Oceanside CA— Mayor Jim Wood has announced his resignation from office to be effective January 1, 2018. The Mayor, who was on medical leave until his return last week to preside over the December 6, 2017 council meeting, suffered a stroke in May. “I have made the difficult decision to resign my position as Mayor of Oceanside,” The Mayor’s letter to Zack Beck, Oceanside’s City Clerk, stated. “I want to thank all of my supporters, my friends and most importantly, my family, for all of their love and support through this untimely event in my life.
The Mayor returned to his seat on the City Council for the first time since he was granted a sixty-day extension to his medical leave on October 4, 2017 and took effect November 1, 2017.
During the meeting for the extension, the Mayor stated in a written statement; “My speech and balance have been affected and I continue receive out-patient therapy for both,” the statement continued, “The decision to ask for more time off was a difficult one. However, I decided to honor my constituents, who overwhelmingly voted to re-elect me last year, to do all I can to honor their wishes and serve as mayor until 2020. My doctors and family have been adamant that I take the time needed to ensure my best recovery.” During the December 6 meeting, the Mayor needed assistance with several tasks to conduct the proceedings.
“I am personally saddened about the resignation of the Mayor; he has been a good friend for several years, ” said Oceanside Deputy Mayor, Chuck Lowery. “Now is the time for him to focus on his recovery and we will focus on getting the City back on track and moving ahead. The council now has to find someone to finish out Mayor Wood’s term. It will be a difficult process but one which I’ve been preparing to do for some time. continued the deputy Mayor, “I look forward to having the conversation with my colleagues about our options. Meanwhile, I will continue to serve the City as Deputy Mayor until a decision has been made.”
“My heart aches for anybody in that position,” said City Council-member Jack Feller in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “My heart aches for his desire to continue but I imagine his family is rejoicing that he won’t have that pressure anymore and I think that will make a big difference for him, going forward, to get better.”
“Jim Wood wanted to come back, but his health just would not let him. I think the prospect of returning was what was driving his recovery. I can’t fault him for trying, said Council-member Jerry Kern. “I can understand. Hopefully he will get better over the next few months.”
The City Council can begin the steps of appointing a replacement during the next meeting set for December 20, 2017. “We have sixty-days from the first of January to appoint someone and we will need to take this up in the early February meeting to get this on the ballot of the June election otherwise, we would have to go to the November ballot. Common sense would dictate if we’re going to have an election, we need to have that in set in motion by the 10th of February to get the 114 days in. explained Council-member Feller.