OPINION: Woman’s Club issues are troubling

By Light staff

The landmark La Jolla Woman’s Club - another of those wonderful elements of our history that can be attributed to the generosity of Ellen Browning Scripps - has been a place for weddings and social gatherings for many years. Its reputation has been one of impeccable style and taste - until the past few years when its management seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

For the past few months several former members, with the aid of a local attorney, have been trying to find out what’s been going on with the board members and asking why only one catering company (with apparent direct ties to the manager who is now suspended) has been allowed to provide service there.

Some of San Diego’s top catering companies have said they were told they were no longer welcome there or that an added fee, paid directly to the manager and not the club, was required if they wanted to do a job there.

(The online “rules” state that a fee of $1,000 is required for a caterer other than the “preferred” Abbey Catering and Event Design). One well-known caterer who currently has disassociated himself with the facility told the Light that the plug was “pulled on the bride and groom” when an event ran a little long.

That’s no way to run a business and no way to polish a reputation. Sure, the economy is making it tough on special events venues and service providers, but that should be a time when they go out of their way to please clients. And without the referrals from caterers who enjoy working there, the number of events is sure to suffer.

We applaud those trying to get to the bottom of what appears to be a bit part truth, part “she said-she said.” But if only a portion of what’s being said proves to be the truth, the club’s bottom line and its reputation have been hurt.

Enough of the squabbling. The board and Womans Club members should demand a full accounting of the club’s finances and find the kind of leaders and a club manager who can renew faith in the organization.

Brides to be need to know their events will be the ones they dreamed of - not one that will end with their music shut down because a late fee isn’t being paid on the spot.