OCEANSIDE — Both recall efforts for Councilmembers Esther Sanchez and Christopher Rodriguez have expired, according to the city clerk’s office.
In December 2019, two citizen-led efforts initiated attempts to get rid of Sanchez and Rodriguez.
Proponents of Sanchez’s recall had until May 27 to submit 3,944 signatures to the city clerk’s office, while proponents of Rodriguez’s recall had until June 5 to submit 4,456 signatures.
The difference between the number of signatures needed for the recalls was based on the size of the districts Sanchez and Rodriguez represent.
Rodriguez represents District 2 in Oceanside, which covers a large portion of the northeast side of town, stretching out to Bonsall. Sanchez represents District 1, which covers downtown and the city’s northwest corner by the coast.
According to City Clerk Zeb Navarro, the petition to recall Rodriguez was submitted by Patricia Hughes and the petition to recall Sanchez was submitted by Dennis Sisneros.
Both recall petitions expired because no signatures were submitted by their deadlines, Navarro confirmed.
There was an earlier attempt last fall to recall Rodriguez, but that petition wasn’t filed in time.
The group attempting to recall Rodriguez found “COVID-19 barriers insurmountable” and prevented the group from collecting enough signatures in time.
According to Michael Cobas, coordinator for the “Recall Rodriguez” group, their efforts stopped June 1.
“Realizing that as much as we wanted this to be successful, it just could not be done,” Cobas explained in a news release on behalf of the group.
Cobas said the group was “COVID-bit” and “suffered repeated setbacks.”
The group listed several reasons why Rodriguez should be recalled in its notice of intent to circulate a recall petition. Many of those reasons have to do with Rodriguez’s support for the controversial North River Farms development project.
The group claims Rodriguez promoted North River Farms on social media before the council’s public hearing on the controversial development, thus eliminating “his fair and impartial analysis of said project and his constituents’ concerns.” They also suggest that Rodriguez has a conflict of interest due to his property in South Morro Hills, where the NRF project would be constructed.
Proponents of Rodriguez’s recall also claim the councilmember operates vacation rentals with “numerous code violations.”
According to the notice of intent to recall Sanchez, proponents of the District 1 petition claim Sanchez isn’t fit for her role because she “won’t work with her peers, holds grudges, and refuses to even communicate.”
Sanchez recall proponents also claim that Sanchez has opposed affordable housing, public safety, business growth and medical cannabis while pretending to support the community and those issues. They also take issue with her 20 years in office.