La Jolla Shores board elects new officers, splits sidewalk reconfiguration project

La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) — the advisory group that makes recommendations to the city’s Park & Recreation Department regarding all parks and public recreation facilities, including La Jolla Shores, Kellogg Park, Laureate Park, Cliffridge Park and Allen Field — elected a new set of officers at its April 8 meeting. The board elected 10 new members during its March meeting.

An election committee, headed by member Pam Boynton, reached out to each board member to see if he or she desired an officer position, and five people responded, each with interest in one of the five available positions — leaving the committee with one recommendation for each position.

The committee recommended SD Expeditions co-founder Nick LaBeouf for chair, current vice-chair and resident Susan Tschirn to continue as vice-chair, resident Jenny Feinberg for treasurer, resident Shahar Compton for recording secretary and Rusty Board House owner Angie Preisendorfer for corresponding secretary/membership chair.

However, nominations were also accepted from the floor. For the chair position, newly elected member Karen Marshall nominated herself. “I have been very involved in my neighborhood with homeless (issues) and because I live on a street that is very narrow and people were parking on both sides I worked with the fire department to get one side converted to a fire lane,” she said of her local accomplishments.

Also volunteering a statement, LaBeouf said, “I have no trouble representing the community, including business owners and residents ... I’d be delegating a lot more than what has been done in the past, but with the support of such a strong board, I’m willing to step into this role.”

After a show-of-hands vote, LaBeouf was elected chair 11-4. Marshall also nominated herself for the vice-chair position, and following a similar process (sans candidate statements), Tschirn was re-elected to the vice-chair position, also by a 11-4 vote.

Candidates for the remaining positions ran unopposed and were elected.

Outgoing chair Tim Lucas, who sat as LJSA chair for two years, said, “It’s been a tremendous experience and very rewarding getting to know the membership and the community. There have been a lot of challenges with the construction (to replace sewer and water lines in La Jolla Shores) and being the community liaison, and as a board, trying to help our community as much as we can. I’m going to miss being chair here ... last year’s board was tremendous and this year’s board has some great new talent and I’m looking forward to great things from this board.”

LaBeouf said he looks forward to being a LJSA point of contact for anyone with questions or concerns. “I’m happy to be the liaison for building trusting relationships (between the community and the board),” he said. He can be reached at (619) 508-6580.

First order of business

The first action by the new board was to vote on a proposal to make changes to sidewalk configurations in the Shores. Originally presented to La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation (T&T) advisory group by Piatti restaurant manager Tom Spano and LJSA member Preisendorfer, the proposal seeks to make a temporary crosswalk configuration permanent and safer for pedestrians. A second component involves widening the sidewalk in front of Piatti restaurant on Avenida de la Playa to standard width by cutting back shrubbery in front of the property and filling the space with concrete.

Installed eight years ago, but intended to be temporary and experimental, a crosswalk across El Paseo Grande at Avenida de la Playa, is separated from adjacent parking areas by a row of planters and yellow caution tape instead of a curb or tire stops. “I’d like to have that temporary fix made permanent, give it true curbs and bring it all the way out,” Spano said.

City Council president Sherri Lightner’s representative, Justin Garver, said if the proposals were presented as a collective project addressing the sidewalk expansion and sidewalk extension, it would be added to the “extensive” list of Unfunded Sidewalk Needs and would “fight for funding with the other projects at the city.”

LJSA member Lucas suggested the project be split into two parts and proposed separately to the city. To address the sidewalk expansion, Spano said he would discuss private funding with the Piatti corporate office. He hadn’t previously consulted them because he “hoped it could be taken care of by the city since it is city property.”

The board voted to support the sidewalk- widening proposal and the seeking of corporate funds.

A second motion supported the proposal to install hard curbing from the sidewalk around the parking area opposite Avenida de la Playa, and encouraged the city to install the curbing “as quickly as possible.”

In other LJSA news

Map update: The Map educational display in Kellogg Park was removed for the summer and the space will be filled in with decomposed granite. Constructed by T.B. Penick, the Map depicted the ocean depths and wildlife found at La Jolla Shores, with glass beads in various shades of blue indicating the water depths. When the beads began to unearth, the area was fenced off as a safety hazard.

Friends of La Jolla Shores, which contracted the project, has signed a deal with T.B. Penick to replace the Map with lithomosaic tiles that are more durable and require less maintenance. All that remains is approval from the city’s Park & Rec Department to start construction after the summer construction moratorium, which ends in September.

“If the board is interested in seeing the project re-installed I would appreciate it if they let the city know,” said Friends president Mary Coakley-Munk. She asked board members to write letters to the Park & Rec Department and Council President Lightner.

Present at the meeting, Lightner declined to state whether her office is in support of replacing the project, but offered to return the following month for a Q&A.

Next meeting: The San Diego Police Department Quality of Life Team, which handles homelessness in San Diego, will make a presentation, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13 at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Building T-29, 8840 Biological Grade.