Signatures filed for the revocation of the election of Oceanside board member Kori Jensen
Supporters of the recall of Oceanside council member Kori Jensen submitted their petition to the city clerk’s office on Friday with more than 6,000 signatures, providing a solid margin of safety against the minimum requirement of 4,485 validated names .
“The signatures are on their way to the office of the registrar of electors,” City Clerk Zeb Navarro said on Friday afternoon. “They have 30 working days, excluding holidays, to verify the signatures.”
If the minimum number of valid names is met, county officials will issue a “Certificate of Sufficiency” to the City of Oceanside Clerk. Then the city council will have 14 days to meet and call a special election, which could be scheduled for February or March.
A special, stand-alone election is needed because the California state primary is held in June, which is too late by law, and is expected to cost the city around $ 700,000, Navarro said.
Voters in District 1 will answer two questions, just like in the governor’s recall election, if the signatures are validated. The first question will be whether or not to recall Jensen. The second will be which candidate should replace her.
Anyone elected to succeed Jensen would serve less than a year in the term, but could stand for re-election in November 2022.
The board named Jensen in a 3-1 vote as the first choice of more than 30 candidates in January to fill the remaining under-two years in the District 1 seat left vacant by the election of board member Esther Sanchez to the post. mayor in November. Sanchez opposed the nomination, saying the city should hold an election.
Shortly after the appointment, questions arose as to whether Jensen was a legal resident of the district, her background and her qualifications for the job.
“More than 20% of registered voters in District 1 have signed the petition,” supporters of the recall said in a statement released Thursday by the Let Oceanside Vote group.
“Signatories to the recall petition have expressed frustration with city council members Peter Weiss, Christopher Rodriguez and Ryan Keim, who voted for Jensen’s appointment without a financial check or reasonable background,” the group said. “They criticized the counselors’ support for someone who has little experience or exposure to the issues in District 1.”
One of the biggest issues has been where Jensen lives. In her application for appointment to the board, she listed a North Pacific Street address as her home. However, the house has been listed there as a vacation rental for years, and county tax records have shown that she listed a house in Carlsbad as her primary address.
Jensen said in a text message Thursday that supporters of the recall “lied about me” to get people to sign the petition.
“They lied that I didn’t pay my TOT tax, I don’t owe any TOT tax,” she said. “I owe return penalties, but my property tax is paid. I work with the assessor and pay the penalties. Oceanside closed its vacation rentals during COVID and I lost a lot of money. I’ll make up for it, I don’t worry about it.
She pointed out her deep roots in the district she serves.
“I bought my house in Oceanside in 2003 and have lived in Oceanside since 2008, and also as a kid,” she said. “My parents graduated from Oceanside High School and my two grandparents not only lived in Oceanside, but had successful businesses here.”
Two of the board members who voted for his nomination, Ryan Keim and Peter Weiss, have since said Jensen was not being honest with them in his first interviews and that they had doubts about their decision.
“The situation is very disappointing and has been a distraction from the serious challenges facing our city,” Keim said in a text message Friday.
“Ms. Jensen’s undisclosed issues with her primary residence and financial situation have revealed flaws in our appointment process which we have a responsibility to improve so as not to place a future board in a similar position,” said Keim.
Only one city council member, Christopher Rodriguez, said this week that he still supports Jensen.
“Kori was quick to represent her district and went to great lengths for the city to provide essential services to residents,” Rodriguez said via email. “And, as a deeply rooted Latina in Oceanside, she fully understands the needs of the neighborhoods she represents.”
Jensen said his maternal grandparents were from Mexico and his paternal grandparents were from Wisconsin.
“I am sure the voters will reject this political game,” Rodriguez said.
Only registered voters who live in District 1, the city’s northwest quadrant, would be eligible to vote in the recall election.