Peters to Lightner: Ask questions, listen

Outgoing First District Councilman Scott Peters pledged to do everything possible to prepare his successor, Sherri Lightner, for her first day on the job Dec. 8.

“I’ve made myself available to Sherri for any help she needs in any way,” Peters said. “She’s going to be my council member. I want her to be good.”

Termed out after eight years on the job, Peters feels “like a high school senior who’s learned a lot, had a great experience … but still the time comes to move on.”

Peters is passing the baton to Lightner who will be representing La Jolla, Carmel Valley, Del Mar Mesa, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, Rancho Peñasquitos, Torrey Highlands and University City.

Ask, listen

Peters had this advice to impart: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Listen. There will be a lot of new things coming at her, a lot of issues she’s not familiar with.”

In terms of issues Lightner will have to grapple with, Peters said there is one immediate overriding one: the economy.

“Right now revenues are so far off of projections … that’s going to affect everything she does. In La Jolla, it’s things like maintaining streets and sidewalks. Clearly, that’s going to be a challenge for the next few years because revenues are off.”

Water supply is another challenge Lightner and her colleagues will have to contend with in the near-term, Peters said.

“I believe the city should look more seriously at water recycling,” the outgoing councilman said. “Conservation is going to continue to be an emphasis for the region.”

Still a struggle

Although he said he feels good about the state of the council district he’s turning over to Lightner, Peters said there’s always a struggle in La Jolla to get infrastructure money.

“Parking in the Village is an issue that’s not going away and threatens the Village if they don’t deal with it. I would have loved to have had a better conversation about that,” he said.

Lifeguard towers at La Jolla Shores and Children’s Pool are two things Peters’ administration started that Lightner’s administration will have to finish.

“We made real good progress in designing them,” he said, “and they’re going to have to find a way to get them funded.”

Peters said Lightner is also going to have to contend with the “mansionization” of the Shores.

“The PDO (Planned District Ordinance) really opens the door to … bulk and scale not in conformance with the community,” he said.

Peters is taking the month of December off to contemplate the future, which includes a role as a port district commissioner, a seat to which he was recently appointed.