Arnold protects land
Greg McMillan, Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club, is obviously ignorant of Debbie Arnolds views of true environmental stewardship. McMillan assumes that Arnolds policies would mark her as a tool of development interests.
Truthfully, Arnolds family has farmed in the county for more than 100 years, something the charter of the Sierra Club claims to value: promote continuity of family farming.
No farming family stays in business long if they are poor stewards of the land.
One would think the Sierra Club would embrace a candidate like Debbie Arnold.
She displays many qualities that the Sierra Club claims as goals: Protection of land, soil and water resources, and maintain their long-term productivity. Conserve wilderness and other natural land and aquatic ecosystems.
These goals all read like the playbook of any good farmer, yet the Sierra Club seems to be blind to these practices when they are used by a conservative American family farm.
Maybe the Sierra Clubs true goal isnt really responsible use of resources, but control of resourses by political ties between influential liberal policymakers and the environmental groups that help them stay in office.
Now that is something Arnold may not not be selling.
In her opening statement during a radio debate two weeks ago, Debbie Arnold proudly cited her business ties to the North County wine industry as a reason she deserved our vote. Her family raises wine grapes and operates a boutique winery for profit on their farm property, making her, it was implied, a person well-qualified to lead in all the countys ag business doings.
But how so? All those business ties of hers say to me is that she receives what lawyers call a financial benefit from the wine industry. And that says to me that as supervisor, Arnold would have to wrestle with conflicts of interest whenever the board takes up an issue that might involve that industry.
How will she deal with that problem if elected? By immediate divestment? By occasional recusal? How can Arnold assure the constituency that those methods will always work? That her inability to engage, especially on the thorniest, most industry-threatening issues before the board (ag water-use regulation, for example), wont rob us voters of the full five-supervisor political representation that is our right?
Its too late now, but in retrospect, I wish all of the candidates, not just Arnold, had been pressed to disclose such troublesome business interests and answer questions about them.
I would like to take this time, to let you know why I support Debbie Arnold. I have known Debbie for more than 20 years. My children know her as teacher Debbie. I have known her to be an honest, caring and a factual person.
Debbie and her family have always been there to help my family and dear friends through so many tough times, and have never asked for anything in return.
You will never find a more honorable person than Debbie. If you have any doubt about Debbie, then you havent met her yet. I urge you to stop by her office in Atascadero, and as soon as you meet her you will see what a honest and warmhearted person she is. She is an intelligent business woman and an extremely hard- working woman.
I wasnt fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my children, but I was fortunate enough to meet Debbie and entrust her with my children. To a working mom, there is no greater gift than being able to trust someone with your precious children.
On Tuesday, vote for Debbie Arnold. I know she will deliver all that she promises. Ive seen her in action.
Patterson is civil
I have known Jim Patterson for many years. We have crossed paths for our common interests in supporting the arts, community development, protecting the environment, peace work and support of our libraries.
When Jim joined the Board of Supervisors, he lent an air of civility that was previously lacking. He listens respectfully to members of the community and he answers thoughtfully. His questions often lead to discussion, rather than division. He is a public figure who is available and who gets things done.
When I spoke to Jim about safety issues in our neighborhood, he made sure they were addressed and taken care of.
As a member of the board of The Santa Margarita Friends of the Library, I requested support funding. Jim was generous and I was told later that the funding came from an account made up of contributions from his own salary. While working with Jim on Savor the Central Coast, he provided funding for the brochure describing businesses and recreational activities in the Santa Margarita area.
This is an important election. I encourage you to vote for Jim Patterson.
Water is a precious resource. Water is the No. 1 concern statewide. The issue of water has always been important do we have enough right now, are we using more than we have, how are we going to live within our water budget, is our water clean and safe?
The solutions to these questions are probably going to require government regulation. Before you vote on Tuesday, ask yourself which candidate has already acted to protect this precious resource for you here and now, and who will continue to protect our water resources?
Women, children first
There are some 80,000 people in this county, many of them children, without access to basic medical services. The first free medical clinic in the county was established last year to provide essential services, thanks in part to the leadership of Jim Patterson. Jim has been an advocate for at-risk women and children long before he was supervisor, but as our supervisor, he has continued his commitment to ensuring that basic necessities and opportunities for those most in need are provided.
His personal work for Kiwanis, Habitat for Humanity and Women Build also reflects this commitment providing opportunities for everyone in the community. Jim Patterson gives his all to our community, and on Tuesday we have an opportunity to show our appreciation by re-electing him.
As former mayor and council member of Atascadero, I urge you to get to the polls and vote on (or before) Tuesday. We need to re-elect Jim Patterson to the Board of Supervisors. Jim gives us his expertise in county politics without the excess partisanship that his opponent, if elected, is guaranteed to bring with her. We dont need divisiveness and obstructionist tactics in our countys government.
Jim has always considered each issue on its own merit. His leadership on budgeting helped the county earn a AA+ credit rating, among the tops in the state. This was achieved through careful prioritizing and negotiating with public employees, resulting in substantial budget cuts while avoiding layoffs.
Jim is a hands-on public servant. He has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves and volunteer, whether landscaping a streetscape in the downtown, cooking pancakes in a community breakfast for local teachers or drumming up support of Atascadero High Schools dramatic arts program.
Jims role in bringing about a new library for Atascaderos downtown is a tribute to his leadership skills by bringing all county departments on board, and his enormous support as a volunteer fundraiser.
Join me in re-electing Jim Patterson.
The plastic bag ban has drawn both praise and criticism. Im not going to judge its merit. Instead, I want to point out the fact that Supervisor Jim Patterson doesnt seem to know whats in his plastic bag ban. In an interview on KPRL, Patterson claimed that the ban doesnt require reusable bags be available for purchase. Section 3(D) of the ordinance states: stores shall have reusable bags available for purchase by customers. Oops.
Furthermore, Patterson has claimed repeatedly that the ban applies only to big businesses, apparently channeling Occupy Wall Street themes. But the truth of the matter is that convenience stores, no matter what size, are covered by the ban. Section 2(C)(4) states that any store selling milk, bread, soda, and snack foods will be covered by the ban.
The Rinconada store at Santa Margarita Lake, the Templeton Deli and many more small businesses will be covered by the ban.
Whether or not you support a plastic bag ban in general, you need to know that the ban the IWMA passed is not as it has been advertised by both the IWMA board members (including Patterson) and the media in general.
Tea Party not radical
I read with interest the front page article in the May 6 Tribune, Supervisor Races Show its Politics as Usual.
The Tea Party is not a political party; it is a movement, a group of like-minded individuals who believe in its core principles. Those core principles are a constitutionally limited government, free markets and fiscal responsibility.
The Tea Party believes the power of the government is limited by the Constitution. Our president takes an Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution.
The Tea Party also believes we are a nation of laws.
I ask you, are these radical beliefs?
As a member of the North County Tea Party organization, I do not appreciate the inaccurate statements contained in this article regarding the radical beliefs of the Tea Party. It is wrong to distort the core values of the Tea Party by inaccurate statements or by false reporting by a biased writer.
I am a member of the Tea Party movement and have attended most of the meetings of the North County Tea Party group. They do not endorse candidates, and I can say neither Debbie Arnold nor Ed Waage is a member of that group.
Stop spreading fear
After The Tribune endorsed Jamie Irons, Christine Johnson and Noah Smukler for Morro Bay City Council, Ive seen many letters to the editor complaining that The Tribune is misguided and out of touch. However, many of their arguments are just false innuendo.
For example, Betty Winholtz sent an unsolicited, unauthorized letter of endorsement to the citizens of Morro Bay. She did this because she believes in the candidates. To insinuate that she is somehow a puppet master (as John Gajdos did) is ridiculous and just a poor attempt at spin doctoring. I know all three candidate personally and can assure anyone that they are not being directed by Winholtz. Nor did they request her endorsement. I think it is about time these folks stop spreading fear and lies, and instead speak to the policies and ideas of the candidates they support. Letters to the Editor should be about expressing opinions, not about creating mythology.
I just hope the citizens of Morro Bay can see past the web of deception these individuals are spinning.