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Lightner: Mayor to submit seal dispersal plan on Friday

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner issued a statement late Thursday saying that Mayor Jerry Sanders plans to provide a plan to the courts on Friday to disperse the seals from the Children’s Pool.

In the statement, the First District Councilwoman said she “had no input into this plan” until she was made aware of the city’s plan to file the court-ordered seal dispersal plan earlier in the day.

“Councilwoman Lightner wants to ensure that the seal dispersal plan will address the community’s concerns regarding public safety and traffic congestion,” the statement said.

It added that as soon as she receives the plan it will be posted on her Web site at a

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www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd1/

and that anyone with concerns should call her office at (619) 236-6611.

The mayor’s office was closed by the time the Light received the statement.

The judge had asked for the plan earlier this week. Attorney Paul Kennerson, who represents Valerie O’Sullivan in her lawsuit against the city claiming the seals’ presence violates the terms of the 1913 trust that established the beach as a place for children, filed a motion on Monday asking that the seals be immediately dispersed.

At the federal level, attorney Bryan Pease is attempting to get a permanent rope barrier separating seals and their pups from humans during the mammals’ Dec. 15 to May 15 pupping season. A temporary barrier was removed a week ago.

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On April 28, federal judge William Q. Hayes issued a ruling dismissing a complaint by seal advocates who had sought to get the courts to strike down a judgment that the city of San Diego does not require a federal permit to “remove nuisance animals” from La Jolla’s Children’s Pool.

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 428 is pending in the state legislature which would make seal habitation a permissible use at the pool. That bill passed 30-4 in a full vote of the State Senate and will now be heard by a State Assembly committee.

Staff writer Dave Schwab contributed to this report.