With the upcoming OB Planning Board election on March 9th, and the Town Council’s planning board candidate forum on Feb 24th, we thought it would be swell if we got to know the current Board members and the candidates.
The problem is that there is not a whole lot of information out there (Planning Board website and Google) on some folks – which I indicate below. (As more info on certain individuals becomes known, I’ll add it to this post via the comments. )
The Ocean Beach Planning Board covers, of course, the OB Planning area, which is broken down into 7 districts, and each district has two seats on the Board. Once it is seated, the new board after every March election, selects its Chair and other officers.
The upcoming March 9th election is being held to fill vacancies and to comply with the cycle of having one seat in each district open for vote annually. In one district, two seats are open, and in several districts, no one is currently running for the open seat.
Here is a really brief break down of current members on the board and some info on the official candidates.
Nancy Taylor– Current Board member.
A resident, Ms Taylor has been on the Board for 3 years. She’s a para-legal and has a fine arts degree from SDSU. She has also been on the Precise Plan Update Committee, and other sub-committees. She also attends the OB Rec Center Council as the Board rep.
Ronson Shamoun– A current member and candidate.
Mr. Shamoun is the owner of two Subway franchises in Ocean Beach, OB Quik Stop Market, Café Bella as well as Newport Quik Stop. A native San Diegan, Mr Shamoun has a legal and tax background.
Landry Watson– A current member and candidate.
A veteran and former Navy Seal, Mr. Watson is one of the resident Board members, past Chair, and is very active in internal Board committees. With a B.S. in construction management, he works for a San Diego General Contractor in the construction industry. He also touts himself as “a tireless advocate for green building, sustainability and energy efficiency…” Watson used to represent District 2. He is also the vice-president of the OB Town Council.
Amanda Lopez – Current Board member and is not a candidate.
Ms Lopez is a resident and has been a long time member.
Dave Sparling – New candidate
Mr Sparling is a new candidate, a poet and part-time comedian, and he is a supporter of progressive causes.
Barbara Schmidtknecht – New candidate
Ms Schmidtknecht, formerly the payroll manager at Lakewood Building Systems, Inc., a construction firm, is new to the planning arena, but not to community civic activism. She has been involved with the OB Tree Committee, the OBMA street fair, and served on the Board of Directors for the Ocean Beach Town Council.
Heather Kwiatkowski– current Board member and not a candidate this time around.
Ms. Kwiatkowski is an environmental consultant, specializing in cultural resources. She has degrees in Anthropology, including a Masters from San Diego State University.
Craig Klein– current board member and not a candidate
Mr Klein is an attorney and has been active in local community affairs. He is married to Julie Klein, owner of a local business, who also is very active. We think both of them surf.
Seth Connolly- current board member.
Mr Connolly is one of the most community-minded members on the board, is very progressive, and also is the current secretary. He is not running again this year as an official candidate, however there is some speculation he may run as an “write-in” candidate. (Hopefully, we’ll get clarification on this and post an update.)
Giovanni Ingolia- Current board member and candidate
Right now, Mr Ingolia is the Enrollment Advisor for Ashford University,and has been an educational manager, has been involved in the real estate industry, and land management. His schooling includes geography and urban development. Mr Ingolia was in District 3 but is now running in the 5th.
George Murphy– Current Board member but is termed out.
Mr. Murphy has been a representative since March of 2002, plus has been active in the San Diego River Coalition; Friends of the OB Library, the Ocean Beach Precise Plan ‘Rewrite’ Committee, and OB Community Development Committee. Mr. Murphy is a retired educator, and has also has been active in local gay and Democratic politics. George moved to OB in 1977 where he owns, lives in, and manages a 5-unit apartment building on Cable Street.
Robert Sullivan– current board member and not a candidate.
Mr Sullivan is owner/ manager of the Blue Parrot restaurant, and is a resident of Pacific Beach.
Jane Gawronski – current board member and not a candidate.
Dr. Jane Gawronski is a retired educator having served as superintendent of the West Covina Unified School District and the Escondido Union High School District. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Idaho and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband Tom have been a mainstay couple on the Board for years; they’ve been active in local Democratic circles, and are local property owners.
Tom Gawronski– current board member but termed out, is not a candidate. He is the current Election Chair.
Catherine Capelucci – new candidate
Ms Capelucci owns and manages luxurious vacation rentals in OB, called the Ocean Beach Bungalows.
Brittany Taylor– current Board member and current Chair. Is not a candidate this time around.
Ms. Taylor has been active in the Ocean Beach Community since 2006. She graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science. She and her father Michael have both represented District 7 for the past two years.
Michael Taylor– current Board member and not a candidate.
Mr. Taylor has been active in the real estate industry as a contractor, a developer, a manager and a broker for almost two decades. He is licensed in the State of California as a general engineering contractor, a general building contractor, and as a real estate broker.
According to Chairperson Brittany Taylor, there are two candidates in 1 and 2, 1 in 5, 1 in 6, and none in 3,4,and 7. This could change and also does not include any write-in candidates. Tom Gawronski is the Election Chair, but there is no info on how to contact him on the Board’s website.