-year-old heart,” he said. “I would love to be part of this group and serve our community.”

Cody Decker: The owner of Decker’s Dog + Cat in The Village moved to La Jolla two years ago and said he got as involved as he could. Now the vice president of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, Decker said he “wants to be a big part of spreading morale throughout town, helping out our businesses and our economy and continuing to make this a great place. I would love to be a trustee and be a part of this great thing we’re doing.”

Michael Dershowitz (incumbent): Dershowitz is running for re-election after nine years on the Town Council. “I want to continue to serve and make a difference,” he said.

The former public interest lawyer said he’s a “great proponent of La Jolla,” having lived here 17 years. He has chaired the short-term vacation rental forum and organized last year’s mayoral debate, among other duties on the Town Council.

“I would like to encourage you to do all we can to make this the best place it can possibly be,” he said.

Ron Jones (incumbent): Also running for re-election is Jones, the current communications director for the Town Council and president of La Jolla Meals on Wheels. He also is a past president of the La Jolla Rotary Club.

“Service is in my system,” Jones said. “My interests in the community [are] short-term vacation rentals and the homeless situation, as well as the cleanliness of the parks.”

Jones said he also would like to improve the business district.

Christy Littlemore: A resident of La Jolla since 1988, Littlemore said she is “very passionate about our schools,” having held several leadership roles with the public schools in La Jolla and taught in the San Diego Unified School District.

“I feel like our schools are a big impact on our community and would like to be able to bridge that communication with our Town Council and our public and private schools,” she said. “I’m very interested in the data of the short-term vacation rentals and how that affects our schools. I’m also very impassioned with the homeless outreach here. I’d like to preserve as much of La Jolla as I can so my son has a great community to grow up to.”

Carolyn Marsden: A resident of La Jolla since 2001, Marsden said she has been active recently with the La Jolla View Reservoir replacement project at La Jolla Heights Natural Park and wants the city of San Diego “to strengthen the environmental impact report.”

She said she also is concerned about vacation rentals and gas-powered leaf blowers. “I would love to be a trustee and help La Jolla.”

Charles Merriman: The guest services manager at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club said he fell in love with the community as a child. He said he also does political consulting, having participated in several congressional and presidential campaigns.

He said his focus for La Jolla is “post-pandemic economic recovery, our public safety, tourism, short-term vacation rentals, community activities. Part of how I will do this is the strong relationships I already have with our leaders in the community. I look forward to the opportunity to help La Jolla during these difficult times.”

To learn more about the election, visit lajollatowncouncil.org.