South County Supervisor Paul Teixeira, sworn in to his first term in January, ran into his first political buzzsaw Tuesday.
He dodged the saw’s figurative teeth by agreeing to re-examine a proposal he had hoped would get past his fellow supervisors. It didn’t.
Teixeira sought to convert two South County advisory groups and create one large group. When he brought forth the proposal, he said his plan would improve intra-region communications.
However, members of advisory groups not only from South County but from all over San Luis Obispo County came to the Board of Supervisors chambers Tuesday to lambaste Teixeira’s plan.
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Chairman Adam Hill said there were enough speaker slips to last four hours. However, after Teixeira withdrew his proposal, he limited the discussion time, and the 20 or so people who did speak kept it short.
One of their chief worries was that under his proposal, Teixeira would appoint members of the advisory council. Traditionally, the councils elect their members from the community.
Several speakers challenged the composition of Teixeira’s would-be advisory council. They noted that the Suey Creek area, with 300 to 400 residents, would have the same weight as Nipomo, with its 20,000 plus residents.
Each of those areas, some speakers said, have different issues.
In addition, other speakers said, Teixeira’s reconfiguring of the group would make it the county’s only appointed advisory council. Other such councils throughout the county are elected.
Dan Gaddis of the current South County Advisory Council called the group “as effective as an advisory council can get.”
Gaddis said the council played a significant role in organizing Nipomo to keep out a proposed medical marijuana clinic last year.
Not everyone disliked Teixeira’s plan.
Four speakers supported it. They accused the current council of being unrepresentative and “like a club.” Jeff Edwards of Los Osos accused those who opposed Teixeira’s move of having a “fear of change.”
In the end, Teixeira withdrew his plan and said he would go back to the community to listen to constituents and “work out the details.” Supervisors did not set a date for revisiting the proposal.
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.
The other advisory councils are located in Avila, Cayucos, Creston, Los Osos, North Coast, Santa Margarita, San Miguel, Shandon, Oceano and Templeton.
Teixeira had proposed 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.
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.