Councilman Ed Harris refuses to meet with and/or re-schedule the meeting originally set for today with OB planners about the OB Community Plan.
Harris told our reporter Matthew Wood yesterday during the new OB Entryway Sign unveiling, that he would not meet with the representatives of the Plan Update committee or the OB Planning Board. Wood asked why the meeting was cancelled, and Harris responded:
“We looked at it, and decided it wasn’t needed”
“We want to hear both sides at the council meeting. We will hear both sides at the council meeting and then we will adjudicate it.”
“We’ve been following the issue for quite some time. It should be a good hearing.”
Originally, the OB Rag was told by Harris’ staff that the reason the meeting was cancelled was due to a general warning from the City Attorney’s Office not to meet with one side in a dispute.
Yet, according to Tom Mitchell of the City Attorney’s Office, Harris meeting privately with the OB planners was fine. Here is what Mitchell told the OB Rag in an email on Wednesday:
There is no problem with council members attending a meeting, as long as it is not a majority of council members serving on a committee with jurisdiction or majority of the city council (such could be violations of the Brown Act). Thus, one council member meeting is not a legal problem.
Now Harris has determined that even though he met with the leader of the opposition to the OB Community Plan, David Stebbins, back on May 23rd – with no one from the planners present – he didn’t need to meet with the official representatives of Ocean Beach.
The OB Rag feels this is ridiculously unfair. It is not like the OB planners represent one side; they represent years of working with City planners and the City Attorney’s Office in crafting language for the OB Plan. The Plan Update has gone through a 12 year process of community meetings, workshops and presentations. Every group in OB has endorsed the Plan, the OB Mainstreet Association, the OB Town Council, the OB Historical Society, the OB Community Development Corporation, the OB Foundation, and the Friends of the OB Library.
The OB planners who were to meet with Councilman Harris, Gio Ingolia and Peter Ruscitti, represent all these years and all these groups and the hundreds, if not thousands of people the groups represent.
This is a sharp slap in the face to Ocean Beach.
Harris was just out in OB yesterday at the new OB entryway sign unveiling.