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Recall Could Change Political Landscape In Oceanside

Audio

Aired 11/30/09

Two significant events next month could change the political landscape of the city of Oceanside. Currently, fiscal conservatives have a 3-to-2 majority on the city council, but that could change.

Two significant events next month could change the political landscape of the City of Oceanside. Currently, fiscal conservatives have a 3-to-2 majority on the city council, but that could change.

A sign opposing the recall of councilman Jerry Kern stands on an Oceanside street.
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Above: A sign opposing the recall of councilman Jerry Kern stands on an Oceanside street.

Signs supporting or opposing the recall of council man Jerry Kern seem to pop up behind every palm tree in Oceanside. The outcome of next week’s election will determine the fate of not just Kern, but the three person republican majority on the council.

The unexpected news that Kern’s fellow republican, Rocky Chavez, will leave the council to accept an appointment in Sacramento has thrown the city into even more uncertainty.

“If my departure had done anything,” Chavez said, “it’s highlighted how important this recall election is. If Jerry Kern is recalled, then it will change the direction of the city. The main issue is the budget. If you think that economic times are tough and that economic times are going to be tough for another year to two years, you want to maintain a fiscally conservative council.”

Chavez warns that the firefighters’ union, which largely financed the recall of councilman Jerry Kern, is trying to preserve benefits in contract negotiations that culminate next month.

But Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez both openly support the recall. Speaking on Oceanside’s local government cable channel, KOCT, Sanchez accused Kern of being backed by developers.

“Many lies have been said about this recall and what it’s all about,” Sanchez said. “From wild accusations that it’s about a union takeover, whereas we all know that the economic downturn of our state and our nation has more to do with the greed and failure of large corporations, banks and their CEOs. Wild projections are being thrown around about the cost of city employees’ pensions, as if the economy was never going to rebound.”

The results of next week’s recall could determine the direction the city takes on issues such as rent control, public safety and the pace of development in the coastal city.

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