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Fate Of Oceanside Mayor’s Seat Still Up In The Air

Oceanside City Hall, March 2017.

Photo by Promise Yee

Above: Oceanside City Hall, March 2017.

The Oceanside City Council must decide by Feb. 7 if it wants to put the mayor’s seat on the June ballot. But the council is still not sure if it wants to make an appointment or hold an election.

The city continues to function without a mayor, since former Mayor Jim Wood retired Jan. 1, following an absence of several months after suffering a stroke in May.

The council voted at its Jan. 10 meeting to ask the public if they want a new mayor to be appointed or elected.

Oceanside City Clerk Zack Beck said people who spoke at the meeting mostly preferred an election, and since then he has received several public comments.

RELATED: Oceanside City Council Look's For New Mayor After Jim Wood Steps Down

“There are a few people that have requested an appointment,” he said, “but I would say the overwhelming majority of responses we have received so far are encouraging the city council to fill the position in an election, either in June or November.”

Wood had suggested that Beck, or former City Manager Peter Weiss, be appointed to complete his term. But Beck has withdrawn his name, saying he is humbled by the mayor’s recommendation but that he wants to continue to lead the city clerk’s department "in a positive, productive and proactive direction."

The council has invited people interested in being appointed mayor to come to address it at the next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 24.

All four city councilmembers have said they would like to be mayor. But two of them, Jerry Kern and Esther Sanchez, are running for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. That makes them ineligible to run for the position of Oceanside mayor in June. If they fail to make the run-off for supervisor, they could run for mayor in November.

The Democratic party of San Diego County already lists Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery as a candidate on the June ballot.

But the council could wait until late February to decide whether to make an appointment, thus missing the deadline to put the seat on the ballot in June.

The Oceanside City Council must decide by Feb. 7 if it wants to put the mayor’s seat on the June ballot. But the council is still not sure it wants to make an appointment or hold an election.

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