Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood may have suffered a minor stroke just over two weeks ago, while on a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with federal officials. I wish him well. I sincerely hope he returns to good health soon, and is able to fully execute his duties as mayor.
I also hope he drops his ghoulish political opportunism. I wish he would confront ideological and policy differences with councilmembers in a forthright matter.
From the North County Times:
Initial tests in Washington showed that his blood pressure was unusually high. The mayor said he thinks his disagreements with a new council majority of Jerry Kern, Jack Feller and Gary Felien could be partly to blame.
“I was concerned with what these guys were doing,” Wood said.
Among other things, Wood said he was troubled by a drive led by Kern to repeal the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance under which developers are required to provide low and moderate income housing as part of new projects or pay a fee.
“It probably got my blood pressure to the max,” Wood said.
In Wood’s absence, the council voted 3-1 Feb. 23 to instruct city staff members to prepare a measure to repeal the 1991 ordinance and replace it with incentives to encourage builders to voluntarily provide affordable housing.
Yes, you read correctly. The union subsidiary, also known as Mayor Wood, blamed his stroke on the pro-taxpayer/pro-business councilmembers Kern, Feller and Felien.
Kern said Monday that he wished Wood a speedy recovery, but couldn’t see how disagreements among the council members could contribute to the mayor’s illness.
“I never wish poor health on anybody. I’ve had high blood pressure for years and I take medication for it,” Kern said. He said the council disagreements are nothing new.
“I don’t think there’s any undo pressure on him. I mean, we can bring up issues and vote on them,” Kern said. “I think it’s humorous that he blames his physical condition on us.”
I have a few tips for Mayor Jim Wood that would make his life significantly less stressful:
1) Come out of the closet… politically. Everybody’s talking, everybody knows that (R) next to your name is a fraud. If you wore the official union label (D) next to your name, your existence would be less duplicitous and presumably less stressful. Maybe the (R) party could do you a favor and just excommunicate you. That move would probably lower the blood pressure of a lot of folks on both sides. Being a RINO has to be a source of great inner turmoil for you.
2) Don’t pull shady shenanigans that are, in spirit, undemocratic: Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood called a special City Council meeting for Wednesday December 1, 2010–the day before newly elected City Councilmember Gary Felien was sworn in–to vote on a proposed contract that gave police officers a five percent raise over three years. During Oceanside’s current fiscal crisis, Felien was replacing a councilmember who was more beholden to unions (and thus more aligned with Wood) than he. Assuming that Mayor Wood generally believes in democracy and generally has a healthy conscience—pulling a stunt like that might cause him internal conflict and stress. In fact, the mayor’s own official bio says: “Mayor Wood is a true believer in open government and is always open to input from all sides of the issues.”
3) As mayor, don’t be the frontman for disgraceful union-led witch hunts and recalls. In November 2009 Mayor Wood publicly endorsed Chuck Lowery to replace Jerry Kern in the Dec. 8, 2009 sham recall election. Wood, through his campaign committee, also contributed $2,000 to Lowery in October of 2009. To justify his support of extra-democratic means to an end, Mayor Wood pointed to Kern agreeing with the City Manager’s recommendations to address the city’s then $10 million deficit. Part of the recommendation was to make minor cuts in police and fire. No doubt this riled Wood, but there was a bigger issue. The council often voted 3-2 against Wood. “I’m sure Jim Wood and Esther Sanchez are extremely frustrated because they can’t control the council,” Kern said at the time. “That’s what I think that’s what the recall is all about — control of the council.”
Wood affirmed this view himself at the time when he whined: “It’s hard to be a strong leader when they have the votes.” Anyway, Kern prevailed in the recall and Wood was embarrassed very publicly. All that union time and money was wasted. It had to have been stressful, if not frightening, for Wood to let down the unions like that.
4) My last bit of advice to Mayor Wood: Be more like Dick Cheney. He has had well-documented health complications due to heart disease, even while serving as Vice President of the United States. He endured more vitriol than the mayor of Oceanside could ever imagine. He had surgeries and procedures, recovered in due time… and get this: he didn’t blame his political opponents for his heart problems. He maintained his dignity, all while his heart condition was the butt of late night TV jokes. David Letterman still finds Dick Cheney’s heart condition hilarious. He even did a two minute riff on it in January—of this year!
As you finish your current term Mayor Wood, be like Dick Cheney and show some class. Don’t cheapen and trivialize your serious health condition by grotesquely politicizing it.