New La Jolla Town Council president sees ‘opportunity to make a real contribution’

La Jolla Town Council President Jerri Hunt is pictured at the board's April meeting, when she was vice president.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

One of Jerri Hunt’s first challenges is filling two positions on the council’s executive committee vacated by resignations.


New La Jolla Town Council President Jerri Hunt, elected in June and sworn in in July, says she has been working on the organization’s finances and looking at its mission and current trustee roles.

“It’s an incredible amount of work,” she said.

Hunt assumed the post after previous president James Rudolph chose not to seek reelection at the end of his one-year term.

Hunt says she’s not relying on guidance from Rudolph. “I have the reins,” she said. “I got this.”

“I have been in leadership roles through my work experience for many years,” Hunt said. “I hope to be able to add value to the Town Council and continue its contributions to the community.”

Now, Hunt said, she’s looking to get the “right people in place.”

Part of that will be filling two positions on the Town Council’s executive committee newly vacated by the resignations of secretary Brooke Baginski and treasurer Chuck Merriman. Both had been sworn in last month for their second terms in those roles.

Both Baginski and Merriman said they intend to stay on as Town Council trustees. Currently, 19 trustees are listed on the council’s website,

The executive committee is composed of the president, vice president (currently Rick Dagon), secretary, treasurer, chief technology officer (currently Ron Jones) and immediate past president (Rudolph).

The committee meets monthly in addition to the regular Town Council meeting.

“We are planning on being an active, visible, results-oriented organization of the community.”

— La Jolla Town Council President Jerri Hunt

Merriman told the La Jolla Light that serving as Town Council treasurer has been an honor but that his recent promotion to director of guest, member and community relations at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, along with family obligations, necessitated his resignation.

Baginski told the Light that “as the youngest member on the La Jolla Town Council, I feel I can give back more to the community by focusing” more on participating in committees than on the secretary tasks.

Hunt said Baginski and Merriman will stay in their executive committee roles until they are replaced. However, their names are no longer on the executive committee listed on the website. Additionally, the list includes Tara Hammond (social media liaison) and Cody Petterson (government liaison) as part of the executive committee, though those roles are not reflected as part of the committee in the Town Council bylaws.

Hammond told the Light that she is no longer a trustee after having chosen not to seek reelection.

Hunt said “we will be updating our website again as soon as we are through this transition phase, as well as updating our bylaws as necessary.”

She said the Town Council will combine the roles of vice president and chief technology officer.

Hunt indicated she didn’t yet know how Baginski and Merriman would be replaced as officers.

According to the council’s bylaws, “a vacancy occurring for any officer [will be filled] by a majority vote of the trustees. All officers so appointed shall serve out the unfinished term of the vacating officer they replace.”

Once all that is settled, Hunt said, she’d like to work on community improvement, such as addressing trash and weeds along La Jolla Parkway, which she called “an insult.”

“We’re a team,” Hunt said. “We are planning on being an active, visible, results-oriented organization of the community.”

Upon being sworn in last month, Hunt said the Town Council “provides a critical voice for La Jolla. … We have the opportunity to make a real contribution.”

“My mission as president is purely to help us do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons with integrity and transparency,” she added. “I want us to strive to always have both sides represented in our efforts to advocate for our community. Healthy, professional debate, in compliance with our procedures, will be encouraged.

“If we have each other, we are going to build relationships that will last a lifetime.”

The La Jolla Town Council next meets at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, online and at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St. ◆