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Council removes mayor from SANDAG

OCEANSIDE — Shortly after Mayor Jim Wood won reelection the Council majority of Jerry Kern, Gary Felien and Jack Feller worked dogmatically to remove Wood from his seat on the SANDAG board. A 3-2 vote Jan. 2 finalized his removal.

“The SANDAG representative should represent the majority view of the city,” Felien said. “The Mayor has been critically disappointing.”

Jim Wood

Felien criticized Wood for not securing SANDAG funds for pro-growth roadways, in particular the Rancho del Oro interchange at state Route 78 and Melrose Drive connection between state Routes 76 and SR 78.

“We all need to work together to do our share in the regional growth structure,” Felien said. “I don’t believe the Mayor shares those views.”

Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez explained that residents and regional agencies have strongly opposed the Rancho del Oro interchange and Melrose Drive extension projects, which are controversial and unlikely to receive funding.

Wood and Sanchez also said the post-election SANDAG board will be more likely to lean towards funding mass transportation projects and railways rather than expanding roadways.

“There’s a motion on the dais to remove a very, very popular mayor from SANDAG,” Sanchez said. “We’re loosing our public relations with other cities. It’s embarrassing.”

“There’s no reason to focus on one or two highly controversial projects,” Sanchez added. “There are positive projects that would receive funding.”

Ten citizens spoke on the item.

An Oceanside resident and one Fallbrook resident supported the Council majority’s view to appoint a new SANDAG representative who would push for dollars to expand thoroughfares.

The eight other speakers opposed removing Wood from SANDAG. They said the Council majority was grabbing power and not listening to voters.

“The voters of Oceanside are the majority — not three men on council,” Linda Walshaw, vice president of ACTION citizen’s group, said.

Following Wood’s removal from Sandag questions still loom on what will happen next.

Feller is the alternate to replace Wood on the SANDAG board, but Wood said a Council vote might be needed to find his replacement and new alternatives. He suggested the vote to remove him also nixed appointed alternates.

Legal actions might also halt the process of someone new taking the SANDAG seat. Wood said he has secured legal representation that is looking into the procedures that were used to remove him from SANDAG.

He said he vows to represent citizens who voted him into office.

“It really hurts voters,” Wood said. “That’s why I stood up and said this is not right.”

The legality of the series of rushed meetings to gain the Dec. 12 vote to empower Council members to initiate appointments and recalls of city representatives to regional positions is being seriously questioned.

City Council will revote on the amendment Jan. 16.

Wood said residents are also taking steps to right the situation and will likely begin collecting signatures to overturn the City Charter and return Oceanside to a general law city.

“The bad person in this is the charter,” Wood said. “They (Council majority) pushed the charter through and it’s given them power to do things they couldn’t do under general law.”

If 8,300 signatures are collected the City Charter will go to a citizen’s vote.



flaire January 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

This sounds like the sort of bullying that went on until recently in Encinitas. All donations to public figures are available to those who wish to get educated. You won’t like what you see, I assure you. A classic example of a Charter City is Bell, CA. Need I say more?

Robert Markley January 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm

This is not your typical liberal-vs-conservative battle or your typical Republican-vs-Democrat battle. It is three EXTREMISTS trying to usurp the power from a member of THEIR OWN POLITICAL PARTY. That’s right, Dear Reader, Feller, Felien, and Kern (the USURPERS) are all Republicans, and so is the target of their invective, Jim Wood. ALL FOUR are REPUBLICANS!! The difference is that the first three, Feller, Felien, and Kern, take LARGE DONATIONS to their political campaigns from out-of-town special interests such as developers, builders and mobile home park owners. Jim Wood, on the other hand, gets almost all his campaign donations from Oceanside residents. This fact alone should tell you something. WHO is representing the interests of the voters of Oceanside? JIM WOOD, that’s who. And WHO is representing the interests of the out-of-town special interests? Feller. Felien and Kern, of course. You have heard it many times before: FOLLOW THE MONEY! That’s what Feller, Felien and Kern do, like fat pigs with rings in their noses. Rings pulled by their out-of-town special interest campaign contributors.

All this was made possible by the Oceanside City Charter, which was jammed through without ANY of the usual public comment or input. If there was any reason to repeal that charter, this is it! HOWEVER, STAY TUNED! The Three Usurpers Feller, Felien, and Kern, have MORE usurping planned, all made possible by the Oceanside City Charter.

Linda Sills January 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

This entire argument is about Federal funds. SANDAG is not your friend. Look up their affiliations. Check other cities who are adversely affected by their transportation public/private partnerships. Look into ANY city’s General Plans, and transportation plans, and you will see they are all written the same way by the same people. The writers are ICLEI. Look up that God awful web site, and you will see the nefarious plans they have for you. The word regionalism is also not your friend. It has a long history here in California. You have a lot of homework to do my friends.

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