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Promote La Jolla gets back on track

Directors of the local Business Improvement District, also known as Promote La Jolla, managed to put aside their differences last week and focus on the mundane-but-crucial task of helping the Village commercial district stay afloat during the recession.

Meeting Feb. 11 at the La Valencia Hotel, the reconstituted board of directors for Promote La Jolla held a wide-ranging discussion on ways to foster tourism as well as patronage by local residents.

With an operating budget of less than $320,000, the district tries to market the village and generate customers by hosting special events such as the annual Gallery and Wine Walk and La Jolla Motor Car Classic anad helping with street beautification projects.

Last month, the board, which has five newly elected members, was unable to complete its annual goal-setting session because of dissension over a lawsuit Hotel operator Bob Collins and bookstore owner Nancy Warwick had filed against the organization over the 2007 board election.

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At this month’s meeting, newly installed board president Rick Wildman, a local attorney, announced that a final settlement ending the lawsuit had been filed in Superior Court.

‘It’s over’

“It’s over,” Wildman said. “There’s no need for any more closed meetings” to discuss the litigation.

The termination of the lawsuit seemed to end the tension between board members. Also noticeably absent from the meeting was attorney Leslie Devaney, who was hired by former president Deborah Marengo to coach the board on how to comply with the Brown Act, the state’s open meetings law for public agencies.

“Everyone is working together now and it’s fun,” Wildman said in an interview after the meeting.

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Surveying parking

Board members agreed to personally canvass fellow merchants to gauge the level of support for a proposal to establish either a uniform 90-minute or 2-hour parking time limit in the village.

Key streets that would be affected include Prospect Street and Fay, Girard and Herschel avenues, where there are various parking time limits ranging up to two hours. Any change would have to be approved by the city of San Diego’s Parking Advisory Board.

Marengo, a member of the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board, will report on the findings at 4 p,m. on Feb. 26 at the La Jolla Recreation Center.