Nearing the day when he would be removed from office for being absent for two months, Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood pulled a maneuver typical of the city’s strange political world.
Wood asked Council members to grant him another 60-day leave of absence, and threatened that if they didn’t, he was prepared to return to the dais to reset the clock on his unexcused absence, speech and mobility issues be damned. The Council will take up the decision on Wednesday.
“As a public servant that has served his community for over 46 years, my first inclination was to return to the Council for today’s 5 pm Council meeting,” Wood wrote in a letter to the Council. “I will if required to do so.”
Wood suffered his latest stroke in May, and was already granted a 60-day leave of absence by the Council, which expired in August, triggering a state-mandated 60-day period for him to return to a regularly scheduled public meeting, or be removed from office.
Wood said his speech and balance have been affected by the stroke, but that he was re-elected to serve until 2020, and is prepared to do so against advice from his doctors and family.
Every Council member has expressed interest in becoming mayor, so it’s unlikely they’ll come to a quick agreement about Wood’s request.