The Coast News Group
Rick Robinson takes over as council member for District 2 on the Oceanside City Council, and was set to be appointed deputy mayor this week. Courtesy photo.

New Oceanside City Council members sworn in

OCEANSIDE — Two new City Council members were officially sworn into office at a recent special council meeting.

On Dec. 14, former Oceanside Unified School Board Trustee Eric Joyce is the new representative for the city’s District 1 on the City Council and retired fire chief Rick Robinson took over as District 2’s representative. They replace Kori Jensen and Christopher Rodriguez, respectively.

Joyce served on the OUSD school board for four years before opting to run for City Council instead of a board reelection. He took his oath with his two young children by his side on the and was met with an enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Eric Joyce, new council member for District 1. Courtesy photo


“I want to thank my family, who are always standing with me in the best way, calling me in at every moment to make sure I’m a better human every day,” Joyce said. “To my Oceanside Unified family, it has been an incredible journey with you and the work that we did with the school district that I know you will carry on is something in the city we need.”

Continuing the theme, Joyce said that all of Oceanside is like a family that he will continue to serve in his new capacity, which he called “an honor of a lifetime.”

“Like every family we have some conflict from time to time, but we are bound by love and a shared fate,” he said. “We have tough decisions in the years ahead — will we succumb to the stories of other cities where they become a new trendy place and the people who built the city who make it eclectic, diverse and beautiful are pushed out? Or can we plot a deliberate course — one that balances economic growth with people’s well-being, balances safety with compassion for others, balances economics with our need for community? I believe we can do these things, I believe our family can grow closer with good conversation and grace and I look forward to doing this work with you.”

In a symbolic gesture, Robinson was sworn in by Fire Chief Dave Parsons, who succeeded Robinson after his retirement over the summer.

Over the past 45 years, Robinson has sworn an oath of office in various roles — as a sailor in the Navy, as a firefighter, paramedic, arson investigator and as fire chief — but this is the first time he took an oath of office as an elected official.

“I take this oath not as something I achieved but rather what you the voters have done through the ballot box,” Robinson said. “For your support I’m forever grateful. I will serve not only for those who voted for but on behalf of all who reside and work and visit our city to the best of my ability.”

Robinson also said he is excited to once again serve with Oceanside city staff as well as the mayor and his fellow council members.

“I’m excited to collaborate with the mayor and my fellow council to find solutions to some of our most difficult challenges: improving public safety, managing homelessness, keeping our beaches, increasing housing availability, traffic improvement, supporting and expanding our business community, improving and maintaining recreation facilities, and maintaining and improving public infrastructure,” he said. “All of those will require a shared sense of purpose, sound policy development, wisdom in our decision making, and the best efforts of city staff.”

Like Joyce, Robinson thanked his family as well as the outgoing council members. He also thanked his election opponent, Daniel Dominguez, for running a campaign “that focused on the issues.”

Mayor Esther Sanchez was set to appoint Robinson as deputy mayor at the Dec. 21 council meeting.