This is the third of four Q&A’s with Oceanside City Council candidates.
OCEANSIDE — Oceanside City Council candidates name what they believe will be the city’s most pressing issue in the next four years. Replies vary from protecting water resources, to creating job opportunities and continuing fiscal conservancy.
What is Oceanside’s No. 1 issue?
Our current council has lost touch with residents’ priorities, is mired in dysfunction and can’t be trusted to advocate for us.
It’s time for a change.
Incumbent Councilman Gary Felien’s support of the Gregory Canyon Landfill, which threatens to pollute Oceanside’s drinking water, should concern all Oceanside residents and business owners.
The landfill is a garbage dump that would be built on top of the aquifer that provides drinking water for Oceanside.
We can’t afford to endanger the drinking water that our families and businesses rely on, especially during the current drought conditions. Yet, Felien supports the Gregory Canyon Landfill and has advocated for the dump’s approval. That’s unacceptable.
I will always stand with Oceanside residents to protect our quality drinking water and will fight to stop the Gregory Canyon Landfill.
Jerome “Jerry” Kern
The priority for the next four years is to keep the momentum going.
Crime is down in most categories across the city, new and exciting businesses are opening and we are attracting a lot more people from out of the area.
I was in Orange County last week and ran into a young couple (30-something) and they raved about Oceanside.
Oceanside’s No. 1 concern is job opportunities that come without infringing on the diversity of our charming community.
As president of ACTION and listening to residents of the 42 Oceanside neighborhoods it represents, I believe in order to keep Oceanside thriving and growing we must give voters back their voice.
Time after time in recent years, I’ve witnessed one neighborhood after another plead their case before the current council majority, only to be ignored.
Our public commissions have been eliminated and must be restored so that citizens have input in local government.
It is wrong that under our current City Charter, three votes on the council can overrule decisions made by Oceanside voters.
A perfect example was when the voters chose Mayor Wood 2-1 over Mr. Kern, and council members Kern, Feller and Felien passed their own ordinance to strip the mayor’s powers of office and transfer those powers to themselves, overriding the choice made by Oceanside voters.
The decision of who gets to have mayoral powers should remain with Oceanside voters.
Another example was in 2012, when over 15,484 voters signed a referendum to stop Vacancy Decontrol (Proposition E), yet the council majority chose to ignore voters and instead spent over $250,000 of our tax dollars to hold a special election no one wanted.
Our local elected officials seem to have forgotten the constituents who placed them in office.
I believe if we listen to local residents and work together for solutions, Oceanside will grow and prosper.
To keep moving forward with the same fiscally responsible management we have implemented the past four years.
When you have balanced budgets, no tax increases and costs under control you create economic growth that expands the tax base that allows us to consider projects like a new aquatics center at El Corazon Park.
In the Oct. 3 edition of The Coast News candidates will address the final question in the series: What question would you like fellow candidates to answer for voters?