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.
“We are in charge of our citizens’ health and safety,” Sanchez said. “I’d like to interview cities.”
After the vote Wood said he did not have the opportunity to see who else could be appointed as a proxy. Wood added he wanted to appoint a city that shared similar views.
Currently Carlsbad is undecided about allowing the Quarry Creek housing project to develop 650 houses on a site that closely neighbors the Buena Vista Creek.
Wood said Oceanside has objected to the large number of homes being developed on the environmentally and historically sensitive site that sits on the Carlsbad/Oceanside border.
The development would also impact Oceanside roadways and public safety.
Carlsbad has not taken a stand against the development. Wood said Carlsbad is not listening to Oceanside’s concerns.
During the meeting Kern said he saw Carlsbad and Oceanside as being “geographically aligned.”
He added that it is important for Oceanside to have a designated proxy to cast its five votes so the city of San Diego, with 39 votes, does not “vote over” Oceanside.
Councilman Gary Felien supported Kern’s designation of Carlsbad. He said it was a “good choice” and that Oceanside has had a “long term relationship with the city.”
Councilman Jack Feller also voted yes.