Ocean Beach Town Council Elections, Possible Police Department Walking Teams and More

by on August 25, 2011 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

The Ocean Beach Town Council is holding elections to fill eight slots on its board, with ballots due by August 31st.  Only voting members may hold a position on the Board of Directors.

Each Director of the OB Town Council serves a two year term.  Elections are staggered so that roughly half of the board comes up for election each year, assuring some continuity.  Only voting members of the town council may become board members, and only residential members have voting rights on the Town Council.

According to the bylaws of the OB Town Council, a residential member is defined as “any individual over sixteen years of age or any firm, corporation, or partnership living, working, or owning property, or operating a business in Ocean Beach….” who is a dues paying member of the OB Town Council.  Members over eighteen years of age may become a Director.

The bylaws call for 15 Directors, however currently only 11 spots are filled.  In this election cycle, there are eight seats available with seven candidates running for a position, including four incumbents:  Dave Martin, who has served as a Director for 10 years, and is the owner of Shades Bistro; Landry Watson, a member of the Town Council for three years; Jim Musgrove, who currently serves as President of the Town Council; and Nancy Vaughn, a member for five years.

There are three new members vying for election, two of whom were introduced at the meeting:  Melinda Redding, a legislative analyst for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Department; and Gretchen Kinney-Newsom, a public relations and communications consultant who served as the Special Assistant to the Chairperson of the Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission in Washington D.C., the body charged with examining the causes of the 2008 U.S. financial collapse.  A third candidate indicated an interest in serving as a Director in writing, but was not present at the meeting.

Each candidate must receive at least one vote in order to be able to fill a director’s spot.  Ballots were sent via email to each of the roughly 140 voting members of the Town Council.  As noted, only residential members are eligible to vote or become a Director themselves.  Membership costs $10 per year.

SDPD Walking Team Returns

As most everyone knows by now, the memorial benches at the foot of Del Mar Ave. have been returned, and although the police and District Attorney’s office knows who is responsible for their removal in the first place, no charges will be filed, according to both Surwilo and the representative from the DA’s office, Grace Liu.  The police department examined their records and found numerous calls for service at that particular location from several different people.  However the department lacked the resources to respond to the calls in a timely fashion.  That lack of response prompted a fed up Robert Bryson to take matters into his own hands and unilaterally have the benches removed.

The bench incident has caused the police department to reexamine its policies in search of a solution.  And the timing of the PD realignment could not be better:  The Western Division may be bringing back its walking teams.

The realignment will allow the division to cover a smaller area of the city, freeing up officers from having to respond to radio calls in North Park and University Heights, which take them away from calls in the beach areas.

The goal would be to have four officers on patrol and available to answer calls such as the ones made by neighbors on Del Mar Ave.  These officers will not be responsible for radio calls; they will be strictly responsible for community patrol, available to respond to  complaints from the community.

District Attorney’s office prepares for implementation of AB 109

Law enforcement agencies around San Diego County are preparing for an influx of inmates that until now would have been incarcerated in state prisons.  However, in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the State of California must now reduce its prison population by over 33,000 inmates over the next two years.

The solution, as mandated by AB 109, is to shift low level, non-violent, non sexual offenders to local jails instead of state prisons.  The County will also be responsible for the prisoners’ “Post-release Community Supervision” in lieu of a state supervised parole.

The state prisons have been operating at 192% of designed capacity, according to a fact sheet distributed by the DA’s office.  The Supreme Court has mandated that the prison system’s population be reduced to 137.5% of designed capacity by May 2013.

In addition to bracing for the influx of additional prisoners, the County is studying ways of preventing overcrowding by reducing recidivism and by providing better treatment to low level offenders, in particular those convicted of drug offenses.

It is estimated to cost approximately $50,000 per year to house an inmate in a state prison, while the cost is reduced to $37,000 per year in local jails, and $15,000 per year for treatment to low level offenders.


Today, Aug. 25th:  Community Coffee with Councilman Kevin Faulconer, at Shades Bistro, 9am-11am

Saturday, August 27th:  Community Clean-up and recycling event.  Town Council will be sponsoring a U-Haul truck, and is looking for volunteers to help remove items from OB streets and alleys that “don’t belong.”  Past events have collected 30,000 lbs of material in one morning.  Items will be taken to a dump site at Fiesta Island where the City will have a compactor and workers to separate recyclable materials.

Saturday, Aug. 27th:  American Cancer Society’s “Bark for Life” at Dusty Rhodes Park.

Saturday, Sept 10th:  Ocean Beach Music and Arts Festival.  9 stages in all, main stage at OB Pier.  8-10k visitors expected.

Sun, Sept. 18th:  Paddle for Clean Water, OB Pier

Sat, Oct. 8th:  OB Oktoberfest.

Sun, Oct 16th:  Pier Breakfast

Thu, Oct. 27th:  OBMA Awards

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie August 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

Andy, what a pleasant surprise – good job, dude.


Brittany Bailey September 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Awesome, Andy. Thanks for updating us!


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