Forum Article written by Jim Wood and Ester Sanchez in the NC Times on May 28
The ruling Oceanside City Council troika has held majority rule for 10 1/2 of the last 12 years.
Suddenly, at the last possible hour, ignoring overwhelming public requests against it, the troika
rushed a charter amendment onto this June 5 election.
Oceanside voters have not had time to react; to hear from all sides of this very critical issue;
to get all the facts. The troika's hope ---- that under the disguise of "majority rule," in a low
voter-turnout election, Oceanside voters will vote "yes" on Proposition F's power grab,
guaranteeing its entrenchment for decades.
Why is the ruling troika willing to risk all, including constitutional lawsuits, for a power grab?
Until two years ago, the city enjoyed all the protections of a general law city, since its 1888
incorporation. This status guaranteed a city manager form of government, "part time" council
with very limited powers of taxation, November municipal elections, and legal requirements
of adopting a balanced budget every year.
This status made it impossible for any council to "bankrupt" the city, contrary to claims by
Mr. Graham Frasier, a developer.
The city's long-term debt management, viewable online, indicates the city used debt financing
for one-time capital improvement projects, such as the civic center, libraries, police department,
airport, water department projects, and harbor and downtown improvements. According to our
city manager, they total closer to $180 million; not the $300 million claimed by Mr. Frasier.
Significantly, these projects were before "our time."
We are honored to claim the El Corazon Senior Center; expansion of the Oceanside Museum of
Art; California Surf Museum; Fire Station 7; the Wyndham; several hotels; planning for El Corazon
Park; as well as several dozen other projects. All told, virtually none of these projects incurred
any municipal debt.
We are currently working on getting more than $100 million infused into our region in jobs and
infrastructure improvements; none involves incurring long-term municipal debt.
We urge all Oceanside voters to vote NO on Prop. F's power grab ---- "hell NO!" ---- based on
these additional facts:
Each additional special election will cost $205,000; the cost of placing this anti-Oceanside
resident measure is an additional $70,000. In 10 years, that's more than $1 million in wasted
taxpayer funds ---- money that could support municipal projects.
A costly additional election every two years will make it impossible for community representation.
That means taxation without representation, precisely what our American Revolution was about.
To fund a winning campaign, it will take at least $100,000 for each primary and general election.
That's a cost of at least $200,000 ---- to try to win a seat on the council that pays less than $25,000.
Only special interests, such as outside developers and corporations, will be able to afford to "sponsor"
mayor and council races. That means losing local control of our governance.
Prop. F is not "like" Chula Vista; that city has limitations on campaign contributions and other
restrictions to address the "buying" of city elections.
Oceanside citizens deserve the right to elect our representatives. Vote NO on F.