Members of the South County Advisory Council — a volunteer organization that represents the Nipomo area — are miffed over one county supervisor’s plan to dissolve the two advisory groups serving the region and establish one group in its place.
However, Supervisor Paul Teixeira, who represents Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Nipomo and a southern portion of San Luis Obispo, said his plan to form a Fourth District Advisory Council will streamline the current process, increase the group’s diversity and benefit the South County.
A consolidation “can assist in improving communications between the various areas of the 4th District and help to insure that all residents are better informed regarding issues that affect them,” he wrote in a letter to SCAC chair Dan Woodson.
The SCAC is one of 11 advisory councils in San Luis Obispo County recognized by the county Board of Supervisors. The board in 1996 approved guidelines for the advisory councils, which advise planners and supervisors on proposed plans and developments in their communities.
Some SCAC members said Teixeira’s proposal — which he plans to introduce at next Tuesday’s board meeting — came as a surprise. A few wondered if the supervisor’s motivation to change the council’s structure came from concerns that the council has over the years stifled growth in the Nipomo community.
“It may be a concern with the bent the council is taking in stopping the uncontrolled growth,” said Istar Holliday, who represents one of seven geographic areas.
Teixeira, however, said that’s not the case.
“I have no agenda with any of these people,” he said. “They have all served the community well.”
However, he added, many of the Nipomo advisory council members have held their positions for years and sometimes run for re-election unchallenged. “I’d like to see some new faces,” he said.
Teixeira proposes an 11-member appointed council with one representative each from Corbett Canyon, Edna Valley, Halcyon, Huasna and Suey Creek; and two representatives each from Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Nipomo.
Those currently serving on advisory councils can apply for a spot on the new council if it is approved Tuesday.
The item is on the board’s consent agenda — items the supervisors do not typically intend to discuss. However, any supervisor can pull an item for discussion.
Woodson, the SCAC chair, said the advisory council will hold a special meeting tonight to discuss its response to Teixeira’s letter. Some members are concerned that an appointed council, rather than an elected one, will be less representative of the community.
One board member, however, suggested that Teixeira’s suggestion might shake up the advisory council and lead to better-attended meetings.
“We cannot get people out of their houses and into these seats,” said Stephanie Franks. “My understanding is that Paul is trying to do what’s best for our district.”
If approved by supervisors, the consolidated advisory council would be the first of its kind in the county. The other advisory councils are located in Avila, Cayucos, Creston, Los Osos, North Coast, Santa Margarita, San Miguel, Shandon, Oceano and Templeton.
The advisory councils differ from community services districts, which are local government agencies that deliver a limited number of public services, such as water, sewer and street lighting. The community services districts hold elections; the advisory councils can be either elected or appointed.
If you go
The South County Advisory Council will hold a special meeting tonight to discuss its response to a proposal to consolidate the advisory groups in the South County.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Nipomo Community Services District, 148 S. Wilson St. For more information,go to http://scac.ca.gov.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.