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City leaders are set to tap a new Council member (or call a special election) and a new police chief in 2021.
Following new appointments to the Oceanside City Council this month, further changes in city leadership will come next year. After Oceanside swore in Esther Sanchez as mayor last week, Oceanside City Council declared the seat she previously held on the City Council vacant and directed the city clerk’s office to accept applications to fill the spot.
The person who fills that seat will make important city decisions on what can be built where, homelessness and whether police have too much power and too little accountability.
District 1 residents interested in the position can submit applications to the city clerk’s office by Jan. 8. By Tuesday, four people had applied seat: Marisa DeLuca, Eric Anderson, Laird Stabler and Chelsea Gutmann, Oceanside city clerk Zeb Navarro told Voice of San Diego.
The City Council will hold interviews for the seat on Jan. 27 at a special workshop and can decide to appoint a Council member then or move the decision to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. If no appointment is made by Feb. 21, the Council must call for a special election. In that case, a special election would be held in November 2021, Navarro said.
Oceanside is also still looking for a new top cop. Police Chief Frank McCoy, who announced his retirement in July, will officially step down on Dec. 28.
City manager Deanna Lorson extended the timeline on her search for a new chief after Oceanside community leaders pushed for the department expand its search for a new police chief to external candidate following concerns that the department leadership lacks diversity and community survey results shed light on those continuing tensions.
On Monday, Lorson announced that Oceanside Police Captain Fred Armijo, an Oceanside native who has worked for the department since 1994, will hold the role of interim chief while the city conducts its search.
Armijo has directed each of the department’s three divisions of the department — support operations, investigations and patrol. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Promise, a community partnership that helps local children, and is a member of the North San Diego County NAACP, according to a city press release.
“I’m fully confident in Captain Armijo’s ability to lead the department professionally and with the utmost integrity, transparency and commitment through this time of transition,” Lorson wrote in the release.
The recruitment process for the new chief will close on Jan. 22.