Blog written by Mike Crogan in the Camp Pendleton Patch on September 21, 2012
(Link to Mike's other thoughtful blog entries about Oceanside politics)
On Tuesday evening, (9-16-12), my wife and I drove to St. Mary’s School to attend the League
of Women Voters’ forum for candidates for Oceanside City Council and Mayor. You can’t imagine
how she felt that I would take her to such a glamorous affair to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary.
All the drive home, she let me know what she thought of the gesture.
Two 45 minute forums and 10 talking heads (3 for mayor, 7 for council) talking about really
important issues that rudder our city’s future can give you a headache. At least that’s what
my honey said when we got home and entered the boudoir. A most subtle hint. Like a fork
in the eye. At any rate, I’ll do my best to be brief and highlight the essential points.
As in his previous forum appearance, Terry Johnson addressed the acrimony at council meetings
and offered a solution patterned after the Third Reich: Keep government behind closed doors and
present a unified consensus while in front of the public. I got pretty resentful with Terry forcing me
into agreement (gasp) with Jerry Kern talking about how democracy works: debate and discussion
of issues in open forum.
Mayor Wood may have felt the sameas he endorsed Mr. Kern’s remarks.
We were comparably amazed when Johnson repeated his concerns about animosity on the council
and called for everybody to grow up, be civil, be examples for the public. Including kids. Then he went
into straight ahead attack mode on Mayor Wood. A couple of times, at one point, chiding the Mayor
to “take responsibility”.
Johnson did say, “My record speaks for itself.” Which begs the question, “That being so, why are
you running for mayor?”
Wood, affable as ever, ignored Johnson’s invitations to fight yet remained firm in his convictions and
clear in his statements. Rather than trumpet self-styled successes as mayor (a temptation Johnson
could not resist - ad nauseam), Wood talked about the progress the city had experienced thanks to the
people who live and work here including, much to Mr. Kern’s horror, city employees.
Not surprisingly, Kern gave into the same temptation as Johnson telling us how his leadership has
saved us countless dimes in taxes while steering the city away from the need to pay workers a living
wage. No, seriously! He said that. By leading the city to charter status (leading while deftly dodging
minor procedures like getting input from constituents), he bragged about how the city could now avoid
paying “the prevailing wage”. Silently, I caressed my wallet and thanked Mr. Kern for making it fuller,
saving my dimes that might have gone to a neighbor who paves the streets I drive or provides care for
children at the city’s rec and parks facilities.
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