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Mayor, council candidates begin to line up

OCEANSIDE — Election season is on the horizon.

Several mayoral candidates have already turned in their intention statements to run during the November 2020 election. As of Oct. 8, those candidates are Zack Beck, Rocky Chavez, Ruben Major, Perry Alvarez, current Deputy Mayor Jack Feller and current Councilwoman Esther Sanchez.

According to a post on the Jack Feller for Oceanside Facebook page, one of Feller’s objectives if elected as mayor is to bring the projects he has worked on as a council member, like the El Corazon Aquatics Complex, to fruition.

“I will make my #1 priority the health and safety of our residents and I will continue to support businesses and projects that make Oceanside a great city to live, work, worship and play,” Feller said in the Facebook post.

Sanchez told The Coast News she wants to bring more businesses, jobs and revenue to the city as mayor.

“We continue to have the lowest jobs to residents ratio in the entire county,” Sanchez said. “I’m stepping up to be mayor to change that.”

Sanchez also said she wants to establish a “green economy” in Oceanside, address its poverty and homelessness issues, and improve public safety infrastructure.

“This is a great city,” she said. “I want to make it greater.”

Only one candidate, Amber Newman, is currently intending to run for the city’s new District 3 council member seat, meanwhile Michelle Gomez and Jane Marshall are intending to run for District 4.

Current City Clerk Zeb Navarro, who was appointed to his position earlier this year when Beck left the position, is the only person planning to run for city clerk so far.

“I feel that there is much work to be done in the City Clerk’s Office and I want to continue doing the work I am doing for Oceanside,” Navarro said via email.

Former Treasurer Rafe Edward Trickey has been planning to grab his previously elected position back for some time. According to Navarro, Trickey turned in his intention to run statement back in November 2018.

Before Trickey and Navarro can run for their respective offices, an initiative on the March 2020 ballot will ask voters if they want to make the city clerk and treasurer appointed positions instead of elected ones.

If voters go through with it, Navarro explained that he and Treasurer Victor Roy will serve their terms out until December 2020. After that, the city manager will appoint people to the roles.

If voters fail the initiative, then the positions will remain elected.

More candidates will likely pop up as the official filing period to qualify for the November 2020 ballot opens on July 13, 2020.

There is also a possible Cannabis Business Tax measure that will go on the November 2020 ballot if it receives enough approving votes by City Council. Council gave staff direction in August to bring back the necessary actions to put such a measure on the November 2020 ballot.

According to staff, the tax would help offset costs to enforce illegal cannabis activities and fund general services in exchange for allowing these types of businesses. The tax would generate between $6.7 to $7.8 million.

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