Peninsula Community Planning Board elections coming up
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 03/11/20 - 07:30 AM | 979 views | 1 1 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Due to lack of agenda items, the next Peninsula Community Planning Board on Thursday, March 19 has been canceled until April. 

But the plan group’s annual election will be held that same day from 4 to 8 p.m. at the entry hall of the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library, 3701 Voltaire St.

There are seven open seats for the PCPB board this election. Five seats are for three-year terms, one seat is for a two-year term and the final seat is for one year. The five candidates with the highest vote tallies will earn the three-year terms. 

A candidate’s forum was held March 5 as a prelude to the March 19 group election. At that forum, a continuing rift on the board resurfaced, with personalities clashing and disagreements between members over affordable housing development in the community. At issue, is whether a five-acre site should be redeveloped as affordable housing, or left as parkland/open space. Also, there have been questions surrounding group election protocol over board candidates running previously on an alleged slate. 

The growing rift in the board over the last several months has led to chair Robert Goldyn, and vice-chair Scott Deschenes, announcing their resignations from the board after the March 19 election.

“There has been a complaint to me, from the community or the board, every single month for the last few months,” said Goldyn at the forum, concerning the rationale behind his resignation.

One board member running for re-election, Don Sevrens, was quizzed at the March 5 forum by terming-out board member Jim Hare and current board member Korla Eaquinta, about Severen's rationale behind filing a lawsuit against the group, and its board members, over an election dispute, which has since been settled out of court.

“You filed a lawsuit to protect your First Amendment rights,” noted Hare. “Why did you find it necessary, and proper, to sue the entire board?”

Noting he did so on his attorney’s advice, Sevrens responded, “The language in the by-laws was a prior restraint of my First-Amendment rights. I chose to file a suit because the chair did not provide due process.”

“My sense is that these new board members need to be warned that they may be opening themselves to legal exposure in the future,” replied Hare.

“He felt his civil rights were being violated, however, he sued each and every member of the planning board,” said current PCPB board member Korla Eaquinta. “That’s unconscionable.” 

The election controversy centered around allegations that some candidates from the 2019 PCPB board election ran on an election slate, which was then-forbidden by group by-laws. Part of the settlement of the dispute, brokered by the City, was that that section of PCPB’s by-laws relating to candidate slates was to be voided.

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Rachael Mildred
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March 31, 2020
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