I am writing this letter to share my concern about one of the candidates for City Council should the measure to incorporate Oceanside pass. My concern is driven by this person’s ability to shepherd, in a fiscally responsible way, the finances of the community.
Here is why I have this concern. Three members of the Netarts-Oceanside Sanitary District were recalled (full disclosure, I was one of them) because the cost of the urgently needed upgrades of the sanitary facilities seemed too high. Our estimate, based on a recently completed Facilities Plan was $12.5M. The opposition, leading the recall, thought that the upgrades could be done for $5M. Understandably the community liked the lower price tag.
One of the replacement board members was Craig Wakefield. Shortly after his appointment to the district Board of Directors he assumed the position of President. Under his watch, the District filed, and got approved, bonds totaling $22.5M. The 30 year obligations that the community would ultimately shoulder were actually more than four times the original estimate made by Mr. Wakefield and the opposition. They campaigned on this estimate to win the recall and get appointed as replacement board members!
Oceanside can support and afford incorporation, as evidenced by the feasibility study that the county commissioners recently approved. But would you want the new city to be managed, in any part, by someone who has demonstrated such an inability to do so in a financially responsible way?