That venerable institution of Ocean Beach that’s been around since the mid-1970’s – the Ocean Beach Planning Board – is holding its annual elections in March. But this year there is a difference in the way the Board is approaching voting and in what will be on the ballot. The election is on March 12th.
This year – for the first time in many years – OBceans will be able to place Initiatives on the ballot – propositions asking for policy decisions regarding life in OB and its environs – all for an advisory vote by OBceans.
We think this is a good step, as it potentially will enliven the election and inspire OB residents, property and business owners to participate.
Earlier this century, the initiative was a popular tool used by community organizers, particularly those with OB Grassroots Organization or the Save OB Committee. One year, for example, an initiative was passed banning corporate franchises in the main business area of OB. As the votes are only advisory, and the Board itself can make only advisory recommendations to the City, whatever is decided policy-wise is not law.
Yet the initiatives in previous years did bring folks to the polls on Board election night – and hundreds did participate. This is in stark contrast to the usual dozen or so who have shown up in more recent times to cast their ballots.
Because some of the initiatives passed or on the ballot didn’t sit well with more business or conservative types, a successful move was made on the Board to ban initiatives from the ballot. Now, due to lack of interest, it appears they’re coming back.
The election is on March 12th, voting takes place at the OB Recreation Center, between the hours of 4pm to 7pm. The Board does allow voting by mail or email if one cannot make the actual polling. Instructions on how to vote either way are below.
The following are the official notices of information from the Planning on the election itself:
Ocean Beach Planning Board
In addition to any policies or guidelines provided in the official Bylaws of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, the following information is provided to facilitate the regular election process of the planning group for the 2013-2015 term of service. Any additional policy or guidelines not specifically addressed here will be in accordance with Council Policy 600-24, the City of San Diego’s guidelines for Community Planning Group Elections or Roberts Rules of Order.
Election date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013; 4pm – 7pm (all ballots must be returned postmarked 12 March, 2013 for postage mail or submitted by 7pm March 12 for email voting to be counted).
- Polling location: Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, San Diego CA 92107
- Term length for election is two years. Serving the Community on the Ocean Beach Planning Board is a volunteer position and receives no compensation from the community or City of SD.
- Eligible candidates and voters, as determined by the OBPB Bylaws, may participate in this election.
- Proof of residency or qualification may be established with a driver’s license (or official government ID), utility bill, business license or tax bill – that demonstrates the physical location or address of qualification of the person, voter or candidate to be eligible to participate. Proof of eligibility must be provided to participate in voting, candidacy or the submission of an advisory proposition. No exceptions.
Guidelines for Voting, Candidacy, or Submission of Advisory Propositions
Step 1: Determine eligibility.
To vote in the elections; become a candidate; or to submit an advisory proposition, one must demonstrate that they are 18 years of age and meet one of the following conditions within the planning group boundaries for more than 30 days:
A. a resident of Ocean Beach – residing in and maintaining a physical address
B. a property owner of Ocean Beach – owning either a residential or commercial property
C. a business licensee/owner – operating/owning a business with a physical address/location
Step 2: Register to vote.
Preregistration is not required; however, all eligible persons may preregister either in person at an OBPB meeting, by downloading an application from the website (www.oceanbeachpb.com), by request to the Election Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org; or via post mail – Ocean Beach Planning Board, P.O. Box 7090, Ocean Beach, CA, 92167. Eligible persons will be provided either mail or email ballots by request.
Step 3: Complete an official candidate/advisory proposition application.
The applications may be found at the OBPB website: www.oceanbeachpb.com; requested at an OBPB meeting or by contacting the election committee (see contact info below). Applications include specific directions on proper completion of the application; all questions should be directed to the Elections Committee or through the website.
Step 4: Submit your completed materials.
All materials can be submitted to the Elections Committee by any of the following methods prior to or postmarked by the official due date:
A. Mailed to the Ocean Beach Planning Board, P.O. Box 7090, Ocean Beach, CA, 92167;
B. Served in person at a Planning Board meeting (1st Wednesday of each month) at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave, from 6:00pm;
C. Or, physically served/delivered to a member of the OBPB Election Committee, Landry Watson, Barbara Schmidtknecht, or Pete Ruscitti.
***All Election materials, application or registrations must be received or postmarked prior to 6:00 pm on Sunday February 3th, 2013 to be considered for the official ballot or for receiving a ballot via mail/email. No exceptions.***
Please direct any questions to – Landry Watson, Election Committee Chair: by phone 619-952-2468 or via email email@example.com; or the web: www.oceanbeachpb.com
In addition, we are providing links to:
The official OBPB Candidate and Proposition Application here.
The official OBPB Preregistration Form here.