Whether it is enforcing regulations, managing crowds, cracking down on drinking/drug use or collecting money from user groups for park maintenance, Shores’ residents believe hiring a park ranger could be the answer.
The city, however, has repeatedly said there is no money currently in the budget to hire a ranger.
Hiring at least a part-time or seasonal park ranger for the park, along with curbing illegal ice cream vendors and the temporary loss of LJSA’s nonprofit status were among topics discussed at the advisory group’s June 12 monthly meeting.
“Kellogg Park is in such desperate need of a ranger,” said LJSA board member Mary Coakley Munk, who is on three group subcommittees, including one on unregulated commercial activity. “Lifeguards have made it clear they will not do anything (enforcement) on the east side of the boardwalk.”
“It would be nice to have someone down at the park on a regular basis to keep an eye out,” agreed LJSA chair Tim Lucas.
“With all the fees paid by outfitters and vendors going for permitting to the (city’s) general fund, we ought to be able to fund a ranger,” said newly appointed LJSA board member Sharon Luscomb, owner of La Jolla Kayak.
LJSA board member Izzy Tihanyi concurred.
“We want the money to stay at the beach,” she said. “The way it’s been going, it’s a mystery where it (permitting fees) goes.”
Coakley Munk suggested a new avenue LJSA might try would be to get a group together to approach Mayor Bob Filner about supporting funding for a Kellogg Park ranger during the office hours he hosts the first Saturday of the month.
In other matters, San Diego Police Department officer Cindy Meyer of Northern Division gave a presentation to community planners on what can be done to curb solicitors and ice cream vendors in the Shores.
“Vendors can’t be parked illegally, they have to be moving through neighborhoods, have to be licensed with permitting showing and can’t go within 500 feet of schools,” Meyer said, adding the police want to work the community to be proactive about enforcing regulations, particularly governing ice cream vendors whom some Shores’ residents feel have become a nuisance.
Meyers urged residents who see illegal vending activity to contact her at email@example.com. She said providing documentation, photographs, license plate numbers, etc. are helpful.
Chairman Tim Lucas reported that, due to IRS rule changes, LJSA, at least temporarily, has lost its nonprofit status.
“It will cost us a $400 application fee for reinstatement,” Lucas said, noting the group’s indemnity insurance is also coming due, which will cost another several hundred dollars.
“My hope is that we can get board membership back up to 16 members so that we can spread the cost of indemnity insurance out more,” Lucas said.