OB CDC Not Happy with OB Rag, City or Entryway Project – Threatens to Cancel Ribbon-Cutting

by on January 9, 2015 · 7 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach

Recent Negative Publicity About Entryway Project Includes “Turko Files”

by Lois Lane

Finding the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation isn’t easy. According to the OB CDC Web site, their last meeting was November 14, 2013. The OB Mainstreet web site is much more informative, and states that the OB CDC meets the second Thursday of each month, and with this reassurance, I showed up at the Rec center to see what happened.

The information was correct, the board was there, and the meeting was called to order, presumably by the President, Tom Perrotti, although no introductions were made. I assume the board present consisted of the people listed on the OB CDC Web Site: Tom Perrotti, Stephen Grosch, Dave Martin, Brian Pottinger, Nicole Burgess, Paris Barrowclough, and Jane Gawronski.

The public may attend meetings, and I was joined by two other visitors, as well as Conrad Wear, the City Council rep from Laura Zapf’s office, and we made a tidy front row to observe the proceedings.

Dispensing with the agenda, the primary item discussed was the recent media coverage of the OB Entryway project. Apparently, in addition to the OB Rag coverage (not warmly received), it also got attention from Michael Turko, known for his investigative exposure of San Diego problems of various sorts. Some quotes: “We are seen as the people who dropped the ball.” “Never, ever been in control of that project.” “Parks & Rec took it over and funded it.”

There was a general agreement that the ribbon cutting celebrating the completion was a bad idea.

Several points were made:

  • Access CAN’T be continued because of the drop at the end, and would require Phase III.
  • ADA compliance is certainly problematic. (How to get a wheelchair back up the hill?)
  • Put something on the Web Site (where the OB CDC still claims ownership).
  • Write an article for the Beacon stating the OB CDC position.
  • Address the temporary fencing at the top (is it going to be there for years?)

A Phase III of the OB Entryway is possibly being considered at the city at this time and more information will be available later. Conrad Wear agreed to discuss all of this with Lori Zapf and provide new information at the next meeting.

Discussion moved on to a happier topic, the prospects for Veteran’s Plaza, and raising the million dollars required for its construction. The general tone was that the OB CDC would take the responsibility for the maintenance, but this was not completely defined. The Board of Directors voted to give the city their plan for the maintenance of Veteran’s Plaza. Dave Martin has selected an advisory board of veterans to help with the planning.

Dave Martin, Treasurer, then proceeded to review a Financial Report with the Board members, but this report was not made available to visitors at the meeting. An interesting fact is that the OB CDC traditionally maintains separate bank accounts for separate projects. Now that Quickbooks will maintain this separation for them. In any case, the OB Entryway bank account will be closed. The minutes are to show that the financial report was received.

At that point, the OB CDC Board of Directors went into closed session to discuss private and financial matters and we were excused.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie January 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

The OB Rag is a platform for community discussion on issues, and will publish any rebuttal, observations or comments about the Entryway Park/ project. Please send to our email address: obragblog@gmail.com


Geoff Page January 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Thanks to Ms. Lane for attending this meeting and providing an account.

So even though the OB CDC lists this as one of their projects, they have declaimed responsibility for it? Then who in the community is responsible for the sidewalk to nowhere?

If this is a nonprofit set up to benefit OB, why all the secrecy about the finances? That should be public information.

Another thing, the site states that one of the people on the Board, Nicole Burgess, lives in Ocean Beach but that is not correct. Ms. Burgess lives outside the OB planning board boundary and sits on the Peninsula Community Planning Board.

This may be a well-meaning group of community volunteers but I think their response, their goal, should be to find out about completing this entryway, not to get defensive about comments in the media.


Susie January 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Word. ….!!!


sean M January 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm

A million $ is a lot for veterans plaza. sdvd’s goal to raise $3k for 100 sleeping bags seems more helpful for veterans.


Daniel Bonin January 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

So un-OB like. Where is the transparency ?????


Marc Snelling January 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm

If they are not happy – why not comment on these stories and say so? Or better yet write their own piece to explain the situation? – here or on their own website.

The criticism of this project has been going on for years. The only thing new is Turko.


SaneVoice January 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

How soon before Mark Potter (attorney for Center for Disability Access) shows up to file a lawsuit ?

And naturally Zapf sends only a representative since there’s no photo op. Or maybe she’s too busy figuring out ways how she and her staff can legally shoot protestors ?


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