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Letters to the Editor- Oceanside Real or Oceanside Sold

Oceanside Real is how O’siders fondly describe our city.

But insider politics is turning us into Oceanside Sold. This is threatening our treasured El Corazon, our beach community and neighborhoods.

I first became aware of Oceanside Sold when city council members tried to reward a political friend with permits to build Las Vegas sized digital billboards along Highways 78 and 76. Massive neighborhood opposition saved Oceanside from that blight.

Then the City Council voted to “spot zone” farmland for high density sprawl housing. Their vote ignored massive community concerns tied to traffic congestion, fire risks and higher taxes.

Tellingly, Oceanside Sold turned ugly when appointed Mayor Peter Weiss and the pro sprawl city council members did nothing to prevent Vista “volunteers” aligned with the Orange County developer to pack the city council chambers. This literally forced Oceanside citizens from entering the city’s chamber.

Oceanside’s neighbors, led by a retired school teacher, a law student and a single mom, responded by successfully gathering over 12,000 signatures for a referendum to let voters vote on the sprawl project. Thanks to this “Let Oceanside Vote” campaign Oceanside voters will have the final say at the ballot box on November 3rd. A no vote on Measure L will stop the sprawl project.

Then the Oceanside Sold crowd led by appointed Mayor Peter Weiss really turned ugly. Mayor Peter Weiss publicly accused Oceanside citizen volunteers of fraud. He claimed they had forged his signature on the referendum petition. But in fact, an Oceanside citizen also named Peter Weiss legally signed the petition.

Was it a coincidence that immediately after appointed Mayor Peter Weiss falsely accused Oceanside citizens of fraud that the Orange County developer funded a lawsuit against the retired teacher, law student and single mom? Thankfully, a judge has rejected this lawsuit and included in the ruling that our fellow citizen’s legal bills incurred while defending themselves be paid for by the claimants.

The still unanswered question is how did appointed Mayor Peter Weiss even know that someone named Peter Weiss had signed the petition since the petitions were suppose to be under lock and key? It is illegal for appointed Mayor Peter Weiss to have such information.

You would think that with the Coronavirus pandemic that the Oceanside Sold crowd would shelter in place like the rest of us. Oh no! Councilmen Rodriguez, one of the three councilmen voting to turn farmland into sprawl and who is now running for Mayor, defied the San Diego County laws that the rest of us were obeying. He held a rally with his supporters that was videotaped. While we were self isolating, wearing masks and practicing social distancing just to buy groceries they held a public rally without masks and social distancing. Rodriguez also used city stationary to publicly call for defiance of County health rules. The Police Association sent a letter to the press to disavow his actions even though they admit to endorsing him in the 2018 election. So now we have our police department entangled in Oceanside Sold.

Now comes the Oceanside Fire Association. They accepted $30,000 from the Orange County sprawl developer. But, sadly, it gets worse. The Oceanside Fire Association is contributing to an Oceanside city council candidate named Michele Gomez. She was recently exposed for not paying her 2018 campaign staff and suppliers while paying her husband with campaign funds. Additional documents reveal an EDD’s judgment against Gomez for fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

Ryan Keim is another city council member caught up in Oceanside Sold. He was appointment to his position and is now running for the District 3 city council position. Over 90% of his campaign money has come from PACs and other outside of Oceanside sources like the Building Industry Association. He has accepted campaign funding from a El Corazon real estate developer. What do these contributors expect to gain from supporting him? Would he vote to make El Corazon a park to protect it from even more commercialization?

Here’s some easy ways to decide if a candidate is Oceanside Real or Sold. Is a candidate taking money from out of town developers? Do they take money from Oceanside unions or special interest associations that are taking money from out of town developers? Have they accused Oceanside citizens of fraud or promoted the violation of health laws that threaten our fellow citizens or our families?

Want to vote for Oceanside Real? Look for candidates that have volunteered in support of Let Oceanside Vote. Look for candidates who have worked with neighbors to protect our beaches, farmland, El Corazon and neighborhoods. Look for candidates that will work to reduce traffic congestion by voting no against high density projects that fail to provide traffic solutions.

On November 3rd your vote will decide whether Oceanside is Sold or Real.

-Bill Roth

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