The Meltdown of Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood

Steve Gramm Steve Gramm 7 Comments


Now that the Tri City Healthcare District Board has cleaned up its act, all eyes have turned to the Oceanside City Council to provide the political entertainment for North County. After the spectacle of last Wednesday’s city council meeting, lets just say Oceanside does not disappoint.

Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood had a meltdown at the dais – all recorded on TV — over the outrageous idea that his council colleagues might actually negotiate a compromise on the wording of a proposed ordinance to ban smoking in outdoor patio restaurants.

While Councilmembers Gary Felien and Esther Sanchez were discussing a possible compromise, Mayor Wood began to loudly interrupt, proclaiming there would be no compromise and demanded an immediate vote. Wood’s fellow councilmembers watched in dumbfounded amazement at his unprofessional behavior.

When Felien and Sanchez had the temerity to defy Wood and continue their discussion, the mayor began yelling at Sanchez to stop discussing a compromise, then declared an immediate recess, leaving the meeting. “Esther they aren’t going to vote for it … I’m calling for a break!”

In Wood’s absence a compromise was quickly reached. He then called Sanchez into the back room behind the council chamber and words were exchanged. After the lively discussion, Sanchez returned to the meeting and announced she would not support the compromise language.

Wood never returned to the chamber, leaving it to Deputy Mayor Kern to restart the meeting and act as chair to its conclusion. Kern introduced a motion to adopt the compromise language, which passed 3-1 with Sanchez voting no.

Bringing childish pettiness to a new low, Wood later in the meeting sent a city employee to remove the gavel from Kern’s hand while he was running the meeting.

Mayor Wood is the man planning to challenge incumbent Supervisor Bill Horn for the 5th District seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Wednesday night’s embarrassing spectacle put on ample display the leadership talents he would bring to the County Board.

One is left to wonder how Oceanside survives at all. No mere words can do justice to the events described. For any skeptical reader that believes your humble correspondent must surely exaggerate, you are encouraged to go to the City website, watch the June 5 meeting (opt for Item #38 and #38 part II in the drop down menu), and draw your own conclusions.


Comments 7

  1. This wasn’t the final ordinance as there is still another public hearing left to do in two weeks.
    However the compromise was that if the patio was on a public sidewalk or public right a way then you couldn’t smoke. If it wasn’t then you were able to. The ordinance went from no smoking near an entry or patio of 25ft to 10ft instead.
    Of course nothing is written right now, so there can always be changes from now to the third reading on June 26th.

  2. So, Brian, it appears that is a yes. Or a no. Difficult to tell. Just like the business owner who will be confused by it. And the code enforcement officer and PD that won’t have the time to enforce it.

  3. I was proud of councilman Kern who gave one of the most eloquent speeches regarding over regulation by government I’ve ever heard. Fitting for a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. He called out the tired “but it’s for the kids” canard. Well done Mr. Kern.

  4. The ordinance as drafted does not affect private property. The ordinance only applies to businesses that choose to set up patio dining on public property. The ordinance has one more hearing and can be further modified based on additional public input.

  5. “The ordinance only applies to businesses that choose to set up patio dining on public property.”

    That seems reasonable. So, if an Oceanside restaurateur chose to build a patio on her property, and permit smoking, that would not be subject to government interference?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.