Those were some of the highlights at the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s (LJVMA) May 8 monthly meeting.
“The LJVMA had two meetings last week regarding the smell at La Jolla Cove with Mayor Bob Filner and state Sen. Marty Block,” said LJVMA president Phil Coller. “The mayor said he would use his best efforts to get a team solution to the smell.”
“That’s not going to do much for merchants in the hot summer,” said LJVMA board member Trent Bonner. “[The mayor has] done a lot of other things. He ought to get out here with a fire hose.”
Merchants in the Village of La Jolla have been struggling with foul smells from La Jolla Cove caused by bird waste buildup, the smell from which carries long distances and is especially strong during warmer weather.
Sheila Fortune, LJVMA’s executive director, noted Filner’s current annual budget proposal would eliminate the city’s BID Council, which oversees the city’s 20-plus BIDs and microBIDs.
“[Filner] is not funding any of the BID Council’s staffing, totally removing it from the budget in favor of a BID advocate (lobbyist), who has already been hired,” Fortune said. “We (LJVMA) weren’t warned of this. It was very unexpected.”
The mayor’s budget proposal must be approved by the nine-member City Council.
“We’re going to work with the mayor to make the transition and figure out how to move forward,” Fortune said.
Coller noted the BID Council is the umbrella organization representing the city’s 17 BIDs and a half-dozen or so microBIDs.
“What’s changing is that funding for administration of that BID Council is gone,” Coller said.
“San Diego’s BID Council is the only independent BID Council in the nation,” said LJVMA board member Egon Kafka.
Dave Ish, representing Club Lemeno, a text-message marketing group, was denied a request by the LJVMA board for his company to access the merchant group’s email list to market La Jolla businesses via text messaging.
“It would be very positive and get the word out,” Ish said.
Not everyone agreed, however.
“My concern with it is, by committing us (LJVMA) us to use our e-blast lists, that other businesses would ask us to do the same,” said LJVMA board member Krista Baroudi.
Coller was of like mind.
“It would be setting a precedent,” Coller said.
Fortune proposed a compromise that called for not granting Club Lemeno access to LJVMA’s email lists, but agreeing to host a future workshop for merchants at which time they could be informed about Ish’s voluntary text-messaging service to market their businesses to offer promotions, discounts and the like.
In other action
• Fortune said planning is in full swing for Haute La Jolla Nights, a series of promotional weekend events offering live entertainment as a draw for Village guests.
• LJVMA board member James Niebling said a recent walk-through inspection of hanging flower baskets in the downtown Village revealed “they’re in the best condition they’ve been in a number of months.”
• Bonner said the Mount Soledad Memorial Association will be honoring two Navy SEALS killed in the Benghazi. Libya terrorist attack with plaques on the memorial’s walls.