Editor’s note: This is the final article in a series profiling candidates for Oceanside City Council. Rick Kratcoski has withdrawn from the election.
OCEANSIDE — Charles “Chuck” Lowery is running for Oceanside City Council with the slogan “Because Your Community Counts.”
To Lowery, community means neighborhoods. “Neighborhoods have been ignored, disrespected, lied to,” Lowery said. He brought up the example of the OK for Robertson’s cement plant despite strong community opposition. “Council majority took legal campaign contributions from Robertson’s,” Lowery said.
Another example Lowery pointed out is the fact that some current council members suggested privatizing the fire department and now deny they said it. “The incumbents and peer challenger are in direct conflict with facts on record,” Lowery said.
While Lowery sees decision-making as a bit out of whack right now, he said he has spoken to council members and they have said they are willing to work together. “The way to get something to happen in government is give and take,” Lowery said.
Lowery said he wants to use the governmental process in its best-intended form, to gather information, discuss issues and make fair decisions. “I want to create an interactive government in Oceanside,” Lowery said.
He also wants to ensure the survivability of the city through the current financial crisis. Lowery said he has been pushing to stop unnecessary spending for months. “The impact is Oceanside going further into debt on projects,” Lowery said. “Council majority aren’t willing to listen to ideas that don’t cost us money (like pay per use trash collection fees), Lowery said. “They’re willing to pay for a new park.”
Lowery gives kudos to the low crime rates and quick response times achieved by Oceanside police and firefighters. He says community safety gives cultural and social stability that attracts positive new businesses.
As councilman, Lowery wants to reframe the way issues are looked at, and use government to improve city services and guide development. “It’s exciting to me — making an impact on water, recycling, parking,” Lowery said. “I want it to be an interactive system and ask people what it is that they want. The potential is high for this to be very positive.”
For more information on Chuck Lowery for City Council, visit www.lowery4council.com.
Jim Gibson is running on the platform of more jobs, no more taxes, and putting public safety first.
Gibson puts public safety first, with a zero tolerance for gangs and illegal immigration.
“Absolutely no more gangs,” Gibson said. “I’m not interested in understanding any plight, I’m interested in ending them.”
Gibson supports continuing anti-gang after school programs and parent education programs in addition to implementing more aggressive suppression efforts. “We need to bring ICE in on this and do everything possible to check the immigration.”
Gibson said his public voting record shows he stands against fee and tax increases. As a school board member, he has opposed all fee increases and will continue to stand against tax and fee increases as a councilman.
Gibson also wants to put a halt to city salary increases before they bankrupt the city. “Oceanside police and fireman are the highest paid in San Diego County,” Gibson said. “Don’t give them every pay raise they want and forget about citizens.” Gibson said if the increases in city employee benefits and pay are not capped they will likely bankrupt the city within four years.
Bringing more jobs to Oceanside is another goal. Gibson said Oceanside has one of the largest disparities between number of residents and number of jobs, with job numbers falling short. He says to shrink the gap between employees and available jobs Oceanside needs to develop a business friendly climate. “I’m in business, and it almost put me out of business dealing with the silly bureaucracy,” Gibson said. “I’ve seen a lot of friends go out of business.” He says city code enforcement currently puts up unnecessary hurdles that discourage business owners instead of working with businesses.
Gibson gives kudos to the development of parks and downtown redevelopment and wants to continue intelligent growth with the addition of businesses that bring career-type jobs to Oceanside.
For more information on Jim Gibson for City Council, visit www.electgibson.com.