In the most recent poll at the OB Rag, a bare majority of local residents support the OB Town Council’s “ban” of the July 4th marshmallow wars. But nearly a third of locals said they disagreed with the move. Clearly this poll reflects a lack of community consensus on the marshmallow issue.
At their monthly public meeting on September 25th, the Board of the Town Council voted unanimously to “end” the marshmallow mess. (Here is the full text of the resolution.) The OB Rag criticized this action as overly-unilateral and called for the creation of a village task force and more of a consensus on the annual event – which everyone agrees is out of control.
Of the respondents who indicated they live either in OB or Point Loma, only 52% of the overall total of 120 respondents said they agreed with the Town Council. And even that support was lukewarm as one out of eight who agreed with the Council also said “there could be problems ahead.” 46% of the total respondents who also said they live in the Peninsula “absolutely” agreed with the move to ban the infamous tradition – that everyone agrees is a mess.
Those who agree with the OBTC chose the option that said, “I’m glad somebody is stepping forward to deal with this out-of-control mess.”
Of those locals who did not indicate agreement with the OBTC, their reasons were varied.
Fifteen percent (15%) want to keep it but control it. They agreed with the option “… this is not the course to take. We can keep the tradition and bring it under control.”
A full 8% chose the option that making the issue solely a police issue was not an answer. They agreed with “… forcing this issue onto the police is not the answer; it’s wasteful and dangerous.” Another 6% said the Town Council doesn’t have the authority by itself to ban the marshmallow fight. Two percent said they disagreed with the Council but didn’t know what the answer was. A final 1% urged development of a community consensus on the issue.
Nearly one out of ten respondents – 9% – thought the effort to simply announce a ban was “crazy”. They chose the option that read: “You’re crazy if you think the OBTC or police can simply control this thing by announcing a ban.” (This choice did not ask for residency, however.)
Non-resident respondents were also split – 4% saying they agreed with the Town Council, and over 3% saying they disagreed.
Of the over-all totals, 55.7% agreed with the OBTC and 44.2% disagreed. Including just residents of the Peninsula, the split was 51.7% vs 39.2%.
There are obvious problems with this poll. There is no way to control or monitor who participates as a respondent, nor is there a way to verify a respondent’s indicated residency. Plus, not everyone in OB reads the OB Rag and not every reader participates in our polls. These are clear weaknesses of any poll that we offer.
Yet, despite the impurities of its process, the poll does demonstrate that the issue of OB’s July 4th Marshmallow Wars has not been settled, that clearly there is no consensus on the matter. And this is a problem.
Again, to reiterate, the Town Council has great reasons to be very concerned – every complaint about the marshmallow issue they issued in their resolution is correct. We just simply disagree with their process and their conclusion.