OB Town Council Juggles Planning Board Candidates, Traffic Safety at OB Elementary, Van Sleepers, Famosa Park, Library Expansion……..

by on February 28, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

There was a lot going on at the February 27 Wednesday night meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. .

First off, new Board members were introduced and those re-elected at the last Board election acknowledged. They included newbies Dan Grofer, Stacie Woehrle, Isaac Darby, Scott Grace and Stephanie Kane. Those re-elected included Trudy Levenson, Corey Bruins, and Jill Kent. (Here’s the full Board.)

OB Planning Board Candidates Introduced

Another bevy of candidates – this time, those running for seats on the OB Planning Board – were also introduced by OBPB Chair Andrea Schlageter. The election is coming up on March 6 – and any resident, property owner or business owner in the OB Planning Area can vote. (See this. )

Running in District 1 is Anthony Ciulla; he wasn’t present but Andrea read a rather long-winded statement from him. Here is part of what he says about himself in his OBPB website bio: he “has 25 years experience as an aviation industry professional”, plus he’s worked for “12 years in the construction industry/trades industry”; he is married and has 2 adult kids and owns a home in OB, where he’s lived for over 2 years. He pledged to work for his district and against short-term vacation rentals.

Richard Merriman, a candidate for District 2, was not present.

Virginia Wilson is a candidate in District 3; her main concerns are enforcing the OB Community Plan, the loss of housing from short-term vacation rentals, the maintenance of the 30 foot height limit – and she wants to see more trees. She’s a member of the Save Peninsula Trees group and sits on the city’s Urban Forestry Advisory Panel.

Having represented District 4 – the main commercial hub of OB – since 2015, Craig Klein is going for re-election. A civil attorney by trade, he’s learned to read construction drawings now, he said, and has learned how to compost a motion. Klein is one of the more experienced volunteer planners OB has, and usually has sage advice for his colleagues.

There’s 2 candidates for District 6. Dan Dennison told the audience he had a career as a developer in Florida, so it’s “easy for me to spot a greedy developer.” He also stated, “Our [San Diego] system of project development is the most dysfunctional as anything I’ve ever seen.” Issues that trouble him include STVRs and parking. Dan is also a strong volunteer for the Friends of the OB Library.

George McCalla is also running in that district. He told everyone that his house is the one with the famous painted cow at Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Del Monte Avenue. He and his wife, he said, have volunteered for numerous OB community events, and he ticked them off (there were too many to record). He’s retired now and can devote more time to his volunteer activities. He does support, among other things, community-owned businesses.

Andrew Waltz is going for a term as the District 7 rep. Here is some of the bio he posted at the OBPB website: “Andrew manages marketing and program developments for Arts District Liberty Station. … With a BFA degree from the University of Delaware, … Andrew worked for The Old Globe Theatre supporting marketing and PR campaigns. His civic work includes … garnering approval from the San Diego City Council for the Ocean Beach Community Master Plan update.”

Finally, running for the “at-large” seat, Jenna Tatum, said she grew up in Point Loma, went to PLHS (Class of 2004), moved to New York City where she worked for 7 years on climate change; she has now returned to her “beloved community” and wants to keep OB affordable, find ways to provide more transportation, more mass transit and is concerned about OB parking issues. Jenna is a renter – and we know the Board needs members who are renters as in OB 7 out of 8 residents are renters.

“Stop in the Name of Love”

The main presentation of the meeting was by Mandy of the Stop in the Name of Love campaign involving city property around OB Elementary School – it’s not a campaign by the school. A mother of 2 at the school, she and others are pushing for better cross-walks around the school, however, as she recently recorded numerous OB drivers failing to stop at crosswalks, coming to a stop in the middle of crosswalks and failing to stop for red lights, especially during the rush hour of 7:30 am to 8:30 am. “Drivers are not respecting crosswalks and red-lights,” she said.

She was looking for a letter in support of her campaign from the OBTC. There’s more traffic on Sunset Cliffs, she said, so there’s a need for additional safety measures. A few of the adult volunteer crossing guards were also present to give her support. Marco Drapeau, the principal of OB Elementary explained that since his school is only K-4, the school district requires students to be in the 5th grade in order to received training to become student crossing guards.

She complained the paint on crossing marks is being loss, stop lights are deteriorating, that there needs to be police patrols at the school during that crucial hour. The Board seemed to be receptive of her ideas.

Other News and Announcements

OB Library Updates

Friends of the OB Library recently met with Mayor Faulconer, Laura Dennison told the crowd of nearly 60, and she added he’s “on board” to move ahead with the expansion of the facility. The group will meet with District 2 Councilwoman Jen Campbell soon. The city has put together rough-draft 3-D renderings, she said, but “we need community input.” There are plans for the renderings to be shown at an upcoming OBTC meeting where residents can give feedback.

There’s 3 alternatives, she said, for designs for the new expanded library, and it appears to be cheaper to raze the adjoining building to the current library than to try to re-conform it to the needs of the community. There’s $9.5 million set to build the new one. “The community needs a large, community meeting room,” Laura said, and “many small computer rooms.”

On March 9, the Friends are holding their “OB Spring Book Sale”.

Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s Office

Shamus Kennedy, of Jen Campbell’s office, handed out certificates of appreciation to 2 Board members who have just recently stepped down: Gio Ingolia – has been on the Board for 8 years – and Andrew Waltz.

OB Pier – it’s going to be a long time for the pier to be repaired. The city only checked the underwater pilings last week; storms and high tides have prevented repairs and have actually further damaged the structure.

“Java With Jen” – is happening this Saturday, March 2; coffee and one-ones with Councilwoman Campbell at the OB Woman’s Club, at 10 a.m.

Kennedy announced there’s funds for “safe parking lots” for people living in their cars and other vehicles. These lots are the most immediate work for homeless by the council.

Other Issues

A young man with a petition supporting Famosa Park made a quick pitch, with promises to be on the OBTC agenda sometime soon.

Complaints of People Living in Vans – Glenn made a plea to join him

and other residents of Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma in working with the City Council to come up with solutions to the terrible “curbing” – people living in vans. He told the Board he has “experienced people living around our neighborhoods”, and doesn’t “feel comfortable at night”, and claimed “there’s more and more vans in residential areas.” “This summer,” he said, “will see an explosion of vehicles” on the streets. “It’s not a homeless issue,” he said, “it’s a people living in their vehicles issue.”

OB Woman’s Club – Next meeting is Tuesday, March 12; dinner is served at 5:30; a Red Cross representative will be speaking.

OBTC Treasury: there’s $26,703 in the bank.

Money for San Diego Homeless: Chevelle Tait of Toni Atkin’s State Senate office announced there’s a total of $32 million earmarked for the city of San Diego and the Regional Task Force on Homeless. “We can help the homeless and deal with family separations at the border at the same time,” she said.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher office: Fletcher’s rep Emily Weir introduced herself, and in response to a question, stated Fletcher’s priorities include: children’s welfare services, mental  health and abuse issues, and environmental issues.

SDPD: Officer Pino reminded the audience of the 72-hour law regarding vehicles on the streets and the OVO, the oversized vehicle ordinance; such vehicles cannot be parked on city streets from 2am to 6am.

OB Elementary: the school was the site for a film shoot a couple of days last week. Marco Drapeau, the principal said he had a small, speaking role. The film, “The Mighty Oak” will come out later this year, he said.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 1, 2019 at 10:25 am

Some how I missed adding Andrew Waltz going for a term as the District 7 rep. My apologies.

Here is some of the bio he posted at the OBPB website: “Andrew manages marketing and program developments for Arts District Liberty Station. … With a BFA degree from the University of Delaware, … Andrew worked for The Old Globe Theatre supporting marketing and PR campaigns. His civic work includes … garnering approval from the San Diego City Council for the Ocean Beach Community Master Plan update.”

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