News

Government & Politics Oceanside projects rising sewer rates

By Ray Huard.April 8, 2013 in the U~T San Diego

Oceanside sewer rates must rise 4 percent a year for the next four years starting
in January 2014 to keep pace with needed repairs and maintenance, according
to city officials.

The increases also are needed to keep enough money in reserves to cover
emergencies, Water Utilities Director Cari Dale said.

The new round of increases follows a 5 percent rate increase that took effect
in January and annual increases that have been as high as 29.5 percent since
the 2008-09 fiscal year, when Oceanside was put on a credit watch by a national
bond rating agency that said the city was in danger of not having enough money
on hand to maintain the sewer system and make annual payments on
outstanding sewer bonds.

As of January, the monthly sewer bill for a typical Oceanside single-family homeowner
was $56.76, Dale said.

If sewer rates rise 4 percent a year through 2017, the typical month bill would climb
to $66.40 in four years.

City considers helicopter deal

by Ray Huard on.April 8, 2013 in the U~T San Diego

A helicopter to provide emergency air ambulance service would be based in
Oceanside under a deal being negotiated between the Oceanside Fire
Department and a Santa Rosa company.

“We are working with Reach Air Medical Service in establishing a base using
a public-private partnership here in Oceanside,” Fire Chief Daryl Hebert said
in an interview last week. “I see it as a great opportunity.

Mayor Jim Wood said he is “very supportive” of the plan.

“It will be an improvement, certainly for the public safety aspect and recovery,”
Wood said. With the city and county growing, Wood said the area could well
use the service.

“Plus, it will be stationed here,” Wood said.

But City Councilman Jerry Kern isn’t quite sold on the proposal.

“I don’t know if we really need one,” Kern said Monday. “I’m taking kind of a
‘wait-and-see, let’s fully investigate it’ attitude right now.”

Harris: Politics may trump facts in light fight

By Rusty Harris on April 5, 2013 in the U~T San Diego

Politics may end up overruling the facts in the brewing multimillion-dollar
brawl over northeast Oceanside’s decorative, but crumbling, streetlights.

Homeowners in the 1980s-era Villages of Rancho del Oro are vowing revenge
at the ballot box if the city’s stance sticks that they need to pony up the more than
$2.2 million needed to repair or replace their streetlights.

Oceanside City Manager Peter Weiss is usually dead-on with his facts, so in
matters such as these, he’s one to believe. In an open letter to the Villages’
residents, he asserts they and/or their homeowners association are responsible
for the 635 lights in question.

Using Weiss’ figures, it would cost a bit more than $740 per Villages household
to replace the nonconforming metal streetlight poles (Oceanside prefers concrete
poles) — a good chunk of change for the residents.

Four arrested in Libby Lake shooting

By Katherine Poythress and Teri Figueroa onMarch 30 in U~T San Diego

OCEANSIDE — Police have made fours arrests in connection with a late-night
shooting earlier this month in Libby Lake Park that left two teenagers dead and
two more injured, Oceanside police said Saturday.

Federal and local authorities served search warrants at five separate locations in
Oceanside and Vista early Friday, based on leads indicating the March 13 slayings
were gang-related.

Those searches led authorities on a follow-up investigation through the evening that
culminated in the arrests of Santo Diaz, 19; Michael Zurita, 19; and Martin Melendrez,
21. They were booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder and
two counts of attempted murder each.

All three men also face allegations of participating in a criminal street gang.

O'side vows more youth programs to curb crime

By Ray Huard on.March 28, 2013 in U~T San Diego

Oceanside council members vowed this week that the city will embark on a
renewed effort to step up recreational programs and other services in
violence-plagued city neighborhoods.

The move at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting was in reaction to the
shooting death of two teens and wounding of two others in Libby Lake Park
earlier this month.

“I know a lot of people are concerned with what’s going on,” Mayor Jim Wood said.

Police Chief Frank McCoy said no arrests have been made but “our detectives
have been working around the clock on this particular case.”

McCoy urged the public to contact police with any information they have, “even
if someone calls up and wants to be anonymous.”

He said extra patrols have been added around Libby Lake Park as a deterrent.

“We’ve had officers out on foot in the park area. We’ve handed out fliers in the
neighborhood to see if there are any other witnesses who would come
forward,” McCoy said.

Councilwoman Sanchez Speaks Out Against Quarry Creek Project

By Kristina Houck on March 27, 2013 in the Oceanside CampPendelton*Patch

Oceanside Councilwoman Esther Sanchez was one of more than 50 people
who spoke out against the 656-home Quarry Creek development project
before the Carlsbad City Council Tuesday night.

The Corky McMillin Companies would develop the proposed units on the
156-acre former rock quarry site located on the border of Carlsbad and
Oceanside, south of state Route 78 and west of College Boulevard. The
majority of the speakers campaigned for an alternative plan that would
reduce the number of proposed homes and restrict development of an
undeveloped portion of the land known as the panhandle.

Critics of the plan cited the development’s impact on the site’s historical
significance, open space, density and traffic as major concerns.

Oceanside’s City Council appoints water board proxy

By Promise Yee on Mar 28, 2013 inThe Coast News

OCEANSIDE — Councilman Jerry Kern, who was recently appointed to the
San Diego Water Authority Board by a 3-2 City Council vote, also received a
3-2 vote on his request to confirm the designation of Carlsbad Municipal Water
District as board proxy March 27.

Kern said it was routine for Oceanside to designate the neighboring city of
Carlsbad as its proxy in the event Oceanside is absent from the board when
a vote is taken.

“It’s been the same proxy we had the last 30 years,” Kern said, prior to the meeting.
“It’s normal routine operations.”

“We’ve always been on the same page,” he added.

Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted against the designation.

Sanchez said she was very concerned about a conflict of interests between
Carlsbad and Oceanside on the proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill. Oceanside
has long opposed the landfill located adjacent to the San Luis Rey River, which
Oceanside uses for a drinking water source.

Carlsbad has not opposed the landfill.

Bids higher than pegged for work at El Corazon location

By Ray Huard on March 27, 2013 in the U~T San Diego

Bids came in nearly twice what was projected for site work that Oceanside
needs to do before 22 soccer fields can be created at its El Corazon park
property, but city officials said the setback shouldn’t delay completion of the fields.

The city is required under its deal with Sudberry Properties of San Diego to
level a portion of the 465-acre former sand mine — along Oceanside Boulevard,
near Rancho del Oro Road — where the company will build the soccer fields.

However, the city asked that the bids include additional work, such as grading
for a future road that loops through El Corazon but is not connected directly
to the soccer fields.

City officials had projected that all the work would cost no more than $1.4 million,
yet most of the 14 bids the city received for the project topped $3 million, city real
estate manager Doug Eddow said.

Neighbors say fueling station is too noisy

By Ray Huard on March 26 2013 in the

Committee votes down outsourcing harbor operations;

By Promise Yee in The Coast News on March 26, 2013

OCEANSIDE — The Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee unanimously voted
down outsourcing harbor operations on March 21, after cost comparisons showed
outsourcing would at best save $62,000 in the $2.7 million annual budget.

Oceanside is considering outsourcing solely to save money. Comparisons to present
operating costs showed a much smaller percent of savings than anticipated.

A bid by California Yacht Marinas showed a small $62,000 annual savings the first year.

A bid by Almar Management Inc. came in $321,000 over what it presently costs the
city to run the harbor.

“Staff is leery about entering into negotiations,” Frank Quan, Harbor and Beaches
coordinator, said. “I don’t feel the dollar amount is enough to justify this
particular agreement.”

Quan said companies that bid commented on cost-efficient city services and
well-kept harbor facilities.

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