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Nine candidates seek Town Council seats

Nine candidates are running for 14 available trusteeships on the 24-member La Jolla Town Council (LJTC).

Supported entirely through volunteer memberships of residents and businesses, the council and its various committees contribute toward beautification and streetscape, do planning for parks and beaches, host political forums and stage the annual Christmas parade.

The candidates are:

Darcy Ashley

A Bird Rock resident and current Town Council president, Darcy Ashley has been actively involved in the no-paid parking and no-three-stories movements in town.

“La Jolla Town Council’s stated mission is ‘to work proactively as a unifying voice on behalf of the entire La Jolla community,’ ” she said. “This means we listen to what the community has to say and represent this opinion to the city.”

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Rob Hildt

A Bird Rock resident who owns an independent consulting firm and has an extensive financial background, Rob Hildt, more than anything else, says he is running for the council to preserve the beauty of the community.

“I want to work for the prosperity of the community for residents, businesses and visitors,” he said. “I think there needs to be more facilitating of relationships between those groups and city government.”

Ann Kerr Bache

A longtime La Jollan with 10 years of experience working on the council-sponsored Christmas parade and who is a consultant on libraries of the future and an ardent civic activist, Ann Kerr Bache said she believes involvement is a civic duty.

“People need to step up and help,” she said. “There needs to be more cooperation among the many bodies out there. We need to get back to good, old-fashioned neighborhood stuff.”

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Debbie Dorsee

A Windansea resident and the principal of a business development and public relations firm, SDSU grad Debbie Dorsee has supported arts groups including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and has worked to aid wildfire victims.

“I care about the community,” she said about why she’s running. ‘I’m a younger person, and it’s important for younger people to get involved in these organizations.”

Melissa Stevens

A Barber Tract resident who works for the American Lung Association, Melissa Stevens said she would bring grant-writing experience to the council. She was inspired by recently elected La Jolla Councilwoman Sherri Lightner to become more civically involved.

“I like her leadership on smart growth and land use,” Stevens said. “It’s really important to be proactive about solving the environment’s needs, maintaining a balance and creating sustainability along the coastline.”

J.R. Sullivan

A real estate broker with Willis Allen whose professional background also includes marketing brand managing and product management, J.R. Sullivan is past president of the La Jolla Real Estate Broker’s Association.

“Government does not always seem to have our best interests at heart,” he said. “The most important issue is to keep an eye on the city and to mobilize La Jollans to actively oppose issues that are not in their best interests.”

John Weinstein

A La Jolla Shores resident who works for Smith Barney as a financial adviser, John Weinstein also has an extensive background in apparel sales management, as well as with local groups such as La Jolla Newcomers.

“I’ve always liked being involved and contributing to my community,” he said. “I don’t have any specific issues. In general, I just want to help maintain our wonderful lifestyle in La Jolla.”

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Egon Kafka

A Village resident who previously was in the entertainment and film industry and operates La Jolla Village Lodge, Egon Kafka is keen on grass-roots involvement.

“Absolutely everybody needs to volunteer their efforts to work together for the community …" he said. “We all as individuals should do our part to keep things neat and orderly on our streets and beaches. Most of all, we need to … commit random acts of kindness … every day.”

Sharon Wampler

A Windansea resident with a background in developing and launching university education programs and biotech marketing, Sharon Wampler said she wants to get personally involved in changing her neighborhood.

“We need to transcend our self-interest and work together for the best interests of the community,” she said. “With the economic crisis, city services being cut and all the infrastructure issues, we need to prioritize and work as a team.”

LJTC President Ashley said the five remaining open trustee positions will be filled as new interested candidates step forward. However, the total number of trusteeships could be changed in the future.

“After the election, we may change our bylaws to reduce the number of trustees,” she said, adding there has been discussion that 18 might be a more manageable number.