Chuck Lowery has proven himself to be the most valuable member on the Oceanside City Council. With his thoughtful approach, positive changes are happening for the residents and businesses of Oceanside. Prior to his election, the council was very divided between the build-it-anywhere-anytime troika of Kern, Feller, Chavez and the pro-neighborhood bloc of Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez. When Rocky Chavez abruptly left in December 2009, the council entered a six-month phase of absolute gridlock on important issues. Now the council is moving forward again in a positive direction thanks to Lowery and his philosophy that we can have a robust economy and protect our wonderful neighborhoods and the people who live in them.
He wants to protect our neighborhoods and children. In a recent vote, Lowery voted to keep Fire Station 8 near Peacock Hills in full service. Before his vote, that station had no firefighting or paramedic transport vehicles. He believed that everyone in the city should have adequate public safety protection. Who wouldn’t support that?
He voted to fund an at-risk community center near where one of our police officers was gunned down. Residents there begged for it as they were fearful for their children should the center remain closed. Who could tell these parents no?
He voted to uphold rent control in Cavalier mobile home park that is populated with veterans and seniors. Rent control at the park affords them an opportunity to live near their families and support system at an affordable price. Many of these people live on only $900 a month or less. They often choose between food and medicine. After Lowery was assured by city staff that the park owner was making a good profit, he balanced the needs of the residents with the park owners business needs. What heartless person could throw these folks out of their homes?
Chuck Lowery is a gentleman at all times and respectfully listens to the public, city staff and others on the council. He finds out the facts before he votes so he can vote intelligently and from an informed position. He has brought calmness to our city when none previously existed. When people come to council meetings, he treats them with respect. He talks to all the members of the council in a respectful, thoughtful manner. Isn’t this what residents want and expect?
Everyone always complains about a 3-2 voting bloc but Lowery has demonstrated that he can work with every council person and will vote for what is best for Oceanside. He has voted 3-2, 4-1 and even been the only “no” vote. He isn’t afraid to make decisions based on all the facts and circumstances. Recently he listened to the business community and voted to enact changes to Mission Avenue that they wanted. This is what residents and businesses should want — a council member who listens.
Lowery also voted to make the firefighters pay 4.5 percent of their pension contribution. They never contributed before Lowery was on the council. This move will save the city millions of dollars and will likely lead to getting them to pay the full 9 percent in the next contract negotiations. The majority of Kern, Feller and Chavez had three-plus years to enact pension reform and didn’t. They voted on a new contract a few years ago and failed to include pension reform. They failed to put it into the secretly developed charter document when other cities uniformly do so. Who would be against this pension reform?
Chuck Lowery is the kind of councilman that everyone wants — fiscally responsible, independent, a smart businessman and a caring person about the community he grew up in.
So who is against everything Lowery voted for? Jerry Kern and Gary Felien. They don’t want to protect your neighborhoods, your kids, our seniors and vets and they aren’t all that nice to the people they are supposed to represent.
My vote will go to Lowery and yours should too. He is a councilman with a heart and a brain!
Mandy Barre is an Oceanside resident.