La Jolla Parks & Beaches Gets New President and Seats New Member

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Changes are underway to the La Jolla Parks & Beaches Board of Directors, including a new member and a new chair.

At the group’s meeting on January 24, chairwoman Claudia Baranowski resigned, citing personal reasons, and a new list of leaders was elected.

Bob Evans will now serve as President. Brenda Fake is Vice President and Tim Seery is Treasurer. The presidential term is one year; the terms of the vice-president and the treasurer are two years.

“It has been my privilege to serve and learn from…La Jolla Parks & Beaches,” Baranowski said. “My role as president provided the opportunity to interact with other La Jolla community organizations and their leaders, as well as city officials. Thank you all for telling me about specific projects, your passion and sharing your ideas. … It has truly been an honor and a pleasure. Keep moving forward and doing good things. »

Evans said he hoped for exactly that under his guidance.

“I want our LJP&B managers to focus primarily on our coastal parks and beaches, especially beautification and improvement projects,” he said. “This past year we have been active with the Windansea Cliff Erosion Project and have been working on improvements and upgrades to Scripps Park and the Children’s Pool. Let’s keep this positive activity going.

Baranowski’s resignation created a vacancy on the board. Local resident Catherine Cox, who began attending LJP&B meetings in 2020, applied to take the seat.

“I live in La Jolla and ride my bike around this area all the time,” Cox said. “I have a great experience working with nonprofits and helping them raise a lot of money. That’s what I can bring to the table. I also bring a youthful perspective…and a new look.

Rather than commit to a specific project, Cox said she could use her experience to help raise funds for the range of projects the council is undertaking.

She said her reasons for running for the seat were explained in a statement of candidacy submitted in a letter to the board ahead of the meeting.

The letter has not been made public, although Evans provided the following excerpt from Cox’s statement: “I believe that being young, active and a working professional gives me the extra skills and energy to help make LJP&B more focused and effective; to promote community involvement and be more inclusive of all ages and backgrounds, whether working groups or just community interest to further promote fundraising and collaboration among other La Jollans . It is important that our young people have a representative voice since it is their future recreational and natural spaces that we preserve and value.

Fake said, “I think it’s a wonderful gift you bring here.”

Cox began attending the meetings after two LJP&B board members made critical comments about the chalk writings on the Fay Avenue bike path in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some community members called the comments “hateful” and “hurtful”. One of the two board members, Mary Ellen Morgan, has since resigned. The other, Marie Hunrichs, still sits on the board.

Cox was among members of the vocal community who called on both board members to resign and criticized the board for not removing them.

When it came time to decide whether to seat Cox, the vote was 11 to 4 in favor, with board members Phyllis Minick, Ken and Marie Hunrichs and John Leek opposing it without comment. Baranowski, John Shannon, Melinda Merryweather and Sally Miller abstained without comment.

The board recently updated its bylaws to include term limits. Some members have served on the board for decades.

“Trustees will serve a three-year term beginning immediately following the January meeting,” Baranowski said in December. “Trustees can serve a maximum of six years, or two terms. In order to stagger current terms and establish an annual rotation, each Board member was assigned an initial term of one, two or three years.

In the future, when a position becomes available, the selection will take place in January rather than throughout the year.

The change is part of a larger bylaws review to clean up inconsistent language and make other changes as recommended by the City of San Diego.

To learn more, visit lajollaparksbeaches.org. ◆

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