Editorial: Corey Bruins Needs to Resign as Current President of the OB Town Council

by on August 6, 2021 · 13 comments

in Ocean Beach

In an unprecedented move this morning, 22 community leaders published an open letter to the Ocean Beach Town Council and stated:

“… we call upon OBTC to hold a membership-wide election rather than privately appointing so many vacant seats. We further ask that the board address the community’s concerns about Mark [Winkie’]s departure. Only by airing these issues and allowing the community to be involved in the election can OBTC begin to re-establish trust.”

It’s the membership of the OB Town Council – a private organization – that elects new board members. So, this call for a membership election is based on fears the current board will proceed with the appointment of newbies to the four open seats. They have stated that is what they intend to do. Well, there’s so many open seats on the board because of the crisis within the town council.

Let’s back up. Until early July, Mark Winkie was president. He was just re-elected to his third or fourth term a few months ago by the board. But, apparently, several board members were upset with a very personal matter involving Mark. And he was asked to resign in a letter sent to him, signed by nine board members. Which he did. Then, at least two other board members resigned in protest of the way the matter with Mark was handled.

At the July public OBTC meeting on facebook, nothing was said about Mark’s departure or the departure of the other members or about how and why Corey Bruins was now the new president. Susan Winkie, Mark’s spouse, read a letter to the board during the meeting damning the board for their action and asking for an apology from them to Mark. Several other current or past members also agreed with Susan.

Yet, since then – eight days ago – there has been no response by the sitting board or by Bruins, despite their pledge on facebook they would be answering Susan’s statement.

Now, there’s several issues here. Apart from why Mark was asked to resign, the way in which his resignation was demanded by a letter did not follow the board’s own by-laws. At least two board members felt pressured to add their signatures to the letter. Apparently, not all then-current board members were even shown and asked to sign the letter. Here’s the section of the OBTC By-Laws at issue:

Does it sound like the bylaws were followed? Was there a 30-day written notice? Was Mark given “an opportunity to address the Board”?

The current board is a mixture, but many are new and have joined the board since or during the pandemic. They may have not experienced or known about Mark’s leadership qualities while president. But somehow they were convinced to sign the letter to oust Mark. Normally, there’s 15 members; today there is only 11 – and there’s no vice-president.

Many of us on the outside were not aware there were serious differences on the OBTC – not to mention factions. But it looks like there were.

This lack of transparency, this behind-the-scenes maneuvering is unbecoming of an important civic organization in OB. Now, the trust has been broken and unless the board quickly and immediately responds to the satisfaction of those who have signed the letter, the credibility of the Ocean Beach Town Council is trash.

One thing is clear, however, even from the outside. The new president, Corey Bruins, instigated the ouster of Winkie and persuaded others, perhaps with some serious arm-twisting, to gang up on Mark. Bruins did not follow the by-laws and was able to offer himself – surprise! – as the new head of the council.

Bruins, in less than a month, has damaged the reputation of this fine organization that has not suffered a wrinkle in more than ten years. In a sense, Bruins staged a mini-coup of a sitting president and replaced him with his own humble self. Now, there is a serious concern that he will push to appoint friends and allies to the board during a secret meeting in about two weeks. This cannot happen.

In order that this not happen, the OB Rag calls upon Corey Bruins to step down as president and resign from the board for the good of the community. That is an important first step in regaining the trust that so many community leaders believe has been lost. Only with Bruins’ departure and an election by the membership of perhaps a “care-taker” board, can the credibility be restored.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

OB man August 6, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Wow, worse than it was thought. The By-Laws were definitely not followed from reading that section of them. Boycotting Bol unless or until this is resolved appropriately.


Luke Scott August 6, 2021 at 3:09 pm

I’m confused, did Mark resign willingly or not? If he did, then only Secrion A.1 would apply. According to this editorial, Mark did resign voluntarily, thus the processes were valid. Is there more to this story that I am missing?


OB GUY August 6, 2021 at 3:36 pm

Nope you’re reading it correctly. This editorial is premised on bad reading comprehension.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Obviously, there is more to the story. Why else would 22 community leaders ask for an accountability?


claudia jack August 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm

Hi FRANK~ Just some FYI from today!! When the whole issue came up concerning the previous President their was another person involved and this person is still on the Board! Why weren’t they asked to step down? Also Corey cannot fill that position until they have a Election. He is filling in as a interim President, it was mentioned George took over the Treasurer, and yesterday it was mentioned no now Cameron took over Treasurer? Someone called a friend of mine about when the OBTC has a event do they get 2 to 3 BIDS from all Service Vendors? (Example Canopy’s AV,/ Sound, Tables, Chairs, Trash, Raisers, griddles, Golf Carts, I know some items are donated)>
~ MANY people want a Member Community Election so no one can stack the deck~ This was compiled from about 8 people!! Happy Thursday Evening~


Reader August 13, 2021 at 8:58 am

The person is proceeding apace…


Meeting the amazing candidates for our open board seats!”

Is Jen aligned with him and countenancing this? Only way this could be happening, no?


claudia jack August 12, 2021 at 8:12 pm

FRANK>> Correction A friend just called me & said the first name put in was Gary not (George) to be the Treasurer & as I mentioned the second name that was doing Treasurer was Cameron! Just some FYI


Name for Comment August 12, 2021 at 2:15 pm

Since voluntary and involuntary resignations are addressed in the bylaws it depends on the definition of those two terms. If a voluntary resignation includes being told to resign or be removed then it doesn’t seem like there were any procedural errors. If being told to resign or you will be removed is an involuntary resignation then it seems that the BOD should have provided 30 days written notice to the person and allow them an opportunity to be heard on the issues. I think since involuntary resignation is included in the same section as a removal, involuntary resignation is when a board member is provided notice and an opportunity to be heard but chooses to then resign before being voted out. A voluntary resignation seems to address situations like, “I cannot deal with this holiday parade for one more year, I’m out.” So I would think if no written notice was provided to member who was resigned there was a violation of the bylaws. The replacement procedure for both is the same, however, the reason the involuntary resignation requires a notice and opportunity to be heard is the inherent risk that of board members pushing out others just to handpick replacements in a secret ballot.


kh August 13, 2021 at 2:32 pm

I had the same question. “Involuntary resignation” seems to apply to Mark’s situation but the term leaves too much open to interpretation.

The bylaws should be simplified to “removal” and “resignation”.

“Resignation” should simply mean the action is taken by the board member in question, whether coerced or not. Or they can refuse, and the board can try and “remove” them and follow the 30-day process and vote. This very well could have been the intent of the existing bylaws and is how Corey is reading them.


kh August 6, 2021 at 3:15 pm

I think this is very premature. Should wait on OBTC to respond. You’ve got their attention.

It’s debatable whether Mark’s resignation was voluntary or not. Resigning under pressure is certainly is a way for both sides to have some cover, but regardless of the bylaws, I think enough OBTC members are saying that’s not acceptable and are demanding more transparency.


Saratoga ob August 6, 2021 at 3:32 pm

That hair cut should be the first red flag.


Sam August 6, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Agree with Saratoga, that haircut screams party boy bad wedding DJ guy.


Debbie August 12, 2021 at 7:08 pm

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