OCEANSIDE — City Council seats were officially numbered March 27 to clearly designate the order of deputy mayor rotation and not give the title to a council member during a year they are running for re-election.
The position of deputy mayor will be rotated each calendar year. Councilman Jerry Kern will begin the rotation, followed by Councilwoman Esther Sanchez in 2014, Councilman Jack Feller in 2015 and Councilman Gary Felien in 2016, or the elected council member filling their seat.
If approved April 3, this will be the first year the deputy mayor position will be rotated. Previously the mayor nominated the deputy mayor.
Mayor appointment of the position caused some friction on the five-member City Council that has a history of 3-2 vote splits on issues.
The idea of rotating the position and allowing all council members the opportunity to serve was brought up in January 2009 when former Councilman Rocky Chavez was on the council.
Mayor Jim Wood has consistently said he wants a deputy mayor who represents city goals.
“I would like someone to be the deputy mayor who has similar goals and objectives when I am not here,” Wood said.
Felien made a formal motion that the position be rotated on Feb. 27. The motion passed in 3-2 vote, with Wood and Sanchez casting the dissenting votes.
Felien said he wanted to avoid council deadlocks in approving the appointment and deemed the position as more ceremonial than “policy making.”
“The job of deputy mayor is to represent the mayor at events or run council meetings when he’s out of town, none of which are policy making functions,” Felien said.
Final approval of the ordinance will be voted on April 3.