Citizens deserte the right to elect representatives

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.