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Decision '92 : SPECIAL VOTERS' GUIDE TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS : THE LOCAL CONTESTS : Business Growth an Issue in Oceanside

October 25, 1992|TOM GORMAN

Rightfully or not, Oceanside continues to be pummeled as a sad sack of a city, victimized by its proximity to 40,000 Marines at neighboring Camp Pendleton.

Oceanside still fights an image problem that some suggest is congenital as it tries make something of its commercial and residential beachfront properties and to redevelop its blue-collar, prostitute-infested downtown.

Others say that Oceanside's biggest problem is of its own doing: political infighting among members of the City Council and suggestions that meddling council members micro-manage municipal departments--a frustration that has led to a series of resignations among City Hall executives who resent the political intrusion into their day-to-day operations.

Against that backdrop, seven people are campaigning to replace Mayor Larry Bagley, who is retiring from public office after 12 years in the post. An additional 17 candidates are seeking two other City Council seats, where one incumbent, Sam Williamson, also is quitting.

Among the leading mayoral candidates are airline pilot Don Rodee, who is midway through his first four-year term as a city councilman; Richard Lyon, a retired, two-star Navy admiral and 1940 Olympic swimming gold medalist who is president of the local school board, and Ben Ramsey, who served on the City Council from 1986-90, didn't seek reelection and who once, when chairing a council meeting, banged the gavel so hard he broke it.

Among the council candidates, incumbent Melba Bishop expects reelection on the strength of her well-fertilized grass-roots organization.

Virtually all the candidates are agreeing on the most significant issues.

The city, everyone agrees, needs more commercial and industrial growth to add to the municipal tax base. To attract that new business, the city needs to improve its image. To improve its image, it needs more police on the streets to deal with prostitution, gangs, drugs and other criminal activities. To add more cops on the streets, it needs a stronger tax base. To get a stronger tax base, it needs more commercial and industrial growth. . . .

OCEANSIDE City Council

17 Candidates--Vote for Two

Melba Bishop, incumbent

Rey Blunk, civil engineer

Ralph Caballero, planning commissioner

Dick Douglas, waste commission member

Gary A. Farnsworth, maintenance

Lou Fenton, scientist

Tom Garrity, investment manager

Glenn Gorecki (none)

Terry W. Johnson, businessman

Rick Kratcoski, teacher

Gregory L. Marcum, student

Ray E. Metcalf, broker

Arden Ronald Miller, businessman

Roy B. Miller, engineer

Colleen Richardson O'Harra, attorney

C.C. Sanders, policeman (retired)

Rita M. Stevens, homemaker Mayor

William (Bill) Bergman, editor

Obediah Bonds, businessman

Joseph P. Ellis, Marine (retired)

Dick Lyon, executive

Thomas Zach Porter, businessman

Ben A. Ramsey, consultant

Don Rodee, incumbent

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