Our View: Let’s channel energy toward the Village future

At 4 p.m. Thursday the rubber meets the road at the La Jolla Recreation Center for those trying to form a new nonprofit organization to seek the city’s contract to run the La Jolla Business Improvement District.

And if there wasn’t a message sent about how important this could be, one need only look at San Diego’s daily newspaper which last week listed key places to shop on Black Friday. Guess what community wasn’t on the list: You’ve got it La Jolla. But the Cedros Design Center in Solana Beach and Little Italy — both of which have cohesive groups behind them — made the list.

Now, we can blame the big daily for forgetting about our little burgh or we can blame ourselves for letting the Jewel fall off the map amidst the struggles of Promote La Jolla.

Either way, the consequences are the same — lower visibility for our merchants as they work each day to keep their shelves stocked with great offerings to attract shoppers.

We’re hopeful that the enthusiasm generated at the recent coffees and the consultant hired with BID funds who has been talking up “La Jolla Businesses Unite” has stirred enough emotion and drawn some new faces into the fold that today’s meeting will be successful.

The holiday lights that have popped up along Girard, Herschel and Prospect in the past couple of weeks may be signs that the energy is kicking in.

Thanks go to a group led by Egon Kafka and Maureen Murphy of the La Jolla Village Lodge, Anna Palmer of Anna Palmer Design and Phil and Nicki Coller of Everett Stunz — along with Michelle and Shannon Lerach of CUPS and others who have stepped up as “block captains” to get their neighbors involved or pitched in to cover some of the costs. Others deserve credit too: Michelle Addington, who has no business interest but volunteered anyway, and Lincoln Foster, who has dressed up his properties.

The shooting stars are shining in the Village, thanks to LJBID funds, and along Torrey Pines. Joe LaCava led the effort to raise the money to supplement BID funds to hang those outside the Village and the Season’s Greetings sign near the Children’s School.

But it will take more than lights to get the full glow back in the Village. Today, we hope those who want to help will show up. The objective today is to get all of the ideas focused on next steps: Picking a name, setting up committees to handle mundane but necessary tasks like getting bylaws written, dealing with other legal issues in setting up a nonprofit, establishing a budget framework and finding candidates to lead the new group.

The timeframe is short since the city is looking for a proposal by late January. So get your wheels rolling straight to the Rec Center this afternoon if you are about the business climate in town. We’ll see you there.