Meet the candidates for Peninsula Community Planning Board
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 03/13/19 - 08:10 AM | 1256 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The March 21 Peninsula Community Planning Board election boasts a crowded field of 18 candidates vying for seven open seats. The group’s annual election has voting from 4 to 8 p.m. outside Point Loma/Hervey Library’s community room at 3701 Voltaire St.

Three incumbents — chair Robert Goldyn, Brad Herrin and Joe Holasek — are running for re-election.

Following is an overview of PCPB candidates and their backgrounds:

Lucky Morrison: A retired nurse from Veteran’s Hospital La Jolla, Morrison  has been critical of afternoon meeting times for board subcommittees. He previously was on the North Park Planning Committee for six years. “I want to focus on resolution of issues between residents and developers,” said Morrison.  “In these older communities commercial and residential areas are often adjacent to each other, and this can create friction.”

Morrision would also like to “use my expertise in working with the City Planning Department and Development Services Division to ensure the  Peninsula gets the highest level of service from the City.”

Jesse Chandler Benson: With a background in culinary arts, graphic design and web page design, Chandler Benson has been a four-year volunteer with Save Famosa Canyon group, and has also volunteered with the Point Loma Association’s Mean Green team.

If elected, Chandler Benson vowed “to keep Famosa Canyon and all other open spaces as a natural environment for the community’s well being, exercise and mental health. I want to improve the communication levels between citizens of Point Loma and the PCPB while addressing their concerns.”

Chandler Benson also opposes use of glyphosate, an herbicide used to regulate plant growth and ripen fruit.

Robert Goldyn: A licensed architect with more than 15 years of professional experience, the current PCPB chair has been a Point Loman for more than 11 years and a planning board member for four years. 

“I aim to utilize my skills, expertise, and experience with planning initiatives, sustainable standards and practices, and innovative conscious design in the better development of the Peninsula Community,” he said. “As a board member, I wish to promote and support the local community, sustain the unique environmental features of the Peninsula, maintain the character and history of place, and help guide directed and conscious development of the Peninsula Community.”

Joe Holasek: An architect with 30-plus years experience throughout the Southwest in single, multi-family and numerous other modes of commercial and residential housing, he is completing his first term on PCPB board. 

“My interests are to improve the Point Loma community by working with the PCPB to support well-designed and appropriately located improvements to its infrastructure, housing and commercial businesses, parks, waterfronts and beaches,” he said. “I’d like to work with the returning and new board members to try to find appropriate, thoughtful solutions for the ongoing development that our beautiful community will face.”

Emma Plagemann: A dedicated mother, small-business owner, and community volunteer, Plagemann said, “I am committed to improving education, diversity, walkability, and overall well-being to promote safe neighborhoods in the Peninsula. I am running for PCPB to bring unity within our community, by prioritizing long-range planning and design review, while supporting citizens in a straightforward, transparent and efficient manner.”

Plagemann added the PCPB presents “ a unique opportunity for me to share my experience and expertise in architecture, the arts, and marketing within my community. … My experience working with owners, developers and communities on civic, higher education, and community-based projects will provide insight and thoughtfulness to long-range planning and broader community needs.”

Mike Sahd: Retired from the USAF after 25 years, Sahd has piloted a variety of aircraft including the C-130 and F-16, as well as being an airline pilot for JetBlue Airways. He has worked for six years with local high schools to educate and develop candidates for the USAF Academy.

“My wife and I have three children attending local schools ad we support and use Robb Field, Dustry Rhodes, Cleator Park and Point Loma Little League Field,” he said. “My scope of work as an airline and USAF pilot uniquely qualifies met to work with the FAA and Airport Authority. I am concerned with the encroachment of civilian and military aircraft overflying our neighborhoods.”

Aaron Taylor: A member of Sunset Cliffs Park Council, Surfrider San Diego and nonprofit Rerip, which keep surfboards out of landfills by recycling them, Taylor said he’s also interested in promoting “community involvement  in growing our own food promoting organic local food.” Taylor is also interested in “working with veterans and the disabled.”

If elected, Taylor would promote “safe places for people to appreciate  the local environment, to grow our own plants, vegetables and fruits and to make this area healthful and sustainable for an improved quality of life.”

Tina-Marie Compton: A graduate of UC San Diego with degrees in biology and psychology, Compton is a Realtor and property manager. She is a Girl Scouts troop leader, a Christian Youth Theater volunteer and a member of Loma Portal PTA.

“My experience as not only a homeowner but as a renter in the Peninsula community will give me the perspective to address issues at hand from various points of view,” Compton said. “As a local property manager, I have my fellow resident’s and homeowner’s best interest in mind.”

She also has special concerns as a former property owner in Liberty Station. “I have a deep interest in the future development and progress of Liberty Station,” she said. “As a long-term resident and mother of four, I have a deep vested interest in parks and recreation and  Peninsula traffic, along with code-compliance issues.”

Mandy Havlik: She is a member of the Ocean Beach Town Council, the Ocean Beach Woman’s Club, OB Elementary PTA and the Peninsula YMCA, as well as being OB Elementary School’s garden coordinator.

“I am concerned that future planned development doesn’t adequately address negative impacts to our families and children,” Havlik said. “I want to ensure that responsible development includes the needs of the community and fulfills our community’s need for park and recreational space.”

Havlik wants to “expand community outreach” by PCPB ensuring that “the board truly reflects the value of the community it serves. I would like to ensure the responsible development of the Peninsula for future generations and keep our community safe for families.”

Jim Robinson: A meteorologist with the U.S. Navy, he has a master of science degree and “strong interpersonal communication skills” with a “keen interest in working with others to develop policy that positively impacts my community.”

‘Point Loma is a special and unique community within San Diego,” he said. “It needs to retain its appeal through wise and prudent planning and civic leadership. I want to assist in crafting policies that equitably serve the residents of Point Loma, and want to be involved in making decisions that allow the area to meet the many challenges it faces.”

As the finance minister at his church, Robinson said he “helps to craft financial decisions and policy that demonstrates fiscal responsibility, and allows the church to successfully navigate its challenges and issues.”

Jon Schmid: The owner of Cook + Schmid, a premiere marketing and PR agency, Schmid is a PLHS grad. He is also an 18-year member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church. He has been a board member of the SD Bay Parade of Lights for eight years.

“I believe public input in land use is critical to preserving the character of neighborhoods while we face the housing crisis,” he said. “As a father of three, I would like to be involved in addressing the challenging issues facing our reign to benefit the next generation.”

Added Schmid, “I would like to work with fellow board members to achieve a balanced approach to development in our community and to ensure that we maintain what we love about Point Loma.”

Margaret Virissimo: A former PCPB board member and community activist who has lobbied against Prince Recycling and the Famosa affordable housing site, she previously resigned from the board, but has opted to re-run.

“After careful thought and consideration and encouragement from many neighbors, I want to run again this year to bring my ideas and community concerns to the table,” Virissimo said. “I would like to be the voice for our community. I would also like to get back on the board to hold this board responsible and accountable for the decisions that will create major impacts to our residents.  It will be important and crucial to listen to our community and protect the last bits of space in Point Loma.”

Virissimo manages a Midway, Point Loma, Liberty Station page on Facebook as well as being involved with a Point Loma Neighborhood Watch program. 

Geoff Page: A local journalist, Page has 45 years of experience in construction, mostly in San Diego. He is a claims consultant. He’s been involved with PCPB since 2006, having served as both a member, and chair, twice.

“My expertise comes from my career experience in the building industry,” Page said. “My special interests are the 30-foot height limit, granny cottages, and bird-dogging development in Point Loma to protect the community. I am not anti-development, but I am anti-development done solely for profit by outsiders.”

Added Page, “I would like to see the board take a stronger defense of the 30-foot height limit, the 50-percent rule demolished, and see some sanity brought to the new granny cottage rules.”

Korla Eaquinta: A 32-year Roseville resident, Eaquinta has been a regular at PCPB board meetings since 2014, speaking out from the audience. She has also attended project review committee meetings. She is also an advocate for Cabrillo mini parks, where she recommended, and achieved, walkway repairs. She also was involved in the successful effort to get six ADA crosswalk touch sensors put in in the Talbot/Shelter Island area.

“I’m an advocate for the 30-foot height limit and enforcement of parking requirements, and am frustrated with Process 1 ministerial approval of projects,” she said. “I want to continue to advocate to maintain the quality of life on the Peninsula that makes this a great place.”

She’d also like to establish an effective governance committee, promising to “work on administrative issues so the board can function more efficiently.”

Brad Herrin: A third generation Peninsulan and a PLHS grad, the incumbent is a Realtor for Pacific Sotheby’s with an office in the community. He’s been involved with home sales on the Peninsula since 1985. A PCPB member since 2016, he is presently 2nd vice chair of the group, as well as chairing the group’s traffic subcommittee. He’s also a member of the project review subcommittee. 

“I have a sense of obligation to maintain our unique character, while acknowledging that our community will grow and change,” he said. “I’ve been helping with community traffic and transportation issues. I would like to continue the work of that subcommittee. Other than that, I don’t have a specific agenda. I want to continue my part in helping our community.”

R. Jarvis Ross: A longtime Point Loman, Ross is a community activist involved with numerous groups. Now retired, he has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and has worked previously testing fire protection equipment, as well as being a licensed Realtor in Illinois. 

A regular attendee at City Council meetings, Ross is a member of the historical preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organisation. He is a past PCPB board member and also has been involved with the group’s project review subcommittee.

“I support the preservation of the positive aspects of our neighborhoods,” Ross said. “I also support the best interests of the Peninsula majority.”

Eva V. Schmitt: She has been a mother, a local Girl Scout troop leader and a Peninsula resident for 20-plus years.

“I deeply care about my community,” Schmitt said. “I strongly believe the concerns/interests of local residents, families, small-business owners and environmental considerations are paramount to the interests of corporate developers,” Schmitt said. “As a board member, I intend to support projects that foster a diverse and inclusive community and are in keeping with the Peninsula’s unique character. My priorities are enforcing the Coastal Commission’s height restriction, increasing walkability and protecting Kellogg Beach from development.”

Paul Webb: A retired airport planner, Webb has a bachelor’s degree in zoology from UCLA as well as a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from SDSU. He has 35 years’ professional experience as an urban planner, land agent and airport planner in San Diego. He’s served two, three-year terms on the PCPB board, is a five-year executive committee member with the Sierra Club, as well as being a member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

“My professional experience with Caltrans, the California Coastal Commission, California State Parks and the Airport Authority, coupled with my experience as a two-term PCPB member, provides me with skills and knowledge the PCPB needs to help guide our community’s future,” Webb said. “An update to the 32-year-old Peninsula Community Plan is critically needed to respond to the current issues confronting our community. The PCPB must engage with the City to accomplish this update to an outdated plan.” 

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