On March 11, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mayor Jim Wood of Oceanside.
The City of Oceanside is just one of a handful of cities that cannot watch Padres games because parts of Oceanside is in a Time Warner zone.
While Mayor Wood says he has other priorities to worry about in the city, he admits he has heard gripes from Oceanside residents not being able to watch the Padres on television.
CHICKEN FRIARS: Can you confirm for me if Oceanside is a region in San Diego County that has Time Warner cable?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: That is correct.
CHICKEN FRIARS: What do you make of the whole Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable issue?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: Well personally, I don’t get involved in it. It is not a question for me. I understand some residents in Oceanside are not very happy with it because I guess it is blacked out for them and they can’t see the games.
I certainly would be concerned because in a town like this that is military related, we are adjacent to Camp Pendleton up here, a lot of military personnel like the games, sports, and certainly in the community a lot of the seniors are retired military and they like the games, they like to watch it. So I am a little disappointed and sad for them. I am usually to busy to keep track of either the Padres or the Chargers, I have too many things going on. But the other people certainly would like to have the Padres on Time Warner.
CHICKEN FRIARS: But have you heard complaints from residents about this issue?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: Most people usually don’t call the mayor’s office to complain, but once in a while I hear a voice or two about it when I am wandering in the community, someone might say something about it.
"But generally speaking, I hear a lot more from the seniors in the community who want to see the games. They may not want to drive down their (Petco Park), they may not have the money because they are in fixed incomes, but they like to hear or see the games."
CHICKEN FRIARS: What’s the latest news you’ve heard regarding negotiations with FSSD and TWC?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: I haven’t heard a thing, and I am sorry to say that I am not a part of it really because I have other things that are priorities in my city.
Chicken Friars: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is trying to do everything in his power to put the Padres on TWC, do politicians have any power to put the Padres on television?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: There is always some positions like that. Let’s face it, Mayor Bob Filner is the mayor of the largest city in San Diego County, and representing a lot of people numbers wise. I am in the third largest city in County and a larger city in another county. Certainly that might mean I represent more people, larger numbers, and sometimes people listen to that.
However, like I say, Bob is down there where people really are in tuned to the Padres because its in downtown San Diego. I am sure that’s part of his reasons for being involved.
"I haven’t been approached by anybody else saying “could you get involved or would you try to be involved. I haven’t had anybody or any group come up and do that.”"
Now, I wish I understood. I don’t really watch the Padres or the Chargers because it seems like I don’t have the time to do it. Big city politics keep me busy, so I don’t have the time. But you know, prior to that, yes I paid attention to the Chargers and the Padres as a city councilman when I had a lot more time on my hands.
CHICKEN FRIARS: Even though you don’t pay attention too much to them, is it fair to say you’re a Padres fan?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: Yes I am.
CHICKEN FRIARS: I know you said you have other priotities to deal with in your city, but do you feel you have any authority to step in on negotiations with FSSD and TWC. Not just Mayor Filner, but other local councilmembers and politicians are getting involved too.
MAYOR JIM WOOD: Like I told you, I haven’t had anybody approach me to try and say ‘can I get involved’ from the city or the mayor. Lets face it, Bob Filner is a friend. I talked to him about week ago. Like with any other mayor who has an issue who thought we should be involved, we generally will call each other and see if they can be involved. I haven’t had that happen to me, so I haven’t been motivated to do anything.
CHICKEN FRIARS: Are you a Time Warner Cable subscriber?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: I am up here with Cox. Cox North County.
CHICKEN FRIARS: So not every area of Oceanside has Time Warner Cable?
MAYOR JIM WOOD:I don’t know what they exactly are or where the boundaries break with Cox North County.
CHICKEN FRIARS: So you do have the ability to watch the Padres, if you chose to do so?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: I am not sure. I don’t know what the cable (channel) is, and like I said, I haven’t followed them. If we are having a problem up here it would be interesting.
"You’re the first person to call me on it. Well, let me know if any other mayors want to get involved, they have my support, let me know."
Like I said, I haven’t been watching tv and/or watching cable for quite sometime because I have been to busy with the economy in a big city up here in the North. I wish I had more time. Some people, not many people have said things to me. I know when some of the games don’t get sold out they get shut out or blacked-out too.
CHICKEN FRIARS: Being that Oceanside is at the end of San Diego going North, and that there are so many transplants in Oceanside being that it is a military town, would it be a concern to the Padres that they would be losing fans for not having their games on Time Warner?
MAYOR JIM WOOD: I think fans would be upset that they don’t have coverage to the games and I think Time Warner should be concerned about losing subscribers.
A lot of people enjoy sports and lets face it in a military town like this, its kind of like San San Diego. More Navy down there, up here it’s Marines. And like I said, not just the active Marines but the retired ones that are still around this community certainly I know are involved with the Padres and Chargers, so it’s a big deal.
"I thank you for the call. I wish I had more information for you but this hasn’t been something that I’ve been pressured about or had people asked."