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Oceanside may turn elected positions into appointed ones

Posted at 1:20 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 20:13:15-04

Oceanside may convert two of its elected city positions into City Council appointed ones, leading to concerns that the city is taking key decisions away from voters.

The Oceanside City Council will decide Wednesday whether it should have the authority to appoint the City Clerk and City Treasurer.

The city says the positions have become “significantly more complex” due to state laws and regulations.

“Both positions perform critical City functions, and they require specialized education and experience to property discharge their many duties that likely cannot be properly achieved (or guaranteed) via an elected position.”

The City Treasurer position has been a controversial one in Oceanside.

In 2016, incumbent Gary Ernst died just weeks before the election, leaving Oceanside resident Nadine Scott as the lone living person on the ballot. However, multiple City Council members campaigned on Ernst’s behalf because they said Scott wasn’t qualified. Ernst won, clearing the way for the council to appoint Rafe Edward Trickey Jr.

Scott said Monday she was troubled by the decision before the council.

Current treasurer Victor Roy defeated Tricket Jr. in the 2018 election, and currently holds the office. City Clerk Zeb Navarro was recently appointed after Zack Beck stepped down to take a position in Escondido.

Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss said the jobs are part time and pay about $25,000 a year. However, that would likely be increased if it became an appointed position in order to attract a more qualified candidate.