OCEANSIDE — Candidates for two seats on the City Council began to pull nomination papers on Monday. As of July 18, Dr. Linda Gonzales and Daniel Dumachel have officially filed to run in the upcoming November election.
Prospective candidates also expressing interest are incumbents Jack Feller and Esther Sanchez, and challengers Ward O’Doherty, Dave Boatman, Steve Hasty, Victor Roy and Oscar Ortega.
The Coast News spoke to incumbents Feller and Sanchez on July 1, shortly after the City Council approved funds for this year’s election.
This week candidates Gonzales, O’Doherty, Boarman and Roy were asked what they see as top issues for the city. The replies of Gonzales and O’Doherty are shared in this story.
The responses of Boarman and Roy are in an additional candidate story in this week’s publication.
O’Doherty has opened a campaign office on Pier View Way, and confirmed he will be run for City Council in November.
O’Doherty, 48, works as a financial advisor based in La Jolla and Irvine. He is married to Mary Beth Sipos. He has lived in Oceanside for 16 years, and owned a home in the city for 15 years.
Over the past six years he has served as chair and commissioner on the city Economic Development Commission, Downtown Advisory Commission, and was recently appointed to the El Corazon Standing Committee.
“I’m very, very proud of my service to the city, I really entrenched myself in the city, its people and politics,” O’Doherty said.
O’Doherty said he is running to help steer the city in the right direction.
“At the local level you have the most profound effect on people’s lives,” O’Doherty said.
His top focuses for Oceanside are traffic circulation, and empowering city staff to do their jobs.
O’Doherty said transportation specialists need to be consulted to find the best solutions to alleviate traffic congestion on city thoroughfares. He added he would like to see roadway improvement decisions made based on facts, and not on politics, which have stalled solutions.
He said he would also like to support city staff to do their jobs, and alleviate on the job tensions caused by polarized council members.
“City staff walks on eggshells because of political swings,” O’Doherty said.
His thoughts on Coast Highway improvements are to look at “pod” uses of the roadway, and include traffic calming and sufficient traffic lanes and parking to address each section.
Gonzales is off to a strong start in her run for City Council. She has officially filed to run, set up a campaign headquarters on Mission Avenue, and already raised over $30,000 in campaign funds. Among her contributors are Councilman Chuck Lowery, and Council Aide Donald Greene. Also supporting her candidacy is Mayor Jim Wood.
Gonzales, 68, works as CEO of New Directions for Academic Advancement, an education nonprofit that helps failed school districts turn around. She is also a retired school superintendent.
Gonzales is married to Moses Gonzales. She has one son by birth, 10 children total and four grandchildren. Gonzales has lived in the region for 50 years, including the cities of Carlsbad and Bonsall. She currently lives in Oceanside, and has owned a home in the city for 33 years.
She has served on education focused state advisory committees and boards.
Gonzales said she is running for City Council to give back to the city that has done so much for her and her family, and that she has a deep passion towards.
Her focuses for the city are to preserve rent control for seniors, and bring in high quality, high paying jobs.
Gonzales said seven out of 10 residents with high quality jobs need to drive outside the city to work. She added a stable collaborative council is needed to move the city forward economically.
When asked about proposed improvements to Coast Highway, she said she is looking forward to seeing the outcome of the highway lane reduction test pilot area study, and feedback on roundabouts to determine what would be the best improvements.
“I favor data-driven decision making, we need all the facts to make that big of a change in the city,” Gonzales said.
Candidates have until Aug. 12 to file to run in the upcoming election.