Open Letter to OB Town Council Signed by 22 Community Leaders Calls for ‘Membership-Wide’ Election and Transparency Over Former President’s Departure

by on August 6, 2021 · 35 comments

in Ocean Beach

The following was received by the OB Rag this morning, August 6:

An Open Letter to the Ocean Beach Town Council

August 5, 2021

As members and leaders of the Ocean Beach community, we are deeply concerned with the recent Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) board vacancies. Members of the OBTC voted for a new slate of board members in February, and already there are four vacancies and a lack of transparency over the board’s request that Mark Winkie resign as president. This is especially puzzling since the board re-elected Mark as president just a few months ago.

Despite questions about board member departures this past month, OBTC failed to quell community concerns at its July public meeting . A few hours before the public meeting, OBTC sent out an agenda and call for candidates without explaining the sudden vacancies. OBTC further stated its intent to fill the vacancies through its internal appointment process.

But at the public meeting, not a word was said to explain a new president and three vacancies. The decision to request Mark’s resignation was called into question and echoed by several former board members and members of the community, including a recently resigned board member who protested the decision. OBTC stated it would address the community’s concerns. Yet eight days later, OBTC remains silent.

This silence, together with the board’s controversial behavior, has caused a crisis of confidence in one of our community’s most important civic organizations.

In light of recent circumstances, 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’s departure. Only by airing these issues and allowing the community to be involved in the election can OBTC begin to re-establish trust.


Arlene Fink (former OBTC board member/resource dev.chair, OBWC member, OB volunteer )
Keith Fink (former OBTC treasurer/active civic volunteer)
Jim Musgrove (former OBTC President, current President The Peninsula Alliance)
Laura Dennison (Friends of the OB Library)
Jill Kent (former OBTC vice president)
Daniel Grofer (former OBTC membership chair)
Mel Roark (former OBTC board member, VP, The Peninsula Alliance)
Claudia Jack (former OBTC board member, former OBMA member and community advocate)
Susan Winkie (OB Business owner, Lifetime OBWC member, active civic volunteer)
Christie Romano (former board member/ Member OBMA/active civic volunteer)
Anthony Romano (local business owner/Member OBMA)
Sherra Heavener (community member/local employee)
Kim Musgrove (Homeowner, The Peninsula Alliance board member, active civic volunteer)
Nicole Ueno (former OBTC board member- current OBCDC member)
Craig Klein( (business owner- OB resident)
Mandy Havlick (Peninsula Community Planning Board member- community advocate)
Julie Klein (OB Business owner, Resident, active civic volunteer)
Dan Dennison (OB Business owner, Realtor, Resident and active civic volunteer)
Alison Lyons (former OBWC President, active civic volunteer)
Mike James (former OBTC President and board member, active civic volunteer)
Ken Moss (former OBTC member, active civic volunteer)
Kevin Hastings (OB Resident, OBPB board member, active civic volunteer)

*All persons have signed in their individual capacities and not on behalf of any organization with which they are affiliated.

Note: If you’d like your name to be added to the list, please provide your name and affiliation (if desired) in the comments section. It will be added as an addendum to the letter and forwarded to the OBTC.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 9:39 am

The names are not in any particular order. 2 were duplicates and were deleted, which made it 22, not 24. But hey, my name ought to go on there too. So that’s 23.


Geoff Page August 6, 2021 at 9:56 am

I have say I was very surprised not to see Frank Gormlie’s name on this list. I assume he would sign this letter if asked, but was he even asked? The letter is great and lots of good folks signed it but Frank’s name should be on there. Can anyone explain this?


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 10:01 am

I wanted to have some kind of “objective” detachment. But it does raise a good issue: how can new people sign it? Let’s ask the originators ….


George R Barnes August 11, 2021 at 2:31 pm

Don’t you have to be a resident?


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 10:57 am

Note: If you’d like your name to be added to the list, please provide your name and affiliation (if desired) in the comments section. It will be added as an addendum to the letter and forwarded to the OBTC.


Andy August 6, 2021 at 11:08 am

Did he resign, or was he voted out? When the board asked for his resignation, it sounds like he chose to resign rather than to let his personal issues go public. If that’s the case, I don’t see any broken bylaws.

It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but I respect the right for people to keep their private lives private.

If that’s the case, wouldn’t asking “that the board address the community’s concerns about Mark’s departure” be going against Mark’s own wishes?


OB Guy August 6, 2021 at 11:38 am

Well said Andy.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Mark Winkie was not “voted out”; he was asked to resign by 9 board members – not all, and there was no election or 30-day notice given. The bylaws were broken in the matter his resignation was asked for. (see new editorial with section of bylaws).


OB GUY August 6, 2021 at 1:39 pm

You’re not reading the bylaws correctly. 30-day notice is given if the board member is forceably removed. Mark resigned on his own accord.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 2:41 pm

Do you think Mark wanted to resign? He had just been re-elected and hd done nothing to affect his ability to serve as president. He was forced out, there is no other reading of what happened.


OB GUY August 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm

You’re willfully ignoring the facts and twisting things to fit some machiavellian narrative about the evil scheming by the board. You need an editor Frank!


Geoff Page August 6, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Maybe you should review the facts OB guy. Board members resigned in protest. This was clearly not a simple situation of a guy deciding suddenly on his own to resign. No one knows his reasons, could be he is protecting someone else. Could be he was threatened with exposure of something. The final record may show resignation but how many times throughout the many years have we seen a public “resign” but did so under duress. Give the guy a chance.


OB GUY August 6, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Okay thank you for admitting you’re working from assumptions!


Geoff Page August 6, 2021 at 3:39 pm

I’m not working from assumptions, reread my first line. Fact: Board members resigned in protest. Who is ignoring that fact? Seems you are.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 3:36 pm

Me? What about 9 members of the board, oh, 8 now, as one of the people who signed the letter to Mark has since resigned. After just electing Mark a few months ago, there was a sudden change of heart that had nothing to do with anything personal? What kind of “machiavellian narrative” was constructed about Mark? Check out all the 22 people who signed the letter to the OBTC. Are they also twisting things to fit some evil scheme?


Claudia Jack August 9, 2021 at 8:03 am

Good Morning Frank
It’s a Sunny Monday & I hope this week is more Positive concerning the OBTC UpRoar~
People were Yak Yak all weekend but I ‘m coming to you & passing on what was mentioned to me!
A The Real Facts need to come out in the Open about the word Personal
B Their is still a person on the Board who also had a Personal issue and this person needs to step off the Board
C. That opens up another seat that can also be filled with Positive Energy
D. All the Yak Yak concerning Mark was just a excuse to push him away from OBTC Board, From what everyone has brought up is Mark was doing a Super job & was reelected to the position of President & everything was fine, then suddenly things turned & negative vibes were put out against Mark & Bang he was gone!
E. After many people read all the MIXED up comments, the community & people deserved to know what went on and what the future of the OBTC is!!
F. FRANK, I can only say Thanks for handling all the comments & The Rag’s input towards a very strong community issue~ After hearing from a lot of people & and all the Yak Yak in the community, I believe the bottom line is everyone wants to know what really happened & what is the bottom line! Whats the next step for the OBTC~ I hope the OB Rag covers the Scoop about the OBTC Future!! Thanks a Million~ c
G, Just a FYI~ The OBTC is a Super Group to be involved in & very Rewarding ~


Debbi August 9, 2021 at 9:31 am

Agreed…and the info needs to come directly from Mr. Winkie or he needs to say to put the issue to rest.


Frank Gormlie August 9, 2021 at 9:39 am

Claudia – Good to hear from you, the unofficial Mayor of OB! The Rag will certainly cover the future of OBTC.


claudia jack August 10, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Frank>. Thanks for the coverage, BUT the bottom line is the Community needs to know what really happened “Personal” vs attack c


OB Mercy August 9, 2021 at 1:16 pm

YAY CLAUDIA! Always the optimist and ultimate Obcean. A LOT of truth in your comment C. Outcome of all is that Mark Winkie should be put back as President, even though we know that’s highly unlikely. There is a trust broken in the powers that be that can NEVER be mended. If the real truth would come out (and I do not mean anything that Mark is accused of) there would be some ass kickin’ and taking of names! My fingers are crossed that it does.


claudia jack August 10, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Mercy~~ I agree with you 150%, The main problem is people only know bits & pieces about the “Personal” and their is still a Board Member that needs to step down, you know “Whats Good for one is Good for the Other” Kicking Ass and taking Names is worth a Million!! Mercy “Quote for the Issue” “Don’t Worry about those who talk behind your Back. They’re behind you for a Reason” Right Happy Tuesday!! c


Tracy Dezenzo August 6, 2021 at 11:50 am

I have expressed interest in a seat on the TC and have sent in a letter of intent. I am excited about the opportunity to be of service to the community and would like the support the Town Council in any way. That said, I would fully support a membership wide, special election process for the open seats and feel as though it would be best for the Town Council to NOT appoint these recent vacancies in private. The community seems to already be suspicious of the recent activities and I believe that anyone who is appointed, in private, may be susceptible to those suspicions.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Good for you, Tracy!


itsnottheload August 6, 2021 at 12:12 pm

You will be a great asset to the Town Council Tracy. You have my vote.


claudia jack August 6, 2021 at 7:51 pm

Wheeeeeeeeee When I got wind of all the OBTC UPROAR, I started to talk to some community people that had some history & were POSITIVE about running for the OBTC Board One lady has already sent a Intent Letter in ! ~~Also Super Job for putting in a Letter of Intent Tracy~ C


Debbi August 6, 2021 at 7:01 pm

Seems like Mark Winkie is the one who should be chiming in to put facts on the table and state/clarify his position.


kh August 6, 2021 at 9:24 pm

He did. He said he was forced out over a personal issue that should not have relevance to his ability to lead the council. The new OBTC president says it wasn’t over this personal issue, but due to a lack of confidence, without any explanation for it. And many that know Mark’s leadership and competence are rightfully surprised and/or suspicious at this sudden lack of confidence by other directors.


Debbi August 7, 2021 at 12:06 am

Where did he say that? I did not see his name under any comments?


OB Mercy August 7, 2021 at 10:30 am

You can put my “signature” on this letter Frank.

Mercy Baron
OBTC Lifetime Member
CSI-OB Founder
Civic Activist


Deanna Polk August 7, 2021 at 10:22 pm

Please add my name to this letter. I have also submitted my letter of intent to run. Thank you
Deanna Polk


Not2shy August 9, 2021 at 11:18 am

I am one of the people who signed the Open Letter.

At this point, I think the most important thing to focus on is the community and the effect that the OBTC has upon it. That being said;

The fallout and the dissension amongst the board and its former members is exhausting, and frankly a bit traumatic. This issue should be laid to rest so that the OBTC can continue doing what it is, and has always been, committed to: focus on the betterment of our most unique little beach town!!

The OBTC and the community would like to be equally entrusted with the care of our town so why not trust the membership to have a special election to fill the 4 currently open board seats?

Regardless of the Board of Directors decision regarding this matter, there will be an annual election coming up in about 5-6 months. Rather than all of the personal attacks, let’s pull together (as Ocean Beach does) and vote. This is how we create and maintain a viable resource for our town.


kh August 9, 2021 at 12:49 pm

The bylaws do not prohibit OBTC from doing an election for the vacant seats. It only requires that the new members be appointed. So the OBTC could execute an online election and then appoint the top 4 vote getters to the Board of Directors. This would not run afoul of bylaws. Dissenting Directors could even choose to ignore the will of those voters if they wish.

This is similar to how states are trying to circumvent the arguably undemocratic electoral college by appointing their electors based on the national vote, rather than state vote.


Not2shy August 9, 2021 at 2:25 pm


I’m in total agreement with you regarding the bylaws. My suggestion was really about transparency and giving the membership the opportunity to have a voice, read what the candidates have in mind moving forward, and to therefore see what the current board chooses to do. Let’s restore the trust and the legacy! ?


Judy Collier August 14, 2021 at 7:15 am

Please add my name to the letter in support of a fair election. I have read your excellent articles and scanned the thoughtful comments about this issue. My personal conclusions: Personal life issues that don’t result in harm to other people are no one else’s business, something that I had thought was an established “OB Value.” Live and let live; a membership wide election is necessary to restore any kind of credibility to the board, the multiple resignations and subsequent appointments just seem fishy. My only direct contact with Mark Winkie was when he and other community leaders joined with the Ocean Beach Friends of the Library to meet with ten-Mayor Faulconer to support our library expansion efforts. I will always appreciate all of their efforts in leaving their businesses to support our community efforts.
Judy Collier, Ocean Beach Friends of the Library


Judy Collier August 14, 2021 at 7:17 am

Correction: “then-Mayor”


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