Big Push for OB’s Participation in Next Planning Board Election in March

by on January 22, 2013 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, Environment, Ocean Beach

OB Plan Bd map new

Ocean Beach Planning Board area – showing the 7 districts. The Board consists of 2 representatives from each district, for 2 year terms.

That venerable institution of Ocean Beach that’s been around since the mid-1970’s – the Ocean Beach Planning Board – is holding its annual elections in March. But this year there is a difference in the way the Board is approaching voting and in what will be on the ballot.  The election is on March 12th.

This year – for the first time in many years – OBceans will be able to place Initiatives on the ballot – propositions asking for policy decisions regarding life in OB and its environs – all for an advisory vote by OBceans.

We think this is a good step, as it potentially will enliven the election and inspire OB residents, property and business owners to participate.

Earlier this century, the initiative was a popular tool used by community organizers, particularly those with OB Grassroots Organization or the Save OB Committee.  One year, for example, an initiative was passed banning corporate franchises in the main business area of OB.  As the votes are only advisory, and the Board itself can make only advisory recommendations to the City, whatever is decided policy-wise is not law.

Yet the initiatives in previous years did bring folks to the polls on Board election night – and hundreds did participate.  This is in stark contrast to the usual dozen or so who have shown up in more recent times to cast their ballots.

Because some of the initiatives passed or on the ballot didn’t sit well with more business or conservative types, a successful move was made on the Board to ban initiatives from the ballot. Now, due to lack of interest, it appears they’re coming back.

The election is on March 12th, voting takes place at the OB Recreation Center, between the hours of 4pm to 7pm. The Board does allow voting by mail or email if one cannot make the actual polling. Instructions on how to vote either way are below.

The following are the official notices of information from the Planning on the election itself:

Ocean Beach Planning Board
2013 Election
Information Package
General Information

In addition to any policies or guidelines provided in the official Bylaws of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, the following information is provided to facilitate the regular election process of the planning group for the 2013-2015 term of service. Any additional policy or guidelines not specifically addressed here will be in accordance with Council Policy 600-24, the City of San Diego’s guidelines for Community Planning Group Elections or Roberts Rules of Order.

Election date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013; 4pm – 7pm (all ballots must be returned postmarked 12 March, 2013 for postage mail or submitted by 7pm March 12 for email voting to be counted).

  • Polling location: Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, San Diego CA 92107
  •  Term length for election is two years. Serving the Community on the Ocean Beach Planning Board is a volunteer position and receives no compensation from the community or City of SD.
  • Eligible candidates and voters, as determined by the OBPB Bylaws, may participate in this election.
  • Proof of residency or qualification may be established with a driver’s license (or official government ID), utility bill, business license or tax bill – that demonstrates the physical location or address of qualification of the person, voter or candidate to be eligible to participate. Proof of eligibility must be provided to participate in voting, candidacy or the submission of an advisory proposition. No exceptions.

Guidelines for Voting, Candidacy, or Submission of Advisory Propositions

Step 1: Determine eligibility.

To vote in the elections; become a candidate; or to submit an advisory proposition, one must demonstrate that they are 18 years of age and meet one of the following conditions within the planning group boundaries for more than 30 days:

A. a resident of Ocean Beach – residing in and maintaining a physical address

B. a property owner of Ocean Beach – owning either a residential or commercial property

C. a business licensee/owner – operating/owning a business with a physical address/location

Step 2: Register to vote.

Preregistration is not required; however, all eligible persons may preregister either in person at an OBPB meeting, by downloading an application from the website (, by request to the Election Committee:; or via post mail – Ocean Beach Planning Board, P.O. Box 7090, Ocean Beach, CA, 92167. Eligible persons will be provided either mail or email ballots by request.

Step 3: Complete an official candidate/advisory proposition application.

The applications may be found at the OBPB website:; requested at an OBPB meeting or by contacting the election committee (see contact info below). Applications include specific directions on proper completion of the application; all questions should be directed to the Elections Committee or through the website.

Step 4: Submit your completed materials.

All materials can be submitted to the Elections Committee by any of the following methods prior to or postmarked by the official due date:

A. Mailed to the Ocean Beach Planning Board, P.O. Box 7090, Ocean Beach, CA, 92167;

B. Served in person at a Planning Board meeting (1st Wednesday of each month) at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave, from 6:00pm;

C. Or, physically served/delivered to a member of the OBPB Election Committee, Landry Watson, Barbara Schmidtknecht, or Pete Ruscitti.

***All Election materials, application or registrations must be received or postmarked prior to 6:00 pm on Sunday February 3th, 2013 to be considered for the official ballot or for receiving a ballot via mail/email. No exceptions.***

Please direct any questions to – Landry Watson, Election Committee Chair: by phone 619-952-2468 or via email; or the web:

In addition, we are providing links to:

The official OBPB Candidate and Proposition Application here.

The official OBPB Preregistration Form here.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

dave rice January 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Hmmm…this should be a lot more interesting than last time when I was forced to vote for D6 even though I know for a fact I’ve lived in D5 ever since I moved out of D1 years ago…not that it mattered, since D5 and D6 were each only running one candidate.

When do we get to see and start spouting off on the propositions?


Frank Gormlie January 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I’d like to see a proposition that made it difficult for property owners to chop down large and / or old trees without having reasons supported by common sense, health considerations and community support.


bodysurferbob January 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm

or for at least endangered old trees, like torrey pines.


bodysurferbob January 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

how about an initiative for a new life guard station and public restrooms?


OB Joe January 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

OBcians should use this as a sounding board for our concerns and wishes. You want more lights on the streets? Then get a proposition together so we can vote on. You want the police trailer to be permanent? Then get a prop together so we can vote on it. You want more cops walking their beats? Then get a prop …. You want it to be legal to have marijuana dispensaries in business sections? You want it to be legal to run nude on the beach between the hours of 2 and 3 a.m.?


bodysurferbob January 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm

“… want it to be legal to run nude on the beach between the hours of 2 and 3 a.m.” – i’ll vote for that one.


Landry Watson, OBPB Vice-Chairman January 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

Our sincere thanks to the OB Rag for covering the changes to our upcoming Elections in 2013 and helping to get the word out to the community about increasing participation for both voters and the members of the community.

We’ve made our most aggressive effort to remove all obstacles from the process of both running for office or for participating in the voting.

Our website has all of the information you will need to take part:

Landry Watson
2013 Elections Chairman
Ocean Beach Planning Board, Vice-Chairman


Landry Watson - OB Planning Board Vice-Chairman February 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Just a reminder that all candidate applications, advisory propositions and voter preregistrations are due tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm, 3 February to be included on the official ballot.

Candidates who do not meet the deadline may still participate as write-in candidates but will not be included on the official ballot that is distributed.

All information for the 2013 Elections can be found at the OB Planning Board website:

Good luck!


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