Looks Like the OB Town Council Is Trying to Move On – Is the Rest of the Community Ready to Do So?

by on September 17, 2021 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

The OB Town Council – like the OB Pier – is in need of repair. Can it be rehabilitated and reopened? Or does it need to be demolished and a new one built?

Notices are going out. Announcements have been typed up and emailed. Online ticket sales have been organized. By all appearances then, the Ocean Beach Town Council is moving on by organizing this year’s “OB Pier Pancake Breakfast” in early October – but it won’t be on the pier.

Yet, the larger question is – is the community of Ocean Beach ready for the Town Council to move on? Have the issues and twerks that caused the recent crisis been worked out and resolved?

The election by the membership to fill the five open seats did happen. There are now five new members of the board of directors. All – except one – brand new to community volunteerism and activism.

And the ads for the  breakfast prominently display that it’s the 23rd one in history, as if to say, ‘see, we’re all back to normal.’ Of course, the breakfast is somewhat about raising money for the toy and food drive later in the season, so how can anyone fault that?

The Open Letter signed by 22 community leaders, however, sent to the Town Council in early August, stated:

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.

Okay, the fear the rump Board would privately appoint people to the open seats has been alleviated. The membership did have a vote. Although the candidates were only vetted by the rump board in a private zoom meeting and the so-called “candidate forum” was a joke as the board did not allow any questions to the candidates from community members at the zoom meeting.

What about the other issue in the 22-leader letter? They asked “that the board address the community’s concerns about Mark (Winkie)’s departure,” and stating, “Only by airing these issues… can OBTC begin to-establish trust.” That clearly has not happened.

Plus, some community members have demanded that the other board person involved in the “personal matter” resign as Mark had to. That has also not happened.

So, the question really becomes, without the Town Council addressing the issues underlining the loss of credibility, is the community ready to accept the Town Council as constituted as the village enters the celebratory season where normally the OBTC is very visible and present (the Christmas auction, the Holiday Parade, the Toy & Food Drive)?

But what is “normal” as the pandemic variant still thrives? More zoom meetings where the public and community are virtually shut out of the operations of the council?

Every time this issue comes up, there are those who quickly say, ‘hey, move on, why don’t ya.’ Quit stirring the mess, let it simmer and dissolve itself.

Yet, we’re in uncharted territory. What does a community do when its most representative organization collapses? How can the community accept an organization that has not re-established its credibility? Has not mended the broken bridges of trust?

The Town Council – like the OB Pier, the namesake for the annual breakfast – is in need of repair. Can it be rehabilitated and reopened? Or does it have to be demolished and a brand new one built? Or something in between?

Those on the board of directors, fueled by the energies of the newbies, are moving on – and they expect you to do so too. They have an entire season to prepare for, they have a lot of money and donations to collect, they have lots of volunteers to corral and mobilize. See, things are back to normal. You can trust us.

But can we?



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

OB man September 17, 2021 at 10:08 pm

Nothing substantial from the ostensible head of the Town Council has been uttered on these concerns, few of the issues raised openly have been addressed, but glam tech social media gauze is de rigueur. Fight there or start fresh. Old-timers with cred could spearhead a new start if the energy and time are there, if not it is understandable, but the current OBTC the entity they hope to rebrand for $ and their own self-aggrandizing is obviously not responsive to serious concerns except in trumpianbidenesque faux ways, that is crystal clear alfready and disappointing. Rather pathetic people some of them it seems and sad but not surprising in usa today. USA out of OB stickers all the more salient.


Chris September 18, 2021 at 7:13 am

I think it’s safe to say the OBTC is going to do what it’s going to do, but OB is a small place. Do the members ever worry about being approached by local residents when they’re out and about? I’d imagine at some point things are going to get ugly for them.


Michael September 19, 2021 at 5:39 am

All I’ve seen as an outside observer is a bunch of sour grapes and name calling. Squabbling over control over this relatively small fiefdom is unbecoming to OB. These are small events that should be for the benefit of the residents and those in need, not for the satisfaction of a small group of curmudgeons.


kh September 20, 2021 at 10:05 am

Yes, clearly people have moved on. It’s time to get back to work. Anyone who wants to weigh in on whatever mistakes and hypocrisy certain board members engaged in, can do so early next year when they have their election. Or else go find another local effort/organization to put your energy into. OBTC will not be going on the Jerry Springer show to spill all the gossip and hard feelings.


Frank Gormlie September 20, 2021 at 11:28 am

KH, yeah, I was wondering when you were gonna chime in and continue your mantra of ‘let’s just move on …’ I think you’re right, many are tired about hearing about OB’s own Peyton Place, and those most upset with what has transpired apparently are also tired of it all (this post did not get too much support in terms of comments). Yet nothing has been resolved. If you too are okay with a mini-coup at a major OB organization without any retribution to those responsible, hell’s bells then. Seemingly Mark has moved on.

Perhaps the OB Rag should approach the OBTC to renew their ad … unlikely, however, with the position the Rag has taken on this issue.


nostalgic September 20, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Trying to take a positive spin: What if people who had affairs were forced to leave elected positions in EVERY organization, starting at the top? Our world would be a different place. Assuming this would not affect congress and the senate, it could become a national law for state and local governments, and an ENDLESS source of news, not just in OB.


anonymous September 20, 2021 at 1:32 pm

There is great new talent on the OBTC, so yes – the community will move on. In fact, most people aren’t even aware of the mishandling of Mark Winkie’s resignation, the way Corey and team manipulated his “indiscretion” to their gain, and the fact that Stacie Woehrle hid away from her indiscretion, and stood up for nothing – showing her complete lack of integrity.
I actually thought this comment on a previous post was interesting:
“In this country the generally held view is that it’s the guy’s fault for ‘not keeping it in his pants’ so it’s no wonder she is still on the board because one never hears ‘put a plug in it’ being directed towards the willing co-conspirator. Rather sexist in that respect and denigrates a woman’s ability to choose her behavior. Yeah, she needs to take a walk into obscurity also even though there was NO impact on how they were conducting OBTC business whatsoever. But fair is fair and she should realize that herself.”

It is interesting that Ms. Woehrle was quietly replaced on the Woman’s Club board and no longer is affiliated with the organization. No surprise as she would not be welcome there given her conduct and the fact that her once great friend, Susan Winkie, is a venerable member.

But the TC events will happen, and things will seem normal. But for some, they’ll need to avert their eyes to many in order to avoid the uncomfortable truths.


Faren Shear September 21, 2021 at 7:15 am

Hello Anonymous,
Just to clarify, your statement about the Woman’s Club is inaccurate. The Board term for 2020/2021 ended in July with no members being “removed”, and we have had no members become unaffiliated with our organization in 2021. Our members renew their memberships every January and we currently have 73 paid/current members, a number that has been growing and not depleting, even by one. In such a small community where I get alerted everytime time our name gets mentioned, I take my responsibility to step in and maintain accuracy about our club seriously. Speculating on people’s motives and intentions is absolutely a right of all citizens, but I hope you don’t mind me wanting to set the record straight on facts.
With kindness,
Faren Shear
President, OB Woman’s Club


claudia jack September 22, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Thanks Faren!! How much does it cost to be a member of the Woman’s Club? c


OB Dude September 22, 2021 at 5:59 pm

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