OCEANSIDE — For incumbent Mayor Jim Wood, the biggest hurdle in the next four years will be the impact of $5 to 10 million in state budget cuts on city operations.
Wood sees part of his job as being a spokesperson for Oceanside with county, state and federal government. He has met with mayors of San Diego County cities to address the state budget problem, as well as made his concerns known to the governor, state assembly and senate.
While the budget is his primary focus, Wood vows to continue economic development without overbuilding, improve traffic circulation on local roads and freeways and maintain an open government through measures like the lobbying ordinance.
Wood said he understands that neighborhood issues are of primary importance to residents, and he recognizes different Oceanside neighborhoods have different needs.
Wood said he resolves issues with the help of a consensus of city leaders who know the issues and their impact, namely city department heads and council members.
Wood feels he is knowledgeable about Oceanside from his 31 years working on the Oceanside Police Department. “I saw a lot of problems,” Wood said. “That’s why I ran for office.”
Wood served as a council member from 2002 to 2004 and as mayor from 2004 to present.
According to Wood, one of Oceanside’s biggest problems was image. “Oceanside had a terrible image, as a crime-ridden military town,” Wood said.
Oceanside is now the third-safest city in San Diego County, with crime rates down to their lowest level in 30 years, and volunteer military a respected presence in the community.
Wood credits improved safety ratings to the assignment of a new fire chief and police chief, a regional fire dispatch center in North County, and police meeting the challenge of creating a new image for Oceanside.
Wood says he is proud of the changes in Oceanside and the direction the city is going in. “That makes me smile, when we’ve made a difference,” Wood said.
For more information about Mayor Jim Wood, visit www.re-electmayorjimwood.com
Rocky Chavez “Working for Safer Neighborhoods”
Deputy Mayor Rocky Chavez is looking to the local level to make improvements, beginning with updating the 20-year-old General Plan.
Chavez said the outdated plan does not provide solutions for current traffic flow, or where to locate fire stations to expedite response time.
Chavez said he will implement a proactive approach to push forward redevelopment and provide city and regional services. “My message is respecting neighborhoods, but understanding the relationship of that neighborhood to the city and region,” Chavez said.
Chavez said solutions can be found through collaborative input. As a councilman, Chavez participated in the Leadership Summit, which called together 33 leaders form North County cities. Chavez credits relationships built during the summit to the quick regional response to the firestorm of 2007.
Chavez served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 28 years, rising to the rank of colonel, and was the chief education officer of the School of Business and Technology, or SBT, a charter high school in Oceanside. Oceanside Unified School District did not continue the charter this year.
“Being involved in SBT and being involved with students were some of the most rewarding times of my life,” Chavez said. “The rewards came from watching students grow.”
According to Chavez, some of the city’s biggest financial issues in the next four years will be water and sewage. “One hundred million dollars in infrastructure requirements have not been addressed,” Chavez said.
“We have very good people and a great city manager working on some of these issues that need some help from us, the council,” he said.
Chavez said as mayor he will guide the council to find harmonious solutions to issues for all parties involved.
For more information about Deputy Mayor Rocky Chavez, visit www.rockyforoceanside.com.