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Leaders look for ways to replace community services

As city resources to support parks and beaches dwindle, figuring out how to replace services and funding is becoming ever more challenging, say community leaders.

Last week at a meeting of the La Jolla Recreation Council, a Parks and Recreation manager told one prominent volunteer who has led several key projects in La Jolla Shores that the staff “no longer has time” to deal with the money she has raised.

The discussion has prompted Darcy Ashley, president of the La Jolla Town Council, and Jim Heaton, chairman of the La Jolla Shores Association, to start talking about ways to unify community efforts. They both cited such factors as the city’s removal of trash cans along the coast and shoreline preservation as common issues for all of the community’s groups.

Facing the future

“We know money for shoreline budgets won’t be available,” Heaton said.
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Already Shores residents and merchants have been faced with palm fronds piling up in the community. For a while, Heaton said, a 3-foot-tall, 6-foot-diameter pile occupied two parking spaces in the center of the business district.

“We’re not going to be cleaning fronds, but we’re talking about what we can do,” he said.

Ashley said, “Part of what’s happened is that as the city decreases its services, the community is faced with responsibilities.”

Working together

La Jolla is split into several jurisdictions but no one group is responsible for the coastal areas, she noted. Some of the groups have expressed interest in working cooperatively, even going so far as to talk about establishing a coastal communities group with Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Mission Bay.
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When the Town Council meets on Feb. 12, the agenda will include an item to see what can be done in La Jolla.

“We have to have an open dialogue,” Ashley said. “Given our limited resources, it behooves us to be efficient. … There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.”

Shores planning

To accommodate future needs, the Shores board will talk at its Feb. 11 meeting about plans to form its own 501c3 nonprofit where funds donated for community facilities and maintenance can be managed.

“We will set it up so people can donate to specific causes like Friends of Kellog Park, the Map,” he said, noting that play equipment maintenance and sea walls are also possible categories … “maybe even Laureate Park.” Funds for the small park are now under the Town Council Foundation’s control.