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Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
North County Times
December 13, 1999


One of the main complaints from the protesters in Seattle, and there were many, was the close door meetings conducted in the pursuit of the almighty dollar and the oxymoron of free trade. Playing fast with the rules is another trait of the WTO. If a regulation or law gets in the way of the promise of projected future profits, they get swept aside in the name of expediency, diplomacy, and greed.

Speaking of playing fast with the rules, on a smaller scale, Oceanside City Councilmember Carol McCauley has decided that the only thing that matters in town is landing the big fish, and if you are not on board you don't exist. So Ms. McCauley has asked City Attorney Duane Bennett to see if the council can be seen as a four member council in order to accommodate the Manchester land grab. Poor Colleen O'Harra, poor Oceanside. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but there are five members of the Oceanside City Council voting on issues ranging from potholes, parks and personnel. Contrary to what Ms. McCauley thinks, the fact that Councilmember O'Harra cannot participate in the Manchester juggernaut does not make her any less a council member, only one with a conflict of interest.4+1=5 It's elementary.

You might ask, "What is this all about?" The answer, apart from Terry Johnson, the Oceanside City Council has no problem forcibly taking a significant piece of property from it's owner, and giving it to a developer more to their liking. As corrupt as this may seem, it pales in comparison to the city council giving away public parkland, deeded to the people of Oceanside long before most of us were born, to a secretive developer who wants nothing from Oceanside except every thing he can get his hands on. Nothing stands in the way of Manchester's minions at City Hall, except of course Councilman Johnson and the owners of the downtown property, currently being drooled over by the greedy boys and girls who would sell there own mother given half a chance.

As things stand now, the owners of the property, Oceanside Pier Partnership, no longer desire to sell their prime piece of real estate. Manchester on the other hand, has no claim to the beach front property they covet, and have aborted the EIR for the El Corazon property. Add to this the fact that Doug Manchester has entered into an agreement requiring him to put the Oceanside project at the bottom of his To-Do-List, behind two massive hotel projects in downtown San Diego, and you begin to see how desperate Ms. McCauley really is.

As dysfunctional as the Encinitas City Council seems at times, it pales in comparison to Oceanside City Councilmembers constant attempts to sidestep the law, while always staying just one step ahead of the public's tolerance threshold. This council's shameless pandering to development interests borders on malfeasance, and their complete disregard for process is the result of arrogance and ignorance, mixing with illusions of grandeur.

The people of Oceanside deserve more than a gang of robber barons, chained to the fading ideology of more is better, and greed is good. The people of Oceanside also deserve a clean and healthy environment, which is something Manchester Resorts will not provide.

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