OCEANSIDE — City Council and staff said a formal farewell to City Manager Peter Weiss at the Nov. 6 City Council meeting.
Council members thanked Weiss for his guidance, leadership and laughter and bestowed him with a memorial clock for his 27 years of service.
Weiss has worked for Oceanside as a city engineer, director of public works, and seven years as city manager.
During his years as city manager the city began development of the 465-acre El Corazon Park, responded to an economic recession, and started downtown redevelopment.
“I don’t know I can claim any accomplishments,” Weiss said. “I think the city has had a lot of accomplishments, between El Corazon, managing through the budget issues we’ve had the last few years, and the downtown renaissance. I think those are a few of the things the city has accomplished. It’s a team effort for a lot of people including the council.”
Managing the city through consecutive years of steep budget cuts and maintaining all city services was one of the hallmarks of his career.
“He managed us through very tough times,” Councilman Jerry Kern said. “The city went from $129 million to $109 million financially.”
Kern said eliminating employee positions to balance the budget was extremely difficult.
“It was doubly tough on Peter,” Kern said. “He knew the person he was eliminating. It was not just this person on paper.”
There were also triumphs during those seven years like the groundbreaking of the downtown Springhill Suites Marriott in September 2012 and the upcoming groundbreaking of El Corazon Park.
“We’ll have the groundbreaking for El Corazon Thursday (Nov. 14, not open to the public),” Kern said. “We can attribute it to Peter, that it stayed on track.”
“Those are types of projects, tangible things,” Kern added. “There are a lot of things you don’t see.”
Kern said he checked in with Weiss regularly to stay updated on City Council items and was always provided the information he needed to reach policy decisions.
“There are five council people, we’re all different,” Kern said. “He navigated down the middle.”
Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez gave Weiss kudos for working with a City Council that has consistently had two-three vote splits on issues through election cycles.
“He survived seven years of us,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez also praised Weiss for putting in long hours as public works director and city manager to get the job done. She complemented him on his city leadership.
“He’s done it in a way that’s respectful to us, the community and residents,” Sanchez said. “He’s an exceptional and wonderful person. He deserves to go to the next step.”
Weiss will stay on through Dec. 27 to help get the new city manager, Steve Jepsen, up to speed. Jepsen’s first City Council meeting is Nov. 20.
Weiss has not disclosed his future plans or potential job opportunities.
Several council members said Weiss would be a great fit for the city manager position in Carlsbad.