QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Q. What is the reason for doing this?
- A. The preservation, enhancement and protection of La Jolla. La Jolla is now subject to the laws and actions of the City of San Diego, which has undergone dramatic growth and change in recent years. That growth has increasingly put San Diego's priorities as a City at direct odds with those of La Jolla as a community.
The City of San Diego is so large (330 square miles) that the cities of Manhattan, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco and Cleveland all fit inside the its square mileage.
Some of our main goals:
- Enchance police, fire and lifeguard services
- Protection of the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance
- Increase local voice
- Enchance quality of life for residents
- La Jolla community standards vs. San Diego City standards
- Create a La Jolla Unified School District
- Preserve, enhance and protect parks and beaches
- Control zoning
- We believe our efforts will benefit all La Jollans and San Diegans who visit our community
- Provide for growth, development and enhancement while retaining our unique community
- Q. Why is this possible now?
- A. There was a brief effort to pursue cityhood in the early 1990s. Due
to recent changes in California state law, and the stated "neutrality"
of the current Mayor and District 1 Councilperson, we no longer
face the legal and political constraints blocking our efforts, and can
for cityhood with the expectation that it will succeed. Legislative
changes now ensure that any original city cannot simple block the request
underlying village to incorporate.
- Q. What are the boundaries of the proposed City of La Jolla?
- A. It is based on the current Zip Code 92037 postal carrier route to enable contiguous boundaries without the formation of isolated islands of land. The primary criterion of LAFCO is that the boundary be logical and efficient from the viewpoint of the provisioning of municipal services, fire and police. Click here to see the boundaries map.
- Q. Can we afford to our own city?
- A. Yes, given the high property values, excellent sales and hotel tax revenues, there was always the real likelihood that La Jolla could deliver services at lower costs than the City of San Diego. This was then proven in the Feasibility Study.
- Q. What is a feasibility study?
- A. It is a study that Independent La Jolla commissioned a neutral auditing firm to undertake so as to provide an exemplar as to whether a City of La Jolla could function and thrive as a City. The study determined if enough money is currently generated from La Jolla (sales tax, property tax, automobile license fees, other existing fees and taxes) to supply services to La Jollans long term. The study also investigated the potential impacts to the rest of the City of San Diego, as a result of secession.
- What is LAFCO?
- A. LAFCO is a State-mandated regional agency (Local Agency Formation Commission) which analyzes the results of the Feasibility Study and ensures that the entire Incorporation process is handled appropriately. In addition to State-paid employees, it is comprised of :
- One San Diego City Council member
- Two San Diego County board of supervisor members
- Two representatives from incorporated cities
- One public representative
- Q. How is this balloted?
- A. Once the Feasibility Study is updated for 2012-2013, and other legal processes are completed, a petition of La Jolla residents calling for the "secession" will be circulated. Once the petition is finalized, an election will be held in the proposed Boundaries of the City of La Jolla and a separate election within the rest of the City of San Diego. A simple majority (50% plus one vote) must approve the measure in the San Diego City vote. 25% of registered voters within La Jolla must approve in the La Jolla vote. In both cases, the numbers are derived from Registered Voters.
- Q. How is our new City Council elected?
- A. On the same ballot, La Jollans will choose a City Council. The top candidates will become the first City Council.
- Q. Do these officials have to be residents of La Jolla?
- A. Yes, only "qualified electors" (registered voters) within the proposed City limits may run for City Council.
Q & A CONTINUED . . .
- Q. How much do we pay the elected officials?
- A. Most small municipalities pay their City Council a monthly stipend (from a few hundred, to several thousand) for serving on the City Council.
- Q. Who manages the city funds - i.e. investments, insurance - and how is this addressed?
- A. Most government agencies in San Diego County have their investments in a "pool" which maximizes returns and ensures additional oversight and security. Small liabilities are usually paid with reserves. Cities are not required to have "insurance" the way private businesses and individuals are.
- Q. Will my property taxes go up?
- A. Proposition 13 prevents any property taxes from going up as a result of secession.
- Q. Where do the revenues come from for roads, sewer, and infrastructure?
- A. The water and sewer system will continue to be funded by "user fees." However, the City of San Diego transfers millions of dollars a year in these revenues out of the water and sewer system, requiring that ratepayers pay more than is required to maintain and repair the system. The new La Jolla City Council can ensure that all sewer/water revenues stay in the system.
- Q. What about fire, police, and lifeguards?
- A. The new City council will be responsible for determining the best way to supply these services. The City of Coronado has its own Police/Fire and Lifeguard services. The City of Del Mar and Solana beach have their own fire and lifeguard services but "contract" with the SD County Sheriff's for police protection. Initially, it is likely that La Jolla will "contract" with the City and or County of San Diego until the new City council determines how to supply the highest quality service at the lowest impact to the taxpayer. There are currently three fire stations, a police station, and a sub-station within La Jolla's boundaries. We are entitled to keep those buildings as part of our own new City.
- Q. What about the post office?
- A. We already have our own post office that we are trying to keep from closure, and our own sub-annex, plus our own zip code 92037.
- Q. Where is the City Hall?
- A. Our historic City hall is on the corner of Wall Street and Herschel Street (the old fire station).
- Q. What about our library?
- A. We will have the opportunity to either join with the County library system or stay with the City library system.
- Q. Does more money go out of La Jolla than comes back in services?
- A. A quote from a letter to the president of the La Jolla Town Council in August of 2002, written by the then director of the financial management department of the City of San Diego Ernie Anderson, states, "All of the measures listed indicate that services are being provided to La Jolla in an amount approximately equal to or greater than the proportionate share of the population or the revenue generated within La Jolla."
- Q. Can we have our own school district?
- A. Yes, it is an option that can be undertaken.
- Q. Do the auto license fees go to the new City of La Jolla?
- A. Yes.
- Q. Does the City of San Diego need La Jolla financially?
- A. As the Feasibility Study indicated that La Jolla generates more money than it uses, there is a clause in the new law stating La Jolla will have to pay the City of San Diego Revenue Mitigation (i.e. alimony) for the next seven years. Our contention is that, if managed properly, La Jolla can provide more and better services for less money. The intention is not to take anything away from the City of San Diego, but make La Jolla a better community for all of San Diego.
- Q. What is the population of La Jolla?
- A. Approximately 45,000.
- Q. What is the population of San Diego?
- A. Approximately 1,300,000.
- Q. Why do I as a La Jolla citizen want to do this? What is in it for me?
- A. Protection and control of our parks and beaches, schools, local control and an unencumbered voice in our community. It also gives us the ability to set our own priorities for how money is spent, such as roads, beaches, parks and schools. We will have the ability to create the unique character that small cities like Carmel, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado have created.