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Letters to the Editor: May 3, 2007

CPA made no foolish gamble

We strongly disagree with the La Jolla Light’s April 18, 2007, editorial that states it was “a foolish gamble” for the LJCPA membership to risk decertification as La Jolla’s officially recognized planning group. Our defiance of the dictates of Mayor Sanders’ Deputy Chief of Land Use and Economic Development, Mr. Jim Waring, was the only way to prevent Mayoral control of planning groups. Our strong conviction is that is is better to be decertified than to be powerless.

In his letter addressed to the LJCPA dated January 29, 2007, Mr. Waring recommended that the LJCPA membership ratify the adoption of its new bylaws and present bylaw “deviations” to the City Council for review and approval. On February 1, the City Attorney appeared before the membership, generally approved the new bylaws and assured the Trustees of continued indemnification pending Council approval of the deviations. Over 90 percemt of the membership present approved the new bylaws. The following day, the City Attorney requested that those deviations be docketed on February 6 for City Council review and approval. La Jolla’s own Councilmember, Mr. Scott Peters, used his power as Council President to refuse to docket this issue.

The deviations from Council Policy 600-24, which included expanding the Board from 18 to 22 members, limiting consecutive years of service to six instead of eight years, adding a recall provision for elected Trustees and possibly the immediate effectiveness of the bylaws, were finally discussed at last week’s Council hearing after almost three hours of public testimony. The clear reaction of the City Councilmembers? Astonishment and the realization that we weren’t a stubborn, rogue planning group out to destroy the system: we were following Council Policy.

On February 1, the LJCPA membership acted in good faith and met the constraints of all three branches of government as exemplified by the City Council policy, the City Attorney’s direction and the Mayor’s recommendation. What happened? Council President Scott Peters twice refused to docket the CPA bylaw deviations for Council approval at the request of the Mayor’s Office, because, as we now know, Waring arbitrarily “changed his mind.” Instead, Mr. Peters docketed the decertification of the LJCPA, an unprecedented and capricious action, and Mr. Waring demanded that the membership rescind the newly adopted bylaws and declared our March elections void. Why did Scott Peters support the Mayor’s office to the detriment of his own Planning Group?

Conceding to Mr. Waring’s inconsistent demands would have compromised the integrity and independence of the LJCPA and jeopardized the other 41 planning groups in San Diego. What else would he change his mind about? What good is a puppet planning group? Sometimes it is necessary to stand up for what is right despite the risk. The City Council “got it,” unanimously agreed with us, and community planning prevailed. The entire city owes a huge thanks to Council members Donna Frye, Kevin Faulconer, Brian Maienschein and Toni Atkins, and City Attorney Mike Aguirre. The question still remains unanswered: What did Mr. Peters hope to gain by decertifying his own planning group? It is high time he learned to act in the best interests of the community who elected him.

Sherri Lightner & Rob Whittemore

la jolla

Dear Mayor Sanders:

Last night, my husband was awakened by the sound of broken glass, and as I phoned the police, was able to witness a burglary of our car parked on the 7800 block of Via Capri on the north side of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla. Police responded immediately and were able to apprehend two 18-year-old male suspects. There were rubber gloves and burglar tools in the suspects’ possession.

Via Capri is the steep and curvy road the leads down from the monument on the north side of Mt. Soledad. As you know, we have been having problems with heavy cut-through traffic and theft (such as last night’s car burglary) associated with that traffic pattern.

We greatly appreciate SDPD’s recent increased enforcement to assist us with our neighborhood’s problems. Last night was an example of their excellent police work. Thank you.

Linda Workman

La Jolla