Issues

Oceanside's City Council Ignores its own Citizens

by Norman Kelley in the NC Times posted April 5

The problem with Jack Feller's Pollyannaish Community Forum (March 27) is that he ignores his own advice to carefully review every idea.

Take for instance the Gregory Canyon landfill. Here is a project that will place a garbage dump over 25 percent of Oceanside's water supply, and in the process, bury the Pala Indians' heritage under a layer of dirty diapers. Now, one might be somewhat sympathetic if we actually needed a new dump, but analysis shows that this landfill is not needed. Further, the city employee who actually certifies the safety of our water has testified against this project on grounds of pollution risk.

So add this up: We do not need the dump ---- it sacrifices important Indian heritage and it places our water quality in danger. So why did Feller, Jerry Kern and Gary Felien recommend the project?

The answer is the out-of-town business interests who could profit from importing Los Angeles garbage.

Or consider the current hot-button issue: Vacancy rent decontrol (Measure E on the June 5 ballot). This measure pits 3,400 Oceanside mobile-home park dwellers against a few out-of-town park developers. Talk about the council having a tin ear! Thousands of signatures were collected in opposition to the trashing of our 30-year-old ordinance.

And there has been a considerable dose of deception. While Mr. Kern states that a current owner can live forever in their home under rent control, the city attorney, Mr. Weiss, having a firm grasp of the obvious says it right: this ordinance begins the phasing out of rent control for seniors. Of course, the current system will quickly fail as newcomers will not be under rent control and not contributing to the city fund that supports the ordinance.

So why are Kern, Feller and Felien so obsessed with this subject? The answer is a handful of out-of-town park developers who want to increase their profits and have no interest in the economic or cultural health of Oceanside.

Then there is the latest issue of contracting out or "outsourcing" paramedic activities. The equation on this proposal is that a private ambulance company will take over some of the duties of our firefighters (all of whom are also paramedics). The unstated reciprocal is that we will also lose 25 percent of our firefighters. Ambulance companies do not answer fire calls.

Who profits from this charade? The answer is an out-of-town ambulance company. And who suffers? Oceanside citizens who may have to make a 911 fire call one day.

Finally, is the change in our election laws, also up for grabs on June 5. What seems on the surface to be an all-American principle of requiring a candidate to acquire 51 percent of the vote to succeed has a hidden agenda. This system will also guarantee runoff elections every election year costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. But even more egregious is that Oceanside will become a perpetual election platform.

And who wins in this kind of battle? You guessed it: Well-funded, out-of-town money interests who will support the very officials currently ignoring our citizens. Within a short time they will own Oceanside.

Norman Kelley is an Oceanside resident.

Taking Millions of dollars from Oceanside

By Debbie Mastro of Oceanside, in the NC Times dated April 1.

Do Oceanside's City Council members Jerry Kern, Jack Feller and Gary Felien care that their ballot measure, Proposition E, aka mobile-home vacancy decontrol, will have a devastating effect on Oceanside's economy over time? If approved, $10,560,000 would be lost from the Oceanside economy each year if the rent for every mobile-home space in Oceanside were to increase by just $400 per month. That's $10,560,000 less available in Oceanside to generate sales tax and create jobs.

Most of the 2,200 mobile homes in Oceanside are purchased by seniors and the disabled, who shop locally either because they don't drive or dislike driving long distances. A $400 per month increase with 2,200 spaces for one year equals $10,560,000 more per year that will be going to monopolistic, out-of-town corporate park owners to spend in Laguna Beach, Santa Ana, Westminster, Malibu, Pasadena and other cities

Park Owners Do Not Care What Happens to Residents

by Lois Berning in the North County Times, 3/27/12

Michael St. John of Mendocino gives advice to Oceanside ("Market won't allow mobile-home park
rents to 'increase without limit'," March 12), in which he urges us to use the term "market value"
rather than "without limit" in the vacancy decontrol ordinance. He's too late for that.

He also thinks that park owners will not "'raise rents without limit' because the market imposes
its own limit." What he doesn't understand ---- way up there in Mendocino ---- is that park owners
have other motives.

First, (I believe) the park owners don't want a resident to be able to sell his home. The new rent will
be without limit so no one will buy and the homeowner walks away. The park owner then rents out
the confiscated property, and the money he was getting for just renting the land has double potential.

Second, some park owners make more money by clearing the land and selling to developers. They
quote rents way beyond market value and people leave rather than add more stress to their retirement life.

Learn the Facts about VACANY Decontrol

There's one thing consistent about Cavel / Ozone, et al.: They haven't even bothered to learn the FACTS about Vacancy DeControl, Oceanside's manufactured home owners (thousands of VOTERS and TAXPAYERS, by the way), they spew venom at our City's seniors, veterans and disabled persons and call them "liberals," try to paint them as "living off the system," when in fact, they're living in homes they OWN within the means of their fixed incomes. The Courts disagree with you about "regulatory taking" of property, something you simply ignore and spin to suit your interests. Courts find that BOTH parties are "property owners" and the HOMEOWNERS, "captive customers" since they MUST be located in a park, and the HOMEOWNER is the party with the greatest investment in this monopoly business. The courts also found that ". . . ending rent control would be a windfall to the park owners, and a disaster for tenants . . .Families living in these homes tend to be those with very low incomes (consequently with few housing options) and a substantial share of them are elderly." Let's tell the TRUTH for a change. You guys don't care about ANYTHING except lining your own pockets.

If You Need an Ambulance

A serious issue will come to Oceanside citizens very soon.

The City Council majority of Feller, Kern and Felien will begin Jan. 4, to deprive the
Oceanside citizens or anyone suffering trauma in Oceanside of participating in this decision.

They will propose to substitute “for profit” Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) for our
professionally trained paramedics. EMT’s and paramedics do not have equal training and
proficiencies nor can EMT’S give medications or interface with doctors, as do our paramedics.

Continued sharing of service calls with surrounding cities will cease due to the unequal
training and abilities of personnel.

No one desires paramedic attention but if the need arises there is no good substitute for our
professionally trained paramedics who currently serve residents. Cost is the “axe” the
voting majority will “grind.”

Concessions were offered by firemen for more than the dollar amount sought in cost reduction.
The voting majority would not give this any consideration. WHY, one might ask, surely I do.

Citizens marking their choices of city representatives for the next several elections need to
choose those who will best serve their needs.

CHOOSE CAREFULLY! Your health may depend on it!

Joan Brubaker,
Oceanside

Trashing Oceanside with Dogmatic Behavior

Letter by Norm Kelly published in the NCTimes on March 15
Our founders could see what is going on today at the Oceanside City Council, they would roll over in their graves.

When Councilmen Jack Feller, Jerry Kern and Gary Felien became the majority, there were indications
that turmoil was in the works. But what started as concern over how to handle our budget deficit quickly
became a series of ideological positions that defies logic.

One wag at City Hall defined it this way: The ultimate objective is to have a single employee: the city
manager. All other work will be outsourced. And, while no doubt an overstatement, outsourcing, along
with a fundamental change in the organization of the city seems to be the answer to all of our problems.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with outsourcing so long as it is done in an intelligent, well-researched
manner that places the well-being of our residents first. But that is not how these three go about their
advocacy. They seem dead set on a Sherman-like march of slash and burn, committed to an ideology
that has no analysis, no comparative information from other cities, sales pitches that tell half-truths,
all moving ahead without regard to the opposition of thousands of residents, while pandering to developers.

I daresay that if the voters had known what was in store for them, the election would have turned in
another direction. As a Republican voter since 1957, I am appalled and ashamed.

Take, for instance, the notion of outsourcing paramedics. The three assert that costs will go down.
But what they do not tell you is that each and every one of our firemen is also a paramedic. If you
lose one paramedic to outsourcing, you simultaneously lose one fireman. When fully implemented,
we could lose 25 percent of our firemen. And EMTs do not answer fire calls.

Or the vacancy rent decontrol fiasco. No matter how many residents testify, these three cannot get
it through their heads that there are two property owners for each mobile home space: the guy who
owns the dirt and the guy who owns the home. Felien has defended a "fair market" approach by stating
that if a cafe owner asks $2 for a cup of coffee and the customer pays the $2, market value has been
established. An obvious half-truth that Felien should have learned in Econ 101.

The coffee purchaser can get his drink across the street. He has bargaining power. The mobile home
owner, absent some form of intermediary, such as the commission that now exists, has zero bargaining
power. And, he certainly cannot walk across the street.

Or the Big Lie assertion that we have spent $3 million on rent control. Say it often enough and people
will believe. But the facts are these: the city has spent $168,000 over a period of seven years on rent
control, and all of that stems from park owners themselves initiating legal action that must be
defended by the city, just as the city defends hundreds of other ordinances.

We may not change the arbitrary commissar-like views of these three but as residentst, we are
entitled to competence and honesty.

We receive neither.

Information about vacancy decontrol contains LIES

Letter written by Lois Benning, in the North County Times, dated March 9

Mail carriers in Oceanside have been busy delivering information about vacancy decontrol
that is full of fallacies. These fliers talk about the administrative costs of rent control. Every
owner of a mobile home pays a monthly fee that pays administrative costs.

They say the ordinance will prevent endless legal expenses, expenses that happen when the
park owners ask for an adjustment (rent increase) from the Manufactured Homes Fair
Practices Commission.

They use the phrase "increase rents to market rates." After the existing resident moves,
there will be no buyer when he knows that his rent can be raised to an unlimited amount.

They don't mention the vindictive statement in the ordinance that says the home cannot be i
nherited unless the relative has been living with the tenant. In an adult park, how many tenants
have their children living with them?

Rent decontrol campaign smells bad

By Nadine Scott, posted in the North County Times on March 6, 2012
Something smells like raw sewage in Oceanside. There is a huge $133,000 war chest to
defeat rent control in Oceanside ---- perhaps the largest dollar campaign this city has ever seen.
Any local efforts could pale against this massive lobbying effort unless each of you steps
up ---- a true David-versus-Goliath story.

Can you smell the stench of dirty out-of-town politics at play? Once again, Associated Builders
& Contractor's (ABC) lobbyist Bill Baber is involved in Oceanside's business. Remember, he is
the one who brought Oceanside the secret charter. His associated groups spent more than
$60,000 to convince Oceanside voters to vote against their self-interest and pass a charter that
makes the council majority too powerful, and to all intents and purposes, eliminates meaningful
public participation in Oceanside government. Will you fall prey to out-of-town lobbying money again?

Primary ballot costing taxpayers

by Lizbeth Altman, posted 2/27/2012 in the NC Times
Oceanside council members Jerry Kern, Jack Feller and Gary Felien must not have been listening
when their mothers told them, "Haste makes waste." Otherwise, why are they putting city issues
on the more expensive June primary ballot when putting them on the cheaper November general
election ballot could save Oceanside taxpayers approximately $100,000?

We have already seen their "haste makes waste" attitude toward taxpayer dollars when they initially
made the choice to put their mobile-home park owners issue, known as vacancy decontrol, on the
June primary ballot rather than the November general election ballot. No explanation was ever given
\as to why such "haste" leading to taxpayer dollars' "waste" was necessary.

Read more: http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/forum-primary-ballot-cost...

Oceanside Trio Masters of Situational Ethics

by Ken Leighton in the North County Times
Oceanside is up to its eyeballs in Republican politics. Of the six members of the 73rd District
Republican Central Committee, four are connected to the city council. Councilmen Gary Felien
and Jerry Kern serve on that group along with Kern's current administrative aide and Felien's recently
departed aide. The local GOP helped Felien and Kern get elected in 2010 with money, mailers and consultants.

We know that Felien, Kern and council colleague Jack Feller stand for a smaller and less costly
city staff, and that they love free enterprise and hate Big Brother government. We know this
because they tell us every chance they get.

Kern has taken the lead on a couple of issues. He was out front on getting city staffers to pay their
share of their pensions. He also spearheaded the drive to stop giving KOCT general fund dole-outs.
These positions certainly fit in with his political DNA.

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