The 5 Candidates Running for City Council District 2 and against the Incumbent – OB Town Council Forum

by on April 26, 2018 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

The big draw at Wednesday’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting April 25th was the candidate forum – with candidates invited from two races: the District Attorney race and the District 2 City Council race. Only Genevieve Jones-Wright appeared for the DA campaign – Summer Stephens did not; and 5 of the candidates for D2 were on hand – but not incumbent Lorie Zapf.

DA Candidate Jones-Wright: “Break the cycle of crime”

Genevieve Jones-Wright is facing off with Stephens – who is the handpicked, anointed candidate of Bonnie Dumanis’ – the former DA. “We have someone not elected” in the office now, she said. Jones-Wright believes in equity, fairness, justice under the law; “I value democracy,” she said, “and transparency.”

DA candidate Genevieve Jones-Wright speaks; listening are board members Trudy, Gio and Marin.

“Many don’t trust the DA office,” she admitted – and her plans to rebuild the public’s trust is to “break the cycle of crime”; she criticized the high levels of recidivism in San Diego County among inmates and those trapped in the cycle. She said she “won’t continue to over-incarcerate people” – as “it’s a waste of taxpayer money.” Jones-Wright said she wants “to take the money that funds jails to the community, to actually help people.”

She told the crowd of 80 people that the County currently spends $74,000 a year per inmate. “We’re throwing this money down the drain,” she reiterated. She applauded her opponent for finally coming around to support the testing of the rape kits in San Diego that have been languishing. She’ll bring justice to victims, she said, and then made the point the DA’s office should go after public personages who commit crimes, including police officers and government officials. This got a hearty round of applause.

During questions, Jones-Wright asserted that “Prop 47 has not tied the hands of any law enforcement officer.” And after a question from this reporter about Dumanis’ tradition of always exonerating the police officer in every shooting, she startled the room by declaring there’s been 155 shootings by cops during the period 2005 to 2015. “They’re always justified,” she said. “My opponent is a continuation of Bonnie’s tendencies.” Jones-Wright’s plan is to create an independent committee to investigate officer misconduct.

The D2 candidates at the OBTC Forum, from L to R: Daniel Smiechowski, Kevin Melton, Bryan Pease, Jennifer Campbell, and Jordan Beane. April 25, 2018 (All photos – even those slightly blurry – by Frank Gormlie)

City Council Candidates Show Their Faces

Five people running for the District 2 City council seat came, gave their statements – and as this was not a debate – answered questions from board members and the audience. Those who showed included Democrats Jordan Beane, Jennifer Campbell, Bryan Pease, and Daniel Smiechowski, and Republican Kevin Melton. (The following are a few quotes and comments from and on the candidates – in the order they spoke – but is NOT a full report of what each candidate said. (For more on the 3 most prominent candidates, go here; and here;)

Jordan Beane

Jordan Beane is a familiar face at community meetings in OB. He’s one of the directors the chair of the PB Town Council and praised OBceans for their level of spirit and community, and wished that the same spirit was more alive in Pacific Beach. (For more on Beane go here.)

Jordan’s top priority for OB: create a “responsive elected representative.”

Jennifer Campbell, MD

Jennifer has had 37 years of medical practice, but it was the Hep A crisis that got her to jump into the race. It was wrong and an embarrassment, she said. The entire episode made San Diego “look like a third world nation.” She dinged Zapf for going after a third term, even though San Diego has term limits.

Jennifer’s main priority for Ocean Beach: “OB has a real problem,” she said, “with public safety.” She wants to “clean up the environment” that’s being dirtied “by transients.” Dr. Jen – in her first known public appearance in OB as a candidate – said she wants to “ensure access to the beach.” She also accused Lorie Zapf of not returning phone calls or emails. Plus, she cited legal marijuana as a new revenue stream for the city.

Towards the end of the evening forum, she appeared tired and spoke in more and more generalities. Her closing remarks: She’s “the doc on call to fix city hall.” 9For more on the 3 most prominent candidates, go here; and here; for more on Jen Campbell here and here)

Bryan Pease

Bryan announced he is an environmental attorney – and no one can doubt that. He mentioned he knew this reporter from the Occupy movement, is a “true OBcean”, and sat on the board of People’s food co-op for many years. Bryan’s top OB priority is have recycled trash picked up every week, ban styroform containers, implement rent control – “landlords can still raise the rent,” he said, “it just to be reasonable,” as a response to the housing crisis.

DeAnza Cove is important, Bryan said, and we need to stand up to the developers; he supports the San Diego Audubon Society’s plan for DeAnza, “Rewild Mission Bay”. At the end, he reminded the crowd that had stayed, that Zapf is bankrolled by developers and special interests. (For more on the 3 most prominent candidates, go here; and here;)

Kevin Melton

Kevin’s slogan is something like “Kevin can get it done.” He lives in Point Loma and declared himself to be “a liberal Republican”. “I’m a beach person,” he said having also lived up near the coast in Los Angeles. He told the crowd he recently found an e-scouter in his front yard, and “stuck in the trash.”

Melton’s top priority for OB: “get rid of the bikes, clean up homelessness,” and utilize the 7,000 acres of land the city owns to set up homeless camps, with barracks. He also stated, “I’m against affordable housing on the coast.” He also said he always goes to bed at 8pm. For more on Kevin Melton, here.

Daniel Smiechowski

Daniel immediately referenced OBcean Jim Bell who is ailing (and had been a candidate for city council until his health failed), and declared Bell “has endorsed my campaign.” Daniel has a 20 year voting record, he said, wants to build a tram to Ocean Beach, doesn’t like ebikes, and doesn’t like Target in OB. He criticized the local Democratic Party for calling him “unqualified” to be a candidate for their endorsement.

The tram to OB is Daniel’s top priority here. Also he called for “more granny flats.” In closing remarks, he criticized this reporter and the San Diego Free Press for not including his name in a report on the D2 candidates. He also claimed he was the only real athlete running for Council, and “the only triathlon athlete”. For more, go here;)

(Editordude: the report on the remainder of the OBTC meeting will be in a separate post to be published Friday, 4/27.)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

kh April 26, 2018 at 9:45 pm

Thanks again for the coverage.

It’s a little short on Mr. Beane. Maybe because he didn’t quite offer up succinct talking points like the other candidates, but still I was impressed with his presentation and he seemed to have a comfortable understanding of city operations and didn’t pander like some of them.

I think it would be a mistake to discount him.


rick callejon April 26, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Jones-Wright stated that “all police shootings are justified.” SAD!


kh April 26, 2018 at 11:38 pm

…justified by the current and precious DA. Her message was that it’s suspect that not one of them was charged. That it requires more oversight.


kh April 26, 2018 at 11:39 pm



Frank Gormlie April 27, 2018 at 6:58 am

Rick – she didn’t say that – that was Dumanis’ position she was mocking.


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