Ocean Beach Town Council Preps for Election of Board Members

by on August 31, 2012 · 10 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

Members of the current Board of the OB Town Council, Mayoral Debate, August 22, 2012.

The Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) held a special meeting Wednesday, August 29th, for the upcoming elections of the new OBTC Board of Directors. Each of the ten candidates submitted a letter of intent, and each was given the opportunity to brief the council that night, prior to the elections which will be held over the next couple of weeks when ballots go out to OBTC members.

Despite the nature of this important public meeting, each candidate addressed only the existing board members, as there were no other members of the public and no other members of the OBTC present during the meeting.

Each candidate expressed a sincere love of living in Ocean Beach and sharing in our community. During their brief presentation, some candidates listed their personal goals for enriching our little town. They offered heartfelt accounts of their own volunteerism and community service, as each board member will be expected to volunteer to help manage and operate OB’s key events, such as the annual Chili cook off and the OB Holiday Parade, among others.

In short, most candidates indicated their desire to “do what it takes” both to manage the upcoming events and to improve OB, the community, and our misunderstood OB image around the county. Several candidates advocated for improved safety and security for OBceans, citing the recent assaults on a woman and a “wanted poster” and reward issued by the brother of the most recent victim. Others suggested their personal interests in building community, improving bicycle access and establishing an OB Marathon.

 How it works

Election results will be certified over the coming weeks, and the results announced in the Beacon. New OBTC officers will be seated at the first meeting of the new term. Each elected member serves a two year term, and many of the seven seats which are up for re-election are being challenged only by the incumbent board member. Of the ten candidates for this election cycle, four are newbies and are not currently sitting on the board.

When a member is unable to complete their two year term, prior candidates may be appointed by the Board to fill the vacated seat.

All OBTC members receive a ballot, and since this is an even year, seven of the fifteen, total seats are up for election. During odd years, the remaining eight seats are up for election. Voting members must live, work, or own property in 92107.

The OBTC meets twice monthly. For a calendar showing the date and location of the next public meeting, and a listing of events managed by the OBTC, please refer to the OBTC website .

For more information, please refer to their website, or request more information via email to: info@obtowncouncil.org

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Debbie August 31, 2012 at 11:46 am

Can’t understand why the OBTC makes OB pay to be a member. They should waive the fee and pass the hat if they need some money. All one should need to do is show proof of residency each year. That could be done at their booth at the OB Street Fair. Also, open the board member meetings up to the public…to improve transparency. Maybe more would get involved in the organization…it would be worth the try!

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avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman August 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Debbie, I believe all meetings of community town councils are open to the public. Poor turnout might be attributed to the August 29 timing of the special meeting. Few people will choose to sit through an extra town council meeting on the last Wednesday evening of this hot and humid August — even if they ARE in town. Common sense scheduling helps.

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avatar Christopher Dotson August 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm

OBTC holds two meetings per month but only one is public, as listed per their calendar. Currently, there are about a hundred members -122? – which is way down from peak years when membership was over two hundred (someone said it was up to 260 at one period, but the exact number seemed uncertain). Another point which seems ironic are the comments which suggest turn out of volunteers is waning, since several members indicated we have more events than we have volunteers to staff them.

To be a voting member, one needs to live, work or own property in 92107.

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avatar Debbie August 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I see no need for a closed meeting.

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avatar Christopher Dotson August 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I might agree, as a recent explanation for holding the private meeting vaguely asserted how certain decisions and identities should not be public information.

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avatar voting member September 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I did not make it to the meeting because it was very poorly publicized. I attend most meetings and had no idea about this one. Why have a “special,” meaning not on the regular schedule, meeting for something as important as meeting the candidates?

Also, I’ve received an email to vote but who are these folks? They all submit a letter to the board, it would be nice if we could read these BEFORE voting for them.

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avatar Christopher Dotson September 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Great questions. I recall mention that the letters of introduction would be made available for voting members, which seemed logical at the time, and unquestioned by myself. As a voting member, I would be interested to know the protocol followed, too. fyi: Copies of the letters were handed out at the special meeting. Again, except for the four candidates, I was the only person on-site to hear the speakers.

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avatar OB Cindi September 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

So to become a board member you have to be voted in by someone who is already an OBTC member? What is the tie to the OBMA run events such as the Chili Cookoff and Holiday Parade? I have a hard time understanding how branches of our local government are allowed to operate as a business (OBMA) selling merchandise and hiring their friends to do “work” for OB businesses and for event cleanup, etc.

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avatar Christopher Dotson September 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm

These are key questions for me, too. Some more background to begin to answer: While the protocols are not clear, the current OBTC voting membership is about 120 members, down from over 200 a few years ago. The sitting members up for re election appeared to know they will be returning already, as most of their candidate presentations seemed mere formalities.

As to their role, OBTC claims their focus is “community spirit”, not the business community, and their website mission statement asserts:

“The object and purpose of the Ocean Beach Town Council is to express the will and represent the welfare of the community of Ocean Beach by:
Providing a forum for the discussion of community issues
Communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies
Taking the appropriate action on the community issues
Promoting the general betterment and beautification of Ocean Beach and the welfare of its residents
Fostering cooperative efforts among all community organization and residents for their mutual benefit

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avatar OB Cindi September 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Couldn’t agree with you more Christopher Dotson. How is the OBMA who get money from each stand during farmers market, and selling merchandise, and hiring their friends to do web pages for local businesses, not a business? They are making money, albeit on the side in the shadows away from the prying eyes of the IRS. Disgusting. And as for the OB Town Council, I have a problem with members voting in their friends and neighbors…..how can you have a well rounded group of representatives on the OB Town Council if the election is not TRULY OPEN TO ALL? If I run and I am not best friends with the board members, or I am not paying them for their vote, I have almost no chance of being able to represent the city I love and have lived in for almost 5 years? I would have more faith in OBTC if I saw people who look like me representing me…..not a bunch of old, white, male suits. Nothing wrong if you are old, white, male or wear your suit to bed, you love it so much. I am just making a point that the board represent less than 10% of this community if you took into account their ethnicity, age, sex, and profession. And that is a direct correlation to only hiring friends. So like you Christopher, I question the authenticity of those who “pose” before the board to petition for a seat on the Town Council when the decisions have already been made behind closed doors….

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