By Pat Sherman
The La Jolla Town Council approved the first significant changes to its bylaws in nearly 60 years during its March 8 meeting.
The trustees voted to require that any changes to its bylaws and code of ethics be approved by a two-thirds vote, as opposed to a simple majority.
Second vice-president John Weinstein was the lone vote in favor of approving the changes via a simple majority.
Also voted upon was whether council trustees should be limited to serving six or nine consecutive years on the board. Most club members felt that six years was enough time, given that trustees can run for reelection after a one-year hiatus.
“I think six years is a good suggestion,” said Bylaws Committee Chairman Peter Wulff, noting that trustees can remain active in the community and on council committees during their year’s hiatus from the board of trustees.
“It does foster new involvement from other people to come up and volunteer,” he said, adding that it also prevents “a clique, if you will, from evolving.”
“The issue is freshness of mind, staleness of participation,” Wulff said.
The trustees spent some time wrangling over the issue of how to handle term limits for members who are appointed to fill out the remainder of a position vacated by a trustee departing before his or her term has expired.
“We don’t want to put someone in the position of having up to almost nine years when everyone else gets six,” Weinstein said.
Council president Rick Wildman added, “It’s pretty essential that we have a full number of 24 trustees, so that’s why we’ve been bringing people in to fill out the unexpired terms. They’re really taking the other person’s place, not (serving) in their own term as a trustee.”
In the end, the club voted to limit trustees terms to seven years. The proposed bylaw amendment reads, in part: “A trustee may not be nominated or elected to a term which, if served to completion, would cause the trustee to serve more than seven (7) consecutive years.”
All three amendments were approved in a final vote, with trustee Greg Phillips voting against the changes and Mary Soriano abstaining.
“This is amazing — most groups take months to accomplish this,” Wildman said.
Annual electionsThe council decided to postpone its elections for another month, as candidate information and ballots were not disseminated to council members in a timely manner this month.
Ten people are running for trustee positions, including eight current members who are vying for reelection.
Previously completed ballots will be voided. A new ballot will be e-mailed to club members the Tuesday prior to the April meeting, and the results announced during that meeting.
Candidate bios:— Current trustee
Ann Kerr Bacheis a mother, volunteer and part-time consultant. She has experience in both the public and private sector, including a decade working with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is past chair of Independent La Jolla and served two terms as president of the Stella Maris Academy Parent-Teacher Organization.
— Newly installed trustee
Charles Hartford, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, holds a bachelor’s degree from West Point academy and masters degrees in history and in diplomacy and international commerce from the University of Kentucky. He served as the Deputy United States National Military Representative to the Strategic NATO Headquarters in Mons, Belgium.
Phillip Forgionesaid he wants to serve another term to “enhance the quality of life in La Jolla for residents, merchants and guests” and to preserve “La Jolla’s antiquity, promoting the business community and supporting public safety.”
— Current trustee
Robert Hildthas served as the board’s first vice-president (his current post), president of the council’s parade foundation and as a member of the San Diego Corporate Finance Council and Latin and Asian Business Association of San Diego.
Ron Jonesis an award-winning announcer and writer, known locally as “The Voice of La Jolla.” The special event company owner has been featured on radio and television. He is president of the Greater La Jolla Meals on Wheels organization and the Rotary Club of La Jolla.
— Current trustee
Egon Kafkaoperates the La Jolla Village Lodge with his “better half,” Maureen Murphy. He also serves on the board of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association. “I believe that the single most important function of the town council is to serve as a unifying voice for this community,” he said.
— Realtor and business owner
Yolanda De Riqueris a newly appointed trustee whose goal is to get more Hispanic people involved in community service and bring community members together to solve problems. “We need to motivate people to be a part of improving and preserving the best things about La Jolla,” she said.
Emiliano De Riqueris the 17-year-old son of newly installed trustee Yolanda De Riquer. The La Jolla High School student aspires to breach the generation gap between older and younger La Jollans while using innovation to balance historic preservation and modernity.
— Longtime resident
Dyanne Marie Routhsaid the most important issues facing the town council are improving street conditions and having a town council member who would better represent the organization to city officials.
— Financial advisor and current trustee
John P. Weinsteinhas chaired the council’s membership committee, speakers’ series and has served on its executive committee. He currently serves as the board of trustees’ second vice-president.
In other council news:• Board opening: Joe LaCava announced that there is a vacant seat on the La Jolla Coastal Access and Parking Board for an interested town council member to fill. Anyone interested should e-mail Rick Wildman at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Walkway beautification update: Phyllis Minick and landscape architect Jim Neri gave a presentation on proposed improvements to the walkway along Coast Boulevard near the Children’s Pool, which resulted in the council lending its support to the project.
Parks and Beaches, Inc. needs to raise about $240,000 for the project, which would include a designated vending area that would move vendors back from the walkway.
“Vending and tables should only be in one location and not spread out where they are an impediment to improve pedestrian traffic, Minick said, adding, “We have every last little detail, except the money.”
Minick said Parks and Beaches is engaged in a “full-force push” to obtain funding and city approval so that they can piggyback on the remodeling of the lifeguard tower at Children’s Pool, which is scheduled to begin in mid-May.
• Surf Club volunteers: Harold Reid, the new president of WindanSea Surf Club, offered the 200-member organization’s help with community service projects.
“Next year we’re going into our 50th year of service to La Jolla,” Reid said. “Any way that I need to do that, anybody that I can speak with, I’m open to that.”
• City supports Concours: San Diego City Councilmember Sherri Lightner began the meeting by presenting a proclamation in support of the Historical Society’s upcoming Concours d’Elegance car show, scheduled for April 1. Tickets are $35 at lajollaconcours.com