The Coast News Group
Opinion, Community Commentary

Letter: We stand by Cathy

Dear Editor,

This letter is regarding The Coast News article, “MainStreet Oceanside suspends events director after vendor dispute.”

My wife and I have worked with Cathy Nykiel for many years.

We have supported the Oceanside Farmers Market and Sunset Market and participated in the annual Fourth of July parade and tree lighting events. We’ve worked closely with Cathy at these events. 

She is tremendously busy most of the time, as much falls on her shoulders.

My wife has been a street marshal at these events many times. For over 20 years, we’ve provided vehicles for the Independence Day parade annually for council members and other dignitaries.

Why I’m telling all this to you is that we’ve seen Cathy in various situations, many happy while others tense and somewhat uncomfortable. Cathy has always handled herself in the most professional way to resolve issues and get to the heart of the problem reasonably.

She is quick to understand the facts in any disagreement and produces quick solutions and proper judgments. Rarely does anyone object. When they do, she listens. 

This is the way it has to be done. In the past, she has told me sternly to be at a particular place at a specific time. I didn’t take offense; she was in charge and getting things done. Good for her.

She has never exhibited any bias toward others based on race, regardless if Asian, Hispanic, Black, White, etc. Cathy has always worked  for the good of the event and MainStreet Oceanside. 

If you survey all the vendors involved in the farmers markets and other events, you’ll find overwhelming support — and love — for Cathy. She is the spark plug that makes it all work, above anyone else in the MainStreet organization.

For anyone to cast aspersions on her is a massive injustice. They have no idea how hard she works. She is dedicated, fair and diligent towards each event and everyone involved. And how dare anyone call her a racist after all she’s done to promote Hispanic heritage in Oceanside. 

Those casting disparagements are genuinely ignorant and racist themselves.

Excuse me for saying this. No one on her staff or elsewhere in the MainStreet team can compare with her. This is just my opinion, but I know for a fact that others feel the same way.

From reading the published report, I think some people who got involved are wrong and overreacting. 

For anyone to insert their young daughter (or son) into that kind of conflict is wrong and, in my mind, the same as those using innocent people as shields — low moral character.

Nobody should have offered an apology for Cathy’s actions. She was well within her rights to enforce the rules of the Día de los Muertos event. (The vendor) was a mooch trying to horn into an event without paying for space. 

This is unfair to the many other vendors, and Cathy was doing her job — shame on anyone taking the vendor’s side on this.

Cathy’s integrity and loyalty are beyond reproach. My wife and I will always be proud to stand behind her!

The people creating this situation, in my opinion, are ignorant, self-serving and biased people with no honor. 

Cathy had every right and obligation to the other vendors to maintain order despite an unwanted intrusion.

Rather than chastise Cathy, our City Council should award her a medal of honor for bravery, honesty and years of contributions to Oceanside. Not many on her staff would have stood up for what was right. 

Cathy is undoubtedly one of Oceanside’s most valuable assets. And remember, she’s a volunteer!

Bud Beech


Leave a Comment