OB Town Council Gears Up for the Holidays – Makes Call for Volunteers

by on October 31, 2016 · 1 comment

in Culture, Environment, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach, Organizing


OB Pier – from the OBTC Webpage which credits Tim Thumb

By Geoff Page / Special to the OB Rag

The OB Town Council (OBTC) held its regular public meeting on Wednesday, October 26th from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. in Ocean Beach.  There were approximately 25 people in attendance.

The meeting started with non-agenda public comment when people may speak for two minutes on any topic that is not part of the official agenda.

There was a representative from the group Save Peninsula Trees (savepeninsulatrees@gmail.com), formed to protect the peninsula’s trees spurred on by the city’s Torrey pine removals on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach.

Mara Elliott, a candidate for City Attorney in the upcoming election, then spoke.

She as followed by a representative for a campaign finance reform group and the pastor of the Pt. Loma United Methodist Church.

The President, Gretchen Newsom, introduced the new board. Go to their website, to see a list of the 15 members.

[Editor: Gretchen apparently has decided to luckily stick around for another term as president; Nate Bazydlo is the new Vice President; Melanie Williams is the new corresponding secretary; Corey Bruins is the recording secretary; and Andrew Waltz is the new community events committee chair.]

After a few other items, the meeting moved to the political representatives, of which 13 were listed on the agenda.  Of the 13, representatives from the San Diego Fire Fighters, Councilmember Zapf, the Mayor, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, the district attorney, and OB elementary were no shows.  The OB Elementary Principal apparently had lost his voice, probably yelling at the kids.

Representatives from State Assembly member Toni Atkins, Congressman Scott Peters, San Diego Police Department, San Diego lifeguards, and the City Attorney were present.  Of the information provided, two items were of general interest to OB.

The lifeguard placed at Bermuda Beach this summer was a pilot program that the city has funded to make permanent.

The second item of interest was the announcement of a city meeting on November 1 to discuss vacation rentals.  The venue has not been decided because the city expects a large crowd and may have to pick a location that will accommodate a crowd.  Check the OB Rag for updates on this meeting.

The Board then ran through committee and liaison reports.  Andrew Waltz read off a series of community events taking place between now and the end of the year.  These events can be seen on the calendar posted on the Town Council website.

Finally, the most important business of the day was discussed and that was the need for volunteers for several OBTC led efforts.  Volunteers are needed to help decorate the tree when it comes.  Vice President Nate Bazydlo made a point of explaining that the Town Council never solicits for tree donations because they do not want to be responsible for trees being cut down in OB. He said people come to them with unsolicited tree donations.

Nate then ran down all of the events including a silent auction, the Holiday Parade, and the food and toy drive they need help with.  For the parade, they need folks to help with traffic control, security, and, of course, clean up after the event.  Applications to volunteer are on their website.

The main event appears to be the food and toy drive.  They need donations and they need volunteers to help with the work.  Nate explained that the work takes place between December 13th and 17th.  The food, including perishables and non-perishables, and other items like clothing, household goods like toothpaste and soap, are gathered in the large room at the Masonic Hall from the 13th to the 16th.  The goods are packaged to deliver to specific families in need in Point Loma and Ocean Beach.  On Saturday, the 17th, the packages are delivered.

The Town Council needs volunteers for all of this and they need folks willing to bring their cars on Saturday to load up packages and deliver them to the targeted families.  This is a worthy charitable event and one folks should look to help with in any way they can.  Once again, got the to OBTC’s website for all of the details.

The meeting adjourned and signup sheets for volunteers were placed up front for those who attended the meeting.

My comments: This was my first time attending one of these meetings and I did not know what to expect other than what I read on their website.  I had always wondered why there was this separate group when OB had a planning board.  I think the main difference is that the Town Council has money and uses it for the community while the planning boards do not have funds other than some small amounts for their operation.

The Town Council is a 501 (c) (4) tax exempt, nonprofit corporation.  This is considered a social welfare organization by the IRS.  Interestingly, far right conservatives, like the Koch brothers and others, use these types of corporation to hide huge amounts of money used in political campaigns because there is no requirement to reveal who has donated the money.  This is not the OBTC, of course.  The OBTC does appear to have a healthy bank account but the money is used for the events they sponsor and work on such as the Christmas parade and the food and toy drive.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

South OB Girl October 31, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Hip hip hooray!!! Nobody was really ready for Gretchen to step down yet… the day will likely come… But thank goodness not yet… Sense of gratitude and relief. Her leadership is unparalleled. Thank you Gretchen!!


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