OCEANSIDE — A debate for both mayor and city council found some different voter favorites emerge over similar previous debates held last week.
Tuesday’s debate was hosted by the Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association and moderated by the League of Women Voters.
Many in attendance voiced support for incumbent Mayor Jim Wood, as well as Councilwoman Esther Sanchez and candidate Dana Corso for city council.
There was also support for former Oceanside Mayor Terry Johnson, who is re-seeking the office of mayor.
“The mayor is doing a good job and who can’t like Mr. Johnson,” Kay Pratt, an Oceanside resident, said.
Mike Bullock, who attended the debate, said it was the first time he heard mayoral candidate Johnson state his opposition to the now defeated Proposition E that pushed to end rent control.
“He did not go public with his opinion,” Bullock said. “He didn’t go to bat for the people.”
At the MiraCosta College debate held last week, voters were evenly split in favor of Wood and Councilman Jerry Kern for mayor and support for incumbent council members Sanchez and Jack Feller and council candidate Corso was also voiced.
Some undecided voters said Tuesday that they were leaning towards city council candidate Jimmy Knott out of the seven candidates running.
Questions for the debate were provided by the audience, and ranged from topics as the downtown development and planned roadways to questions that were more localized to the south Oceanside neighborhood where the forum was held.
Those questions focused on low income housing, caring for the environment and keeping council meetings civil.
The general reaction from those in attendance was that candidates stuck to their platforms.
It was also noted that a bit more was revealed by candidates.
City Council candidates Feller and Chip Dykes said the city does not need to take measures to address the effects of climate change.
“We should not put any burdensome regulations in place on a theory that is not yet proven,” Dykes said. “We should be kind to the environment.”
There was a marked difference in response from some of the city council candidates who may not have been as familiar with city issues as others.
“There really are some green peas,” said Oceanside resident Diane Nygaard.
Sanchez was the only city council candidate familiar with the proposed district overlay for south Oceanside that would help preserve the character of the neighborhood.
Oceanside resident Richard Staszak said the debate put too much focus on how to provide community services and did not offer enough solutions on how to improve the city’s economy.
At least one more debate is for mayor and city council is planned for October.
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