Shores merchants forming new group

La Jolla Shores merchants stand to get $5,100 in a city grant to seed startup of a “microdistrict” — a form of business improvement district.

The funds and election of new officers are good news for the approximately 75-member group, which formed in late 2007 and includes neighborhood residents and property owners, as well as a wide range of about 50 Shores businesses. Members include representatives of hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, surf schools and shops, and kayak shops, as well as professionals such as dentists, doctors, architects and financial planners.

The Shores microdistrict’s mission is to serve as a nonprofit management group to improve the economic, social and physical environment of the Avenida de la Playa commercial area.

Nora Bradley, program manager for the San Diego BID Council — an association of San Diego’s organizations whose mission is to assist development of small businesses — said the Shores microdistrict’s funding has been tentatively approved but won’t become final until a contract is signed before the end of the year.

“They (Shores) were approved with a total of $3,600 in cash, and got another $1,500 in technical assistance,” said Bradley, noting technical assistance is designed to help the organization get their business name, board and group infrastructure setup.

Bradley added there is a possibility the Shores group might not get the entire amount of its bid award, as the BID Council received a 10 percent cut in its budget during recent City Council deliberations.

New board members elected in November are: David Teafatiller, president; Nanci Kirk, vice president-membership; Noelle Wojdowski, vice president-operations; Vaughn Woods, treasurer; Bill Lally and Cheri Sasson, recording secretary; Terry Kraszewski and Tom Hassey, members-at-large; and Greg Salmon, resident member ex officio (non-voting).

Outgoing Shores bid president Izzy Tihanyi talked about the group’s role.

“We’re here to do events and beautify the streets,” she said, adding that “talking about safety is part of our mission.”

She also said she “would like to see us talk about what kind of lighting (improvements) we need and about finding the money to do that.”

BID board member Pat Nissan suggested the new board should create a subcommittee to address lighting issues.

At the group’s Dec. 7 monthly meeting at La Jolla Art Association offices, the group also heard a presentation from lifeguards’ representative Lonnie Stephens urging them to oppose cuts to lifeguard staff and hours at Black’s Beach in the mayor’s proposed budget.

He said they have a negative domino effect on lifeguard response times. Those cuts were tentatively approved on Dec. 8 by the City Council.

The merchant’s backed the lifeguards’ position seeking exemption from the current round of city budget cuts.