Community Commentary: Kern recall not about unions

What is the recall of Councilman Kern all about? It’s about a lot of things people really care about. It’s not about some crazy union thugs in police and fire uniforms storming our city. That demonizing concept was dreamed up by Kern and his consultant San Diegan Tom Shepherd. Support and admiration for public safety is at an all-time high since 9/11. Public safety should always be the No. 1 concern of our council members, not the No. 1 thing used to frighten residents. That’s not the thinking I want in a councilman, is it yours? Firemen and police are my heroes. Aren’t they yours too?
I know I’d rather call 911 for police and fire assistance than rely on Kern or Shepherd to administer life-saving medications or pull a very heavy fire hose to put out a fire at my home. I don’t think either one of these men are willing or able to put their life on the line for me and the other residents of Oceanside. It takes a lot of nerve to pit the residents against our lifesavers. That’s just wrong, borders on immoral, and avoids the real issues.
So what is the recall about? It’s about getting rid of Kern who continues to vote against the interests of the residents of Oceanside. It’s about keeping seniors and veterans in their affordable homes, even if those are mobile homes. It’s about honoring the mutual aid agreement between Oceanside, Carlsbad and Vista to ensure a paramedic-staffed ambulance can respond quickly to your emergency. Kern voted to eliminate one ambulance for Oceanside, which will mean longer response times for all of us. He voted for extensive cuts to police and eliminated investigators. However, it’s also about getting rid of Kern and keeping polluting industries out of Oceanside.
I was forced to sue the city of Oceanside to stop a bad project Kern strongly supported. It didn’t belong in our coastal jewel of a city. I hope you remember the Robertson’s concrete plant project. Out of a sense of civic duty and a desire to protect Loma Alta Creek, Buccaneer Beach, our seniors, our kids and our neighborhoods, I sued the city to stop that project. I spent more than $10,000 in cold, hard cash on experts, documents, transcripts, and maps along with countless hours of research to convince Kern that Robertson’s would not be good for our town. It was almost a certainty that this project, planned for the floodplain, would dump pollutants into our creek and impact our neighborhoods.
I felt like I was talking to a brick wall.
So I enlisted the help of thousands of citizens and lots of groups to get Kern to listen. I got the University of San Diego Environmental Law Clinic to help. I got the support of Surfrider, CoastKeeper, Sierra Club, various other environmental organizations and more than 10 neighborhood groups in town and many, many concerned citizens. Hundreds of people showed up at the council meeting to stop this heavy, polluting industry from coming to town. They say this was one of the biggest turnouts ever to oppose a project. Kern turned a deaf ear and didn’t listen to any of us. He voted for his wealthy campaign donor’s project anyway. So we sued and Robertson’s left town. The residents won that one.
Kern says he’d vote for a concrete plant all over again and I believe him. He also said he thinks an asphalt plant on the San Luis Rey River is a good idea. Can you imagine the smell and how that would affect the property values of the nearby residents? The Benedictine Abbey is also close by. This is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful spot for us to take our worries and cares away. It’s a quiet spot where one can contemplate what future we want for ourselves, our kids, our town, our Earth. An asphalt plant would destroy all that. If Kern stays on the council, are we going to have to sue again to protect our city and get through his “brick wall”?
Don’t just sit there. Go vote for a better future for Oceanside. Vote yes to recall Jerome Kern.

Nadine L. Scott is founder of Friends of Loma Alta Creek.

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MandyBear November 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Great commentary.

x347 November 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm

you didnt win agains Robertsons, the economy went bad. way to go, the city lost revenue.

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