Since the 1950’s, select residents of La Jolla have sought for their community to be separated from the larger city of San Diego.
In the past two years, efforts have only increased, with actions currently underway in order to evaluate the possible effects the split would have on government spending and tax revenue.
President Trace Wilson of the Association for City of La Jolla and his team have been working on this process for two years, and are still undergoing evaluation. Wilson and his team argue that La Jolla is one of the few areas with the financial and governmental means to govern itself, especially if it means lifting pressure off of the rest of San Diego.
“We know that when we become our own city, we will self-govern. That will release the city of San Diego from a tremendous amount […] that La Jolla costs today […] We can actually help not only our own community but, more importantly, the entire San Diego community,” Wilson said.
Encompassing over 52 community planning areas, San Diego is considered to be the second largest city in all of California. This means the city must work to divide their resources across many different cities, which can result in some areas not receiving the necessary funding and resources that allows them to maintain their environments.
Many La Jollans in support of the change have cited their dissatisfaction with the support they receive from the city of San Diego, citing dissatisfaction with the deteriorating side walks, roads, and many potholes.
Alongside this, many of the 45,000 La Jolla residents have found that being governed under the city of San Diego’s laws have prevented them from making critical quality of life decisions.
“This is a world-class tourist spot but doesn’t look like that anymore. People come here expecting something amazing… but the city can’t give us the maintenance we need,” Melinda Merrywether, a longtime supporter of La Jollas movement for cityhood, said. “We could make La Jolla much more beautiful and give money back to San Diego. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
As one of the most popular tourist towns in the county, keeping La Jolla’s infrastructure up to date and caring for its environment is a monumental task.
Whether the city of San Diego is up to this task or if La Jolla becomes its own city is yet to be seen, however it is clear that many La Jollan’s are prepared to tackle the difficult transition into their own city.
If the separation were to go through, La Jolla would be the first city in California to secede from another city in over 60 years. In the meantime, it is necessary that the city works with LAFCO to determine whether the separation would be beneficial for both La Jolla and San Diego.