OCEANSIDE — City Council’s chambers were packed with people as a new city treasurer, a new city council member and a returning member were officially sworn into office on Dec. 12.
The swearing-in ceremony began with the remaining council members adopting a resolution that declared the city’s November election results.
Esther Sanchez, who has been a councilwoman since 2000, won the District 1 seat in the city’s first district election with 4,137 (36 percent) votes. In that race, she defeated now former Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery, Susan Custer and Michael Odegaard.
Chris Rodriguez, who is new to council, won the District 2 seat with 5,610 (43 percent) votes. He defeated Dana Corso, Terry Johnson Sr., Larry Kornit and Kristopher Kagan.
Victor Roy defeated incumbent Rafe Trickey Jr. for city treasurer with 56 percent of the votes.
In a prerecorded farewell address, Trickey said he had hoped to be at the swearing-in ceremony in person but had been called out of town.
Trickey said he had a “series of improvement goals” when he first took over as city treasurer two years ago and has “met or made significant progress on” those goals.
According to Trickey, when he first took office at the end of 2016 the city’s fiscal year investment income was at $1.7 million, but is expected to be at $2.8 million by the end of this year. He added that the overall value of the city’s primary investment portfolio is $11 million greater this year than it was at the end of 2016.
“It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve as the city of Oceanside’s city treasurer,” he said. “My overarching goal was to preserve honesty, integrity, honor and general independence, and I believe I’ve done so. The citizens of Oceanside have deserved no less.”
Trickey also thanked the people who voted for him in November. He had a different message for those who voted for his opponent.
“I’ll do all I’m able to earn your vote during the 2020 election cycle,” he said.
After Roy was sworn in, he emphasized the importance of supporting city services, noting his own volunteer work over the last eight years.
Roy is the president of the Friends of Oceanside Parks & Recreation, vice president of the Friends of Oceanside Public Library and a founding member of The Oceanside Charitable Foundation.
“I urge each and every one of you, if you have the time and ability, to come out and share a passion that a lot of us have,” he said. “Please join us in helping to continue supporting our community with volunteer service if you can.”
Rodriguez was sworn-in next. According to his biography on the city’s website, he was born in Chicago but arrived in Oceanside in 2002 through the United States Marine Corps.
The former Marine served two combat tours, including Operation Vigilant Resolve, where he suffered injuries in a firefight.
After the Marines, he started a mortgage and real estate company in 2007. He now owns a farm in South Morro Hills, which he manages with his wife, Sarah, and his six children.
“This is truly, truly an honor to be standing in front of all of you,” he said, later adding, “It’s a new chapter for Oceanside where we’re going to find common ground and get a lot done for you guys.”
Sanchez was up next. According to her biography, Sanchez was born and raised in Oceanside. She graduated Oceanside High School in 1974, earned a degree in Urban Studies at Brown University and earned her Juris Doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Sanchez worked as an attorney in both the public and private sector for 22 years, retiring from the Public Defender’s Office in 2008. She is now currently starting her law office and business in Oceanside.
“This means the world to me,” she said.
Sanchez acknowledged that this year’s election was “difficult” for Oceanside, but noted she will be working to bring the city “back together.”
“I want to ensure 2050 will see a community still thriving,” she said.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son