In July at the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) meeting, the new director of the Enhance La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) was introduced, and the board discussed numerous marketing ventures.
Said Enhance La Jolla board president Ed Witt of new general manager John Unbewust, “He will be working with the sub-contractors to be hired to do the work of the MAD. He is very well qualified and lives in the MAD too.”
Unbewust is a recently retired resident who’s lived in the Village for 15 years.
“If all goes according to plan, the MAD will go into effect Oct. 1,” Unbewust told LJVMA board on July 10, adding, “I unretired after being selected.”
Noting his role would be a “part-time job,” Unbewust said the new MAD’s purpose is to “start to do some of the things (needed) to supplement what the city already does in the Village.”
Unbewust added the MAD will be a “catalyst to get folks engaged. More needs to be done. We want to make the jewel shine like it did years ago.”
The new director said the assessment district’s responsibilities are clearly spelled out and include power washing of sidewalks and cleaning in and around trash receptacles.
“There will also be contractual landscape work, tree trimming, cleaning up and getting rid of trashy looking areas,” he said. “There will be a third supplemental trash pickup focused primarily on weekends.”
Unbewust said graffiti removal and cleanup of dirty curbs and gutters are also in the authorized mix of functions the MAD will perform. He added that three contracts with vendors to perform supplemental services are expected to be signed in September.
“I’ll be the face of the district,” Unbewust concluded.
Passed by a 56% to 44% margin by mail ballot of residents and businesses within La Jolla's downtown Village in November 2016, the La Jolla MAD was supposed to have taken effect Jan. 1, 2018, but has been delayed by a lawsuit brought by a landlord group known as the La Jolla Benefits Association. LJBA argued the MAD was unlawful because it constitutes a second tax on services the city is already obligated by its charter to provide.
Concerning the merchant group’s Oct. 9 annual meeting and board elections, LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick
said self-nominations for candidates are due Aug. 8. A Sept. 11 candidates’ forum is also scheduled.
“We don’t want this [board] to be good ol’ boys or girls clubs,” Rudick said, adding that merchants who want to vote in the election must be current with their business tax licenses qualifying them for membership in the La Jolla bid.