SAN DIEGO — Dilapidated stairs at Windansea Beach are getting a facelift, but it’s not the city putting in the work.

A rogue repairman working in the early mornings took it upon himself to sand scrap and then repaint the benches and handrails along the beach pro bono and without permission.  

“I’ve been looking at it for years. It’s been in ill repair for quite a while, and I thought about it for a couple of days. I thought how can I do this and make it safe and discrete,” said Joseph McGoldrick, a longtime local resident of La Jolla.

The somewhat stealth mission to fix a longtime issue took four days and a few buckets of top quality paint, but the city says McGoldrick is not doing it right.  

“When people get frustrated and then they take things in their own hands…We also have people painting curbs red where they really shouldn’t be red,” said Joe LaCava, the city councilmember from the district.

LaCava applauded McGoldrick’s initiative, but says there is a better way to participate.  

“The park and recreation department that controls those stairways has been very willing to issue permits for folks to actually go and do the work themselves. Tell us what you are going to do and how you are going to do it and we’ll sign off on those projects,” LaCava said.  

McGoldrick says his neighbor has been congratulating his efforts.

“It feels great, it really does. It reaffirms the belief that people care,” he said.