Frank Gormlie: “I’ve just been kicked off the OB Town Council’s candidate ballot.”

by on August 24, 2010 · 104 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, Ocean Beach, Popular

Today, around mid-morning, I received a phone call from Nancy Vaughn, the elections coordinator for the Ocean Beach Town Council.  As you may know, the OBTC is having their annual elections beginning tomorrow (Wednesday Aug 25th) with their Candidates Forum – and up to now, I have been an official candidate.

On the phone Nancy Vaughn told me that I am in fact ineligible to be a candidate for the Board. She even told me that the OB Rag is ineligible to be a member. The Rag had joined the OBTC over three months ago and our dues fees were accepted.  My name was on the official list of candidates sent out by the Council two days ago. My Letter of Intent declaring my candidacy had been accepted over a week ago. Yet on the eve of the balloting, I’m told I can’t run for one of the 7 seats that are open.

Here is the reason that Vaughn cited: a person can be a voting member and eligible to be a candidate if they are a resident within 92107, own property in the area, OR own a business in Ocean Beach.  Guess what? My business is the OB Rag – a cyber business – a type of business that was not even around when the rules were written up.  It definitely is an Ocean Beach business. The name of the village of OB is in our name: OB Rag!

The OB Rag has an Ocean Beach PO box, has an Ocean Beach bank account, and I’m often in Ocean Beach researching and writing -(I reside in Lemon Grove – never a secret). But because there is no “physical” location of my business, I am now ineligible to be a candidate or even a member.

This is a weird display of something that occurred to me forty years ago.  Back in 1970 during the days of the original, alternative newspaper the OB Rag, I joined the OB Town Council. I had long hair then and we joked that I was the “first hippie” to be on the OB Town Council. I definitely was the first “long hair” to be on the Board.  But the meeting after I was elected to the Board, the Council president – who hated my guts because he was more extreme that Generalissimo Franco of Spain – used a hidden procedural rule to oust me from the board. So, I was the first hippie on the OB Town Council and I was the first hippie to be kicked off the OB Town Council. It is the latter I’m most proud of.

And once again, I am facing a very similar scenario.  I am facing apparently a Board president who doesn’t like me or my politics or the OB Rag, and the leadership of the Town Council has moved to kick me off the ballot.

This despite the fact that it has been the OB Rag that has galvanized OB residents to attend and even pack some recent Town Council meetings. This despite the fact that the OB Rag has brought the community to the point of holding forums on the homeless and homelessness.  This despite the fact that the OB Rag was instrumental in helping save the OB Library Branch in the Fall of 2008. This despite the fact the the OB Rag led in saving Ocean Beach’s fire rings.  We led in graffiti clean-ups … what we’ve done for this community of Ocean Beach is on a long list.

I believe this ruling by the elections coordinator was instigated by the OBTC leadership to prevent me from being on “their board.”  This is undemocratic in itself, and it goes against the spirit of fairness, tolerance, and openness in community affairs.

I hate to say this but the Town Council is displaying what some had described as a “bed of cronyism” with many Board members simply appointed by their friends as there really has not been enough interest or candidates in the recent past to fill the seats in a democratic fashion.

I call upon the Town Council to show me and the community what exactly the section of their bylaws is being utilized to remove me from the ballot.  I call on my fellow OBceans to join me at the Town Council meeting Wednesday night, Aug. 25th, 7pm, at the Masonic Center, and demand that I be allowed to run as a candidate.  With 8 candidates for 7 seats, it could be a close election. Many of the incumbents who are running were originally appointed to their seats.

This maneuver by the Town Council to prevent me from running, goes against everything that this blog has been advocating. We have been encouraging residents to be “good citizens” and get involved in the various community organizations and around important issues.

This shut-out is a slap in the face to community citizens, to democracy, and to grassroots activism.  Please help me to respond.

{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Sunshine August 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

keep callin em as you see em Frank. we’re behind you all the way to your election nite victory party!!!! held, at a local OB business, of course….that is if the business we choose to celebrate your eventual victory will let anyone from the OBRag in.

“be the change you want to see”


Peyton Farquhar August 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

Sounds to me like a clear-cut case of they just don’t like your politics, Frank, so they are tossing out shit to see what sticks to the wall. Give ’em hell. Don’t let the fascist fucks win.


ilovetheoutdors August 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I concur with the decision it is the right one. I run a Vacation Rental in OB AS WELL AS LIVE HERE and spent money in all the businesses here. Everything negative you write affects us business owners here in OB. I had 2 cancellations when you wrote about the bums.Why dont you run for office in LEMON GROVE. Hmm Lemon Grove Rag has a nice ring too it. There is your carma oh FYI my business is licensed .


Frank Gormlie August 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm

You’re entitled to your opinion. What about all the positive things we write? You ignore them. Do they affect you? We placed a spotlight on an underground hate campaign against the homeless in OB. You apparently allowed this hate to fester by your inaction. Now, at least the community is talking. See you at the community forum tonight on homelessness – oh, that’s right, you won’t be there.


Jon August 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

So you had 2 people tell you, “we are not staying at your place because Frank Gormlie wrote a story about bums living in the neighborhood on his blog?” I call bullshit. Why don’t you go whine to MSNBC??? They did an hour long feature about the bums of OB, and they really made it look like a crap-hole. At least Frank and “some” of the readers were trying to address the situation and start a meaningful dialogue to work out some solutions to our transient issues instead of burying our heads in the sand. You just wanna complain because you don’t like Frank’s politics. I’m with Peyton….give the fascists hell Frank!


oBak August 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Which vacation rental?
Also: Karma.


bcsy August 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

couldn’t agree more, glad frank’s not in the race, seems to care more for his own sense of self-righteouness than about his neighbors, oh, wait, his neighbors are in LG. ooops


ilovetheoutdors August 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Also why would you want to be on the board if nobody wants you their?


Frank Gormlie August 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I guess that’s the way democracy is supposed to work. People actually are elected to boards and bodies where others don’t like or want them. That’s why there are different political parties, I suppose. In your view, everyone on the board should join in lockstep and follow each other, right?


Homer Hazel August 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Hello Frank,

I live in Escondido, so I don’t have a horse in this face and whether or not you get or elected or even run probably makes no difference to me. It strikes me as though you are attempting to skirt the rules. You claim your business is in OB merely because you have a Post Office Box there. How much revenue does your business generate for OB? How much do you pay OB for your business license?

If you think OB is so great, why did you move to Lemon Grove?


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm

For economic reasons, only. We couldn’t afford my cottage on Long Branch – where I had lived for over 5 years – and her house mortgage, so guess which went? We have much, much more than just a PO Box, we have a long history of assisting and educating the community – too long to recite here. There’s a new reality out there – and the internet is responsible. There are cyber businesses without physical locations. Like mine.


Jon August 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Use “their” to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them. (My friends have lost “their” tickets.)

Use “there” when referring to a place, whether concrete (over “there” by the building) or more abstract (it must be difficult to live “there”).

Remember that “they’re” is a contraction of the words they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself). (Hurry up! “They’re” closing the mall at 6 tonight!)

Now, what did we learn??


Sarah August 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

Thanks, Jon!

I’ve been too often chastised for being the grammar nazi. It’s nice to see someone else pick it up.

Sarah (with an eye out for Muphrey)


kenloc August 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I still don’t get the grammar nazi thing,honestly. Misspelled words,typos,incorrect punctuation,etc. are mistakes.Mistakes are something we all make.It is quite common to have folks with learning disabilities make mistakes of this type.I don’t think it should diminish or invalidate their opinion.I am aware of spell check,yes.Many people are not computer savvy and are looking for a place to express their opinion.Blogs are a great place to do that.Calling them out for their grammatical errors is the equivalent of a student calling another stupid because they are not good spellers.You wouldn’t allow your child to do that,would you?Read the message that is being written.You don’t know who’s writing it or what their circumstance is.Does an illiterate persons opinion not count because they can’t articulate it to your grammatical standards? If so you are just turning a deaf ear to many voices that should be heard.


Jon August 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I understand your point, and hope I didn’t come across as too “holier than thou. But placing ” their, they’re, and there” in the wrong context just happens to be a serious grammatical pet peeve for me, and I like to use that same example I listed above to hopefully educate the person making the mistake. I will be the first to admit that I’m not perfect, and often make punctuation, or grammatical errors too. It just so happens, in this case, that I also thought the person writing the message did not know their head from their arse, so I admittedly took a bit of pleasure in jabbing the commentor. My apologies if I offended their learning disabilities. But in my defense, what they had to say was not really worth reading anyway. At least you tend to think before you post kenloc. For that, I thank you. I promise to chill out on my inner grammar nazi in the future….


kenloc August 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Thanks Jon.I try to think every now and then, but sometimes it hurts) My best friend is dislexic and was greatly misunderstood when we were youngsters in school,by peers and teachers.The low self esteem he developed from that lingers to this day.I suppose that’s why I defend the poor spellers here,even if their message sucks.


Abby August 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm

If no one wants him they won’t vote for him. He was a right to run.


bcsy August 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm

except that he doesn’t actually have the right, you know, details, law, etc.


Chris Moore August 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm

It would be less controversial of an issue if OBRag hadn’t already been accepted as a OBTC member months ago, and Frank hadn’t already been placed on the ballot days ago.

It certainly smells like someone interpreted the rules creatively, after the fact, to rule Frank ineligible, because they don’t like what he says.


Johnnie O August 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Sho ‘nuf Chris, sho ‘nuf.


Marisa January 29, 2012 at 10:30 am



Peyton Farquhar August 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm

It’s fascinating how someone can own a business and not be able to spell simple words correctly. Hopefully, you can count & dispense change or you’re going to have more to worry about than just a couple articles regarding homelessness in OB.


Molly August 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Peyton, you’re a funny guy. Definitely caught the “carma”. Hey my karma just ran over your dogma, mr I love the outdoors (btw, get a real name, and don’t just promote your business).


Garry S August 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Frank, you’re track record, leadership, and what I think we can say ‘love’ for Ocean Beach leaves no doubt that you take every interest of Ocean Beach to heart. You leave it all out there, invite public discussion and open forum. When shit really hits the fan, you go double-barrelled and rally the people of Ocean Beach like noone else.

So to understand this fully, any “business owner” within 92107 can be eligible to be an OBTC voting member? So potentially, a business owner who employees others to ring their cash till down on Newport or Voltaire, who may rarely step foot in OB because they live elsewhere, who geniunely may have very little interest in the community of Ocean Beach, outside of economics – should they decide to run for the OBTC are perfectly entitled to? Yet you are not, Frank? Your business is OB Rag, which is exclusive to OB, as far as I can tell, and you do business in OB (by selling banner ads and t-shirts (with James Gang Graphics). So you’re not a brick and mortar. Yet you sell advertising services and clothing to OB, via your PO Box. The sheer economics of small niche website publishing actually prevents you entirely from opening up a small shop in OB, to justify your local business ownership to the OBTC – to how they interpret their own rules of candidate qualification.

Take it to the streets brother Frank! Long live Ocean Beach!


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2010 at 9:10 am

Garry S – your eloquence is very comforting, thank you.


ilovetheoutdors August 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I m at most meetings thanks very much , i also do other things around here without being asked


Frank Gormlie August 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Well, (whatever your name is) that is good. You know who I am, but we don’t know who you are. The masked man? Tonto?


Lois January 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

Frank, you ARE OB!


ilovetheoutdors August 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Get over the spelling and stuff what a bunch first to jump on a misspelled word or incomplete sentence. You got me , i didnt know i was being graded.


Jon August 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Well you were, and you failed miserably. Perhaps now you can begin to understand the amount of courage it takes someone like Frank to speak his mind on a public forum every day. Trust me, bunches of idiots do a lot worse to him than make fun of his spelling.


Garry S August 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ok, this discussion can stop being about you, vacation rental owner. It’s not even about Frank. It’s about OBTC and the grey area in their rules for voting rights.

Brick n’ Mortar vs. Cyber business. And whether a PO Box qualifies a cyber business as local. I think the OBTC needs to clarify and make this rule more black and white. They may be working on this addendum as we speak. The last thing they want is another misinterpretation in the future.


Marisa January 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

I should be capitalized.


dave rice August 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I gots an idear…


Johnnie O August 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Do tell


judi curry August 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Remember when elections were for everyone? It was a “privilege” to vote. Remember when your vote counted? Remember when the rules were not changed mid-stream? Remember when people listened to both sides and then made their decision. (I don’t remember this as clearly as I remember the others.) The ballots were sent out; your name was on them. To pull it now smells like the skunk I am trying to get rid of under the fence. Seems like the OB RAG must have gotten under someone’s skin. Good for you, Frank. Keep after the S.O.B. You either get my vote, or the council gets no vote from me.


Jim August 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm

While I do find this interesting that they let it go so far before not allowing you to run, I have to agree with the rule that they site to not allow you to run. A P.O. box is not a current address and the internet business does not own or rent or lease space in Ocean Beach or any community for that matter. I can appreciate the fact that you buy ad space and support the OB cause but it does not make you a resident or local business owner. As for Ms. Curry comment about “remember when your vote counted?” Unfortunately voting no longer seems to count on any government level, perfect example is Prop. 8, the people of Ca. voted and they still figured out a way to change the outcome! I am a third generation Obecian, born and raised, I no longer reside in OB but will always be an Obecian and I will always consider it home. However I would not run for the town council or vote for someone who is not a resident (sorry Frank, nothing personal I like the OBRag!) But I think to have an opinion that counts on issues that may change the dynamics of a community you should have to live there with the consequences of the issues at hand! Good luck to you. As for the spelling nazi, Come on now, this is a blog not a spelling contest!


Frank Gormlie August 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Fair enough, then.


Johnnie O August 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm



Charlie Ryan August 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm

So, what good have you brought to OB? Complaining about the OBTC in your two-bit cyber newsletter doesn’t count! When was the last time you worked on a project sponsored by the OBTC? How long have you been a member of the OBTC? What other value do you bring to OB?

If you’re so concerned about the homeless, have you personally provided housing, meals or alcohol/drug rehab for them? I doubt it. You’re a typical anti-establishment liberal; you don’t do anything to help, just bitch about the people that do. It’s always someone else’s fault; just like your failure to read the rules for being on the OBTC Board of Directors.

You need to “come clean” with your real agenda for wanting to be on the OBTC Board of Directors. Are you looking to close down retail establishments (that employ OBcians and pay taxes) that don’t agree with your support of juveniles harrassing our citizens? So far, all we’ve seen is negative press from your Rag; nothing positive! OB is a great place to live; you sure don’t add anything to OUR community!


kenloc August 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm

All negative press? You must have missed some of the great articles about local Obecians,public servants, the main street association,new businesses in town,etc.If you read the rag periodically I don’t see how you can make that statement.Check the archives my bitter friend.Some good reading in there.


DJ Bonin August 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Typical right wing mumbo jumbo, just say eroneous things enough and people will believe your pablum. Lets see, why don`t we start with google and look up Charlie Ryan/OB then google Frank Gormlie and OB and see who is doing more. OBTC is in full on “good ole boy” mode.


Jon August 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Charlie, I take GREAT offense at your comment. You say that so far all you have seen is “negative press” from the OB Rag?? I think all you choose to read into is negativity. Here are a few samples of stories that have appeared on these pages that highlight the positive and vibrant aspects of our community (I could list way more if you like). However, folks like you would rather read the stories about homeless issues or corrupt local board members and paint the entire blog with a broad brush while leaving a trail of negative comments.

I invite you to read all of these: ?-notice about community meeting & how to get involved. ?article about the founding of our mainstreet association and the good they do for our community. ?article about our local lifeguards and the amazing job they do putting their lives on the line for us every day. ? one of the weekly OB Flashes, a type of community bulletin board letting folks know what is happening around town. ? article about a new shop that opened on Newport and the cool stuff they have for sale inside. ?article about OB Dog wash and the owners, highlighting their 20 years of service to our community. ? article about our local potter and his contributions to OB and the arts community. ?article reviewing the local OB photo contest and the winners. ?article about our local Dr. Jeoff Gordon and his amazing contributions to our seaside community.

Then read some of the stories I have posted:

I have organized community clean ups from this site, written about local community gardens, local clean water activists, local merchants, etc… So how dare you say the OB Rag is all negative. The comments that follow stories from the likes of you are the most negative aspect of this online publication. Take a hike.


ClubStyle_DJ August 24, 2010 at 10:39 pm

You tell ’em Jon!


Marisa August 25, 2010 at 6:50 am

:) Yeah, tell him to get back to his Tea Party meeting!


Shane Finneran August 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Damn, Charlie, this may only be two-bit cyberspace, but somehow I can still hear the sound of the bitch-slap you just got!


ClubStyle_DJ August 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm

LoL @ B-slap!
it so was


doug porter August 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm

you forgot to mention terrorists, the council on foreign relations and long hair. typical reactionary.


Marisa August 25, 2010 at 6:51 am

Don’t forget the hippies!


butch August 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

As someone who doesn’t live in OB but reads the OB Rag daily, I have to thank the OB Rag for introducing me to countless opportunities to see the real character of Ocean Beach: A community of individuals who enjoy the lifestyle, activities, and quirks of Ocean Beach.

For any “negative” piece written, I have found countless other pieces which have the effect of drawing me, my kids, and my wallet to OB. I drive down to OB probably twice a month to visit the beach, have some lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant and hit some of the shops. In addition, I come to OB for lunch 2-3 days a week.

My kids and I participated in the grafitti paint out and beach cleanup last year. Why? Because it was organized and publicized by the readers and bloggers of the OB Rag.

I see more good coming from the OB Rag than “negative press”.


Brenda McFarlane August 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

I Frank ‘came clean’ when he hauled his Lemon Grove ass over to one of OUR OB alley’s one early morning last week-end to pick up OUR OB trash. And, judging from what I’ve seen in my alley , it isn’t the homeless leaving the crap, it’s the residents. I wonder how many landlords who profit from renting in OB but are too greedy to provide proper garbage disposal or monitor their grounds or residents’ actions properly were there helping clean up OUR OB? I imagine if OUR Landlords contributed half as much as Frank does to OB, we’d have an even greater place to live.

Sometimes rules are archaic and need to be changed or ignored. Some tell me that it is against the law in California for a woman to drive in a housecoat. If true, would it be wise for the police to enforce it? I don’t think so.

Town Council needs to change to rules to include cyber business with a bona fide interest in OB.


annagrace August 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I thought this was an April fools joke. Evidently it’s not, so that means it is simply pathetic. Anyone looked at the OBTC membership application recently? There is a section that says I would like to help:
Beach cleanups- OBrag yes! Do alley clean-ups count too? PS- Frank Gormlie was there. How about the marshmallow cleanups? And the cliff cleanups?
Chili Cookoff- covered in OBRag last year.
Dog Beach- covered in OBRag, including small dog deaths there and at Dusty Rhodes.
Beautify OB- do the stunning photos by Jim Grant count? Or local interest stories about OB residents who create beautiful spaces? The OBRag consistently shows what is beautiful in OB.
Isn’t this the kind of membership that the OBTC wants?????
1.Three months ago the OBTC accepted Frank’s membership and dues.
2. Frank’s name is on the candidate list.
3.The day before the election he is found ineligible???? This reflects poorly upon the OBTC, doesn’t it?

4. I hope the good people out there turn out and vote for Frank. This is not simply his battle, it is your battle, too.


liveinOB August 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

you’re right annagrace, how come it got this far into the election
maybe tomorrow night at the mtg. the whole obtc could stand up, identify themselves and why they are allowed to sit on the board in the first place & how many work or live here?


Catherine August 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Just returned from a lengthy vacation, apparently to find that not much changes anywhere. I don’t know the politics or people, or frankly, all that much about OBTC and what they do. Regardless, whether they are booting you because they don’t like you or booting you because they think business means bricks and mortar, I’m concerned either way. Time to join the 21st Century OBTC. I will say that as an OB resident and consumer of products and services by OB businesses, that OBRag is as much an OB business and entity here as any other business I frequent.


kenloc August 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I see the need for that type of rule.Anyone who wants to run can just grab a P.O. box for residential or business purposes and and become an instant Obecian. However,they should have told you that from the start.Your business kind of falls in the grey areas of the rule because it is all about O.B., more so than many businesses with a physical address here.It is very disappointing that they chose to change the rules in the middle of the game. Is there no way the OBTC can make an exception for Frank given all he has done for the community over the years?


annagrace August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Members are generally appointed only when an existing member does not complete a full term. If there are a significant number of appointees it reflects a lack of interest in the organization. It doesn’t sound as though folks are falling all over themselves to run. Frank/OBRag aren’t “just anyone” grabbing a PO box, as you have stated, and so it sounds extremely personal that the OBTC has denied Frank’s candidacy at this point.


kenloc August 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I agree Annagrace, that Frank and the Rag aren’t just anyone,but the rule does need to be in place,no?You wouldn’t want folks from LA caling shots in OB because they have a PO box here. There should be some sort of special concession for all Frank has done,yes.Where does it stop though?If Frank runs it sets a precedent for anyone with a website and a po box here to be eligible.Would the requirement be that the website has to be OB themed and that’s good enough? Forgive me if I am out of the loop here,but what does the OBTC have against Frank?Could he single handedly change the face of OB if elected?Will he rise to power and take over the world? I don’t get the conspiracy theory. Anyone who can shed light on what they hate about Frank (without attacking me for not knowing,of course)please fill me in.It can’t be all about the sticker crap,can it?


annagrace August 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Agreed Kenloc, that the rule needs clarification under the circumstance. But Frank said he paid his dues over three months ago, and I assume that was as a voting member. If the TC felt he did not qualify as a voting member, what took them so long to resolve this, knowing it would reflect so badly upon them?


kenloc August 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

That is the only problem I really have with the decision.It should have been made 3 months ago and dues should not have been accepted if that was their stance.


Brenda McFarlane August 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

My guess is that the people who sit on the town council don’t want to hang out with or deal with Frank at their meetings. Simple as that. Not too surprising since he does stir things up and, it is my experience, that the majority of people don’t like that. Anyone who knows Frank knows he WILL rock the boat. I suspect that no one on the town council really wants the boat rocked. They were motivated to think about how he could be prevented from joining their group. When one of them realized they already had a convenient rule to block him, the solution was clear to them. They just weren’t motivated to consider whether they could re-write the rules so they’d make more sense because doing so might mean they’d have to deal with Frank. That’s my guess anyway.


Chris Moore August 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm


This is a pretty transparent attempt to interpret the rules creatively in order to shut you out because they don’t like what you say.

Keep up the good fight Frank.


Seth August 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I don’t necessarily agree with that. For the OBPB election I helped chair last year, I can honestly say that I would not have even allowed Frank to VOTE under these circumstances, never mind be an actual candidate.

And I *like* Frank!

The OBTC surely has different rules, but I am betting that eligibility is clearly defined (i.e. an OB business must have an actual business license with an OB address to make you eligible).

I know it is the way of the internet to shoot first and ask questions never, but my suggestion to all is to show up tomorrow and have an adult conversation about all of this. There’s probably a solution here.



Chris Moore August 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

That’s fair, and as I said in an earlier comment, I don’t think if the rules had been applied consistently or in a timely manner there would have been any uproar.

I just seems a little odd that Frank was informed of this decision at the last minute, when there had been no objection to his candidacy when he declared it.

Perhaps it was just due to internal miscommunication, but it comes off as shady.


Jim August 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I am sure this will get some responses but for just one moment put yourselves out of OB in the national picture, We have a Presidential election coming up in November of 2011, Just for shits and giggles IMAGINE that a person from another country like Mexico (just for proximity purposes) were to try to run for President, even though the Constitution says that they are ineligible, and they really love the U.S.A. should they be above the constitution and be allowed to run for office? I think not. If they really love the country or in this case the town/village/ community, then they/you should observe the rules and abide by them. This has a very easy fix, move back to OB!!!


Marisa August 25, 2010 at 6:57 am

That’s an absurd comparison. Frank is an Obecian. If you want to compare apples and apples, imagine an AMERICAN living in Mexico running for President.


Sarah August 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

absurd. Totally


Jim August 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Ok. Thanks Marisa for giving me an apple to compare to an apple. An American lives in Mexico and wants to be the President of the USA. Does this work better for you? It still does not work for me or the law!


kenloc August 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm

what if an American lived in Mexico,had a vacation home in France, a PO box in the U.S……….. oh nevermind)


dave rice August 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Wasn’t there a right-wing push a couple years back to amend the Constitution so the governator could run for prez? Apparently it’s since fizzled out…


Brenda McFarlane August 26, 2010 at 12:12 am

The Town Council is not a democracy like the U.S. At the town meeting tonight, in a response to a request (or several) to see these so-called bylaws, we were told that the town council is under no obligation to make the bylaws publicly available. We were also told at the meeting by the board that the board has the power, according to these secret bylaws, to suspend them if they choose to do so. However, in Frank’s case, they don’t chose to suspend them. Doesn’t sound that clear to me.

Furthermore, while they allowed people to speak and they were given new information (Frank does have a lease in OB now) they refused to reconsider Frank’s eligibility. They did not even convene to decide if they should reconsider. The decision was made before the meeting and without public input. This is not any democratic system I’m familiar with.

If the rules were in fact written out like a constitution and governed like a constitution then your point, Jim, would be well made. However, they seem to be playing both sides of the coin.

The rules are relaxed and friendly and they can make mistakes because “we’re just volunteers” on one side but when it comes to something they don’t want, they choose to play the other side and rigorously follow some alleged but private set of rules.

It’s either flexible and forgiving or rigid and strict but I don’t think they can play both depending on which suits them.

The meeting was a sad display of people and power in action. The town council had a wonderful opportunity to attract new members to activity and participation. Instead, they allowed themselves to become entrenched and defensive. By acting as a united and stalwart force, they showed a decided lack of interest or talent at representing the desires of the community. I know they believe they are doing what is best for OB but, like most people in power throughout history, they think they know what is best for the community without being willing to listen to the community. Too bad.


Seth August 24, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I have to admit, when I read about you using the Rag as a business license, my very first thought was that you were likely not eligible according to the letter of the law. I cannot speak for the OBPB here, but having performed the role of Election Co-Chair and Board Secretary who looked at appointment applications for that entity, I would likely have made the same recommendation to enforce the rules uniformly and not allow your candidacy – especially if there was a possibility of you displacing an eligible candidate as a result.

However, with that said, it is my personal belief that the rules of these organizations should seek to account for reasonable special circumstance, especially in the event that another eligible person is NOT being kept from an election or appointment.

In sum, I suppose there are all sorts of scenarios in play, but while I understand this ruling in terms of the basic fairness of adhering to the rules uniformly, as a paying member of the OBTC, I would be pretty… let’s just keep it cool and say “disenchanted” with you not being allowed to an open seat by appointment, if not election.

Good luck.


Wireless Mike August 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

It sounds like there is confusion about how to interpret the OBTC bylaws. Are those bylaws a matter of public record? If so, can somebody please post a link to the OBTC bylaws, or at least to the section that specifies the eligibility requirements for being a candidate? If the bylaws are vague in this area, they should be clarified and revised.

In a democracy, eligibility for membership and candidacy should be specified objectively by the rule of law, not subjectively by personal interpretation.


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2010 at 9:14 am

I have asked for the section of the bylaws that the OBTC used to oust me, and as yet, have not heard back from them. So, I have yet to see the rule used.


Marisa August 25, 2010 at 9:26 am

They are being amended as we type. These are the tactics of my Mom’s HOA who change the rules to suit themselves, print out new bylaws and then act as if they were always in place.


Your mama August 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I smell a boycott…………


ClubStyle_DJ August 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Doesn’t anyone have a back office with a desk, a chair and an address he can use? DJ business is mostly weekends so M-Th I’ll work for ya, minimum wage answering phones if ya need Frank. Wait… Don’t you have a staff of writers, webmasters, ad staff and the like? Exceptions or amendments need to be made to these ibusiness unfriendly and antiquated by-laws. I think you should get just as creative and get on that board Frank. If not, I guess I’ll be pulling up to the Mcdonalds drive thru next to Hodads in no time.


Trudy Levenson August 24, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Hi Everybody,

I never thought I’d do this but here I go. I am on the OBTC and the Treasurer. I got involved to help the community and I am very dismayed about this blog. Let me tell you, I was not appointed by a friend or anyone that knew me. I had volunteered at a few events such as the Pancake Breakfast, X-mas Parade and several other events BEFORE I was elected to the OBTC. So far, I have been involved in the Pancake Breakfast, Resturant Walk, Chilli-Cookoff for 3 years at the judges tent, 1 year at the auction, 1 year at the ally cleanup, 1 year putting food and toys together for families that needed a little help, delivering food and toys at Xmas. I have also been the Staging Director for 2 years and counting at the annual Xmas Parade. I was also an an active volunteer at Rady Children’s Hospital for 3 years and Chair for the OB/Pt Loma Relay for Life as its sole fundraiser, survivor lunch and silent auction. I’m not looking for recognition. I just want OB to know that no nepotism was how I was elected and I have my own mind. I am deeply disturbed by all these allocations and I would no longer sit on a board that I found not appropitate than stay to save face. I believe in the OBTC and no matter what anyone says I think we are doing a great job. We are all volunteers and this job does take a tremendous amount of participation. I only want to do the best for the community that I love and am so proud of. Frank, I welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with you.


Trudy levenson


Jon August 25, 2010 at 8:48 am

Hi Trudy,

Thank you for having the courage to comment on this board. It’s not easy to open yourself up to public comment in a forum such as this. You certainly have done a lot for the community, and I don’t think anyone would question that. Also, the majority here, myself included, understand that rules are in place and should be followed accordingly. Chris Moore summed it up in his earlier comment when he said,

“I don’t think if the rules had been applied consistently or in a timely manner there would have been any uproar.
It just seems a little odd that Frank was informed of this decision at the last minute, when there had been no objection to his candidacy when he declared it.”

That is the problem we have here. There definitely appears to be one or more board members that simply do not like Mr. Gormlie and went out of their way to find a loophole to oust him as a candidate.

Also, you mention that you are “very dismayed about this blog.” Would you care to elaborate on that comment? What is it that has you dismayed? As I mentioned in an earlier post of mine, there is a tremendous amount of good that comes from this blog. The real negativity and infighting generally appear in the comment section of controversial stories that appear on the blog when certain folks want to start fights or don’t like a particular viewpoint, etc….

I wish that stories like Brenda’s recent series about our OBMA and their history had half as many comments as the story about an anti-homeless sticker I wish my story about building community gardens had 1/4 of the comments that Frank’s being ousted from the OBTC ballot has received I wish Shane’s wonderful story about Dr. Jeoff Gordon had more than 9 comments But people generally don’t want to acknowledge the positive things that come from this online publication, and would much rather demonize the blog and post frustrated rants and vile things about one particular story. Although this is common practice in the world of internet blogging, it is sad that so many choose to focus their energy on negativity.

Again, thanks for commenting and contributing to our community and this dialogue.


Sunshine August 25, 2010 at 9:24 am

thanx for chiming in Trudy. your presence is a welcome addition to this blog.


Sunshine August 25, 2010 at 2:01 am

funny, isn’t it, how no one from the OBTC has come on the blog and addressed this obvious political railroading. btw, just what is it that the OBTC does anyway? they are not even an officially recognized government body within the City of San Diego. are they not simply glorified party planners who’s steady supply of Newport Avenue centered events are solely motivated by potential revenue and bigger profit margins? i am interested to hear what they do.

why is it that they are so threatened by franks potential presence on the council that they stooped to this level of ugly political maneuvering? are they hiding something? do they not want someone like frank around because he cares about OBceans more than he cares about the almighty dollar? are they afraid of what he might print in the Rag? are they seriously trying to rewrite their laws as they go to protect their interests? if they are doing it now, has it happened before on other issues?

the smell of dirty politics here is more pungent than the urine soaked alleyways on a hot summer day.


Marisa August 25, 2010 at 6:45 am

It was bound to happen that as property values climbed higher and higher in OB, the conformists would take over. It happened in the early 90’s in PB, at least OB held out for a little while longer. I got priced out of owning at the beach back in the late 90’s myself and now reside in City Heights. I really miss OB however and wish I could afford to live there. It’s the way of the world especially here in San Diego, more and more people pour into the county, everyone wants to live at the beach and those with the most money are the ones that get to do that. Then, newly arrived they decide they want things exactly how they were under that little rock in Kansas that they crawled from under. It’s the nature of the world that things are changing and fast. I’ve always had a sense of hope for the future, but that is now gone. We’re fucking doomed. We may make some forward thinking decisions as a whole, but that is very rare, and that darned pendulum is stuck somewhere in Tea Party territory. Apparently, the OB town council is taking a page from the book of the San Diego City Council…they sound about as corrupt.


kenloc August 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Doomed? No hope for the future? A bit dramatic,no? O.B. is still pretty affordable IMO. Rents are quite reasonable here in comparison to surrounding areas.A bit less square footage for the dollar but hey,your in O.B. =) Not sure about the momentum being with the cooky Tea Baggers either. OB is still the place you love.I still get good vibes walkin Newport and goin to local shops and hangouts. So chin up Marisa! Grab a burger, have a beer,go to the beach.It’s a great day.It will be tomorrow too)


Tipsy McStagger August 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

You have to option of renting. Nowhere is it written that you HAVE TO be a home owner. Think of it this way. Would you rather live in a place you like by renting or do the home owner thing living in a place you don’t like? As to rich people from Kansas invading OB I think you’re expressing a bit of over kill.


Marisa August 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm

2 reasons I HAVE to own. 1. Dogs. 2. Chickens. :) I never said I don’t like my neighborhood (I wouldn’t live in a place I didn’t like for anything) its a canyon hood with a diverse populace and a great neighborhood association . But you have to admit that there are an awful lot more BMWs and the like in OB now than say 15 years ago…. and a lot less hippies. :*( I’m just sayin….

OK, maybe not Kansas, but Texas for sure.


Jon August 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I would love to own because I want a giant organic garden, but sometimes you make sacrifices to live a block from the ocean in a southern, CA beachtown. Also, OB is FULL of renegade apartment dogs. ;) But if you must have chickens, I guess I’m not sure what to say. :)


kenloc August 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

There are lot more BMW’s and a lot less hippies everywhere,not just O.B. I moved here 10 years ago and always dreamed of owning here. My wife and I realized that dream in 08 when we purchased a townhouse here.No garden,but I have a cool patio and can check the waves from my bedroom window.Neither of us comes from great wealth.Neither of us has a degree. We both work long hours in the retail world to have our little slice of paradise. It can be done. I wish more people who lived in OB owned their place.It is the true investment in the future of OB.When OB transitions from mostly renters to owner/occupiers,the feel of the neighborhood will change if the owners don’t love OB for what it is.


Goatskull August 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I still don’t seem to see too many BMWs in OB. A few here and there and even 15 years ago I saw them. As to less hippies, that is everywhere. There are a lot less in Height Ash then there were 15 years ago and 15 years ago there were a lot less then 15 years before that and so on and so forth. Even Eugene there are way less then there used to be. I think it’s less to do with yupification and more to do with younger generations just not getting into the “hippie” culture. Just my opinion.
I think Texas is a bit of a stretch too.


Chris Moore August 27, 2010 at 9:24 am

Hey, *I* drive a BMW.

(Of course, it’s a 1987 heh.)


tj August 25, 2010 at 8:06 am


Love what you’re doing with the Rag, but Jim is correct.

Besides – the “free press” needs to be free from the trappings of political power – much harder to do & to remain objective as an “insider” no matter how ethical & well intentioned one is.

Keep holding them accountable – & rocking their world – they hate that.



judi curry August 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

Frank, it takes a few hours to write the rules. I am sure as soon as it is written you will get a copy of it.


Murna August 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

As an Obecian, this attacking attitude is sad. OB is known for it’s positive way and embracing of all… what is going on here really and what agenda is being defended? Being on the Board of Directors of the OBTC is not the only way to help OB… nor is even being a full-fledged member. It just takes being there for OB and its citizens and getting out and volunteering. It’s really too bad that the OBTC didn’t zoom in on the details of your status, sooner, Frank, and allowed you to be a member, it really is….. but doesn’t that prove that they really AREN’T out to “get you”??? … c’mon. It seems it wasn’t until the info left membership status and was elevated to candidate for elections status, and under under the elections rules that it was seen. This is indeed deserving of an apology to you….but does it need to be taken to the level of an attack against you? Let’s not be so paranoid, nor negative of our fellow Obecians. The OBTC is not the enemy. We are all involved in OB at whatever level, because we love it and want what is best for it. I mean, with what was seen here from Trudy, it seems the Board members do a lot, they just don’t blow their trumpets about it. No one gets paid for this stuff. We all love OB! Is this negative rhetoric good for it? I think everybody needs to take a chill pill. Every committee, every organization, every town or entity has to have rules…and they cannot be bent at whim or it becomes anarchy. We have to respect the OBTC for what it does and what it is and what rules it has. Yes, let’s be disappointed that they made this error….(I’m sure they feel humiliated that they did… I mean it’s the bleeding obvious it was a mess up…) …but errors are made by the best of us. OB needs the TC and OB needs the Rag. ..and they need each other!! They each have their place, and I think most people on either one would admit that. Many times in their history, they have agreed to disagree, but have continued to work toward the good of OB and share things sometimes as well… we need to keep that. THAT is OB!!


Margaret August 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

As someone who neither lives in Ocean Beach, or who has been to OB, I do, however, read the OB Rag Blog with great interest.

And reading the blog has made both my husband and myself very interested in coming to visit for the weekend–great beach (dog beach too), sense of community (from you, Frank and other OB writers) and the feeling that OB, as a city, cares about its citizens and by extension, its position in the world at large. OB seems to care–just by virtue of what I read here.

(Business owners who have posted here, our weekend visit means dollars spent in your community–or maybe not considering some of your comments.)

Trudy, what you are “dismayed” about regarding this blog sounds to me like you have not spent time reading this blog, but have chimed in just to make some sort of a (misguided) point.

Our 501(c)(3) is fully incorporated in the state of California and while we are not yet fortunate enough in our foundation’s efforts to rent commercial real estate for our offices, it does not lessen what we do or how we do it. We fight for MS patients, their families and caregivers and it doesn’t take real estate to do that–like it doesn’t take real estate to care about OB.

A PO box and bank account in Ocean Beach mean just that; the OB Rag does business in OB and is about all things OB–what other reason would there be for this? Why bother to run for Town Council is there’s no interest in the town itself or seeing that it fares better?

The OBTC’s quick turn-around is simply untoward and reeks. Stand up, OBTC and let Frank run instead of figuring out cowardly ways to change your minds because you’re scared!

Good luck tonight, Frank. Best to OB.


annagrace August 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Margaret- I get the sense that you still intend to visit OB. And well you should. I hope you have an opportunity to hear the young woman play the didgeridoo that was made from a yucca. (I listened to her on a Wednesday, during the Farmers Market.) I hope that you have the time to explore the side streets, where quirky gardens flourish, and to just sit on the sea wall and look out at that great wide water, inescapable. Ocean Beach exists because of … and despite of…. Ocean Beach IS.

Perhaps you will report back to us, as a “foreign correspondent” about what you found here. Have a great time!


lane tobias August 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm

frank i have been off the face of the earth for a few weeks and just resurfaced…I had no idea this had happened nor do I think any debate is necessary. You are an OB institution, as is your amazingly wonderful partner, as is the OB Rag, as are many of the good people that contribute to this blog. As are all the businesses, the waves, and beautiful cliffs. For OBTC to truly represent the entire Ocean Beach community, it needs to open its minds beyond constrictive thinking. FREE GORMLIE.


Patty Jones August 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm

aw, Lane, so good to hear from you. Sorry we haven’t written, we just need to call….


Trudy Levenson August 25, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Hi Margaret,

Just read your comment about me not really reading the blog and my “misguided” point that I chimed in. You, yourself said you don’t live in OB and have never been here. You say that you may visit this weekend and I would love to show you around. Perhaps, we can exchange numbers in a more private conversation,. I was simply making a point that the OBTC does a lot of good work. We are all volunteers and raise a lot of money to help our community. I also wanted to make clear that I was friends with no one on the OBTC when I was appointed. I’m sorry you feel that my intentions ( which by the way I was scared to death to do this) was “misguided”. I do my research and am objective enough to see both sides. I feel insulted that someone who knows nothing about me and has never been here to OB has the audacity to say that I chimed in
to make some misguided point. We are trying to show all sides here. Volunteers help make a community stronger and more cohesive. So am I “misguided” in trying to help my community by sitting on the board in question? Am I misguided in holding sick babies at R ady Children’s Hospital, helping raise $20,000,00 for The American Cancer Society last year and helping fit woman with wigs that make them feel better about themselves when they are going through chemotherapy? God knows I sure hell am no saint or mover or shaker of the world. I’m just trying to help my community
in a small paltry way that can maybe , make a difference . Another point I would like to make. There were people in the meeting tonight that questioned our by laws and basically our characters and motives. However, these same people were happy to stand up and recieve their money for grants that we allocated to their organizations. To me that is misguided.


Margaret August 26, 2010 at 3:20 am

Only misguided in that you were “dismayed” at this blog, for which I do not understand. Apologies for insinuating anything else.



Trudy Levenson August 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hi Margaret,

Thanks. I’m off my soap box today. I do tend to get passionate about things and people I care about. My offer still stands to show you around OB.


Seth August 26, 2010 at 12:07 am

Trudy, since this last paragraph is likely directed at me, please allow me to clarify. My primary purpose for being at tonight’s meeting was to support Frank as a private citizen, with the hope that some sort of resolution could have been reached. Earlier today, I was also asked to accept a grant from the OBTC on behalf of the OBPB, on which I also serve (there were at least 4 other OBPB members there tonight who could have done this, though I probably seemed like a relatively good option at the time).

This ended up a little awkward, but those are two separate things. But as both a private citizen and a rep of the OBPB, I am grateful for your volunteer work in the community, and your financial support in allowing us to do the same.

I may have been a little crotchety from how much sun I got today, but I don’t believe I questioned anyone’s motive or character, or your board’s bylaws (although I am disappointed that they were never shown tonight despite repeated requests). In fact, I would go so far as to say that I know several people on your board well enough to attest to their motives and character, rather than question them.

With that said, the mutual animosity between Frank and at least part of the board was pretty tangible, and I think it was well worth getting at whether there was just some confusion in how his candidacy played out, or something more personal.

In my perfect world, you would have suspended your bylaws per special circumstance and allowed a long-time contributor to this community to help you serve OB and make it a better place. You elected not to at this point, and from the peanut gallery, I respectfully disagree.

Nothing personal on my end, believe me. Again, thanks to both you and the OBTC for your work in the community and your assistance with helping the OBPB and other community organizations.


Trudy Levenson August 26, 2010 at 2:15 am

Yes, you were pretty red!! Sunscreen my friend!! I was not talking totally about you. There were several others believe me!! You stood up for what you believed in. There is no perfect world. I wish there was! As far as I am concerned we just need to agree to disagree. Maybe we should just have a big ole love fest!! How 70’s.
I swear I am not a political person and I hate this, But, I will not stray away from conterversial subjects. So maybe you need to meet me, Jon , Maura and Sunshine for coffee this weekend. Man, this will be a first!!!!


Frank Gormlie August 26, 2010 at 7:36 am

Hi Trudy, really appreciate you coming on here, you are brave, and contributing to the conversation, even to the point of wanting to have coffee with some of the other commenters. That’s great. And there are a few people like you on the Board who do speak and vote your mind, and the TC does some good stuff, but as a whole, last night, the Board showed its ugly and undemocratic side, and in failing to approve my candidacy failed the community of Ocean Beach.


Trudy Levenson August 26, 2010 at 1:44 am

Hi All,

After reading over all the comments in the past couple of days I really appreciate the blogs from Jon, Sunshine and Murna giving me some positive response. We may be on different sides but I think we are willing to work for the betterment of the community. I would love to meet you guys for coffee or such to become better neighbors or allies for OB. What do you say!!???


john September 1, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Trudy came here to comment and while I didn’t like her first response (it seemed more intent on defending personal vanity than anything else IMO) reading on saw her commendably defend her position and reply to all relevant comments.
I think we all know on “teh internets” it’s unusual for individuals involved in real world conflicts to come in and comment at all, when they do invariably it’s to show more of the same detached ignorance that p’d us off to begin with. In this case she returned seeking diplomacy as an end to itself, seeming not to employ it as a facade for quieting her critics but to move forward in the greater interest of all concerned.
Don’t allow the olive branch she offers to be dropped and trampled on by the bustle of bad feelings.


Lynne Vanderpot September 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Frank Gormlie – you got my vote! All the way from Massachusetts. You are an inspiring citizen.


Frank Gormlie September 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Lynne!! Great to hear from ya! C’mon back, ya heah!


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