At long last, the Potrero Planning Committee had its recall vote finalized Tuesday, December 11th, and all members of the board who approved Blackwater’s facility and training camp for mercenaries were recalled. All five replacement members who opposed the facility were voted in. Blackwater supporters were overwhelmingly voted off the committee by two-thirds votes in most cases. Three candidates who supported Blackwater lost in their efforts to gain seats. The one member of the original board who opposed the camp, Jan Hedlun, who took office in January, keeps her seat as she was not targeted in the recall effort. 290 ballots were cast.
Obviously, this doesn’t end the controversy. The incumbents leave office in January, and Supervisor Diane Jacobs still gets to appoint three new members due to an earlier snafu. But as planning committees act as advisory bodies on landuse issues – here – to the County Board of Supervisors, it is the Supervisors who have final say on Blackwater’s project.
The proposal by Blackwater’s for its training facility was originally approved a year ago by the nine-member board. Opposition leaders then organized a campaign against the project and those planning committee members who approved it. Part of that effort included a rally and march against Blackwater’s proposal in early October, attended by 300 Potrero and San Diego residents. The recall movement gathered sufficient signatures in the small, east San Diego County community, with only some 500 voting residents, for the recall election, finalized with the count of ballots yesterday.
Earlier during this past Spring, three members of the planning group had been removed from their seats, after County officials figured out that their appointments to the board had not been proper. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced earlier that she planned to make those appointments after the recall election.