I received an invitation to submit an open post to the People’s Post at voiceofsandiego.org. Never having written such a letter, I assume a reader would want to know: 1) where we are in the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) election process, 2) how did we get there, 3) who I am, and 4) why I am running.

We are in a second runoff for the one remaining seat on the PCPB. There are three candidates, Geoff Page, Suhail Khalil and Norman Allenby. That’s me. Our board applications are posted on the PCPB website at www.pcpb.net.

I was asked to run for the Peninsula Community Planning Board earlier this year by a board incumbent, Jay Shumaker. I attended the candidate forum meeting on March 3. There were nine candidates present vying for five positions. Each of us spoke briefly and responded to questions. There were few persons other than board members present.

The election was set for March 18. My application and a requested resume were sent to the board. John Gott and Robert MacCulloch were elected to the board on March 18, leaving three seats open. A runoff election held on March 25 resulted in another two seats being filled, one by Patricia Clark and the other by Jay Shumaker. (I needed one more vote to be elected, aaaagh!)  

My initial decision to run for the board was motivated by Jay’s request. Years ago, I had seen his idea on moving the airport and developing a vacated Lindbergh Field. That vision was not realized. In my opinion, the same reasons that made the moving of the airport rational then remain valid today. More recently at a PCPB board meeting I attended, I saw Jay’s work on form based planning, a tool widely used in land use planning in many urban areas, but not yet here in Point Loma. Jay wanted support; I decided to help.

So here I am, a longtime resident who’s been involved in many community activities. As a trial lawyer, now mediator, I bring the skills of asking the right question, listening to what’s said, reading the documents, looking at the evidence and evaluating what’s before me in reaching a reasonable and fair conclusion.

It takes time to develop those skills, in my case 38 years. Properly applied, those talents should be valuable to proceedings before the board, capturing accurately the recommendations to the City Council and expressing conclusions to local residents and persons coming before the board.

Actually, it’s fun to not only try, but to do the right thing. As a lawyer I thought of myself as a generalist, a problem solver. I preceded the age of specialization. Eventually, however, my clients tended to be in the construction industry. I would bring that body of knowledge to the board position in evaluating proposed projects.

When I retired from the trial side of the law, I was exposed to what I thought were no-brainer waste water treatment systems called “Living Machines”. I visited operating sites in New England and Canada. Ten years with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Water Committee has given me an education in water issues statewide. I would very much enjoy bringing my working knowledge of water issues to bear locally. I doubt that any “Living Machines” issues will come before the board in the near term. If they do, I will recuse myself from any voting on the issues involved.

And, Point Loma has continued to be my home since 1962. It would be a good thing to make it a better place for my granddaughter and the rest of us.

— Norman Allenby

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