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No council vote on support for a state bag ban

OCEANSIDE — Councilwoman Esther Sanchez shared her support for a state single-use plastic bag ban that will be on the November ballot, but fellow council members did not second the item for a vote on a resolution of support on Wednesday.

Sanchez directed further comments to residents after failing to get a second. She said the state bag ban would support SB 270 that was passed in 2014, and has since been challenged.

The bill states that in July 2015, stores would stop distributing single-use plastic bags.

A handful of residents spoke in support of SB 270 and furthering its impact through the upcoming state ballot measure.

“This is huge, we’re doing the right thing supporting SB 270,” Oceanside resident Erin Morin said.

Sanchez talked about leadership the city has taken in adopting a Zero Waste Strategic Management Plan in 2012, which includes the goal of implementing a plastic bag ban by 2017.

“With a statewide ban we will gain the most, 117 jurisdictions have already adopted (local) bans,” Sanchez said.

The state ballot number and wording have not yet been determined.

If passed the state law will supersede city laws passed after 2014.

Oceanside is currently working on a city bag ban.

Following the meeting Councilmen Chuck Lowery and Jerry Kern said they felt Sanchez was grandstanding, after she voted no on a city bag ban.

Kern said without a second on the item talk should have stopped.

“We wasted time on discussion,” Kern said. “We should have never heard it.”

Sanchez was part of the 2-3 vote against a city bag ban in October 2015, in which Kern and Councilman Jack Feller also voted no. Sanchez requested an education campaign precede adoption of a city ban. Workshops are currently taking place.

Sanchez said her timing for bringing up the state ballot measure is to educate residents before they are bombarded by campaigns against the bag ban.

“A lot of money will be spent by plastic bag companies that will say plastic bags serve some good,” Sanchez said.

Lowery said another reason he did not second the item for discussion is without the language of the ballot measure it is premature, and could lead to confusion.