OB Planning Board Election Results

by on March 10, 2010 · 17 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, Environment, Ocean Beach, Organizing

The votes are in and here’s the results of the OB Planning Board election, held yesterday.

The results are:

District 1 – Landry Watson – 5 votes

District 2 – Barbara Schmidtknecht –10 votes

District 3 – no candidates

District 4 – Seth Connolly -5 votes

District 5 – Giovanni Ingolia -5 votes

District 6 – Catherine Cappellucci -5 votes

District 7 – Ronson Shamoun -1 vote

Apparently, Ronson Shamoun changed course, and ran as a write-in candidate in District 7, and won with only 1 vote being cast. Shamoun did not wish to run for the one open seat in District 1, as Landry Watson was a fairly popular member of the Board. Watson won in that district.

In District 2, Barbara Schmidtknecht beat local poet Dave Sparling, 10 votes to 8.

Seth Connolly did finally change his mind, and also ran as a write-in candidate, and won with 5 votes.

Because Shamoun changed to a write-in candidate, the only contested election was in District 2 between Schmidtknecht and Sparling.  This may explain the relatively low turn-out of only 39 voters by our count.

Michael Taylor, currently also a member of District 7, must be termed out, as was George Murphy and Tom Gawronski, as with Shamoun’s election to the district that would result in three members in that one district, which is not allowed.

The full board will soon meet and choose their officers.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

fstued March 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm

A disappointing turnout. It is really sad with the size of those districts a turnout of that few is sad These folks will decide a lot of the fate for OB.
I did not vote since I don’t live in OB proper, but I do vote in the Pt Loma Planning Brd elections. That election is a week from Thurs at the Pt Loma Library at 6 PM


lane tobias March 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

THATS IT? geez.


Frank Gormlie March 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm

A low turn-out, only one contested seat, very few candidates…. I believe this reflects a period – due to the current bad economic situation – of lesser development and building. Fewer projects are coming before the Board, a community-initiated institution, which is possibly under the gun by the City for this same low turn-out. If the Board becomes even more hamstrung by City policies because of this low interest – in turn due to the economy – the community in a sense is punished.

In other words, if the Planning Board becomes threatened by the City due to a perception of “low interest”, then OB is being blamed for the bad economy.

Over the years, the City – for its own reasons – has continually attempted to weaken and water-down the Precise Plan developed and re-written by the community in the mid-seventies. That document was very green and environmentally minded, and way “before its time” – a result of a citizens movement to democratize the whole neighborhood level urban planning process, and take it out of the hands of developers and city planners.

Of course, the Precise Plan has to be updated and modernized and “conformed” to current City planning concepts – and there has been a decade’s long process of updating the Precise Plan going on and soon to be completed.

If this all true, then we must applaud those hearty citizens, residents and businessowners alike still involved on the Board. Being on the Board is a thankless job, and we all owe support to those members of the community who keep this community institution going.


Seth March 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Well said, Frank. I wouldn’t read too much into voter turnout. OBecians have several different ways that they engage in local politics beyond just voting in unopposed elections. There has been rather significant interest from the community on a variety of recent issues, as this blog has documented. Everything from the status of the Library and the fire pits to traffic calming along Sunset Cliffs to medicinal marijuana dispensaries to the presence of homeless/travelers.


Dave Sparling March 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I thank the people who voted for me. I have to say those who told me from the start that the hardest part of the election would be getting people to actually come down and vote for you. I had 45 signatures on my petition, plus talked with another 15 people in district 2. Called everyone on my petition I could get through to on election day. Got 6 votes in laid back OB, confirming the warning I had when I signed on. Don’t forget to come down and vote for yourself if it is in a uncontested race.


lane tobias March 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm

i voted for ya dave…and i dont know anything about the other candidate. Did she have as many signatures as you? I would gather your campaigning probably warranted more than 8 votes. Anyway…theres always next year dude..Good work.


Dave Sparling March 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Lane, I am just glad it was a race, I would not want to win by simply going down and voting for myself. Next time we should have the election at WINSTONS I know we would have a bigger turnout. lol


Seth March 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Dave, sorry to see that you got edged out. I am sure that both of you would have made a strong contribution. Please note that there is currently an open seat in District 3. Anyone who collects signatures there will soon be eligible for appointment there.


Seth March 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Speaking for myself and not as a re-elected member of the OBPB, some quick thoughts on the election…

* The Peninsula Planning Board and the OBPB have some fairly large differences in terms of election turnout. First, my understanding is that the PPB represents far more people, and particularly, far more business and property owners. Renters in OB, of which I am one, may simply have less interest in local politics and less at stake in long-term land use decisions. Second, it is probably fair to say that there are currently more “flash point” issues over on the other side of Froude Street that have an immediate, direct and significant impact on the local community. The possible airport expansion, development at Liberty Station and the land use impacts of the Rock Church are just a few that come to mind that are undoubtedly of great interest to people in that jurisdiction. Lastly, if you know you are running unopposed, as many of us were, there’s really no need to drag a bunch of people down to the polls on such a windy, cruddy day.

* To fstued, I wouldn’t say that the OBPB “decides a lot of the fate for OB”. I know that I personally am interested in representing what the community wants for itself, rather than in trying to be Emperor of Ocean Beach. The OBPB are advisors to the City on behalf of the community with no real binding authority of our own. The intent is simply to give the community a voice in local land use and development issues.

* Congratulations to all candidates, and thanks to everyone who either voted or signed eligibility petitions. I am a true believer in the idea that “all politics is local,” and am proud to participate in the strong civic culture that exists in OB.


Dave Sparling March 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Well said Seath.


Dave Sparling March 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Sorry Seth, wish you could still repair your mistakes on here.


PSD March 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I took my daughter over after school and voted, just for the sake of voting – they had me vote D6, even though I tried to point out to them on the map that my street west of Cable was D5…no big deal, since neither district had a contested race, and I initially walked in confused thinking I was supposed to be voting D7.


Wireless Mike March 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

If you live east of Froude St. or Seaside St., you are represented by the Peninsula Community Planning Board. Its district includes Etiwanda St., Collier Park, Guizot St. and surrounding neighborhoods.

PCPB is holding its election on Thursday, March 18, 4 – 8 PM at the Point Loma Library on Voltaire St. (across from Stumps). Anyone living in the district, 18 and older, can vote. Bring an ID with your current address. Please vote, try to help the community speak louder than the real estate developers. Let our little corner of OB be heard.

Details and candidates’ qualifications are on the PCPB website: http://pcpb.net/


claudia j March 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Barbara S. You go Girl !!!!!!!!!!!! Keep us in the loop !!!!!!! cj


Sunshine April 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm

wow. think next year we could hear more about the elections on the Rag BEFORE they occur. at least get the ‘day to vote’ on the calendar somewhere.

I would like to see a map of the districts as well as all the candidates well in advance of the day to vote. Think that’s available online anywhere?


Frank Gormlie April 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

Yes, Sunshine, try the OB Rag. Do a search on our search bar for OB Planning Board. There’s a map as well.


Sunshine April 7, 2010 at 5:31 am

Silly me, Frank. Guess I will search the Rag next time before the elections for this very important information that, yes, I see was posted. Ah, the joys of hindsight!


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