Reader Rant: ‘A New Low for Mission Beach Town Council’

by on April 17, 2023 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Gary Wonacott

I have attended hundreds if not thousands of meetings in my life while working, and more recently since 2015 in the community.

Only since 2018, when the short term rental industry began dominating the Mission Beach Town Council board and leadership have I seen such intimidating, controlling behavior with no oversight.  The only comment I can make with any certainty is that the pro-STR people controlling the MBTC do not reflect the majority of the residents.

Two nights ago, on April 12, a resident and member of the town council was escorted out of the general meeting by police officers for stating an opinion.  The president of the town council takes any statement from a member as a threat requiring immediate compliance or removal.  But at the same time, the president’s reaction to the comment was confrontational.  So, not surprising that the resident tried to stand his ground.

In addition, I have personally experienced the weaponizing of antisemitism in an attempt to remove me as a member.  When this effort failed because of a lack of a quorum, I was attacked violently by a  board member.  When that failed to deter me, a suit (SLAPP Suit) was filed against me to stop me from attending meetings.  All of these efforts failed, but then the City Attorney’s Hate Crimes Office was brought in, who not only did not support the board members against me, but ridiculed the effort by the individuals on the board.  On any other board these individuals would have been removed.

Councilmember Campbell is well aware of what has been happening on the town council and in my view bears substantial responsibility given her whole-hearted support of an overwhelming number of STRs in our community.

I understand that the City has very limited funds that are stretched to the limit, but we need some oversight from a government agency to stop this abusive behavior.  Any help would be much appreciated.

Gary Wonacott is a past president of the Mission Beach Town Council and a resident of Mission Beach since 1974.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie April 17, 2023 at 10:32 am

This rant by Gary begs for more details. Also usually local town councils are private organizations so government cannot provide oversight unless criminal actions are involved.


Debbie April 17, 2023 at 11:21 am

WOW-Tape the meetings and put them on zoom.


Debbie April 17, 2023 at 11:26 am

Harassment and intimidation used to happen at the planning board meetings addressing the NTC give away where security escorted people out of the meetings for voicing their opinions at the request of council people and presenters.


Frank Gormlie April 17, 2023 at 11:32 am

Really — at OBPB meetings? Was it Planning Commission meetings?


Debbie April 17, 2023 at 12:25 pm

Cannot recall exactly. Kathy probably has it on tape. The day I was present, Mark was escorted out or threatened to be.


Frank Gormlie April 17, 2023 at 4:16 pm

Okay, I remember the incident. It was at a presentation of SeaWorld’s new ride at maybe the Peninsula planning board – and the consultant was lying to the crowd about its effects. Some of us may have heckled the presenter and she later threatened to have Marc arrested because he didn’t get out of her way fast enough when she walked by.


Gary Wonacott April 17, 2023 at 8:51 pm

Will was escorted out of the meeting for the following reason (per Larry Webb). Spin Scooters was at the town council to solicit support. Larry invited members of the Board and public to ask one question each. Will asked his question, but had a follow up. Larry told Will he could not ask a second question and invited him to leave the meeting. When Will did not leave, Larry called the police. Larry reacts differently to different members depending on where they stand on STRs.


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: