New name, same mission for La Jolla parks and beaches group


Staff Writer

La Jolla’s Parks and Beaches Committee has chosen a new name and formed a subcommittee to begin adopting group bylaws as it moves toward its independence from the Town Council.

Members picked La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., for the new name by a 7-0-1 vote at the group’s November meeting because of its familiarity.

“We need La Jolla in the name,” noted Michele Addington, chair of the town council subcommittee which advises the city on La Jolla coastal parks.

The committee was told months ago by the city it would need to disassociate itself from the dues-paying Town Council if it wanted to continue managing parks. The reason is a new city policy prohibits local groups from managing parks unless they’re nonprofit.

Committeemembers Sally Miller, Mike Costello and Patrick Ahern concurred with Addington on the group’s new name.

“I’ve belonged to both parks and beaches and parks and rec and people have never been confused by the two groups ever,” Miller said.

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of confusion where the demarcation is,” said Costello. “You start changing a name radically … you lose track of it. Whatever name you choose, the closer to what you have now the better.”

“This new group already has branding in La Jolla parks and beaches,” noted Ahern.

Unlike most city communities which have only one group serving as liaison to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, La Jolla has three: La Jolla Shores Association responsible for Kellogg Park, the Shores, Laureate Park, Cliffridge Park and Allen Field; La Jolla Town Council Parks & Beaches Committee responsible for all the coastal parks including Scripps, Bird Rock’s Calumet and La Jolla Hermosa parks; and La Jolla Recreation Council Inc. overseeing the recreation center and Bird Rock Park adjoining Bird Rock Elementary School.

The existing special-use permit splitting park management among La Jolla’s three advisory groups expires this year, which prompted a reexamination by all the groups of their roles and responsibilities.

The parks and beaches group selected new member Anne Podney to chair a bylaws subcommittee, which will also include Addington, Ahern and Miller. That subcommittee will work reviewing and modifying a bylaws “template” to be provided by the city and hopes to adopt the new bylines by February or March.

Addington added La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. has also opted to seek 501c3 nonprofit status which allows fundraising. “We’re going to raise funds for things like new bathrooms for Scripps Park,” she said.

One area of uncertainty is what role non-La Jollans will be allowed to have in the new parks and beaches group. Addington said she’d consult with city parks director Stacy LoMedico to clarify the parameters of non-residents’ participation in group affairs.