The Coast News Group
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Cities Community San Marcos San Marcos Featured

Offshore drilling resolution first test of new San Marcos council

The San Marcos City Council on Tuesday will consider adopting proposed resolution to oppose the expansion of oil drilling or exploration off of California’s coastline.

The resolution could be the first ideological test of the new-look City Council, which includes three new members since the 2018 election.

New council members Randy Walton and Maria Nunez have requested the resolution be placed on the agenda. Walton originally brought it up shortly after the election, and Nunez notified staff Jan. 28 that she wished to join Walton and have the item before the rest of the Council.

Oceana, a major environmental advocacy group, has lobbied a number of local, state and federal agencies to take a stance against the Trump Administration’s to open several Pacific Ocean locations to oil and gas exploration.

San Marcos becomes the second inland city to take up the matter of offshore drilling in recent weeks. Escondido became the farthest inland city to weigh in on coastal drilling, voting 3-2 to support its resolution, with the vote falling along partisan lines. 

The ideological and partisan makeup of the San Marcos City Council has changed radically since Election Day. Previously, four of the council members were registered Republicans, and one, Chris Orlando, was a registered Democrat. 

Today, two of the council members are registered as Democrats – Walton and recently appointed councilman Jay Petrek — and a third, Nunez, is not registered with either major party, but campaigned with Walton. 

Mayor Rebecca Jones and Sharon Jenkins are registered Republicans, but Jenkins is regarded as a moderate who supported Walton during his election campaign, and served with him on the San Marcos Unified School District board. 

Jones has been a favorite among the county’s Republican party, earning endorsements from every major Republican official during her mayoral campaign.