Peninsula Community Planning Board member resigns, files complaint
Published - 11/23/18 - 08:20 AM | 3655 views | 1 1 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The resignation of a board member at Peninsula Community Planning Board has left a vacancy the City advisory group intends to fill during its next election cycle in March.

“I am being forced to resign my position as a 2018 PCPB board member effective immediately,” said Margaret Virissimo in a recent letter to the board. “This voluntary resignation is the result of repetitive harassment from a few volatile community members, and a few board members including the chair.

“I am now receiving concerning slandering messages and petty accusations that make me feel unsafe on this board,” she added.

In her letter, Virissimo said she has filed a complaint with the City against this board “for not respecting my privacy rights as a citizen,” and against chair Goldyn alleging “his agenda to expel me from this board.”

Virissimo was active previously in lobbying against Prince Recycling at Stump’s Marketplace at 3770 Voltaire St. Some residents argued the recycling business was attracting problematic homeless who were creating problems in the neighborhood. Prince has since vacated the premises. 

More recently, Virissimo and others launched a signature drive opposing San Diego Housing Commission’s plan to turn a five-acre lot at Famosa and Nimitz boulevards into affordable housing. Some Point Lomans want that site designated instead for park use or open space. 

Goldyn said there will be an action item at the January meeting of PCPB to fill Virissimo’s seat.

“Because we are within four months of the March general elections, we are permitted by our regulations to maintain the vacancy and fill that vacancy at the March elections along with the regular five positions,” said Goldyn. “So the top five vote getters will receive the full three-year terms, and the sixth-highest vote getter will receive the remaining one-year term of Margaret Virissimo.”

Goldyn added an election committee will be established by the PCPB board in January to prepare for the March elections.

The PCPB board chair added another option would be to announce a vacancy at the January meeting and establish an election committee for a special election, then fill the vacancy at the February board meeting. 

“This really makes little sense when the vacancy can be filled a month later with the broader March general elections, and would save time and effort of the election committee from having two separate elections,” he said.

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Geoff Page
December 05, 2018
I find this article astonishing. This is all the reporter wrote about the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s meeting on Thursday, November 15. And this entire piece is a one-sided presentation of news that a board member resigned. And, that resignation announcement took about three seconds of the entire meeting. And, the writer only gave a voice to the person who resigned leaving the impression that the member was unfairly treated. He did not provide a single quotation from the board about the other side other than to explain how they intend to fill the seat. The quotations provided did not come from any documentation that was presented at the meeting, it clearly came from the member who resigned that the writer could only have gotten from the person who resigned. Readers of the Beacon are being very poorly served by this kind of writing.

Two community members – not board members - filed a lengthy complaint against Virissimo. She was not forced to resign her position, she did so because she could not defend herself against the allegations that included lying on the candidate application to run for a board seat. Rather than face a public airing of the complaint at the board meeting, she resigned. She was not a victim of “repetitive harassment” as she was quoted. She did not receive any slandering messages and had no reason to feel unsafe for any reason. No one disrespected her “privacy rights” and the chair, Robert Goldyn, did not have an agenda to expel her. Goldyn, in fact, bent over backwards to handle this matter as correctly as possible. But, the writer just presented all of this as if it were fact and did not challenge her or talk to the board officers. This is indefensible journalism. Not a single word about the rest of the meeting.

This same writer devoted 75% of his article about the previous month’s meeting to the North Chapel at Liberty Station, when the subject was only briefly discussed at that meeting and relegated the remaining bit of the article to everything else that the meeting was about. I don’t know if the Beacon has an agenda or if this writer does, but the community is being ill-informed by these articles, which makes me question everything he writes.

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