The first hour of the two-part meeting will consist of brainstorming in groups to list issues of importance within the community. Each table will be assigned a facilitator from one of the sponsoring organizations to keep the conversation on track. The entire group will then come together to sort through the different lists and select roughly 10 of the most compelling concerns to be addressed within the year. A few long-term issues will also be identified.
During the second hour of the workshop, Faulconer will converse with residents about realistic solutions to the most pressing problems. Curt Lutz, executive director of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation, hopes that the workshop-style meeting will allow more ideas and voices to be heard than a traditional presentation where the community microphone is commandeered by a few loquacious individuals.
"Ocean Beach is known for having many voices. I don't think any one person could speak on behalf of the community and I don't think anyone would want to be in that position," Lutz said. "The nature of our great community is that there is a lot of creative tension in people's philosophies and objectives."
Some of the perennial issues in the area include deteriorating infrastructure, maintenance of recreation facilities, library and parks hours, parking, undergrounding of telephone wires and homelessness.
Denny Knox, executive director of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OMBA), cited crumbling sidewalks and burnt out streetlights as small business concerns. Knox was reluctant to elaborate on topics she would like to see addressed, emphasizing that the meeting should be a forum for individuals and not the sponsors.
"I would really like people to come with a fresh mind and come up with their own list so they are not reiterating a list that we already have because they read about it," Knox said.
While Faulconer has reached out to Ocean Beach multiple times since being sworn in on Jan. 23, the workshop marks the first sweeping discussion of the state of the community. The objective is to focus on reasonable goals for the councilman to put money behind, Lutz said.
"We want to be realistic and do things in context of the city's financial conditions and the limitations of time and resources that the councilmember can direct," he added. "There's a lot of bottled up desire to move forward [with local issues] and this is a great opportunity to do that."
District 2, which includes Ocean Beach, sustained seven months without City Council representation. Faulconer was elected in a January runoff to finish the remaining six months of former Councilman Michael Zucchet's term. Zucchet resigned last July following his conviction of nine counts of wire fraud and other corruption charges. He was later acquitted of seven counts and granted a retrial for the other two.
Both Lutz and Knox are excited to finally present their community with a chance to speak with Faulconer collectively and directly.
"Come to the meeting because complaining doesn't get anything done," Knox said. "If you want to be part of the solution, let's all put our heads together and I'm sure we can come up with some great ideas."
For more information, call OMBA at (619) 224-4906.