OB Town Council Gets an Earful – Complaints about Torrey Pine, Candidate Statements, and Ideas About Newport Ave

by on August 25, 2016 · 1 comment

in Culture, Environment, Health, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

OBTC meet 82416 council

Gio Ingolia, standing, runs the OBTC meeting, Aug. 24, 2016.

From expressions of anger about the recent Torrey Pine removal, to impassioned statements by Board candidates, to studied brows deep in thought on how to improve Newport Avenue, the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting last night, Wednesday, Aug. 24th, exhibited a gamut of emotions and “passions”.

Anger of Residents on How City Handled Torrey Pine

OBTC meet 82416 wear

Zapf aide, Conrad Wear, takes the heat about the Torrey Pine.

Anger at how the City handled the Torrey Pine on Saratoga came out among residents during the non-agenda public comment period at the opening of the meeting. The Masonic Center community room filled up with sixty people, at least one news camera and reporter, as acting chair Gio Ignolia attempted to guide the at times contentious forum.

Complaints from a number of residents were expressed at the lack of communication and transparency by the city around the Torrey pine, the heavy-handed police presence and manipulation by city staff on last Monday when the towering, 90-year tree was chopped down. About the lack of responsibility from the city. Rather abruptly, Ignolia called for a halt in comments about the tree, punting it over to Zapf’s aide.

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John Ambert, far left, standing in blue, leads the meeting into the workshop.

Minutes later, when Councilwoman Zapf’s aide, Conrad Wear, took the floor for his monthly address, he was met with a barrage of questions about where was Zapf during the near 3 week stand-off over the Torrey pine on Saratoga. At one point Gio had to thump his gavel numerous times, attempting to maintain order.

OB Planning Board chair, John Ambert, joined the chorus of complaints about the Torrey, pointedly explaining to Wear and to the new mayor’s rep, Anthony George, that the issues still were unresolved and needed immediate attention, emphasizing the immediate nature of the city’s numerous failures around the tree.

OBTC meet 82416 Viv tab

Volunteer and Planning Board member, Vivian McCardle, prepares her station for the workshop.

The Board itself was short; Gretchen Newsom, the chair, had been called to a work emergency, and at least 4 other key board members were absent.

Zapf Adopts Position on Short Term Vacation Rentals Held by Save San Diego Neighborhoods

It was announced during the meeting by her aide that Councilwoman Lorie Zapf has changed her position on short term vacation rentals, and has adopted the position of the group, Save San Diego Neighborhoods (here is their facebook).  Their position, very briefly, is that the city needs to enforce its current restrictions on bed and breakfasts. (For more on the issue of STVRs, go here. )

The issue of short term rentals has certainly heated up of late. Not only did the OB Town Council send an open letter to the mayor and city council just recently on the issue, urging action that supports the Save San Diego Neighborhoods, but the network held a news conference a week ago, complaining about government inaction on the issue. It’s been over a year since city staffers were supposed to draft a new ordinance or craft a solution.

Candidates Make Statements

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Photos and maps at the station.

Prospective board members gave brief speeches on why they want to be on – or stay on – the Board of Directors. Many of the new candidates spoke of the “passion” that they observed during the night’s meeting. Only members in good standing of the OBTC can vote (see here for election details) and voting for this election will take place from Friday, August 26th to Monday, September 5th.

There are 7 open seats on the OBTC board and 9 candidates; here are the candidates (excuse us if the name isn’t exactly correct):

  • Nate Bazydlo – going for his 3rd term, current chair of Community Events;
  • Cory Rhodes – has lived in OB for 2 years, but very impressed of the “passion”;
  • Maddie Cobb – moved to OB a month ago, is leaving the Navy;
  • Gio Ingolia – current vice-chair, has been on the board for 6 years, and has been deeply involved in the community, having spent many years on the OB Planning Board;
  • Trudy Levenson – one of the most “colorful” members of the board, has been on it for 8 years and described how it takes “blood, sweat, and tears” to serve on the board;
  • Marcus Turner – lived in OB for 3 years, is an English teacher, currently coaching at Pt Loma High School, and was just recently married;
  • Nicole Ueno – born and raised in OB, has 2 young kids, is related to the family that owns Sapporo and another restaurant in the village;
  • Melanie Williams – on the board for 2 years, runs a local yoga business;
  • Andrew Waltz – recently appointed, he is running for a full 2 year term, and also sits on the OB Planning Board and is its liaison to the OBTC.
OBTC meet 82416 Gio etc table

Residents give input into the future of Newport Ave.

Visioning Newport Workshop

Newport Avenue will be repaved by the city in the next several months. This gives the community an opportunity to figure out and improvements. Hence, the interactive workshop.

The meeting was turned over to OBPB Chair John Ambert, who explained the workshop process; there were 5 issues and 5 tables with maps had been set up around the large room; everyone was encouraged to go to each table and give feedback, ideas, complaints, etc. on stickums; which were to be “harvested” and presented at phase 2 workshop sometime in October.

OBTC meet 82416 crowd2The 5 issues:

  • Environment
  • Community
  • Infrastructure
  • Circulation, and
  • Land use.

Dozens of attendees then circulated to the different tables, writing down their ideas, and posting them on the various photos and maps spread out.

OBTC meet 82416 crowdAs folks drifted out, council and planning board members gathered up the maps, photos and all the notes. They will be formatted and organized into a report to be presented at the second workshop in October.

Here’s CBS8’s report of the meeting.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

cc August 26, 2016 at 8:00 am

get over it, the city owes you nothing


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