OB Town Council Pledges ‘Special Election’, Membership Vote for 5 Open Seats; ‘Candidate Forum’ at Virtual Meeting, Wed., Aug.25

by on August 24, 2021 · 12 comments

in Ocean Beach

The current board of the OB Town Council held their monthly private meeting on Wednesday, August 11 and decided to call for a “special election” to allow the membership to vote on candidates to fill the 5 empty seats.

A special election and membership vote had been called for by various members of the community including the 22 community leaders who signed the “Open Letter” to the board.

The membership will choose from candidates vetted by the board. The method of notifying the community about the election and requirement of candidates to submit letters of intent was not widely broadcast or advertised by the board. Non-members of the OBTC were not notified adequately, including former board members.

In addition, the crisis on the board has deepened the distrust many feel about the sitting board members and prevented some community leaders from applying to be board members.

The announcement by the board on Monday, August 16, did not comment on the unprecedented number of open seats or the crisis, except to say “Recent resignations from the Board have led to five open seats ….” and “Given the unprecedented nature of five mid-term vacancies, the Board has decided to go through the process of creating a special provision in our bylaws which will allow for a special election in this situation.”

Initially, the board had mentioned holding a “hybrid public and zoom” meeting but last weeks announcement did not indicate they were going through with having a in-person meeting. The announcement did not cite a location or a time. (Board meetings are usually at 6 pm and held at the Masonic Hall, but have not been in-person due to the pandemic for quite some time.)

The announcement states:

At our next virtual public meeting on August 25th, the slate of candidates who have already submitted letters of intent will participate in a candidate forum.

Following the forum, the membership of the OBTC will have the opportunity to vote and elect five of these candidates to the vacant seats. This election will follow the same process that we use each year in our regular annual election.

Interestingly, the announcement also did not mention the request/ demand by community leaders for a special election, but made it sound as if the current board made “this important decision” to hold a special election all by themselves and out of the good graces of their “longstanding tradition of inclusiveness, transparency, and full partnership with the members of the amazing OB community.”

This is an amazing statement, given that the board has been embroiled in a crisis for the last month and half due to their very lack of “inclusiveness, transparency, and full partnership” with the rest of OB.

There is not a scintilla of sense in the announcement about how important it is for the OBTC to correct what has been going on, to right the wrongs, to shore up its credibility. Publicly, at least, there is a denial of the crisis of legitimacy engulfing the town council right now. The current board states, by contrast, that they “are excited to move forward, get these seats filled,” and continue to be OB’s voice and advocate.

Despite the current board’s stance, it is incumbent of dedicated community people to participate in this zoom meeting on the 25th.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Wood August 24, 2021 at 4:22 pm

I wonder if the positions of the Town Council will change under the current board when the Council goes before the OB planning committee to comment and advocate on proposed new building projects? Over the last few years, there has been a concerted effort by the local BIA, its members and its YIMBY allies to pack planning groups with developer shills. Could this be an effort to extend that effort to include groups like the council would could champion new development projects?


kh August 25, 2021 at 12:37 pm

The OB Town Council is a separate organization from the OB Planning Board, and they cover different (but sometimes overlapping) areas of community interest.


OB man August 24, 2021 at 4:34 pm

So a membership-wide vote_ good… but only for the candidates they solicited and garnered through a less open process–bad…. wow, seems not democratic or open, but maybe I am missing something\. Why not all step dopwn, open the candidate process to the community now that a member-wide election is announced, that would likely garner more possible participation from people who sat on the side and did not want to get involved in this until they learned more. More and more a coalition of the reasonable might be needed to start new OB entity , sad as that might be, might be less energy and time in this void they are opening


Claudia Jack August 24, 2021 at 6:50 pm

Interesting, I got a call today and it was mentioned again, there is still another person that needs to step down so there are really 6 seats vacant !! Interesting~ c


kh August 25, 2021 at 12:35 pm

I, and I assume all other OBTC members received the newsletter advertising 4 vacancies and a timeline for applications and the directors filling them by appointment.

I believe the application period closed prior to directors deciding to allow a vote by the membership. Certainly this order of events could have dissuaded some, including disgruntled former directors that may have wanted to seek a seat but not by appointment. Ideally the application timeline should’ve been extended after a public vote was announced. But anyone wanting to serve can still run for a seat every April, without being subject to the will of OBTC directors, so long as they meet the qualifications in the bylaws. The fact that we have many more willing candidates than available seats is encouraging and and bodes well for the future of the OBTC.

I appreciate the volunteer OBTC directors’ consideration on this and the unanticipated burden it has placed on them.

Now tune in tonight and choose carefully!


nostalgic August 25, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Who are the members? I used to be a member, but I don’t recall anybody asking me to renew recently. Can people still join? Before the election? (Not that I have that in mind, but I might not be the only person that thinks of it).


kh August 25, 2021 at 6:07 pm

Pretty much anyone in 92107 can be a member. There used to be a fee but now it’s free. But donations are welcome as most every event they do relies on donations and fundraisers.

Sign up here: http://obtowncouncil.org/join


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2021 at 5:22 pm

The latest from OBTC: “Join us for our August public meeting tomorrow night at 7pm where we will hear from our local elected officials, get updates from community members, and hear from chairs on the OBTC Board.
Recent resignations from the Board have led to five open seats on the OBTC Board of Directors. Our bylaws call for the current Directors to appoint new Board members to fill seats left open due to resignation. Given the unprecedented nature of five mid-term vacancies, the Board has decided to go through the process of creating a special provision in our bylaws which will allow for a special election in this situation.
After publicizing vacancies to our membership email list and via social media channels, we received Candidate Statements from July 28 to August 8. We now have a wonderful field of 11 interested candidates to consider!
As a result, our August public meeting will include a candidate forum. Candidates vying for one of 5 open seats on the Board will introduce themselves to the community.
You must be an OBTC member to vote, and membership is free!


Sam August 25, 2021 at 6:27 pm

Is there a link to the Zoom meeting that I’m not seeing?


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2021 at 6:32 pm

No, the meeting, at 7 pm tonight, is presumably on the OBTC facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/obtowncouncil/


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2021 at 6:31 pm

Here’s a link to the OB Town Council facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/obtowncouncil/


Sam August 25, 2021 at 6:38 pm

Thank you Frank!


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