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Town Council to consider self-assessment

BY TONY DE GARATE

Contributor

Budget deficits are hardly news these days, but one idea to raise revenues of the La Jolla Town Council certainly is. A proposal at the council’s monthly meeting May 13 called on its trustees to look for a new revenue source — in the mirror.

Characterizing the council’s financial situation as “precarious,” Treasurer John Donaldson suggested that trustees pass a new annual assessment of $200 or so that would apply only to themselves. The proposal will be discussed at the group’s next regular meeting in June.

The Town Council is a volunteer community group governed by a board of 24 trustees, who are unpaid.

The latest treasury balance is only $916, Donaldson said. “This is not a good situation, and it’s approaching untenable,” he added.

Were it not for the recent donation from Trustee Ruth Yansick, who renewed her membership for $1,000, the treasury would be in the red, Donaldson noted.

Until recently, the Town Council charged between $50 and $500 in annual dues for residential, business and nonprofit memberships. Two new memberships have been added in the residential category: a $10 student level and a $1,000 platinum level, prompted by Yansick’s donation.

The council also earns money from its monthly Sunsetter events at local restaurants, which have been “wildly successful,” Donaldson said.

On the other side of the ledger, the group is more than $11,000 in arrears to its former office manager and has yet to pay back money it borrowed last September from the La Jolla Town Council Foundation, Donaldson said.

Gaining more members might be a better way to increase revenues, Trustee Egon Kafka suggested. “That seems like a much deeper treasure trove to dig into,” he said.

Asked after the meeting if the assessment could create a disincentive to future potential candidates, Donaldson said, “Yes .,, but I don’t know what else to do. This problem just goes on and on and we’re just clinging to the wall.”