HARRIS: Oceanside's "coastal coup' an ill-conceived act of spite

Letter written by Rust Harris in the NC Times on December 2, 2012

Oceanside’s conservative City Council threesome is setting a dangerous precedent
in stripping the largely ceremonial post of mayor of one of its few powers.

Feller to transfer the right to make appointments from Mayor Jim Wood to the
council is simply an act of spite

Wednesday’s 3-2 vote will do nothing but harden the increasingly bitter partisan
divide within City Hall. Moreover, the coastal coup attempt could ultimately backfire
on the council troika and its members’ goals in the years ahead.

While the three Republicans have a majority on the five-member council, they
cannot claim any “mandate” from the voters. If anyone can make that claim,
it is Wood.

After all, it was Wood who received more votes than any current councilmember
in the Nov. 6 election. He hauled in an impressive 54 percent of the vote in a
three-way race, thumping challengers Kern and former Mayor Terry Johnson.

November’s vote was the second time Wood has turned back a battle from the
right: He was first re-elected in 2008 by a wide margin, defeating then-Councilman
Rocky Chavez, who aligned himself with Feller and Kern on the council.

To see the rest of Mr Harris's letter, please go to: