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Three dozen apply for vacant Oceanside District 1 seat

OCEANSIDE — Three dozen people have applied to fill the District 1 City Council seat left open last month when longtime councilwoman Esther Sanchez was sworn in as mayor.

A 20-year member of the council, Sanchez was first elected to represent District 1 in 2018 after the city changed to district elections, requiring council members to live in the district they represent.

In December, City Council decided by a majority vote to go forward with appointing a new council member to fill the District 1 seat until the current term expires in 2022. Sanchez was the only one opposed, preferring a special election instead.

Residents who applied are required to live in District 1, which covers most of downtown Oceanside and extends east into the city’s center. The deadline to apply was Jan. 8.

According to City Clerk Zeb Navarro, 36 people applied.

One of the applicants is Stacy Begin, president of the Oceanside Unified School District school board.

“My extensive experience in research, advocacy, relationship building and assisting districts with improving their education program are all skills that can be applied to being an effective City Council member,” Begin said in her application.

Another applicant, Kyle Krahel, was born and raised in Oceanside. He is a member of the city’s Planning Commission who also works for U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) as deputy district director managing constituent services and community outreach.

“I believe in cooperation to get things done,” Krahel said in his application. “I will work with my fellow Councilmembers to support our businesses, neighborhoods, residents and community groups so we can all move forward together.”

Zack Beck was elected as Oceanside City Clerk in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. He left in early 2019 to serve as Escondido’s City Clerk, which is a full-time appointed position.

“As a public servant, I believe it is of utmost importance to streamline services, save taxpayer dollars and serve the community,” Beck said in his application.

Beck is also a pastor who serves at Breakwater Community Church in Oceanside’s District 1.

Thao Ha, professor and sociology department chair of MiraCosta College, also applied to represent District 1.

“As an educator and a volunteer in non-profits, I have a passion for public service, and as a small business owner, I support a thriving private sector,” Ha said.

The complete list of applicants for the District 1 seat is as follows: Dean Andersen, Eric Anderson, Drew Andrioff, Anthony Avila, Mark Barone, Zack Beck, Stacy Begin, Matthew Caulfield, Joseph Gallagher, David Griffith, Chelsea Gutmann, Thao Ha, Heather Hutchinson, Kori Jensen, Terry Warren Johnson, Clyde Frazier Jr., Wilbert Earl Cossel Jr., Jaime Justo, Ashley Keller, Rebekka Kinder, Kyle Krahel, Rick Kratcoski, Alvin McGee, Julia Juarez Miller, Jacqueline Montaño, Michael Odegaard, Mike Ogden, Stephanie Ramos, Elizabeth Schwartze, Darin Selnick, Nima Sepassi, Robert Sibilia, Laird Stabler, Cynthia Staley, Lane Steward and Raquel Utnehmer.

Navarro said the council is expected to interview the applicants during a workshop on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.  Council has until Feb. 12 to make its appointment.

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