OB Planning Board Unofficial Election Results and Current Make-up

by on March 21, 2017 · 2 comments

in Election, Environment, Ocean Beach

The results are in from last Wednesday’s OB Planning Board annual election (they’re not official until certified by the Board, which is expected to occur at the next regular meeting, April 5, 2017).

From the OBPB website:

The unofficial results of the 2017 general election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board are:

Tom Gawronski

Blake Herrschaft

Dan Dennison

Richard Aguirre

Analysis and Current Make-up of Board

Normally, with 7 planning districts each having 2 seats on the Board, there’s 14 members, but even with the most recent election, there will still be 2 vacancies by time the results are certified. Including the results from March 15th, here’s the current make-up of the Board and a brief analysis.

Veteran OB planner, Tom Gawronski, was representing District 6, but he moved over and won in District 2 as the former seat-holder, Nanci Kelly, decided not to run again. Tom owns property in D2.  Blake Herrschaft, the current vice chair – and chair of the Project Review Committee – was representing District 3, but he moved over and won election in District 4, where he resides. Andrew Waltz had resigned. Waltz is also a member of the OB Town Council Board.

Often new candidates to the Board are appointed to available empty seats, if there is no vacancy in their district (where they either reside or own property or a business). Then later, when that seat representing their district opens up, they campaign for and usually win it.

This is also what Dan Dennison did, as he was representing District 7, and has now won election to the seat for District 6 – where he lives.  And newcomer to the Board – Richard Aguirre – won the open seat for District 7, Dennison’s former seat.  Aguirre is not new to the community, however, as he is currently the operator of a foodie stand in southern OB, and has been involved in numerous political and musical endeavors over the years (he once ran for a state-wide California office which I cannot recall).

Another member of the Board, Vivian McCardle, representing District 1, apparently did not run for that seat, and has resigned from the Board. McCardle is very involved in the Wild Parrots advocacy group.  With McCardle and Kelly’s resignations, that leaves only 3 women on the Board, a definite deficiency: Marissa Spata in District 1, newbie Kaitlyn McCarthy just appointed to represent District 3 in January, and veteran Jane Gawronski in District 5.

So, when the dust settles in early April, after the Board certifies the election results, as noted, there will still be 2 vacancies, one each in District 1 and District 3. Which means the Board can and should appoint new eligible volunteers to those seats ASAP. Spata can hold her own in D1, but D3 has been weakened with the departure of Herrschaft and being solely represented by someone totally fresh to the Board.

For the other districts, D2 now has been strengthened with guardian Tom who can assist William Corwin, another OBcean new to the planning world. District 4 is solid with veteran planner and lawyer Craig Klein working with Blake. Jane Gawronski in D5 has a lot of experience on the panel and her district partner, Numan Stotz – although new to the Board –  brings knowledge of the community and realtor experience to the planning committee.

Chair of the Board, John Ambert represents District 6 and now with Dennison, it’s in good hands. District 7, however has two brand new reps, Spencer Scott and Richard Aguirre, and it will take some time for them to find their sea legs, as they say.

So, here is the unofficial current make-up of the OB Planning Board based on the recent election:

District 1

Marissa Spata

District 2

William Corwin
Tom Gawronski

District 3

Kaitlyn McCarthy

District 4

Craig Klein
Blake Herrschaft

District 5

Jane Gawronski
Numan Stotz

District 6

John Ambert
Dan Dennison

District 7

Spencer Scott
Richard Aguirre


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie March 23, 2017 at 11:30 am

I made a couple of assumptions, like McCardle not running again, so I’m hoping someone from the Planning Board could chime in if there are any inaccuracies.


nostalgic March 24, 2017 at 5:47 am

Did you get a vote count for the elected candidates to the OB Planning Board? I have heard that OBceans do not show much interest in this election process.


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