La Jolla planning association elects officers, dismisses election challenge

By Pat Sherman

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) — which makes recommendations to the City of San Diego on land use matters — began its April 3 meeting by addressing a challenge to the results of its annual election by the La Jolla Association.

The La Jolla Association was founded in part by La Jolla Shores resident Bob Whitney to ensure the city and the La Jolla Community Planning Association provide “credible representation” and respect La Jollans’ “individual property rights.”

(The LJCPA board has repeatedly voiced opposition to Whitney’s proposed three-story, mixed-use project in La Jolla Shores.)

The election was held March 6, the day of the LJCPA’s monthly meeting, and a tally was presented to outgoing President Toni Crisafi, who certified and announced the results during the meeting. The LJCPA board consists of 18 trustees elected by LJCPA general membership who serve fixed, three-year terms, for no more than six consecutive years. LCPA bylaws provide exceptions to term limits if there are not enough candidates running to fill vacant seats.

The La Jolla Association argued that an election committee should have been established no later than the first week of January to adequately publicize the board vacancies and recruit more candidates than there are available seats (per LJCPA’s bylaws), the lack of which, the challenge contends, led to a shortage of applicants that allowed termed-out trustees

Jim Fitzgerald

and

Joe LaCava

to run for an additional three-year terms. Both received more than two-thirds of the vote, as required by LJCPA bylaws for trustees vying for a third term.

Addressing meeting attendees, immediate past LJCPA president Toni Crisafi said the LJCPA responded to the La Jolla Association’s challenge on March 25, stating its belief that the challenge has no merit. Crisafi said he then contacted the San Diego City Attorney’s office, which replied that it was “taking no exception to the (LJCPA’s) response at this time.”

The top six vote recipients in the election —

Fitzgerald, LaCava, Bob Collins, Alex Outwater

and write-in candidates

Jim Ragsdale

and

Rob Whittimore

— each received three-year terms.

The seventh top vote-getter,

Robert Mapes

, will fill the remainder of an open seat expiring in March 2015.

LJCPA second vice-president Patrick Ahern, who chaired the April 3 meeting in the absence of a current president or first vice-president, said the city took no exception with Fitzgerald and LaCava being seated.

However, Fitzgerald announced during the meeting that, despite his election, he was resigning from the board “for ethical reasons,” though he will stay on as a LJCPA member-at-large.

He noted that one of the candidates elected,

Peter Ovanessoff

, chose not to serve, leaving one seat to fill.

“By mutual agreement I felt it was appropriate for Joe (LaCava) to continue as a trustee and for me to step aside, so I’m resigning for that reason,” Fitzgerald said.

Officer elections:

Despite reminders from La Jolla Shores Association Chair Tim Lucas and trustee Ray Weiss that LaCava stated months ago that he would not run for board president, in LaCava’s absence trustee Whittemore nominated him and he was elected president.

Other officers elected during the meeting include

Bob Steck

(first vice-president),

Patrick Ahern

(second vice-president),

Helen Boyden

(secretary) and

Nancy Manno

(treasurer).

The LJCPA board also thanked the following recently departed trustees for their service:

Myrna Naegle, Tom Brady, Dave Little

and former board president

Crisafi.

Moratorium waiver rejected:

A request by TC Construction — which the city contracted for an ongoing, major water pipe replacement project in La Jolla — was denied a requested waiver to work through La Jolla’s summer moratorium on construction in the coastal zone.

The company is replacing 900 feet of water pipe on Exchange Place, south of Prospect Place, from Cave Street to Torrey Pines Road.

Though on the LJCPA agenda it was stated that the project would take from two to three weeks, when pressed during the meeting, TC Construction representative Vic Salazar conceded that it could take up to six weeks.

Brian Wilson of TC Construction said working through the summer would allow them to finish the job sooner.

However, trustees Ray Weiss and Janie Emerson said the job would create dust during the tourist season.

The request was denied because it was only viewed as being for “the convenience of the contractor,” and violates the LJCPA’s responsibility to “preserve La Jolla for its residents and tourists.”

Valet request pulled:

A request for four, white passenger loading spaces  in front of the new La Plaza La Jolla development at the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue — to be used for valet parking during operating hours and approved by the LJCPA’s Traffic and Transportation subcommittee — was pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion.

Developers are transforming the former site of the Jack’s La Jolla restaurant and nightclub complex into an upscale, boutique mall.

Though it was originally scheduled to open Dec. 1, 2013, due to permitting delays, it is now scheduled to open in August 2014. Requests for the names of tenants leasing space at La Plaza have gone unanswered.

Loading Zone:

A request to remove a commercial loading zone near La Jolla Elementary School on Herschel Avenue (before it turns into Marine Street) was returned to the Traffic and Transportation committee for further discussion.

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