Public Safety and Pie Time at the OB Town Council

by on February 27, 2015 · 2 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach

OBTC 2-25-15 pie bhBy Lois Lane 

A Report of the OB Town Council Meeting: Wednesday, February 25

A hundred OBceans turned out to help celebrate the birthday of Gretchen Newsom, the OB Town Council President, with what we all hope will turn out to be an annual pie spectacular. In addition, there was a more serious program topic:

OBTC 2-25-15 patrol bhSafety in Ocean Beach.

Stephen Grosch provided the PowerPoint presentation outlining the OB Mainstreet Association’s efforts to turn slogans into action: “Respect OB”.

As a result, two bicycling security guards form a patrol to enhance public safety through a variety of activities. These guards are armed only with the items we all have available as private citizens: a knowledge of the law and how to report through the channels.

They deal with nuisance and quality of life issues such as drug dealing, loitering on private property, illegal lodging (sleeping in business doorways), graffiti and illegal dumping. They also interface with services for the homeless, and have been known to call the paramedics for medical emergencies.

The following statistics were reported for a number of events since inception:

  • Contacts- – 1,592 ~ 2 per hour)
  • Contact SDPD – 95 times
  • Incident Reports – 42
  • Environmental services pickup of illegal dumping in alleys and streets -262 items
  • Graffiti reported and cleaned– 78 times

The majority of contacts relate to San Diego Municipal Code section 647 – drunk in public.

This two person team is funded for four days a week on five hour shifts, for a cost of $3500 to $4000 a month. Currently funded by 60 merchants, OBMA would like to generate additional donations to increase the hours.

A second presentation was made by Denise Benderman, representing Neighborhood Watch. This is a program sponsored by the San Diego Police department with details on their Neighborhood watch web page. These neighborhood groups are both social and protective. They hold meetings, put up the signs, and put intruders on notice that everyone is watching.

Other Presentations

Community Relations Officer David Surwilo gave a presentation – actually a response to an OB Rag article about the arrest of local Jimmy Maroutis – that is covered in a separate post.

During Public Comment, several attendees focused on the lack of parking available for RV owners who want to visit the beach. The new focus on RV awareness has resulted in tickets for them, as there are no parking spaces at the beach.

Tony Cataldo – Mayor Faulconer’s rep – reminded us to take care of ourselves, with inexpensive alarms from hardware stores, also providing a vivid display that would illuminate your whole neighborhood.

In response to the Safety Presentation, a resident of Newport Avenue alleged that other cities send busloads of homeless from their location, with a drop-off point at Newport and Sunset Cliffs Ave. No confirmation or solution weres publicly offered to this issue.

OBTC 2-25-15 bd membrs bhThe OB Town Council treasury has a robust $39,448.56 in the budget, and Mike Izaac from the SD Fire Department let us know that Fire Station 15 is celebrating a 100 years of service.

On that happy note, we all adjourned for pie.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Lois Lane February 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Tony will be astounded to see himself listed as Mayor Falconer’s rep. You are more likely to find him at the Friends of the OB Library.

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Avatar South Park March 1, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Everyone should look at how Ocean Beach handles the needs of OBceians: volunteers, citizens, merchants, all working together and doing good for each other in the community, without trying to impose structures that force disinterested residents to participate. It’s a good model, one that the downtown powers don’t particularly believe work.

Milton Friedman’s quip about pie is “economic fallacies assume there is a fixed pie,” but I think Martha Stewart says it best: “Doing projects really gives people self-confidence. Nothing is better than taking the pie out of the oven. What it does for you personally, and for your [community’s] family’s idea of you, is something you can’t buy.”

Hooray for OB! And pie, lots of pie, of all flavors!

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