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Community needs to come together

With 2010 upon us and 2009 and its challenges past, we thought it would be a good time to think about La Jolla in terms of the community as a whole. It seems like all too often, it’s “the Village this, Bird Rock or the Shores that.”

Because our neighborhoods have distinct characteristics and councils that work on the challenges facing them, we sometimes forget that La Jolla is one community with a distinct set of issues facing it. We live and work in a place that attracts visitors from around the world, but it’s also a community of small merchants and business people who need the support of residents to keep going. And it is a neighborhood of residents who need services and facilities for themselves and their families.

On top of that, we can’t forget we are a community blessed with arts and culture unlike no other small community around.

What we saw last year was that now more than ever we must depend on one another to hold our little world together.

As the Independent La Jolla group focuses on the future and possible options that might enable formation of a new city, we think this is a critical time for residents and business people to pull together to find solutions to making our community a livable place.

This is bound to be another year when we have to turn inward to our school foundations to supplement woefully underfunded schools and to raise money for the likes of July Fourth fireworks and fire rings at La Jolla Shores. Could this be a year in which those who have children at La Jolla’s cluster of schools begin talks on becoming charter schools?

What other discussions will arise in 2010? What should become of the Torrey Pines Road Corridor now that some funding exists for preliminary designs? How can the Shores, Village and Bird Rock merchants support each other through some sort of communitywide marketing effort? How do La Jolla’s hoteliers and restaurant owners get their businesses booming again?

Whatever challenges we face, we should find a way to share ideas.

As noted in Rick Wildman’s column on this page, it sounds like there’s a movement brewing for replacing Promote La Jolla with a 92037 business improvement district. Perhaps it’s an idea whose time has come?

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner meets on a regular basis with community leaders, laying groundwork for a dialogue that should be expanded. Let’s look forward and seek ideas for common goals that will benefit the diverse neighborhoods of La Jolla.

Small steps are what’s needed in the beginning. They can set us on a path to making our community an even better place.