Ending three months of “frustrating political limbo,” Caren Ray of Arroyo Grande was sworn in Tuesday morning as the county’s 4th District supervisor.
Ray was appointed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown to fill the county Board of Supervisors seat that became vacant in June when Paul Teixeira died of a heart attack. On Tuesday, Ray recognized the void that Teixeira’s death created.
“Finally, it’s time to leave all that behind us,” a tearful Ray told the packed supervisors’ chambers after receiving a standing ovation.
The four other supervisors complimented Ray and said they were looking forward to working with her. Supervisor Frank Mecham described her as “smart, tough and willing.”
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Ray ended her remarks on a light note. She said she opened her mail over the weekend and found that “the universe really does have a sense of humor.” She held up a jury duty summons.
With her new full-time job, Ray must give up a seat on the Arroyo Grande City Council. In an email to The Tribune sent Saturday, she said she would also give up her job teaching history at Santa Maria High School.
“There is no technical conflict, but it’s functionally not possible,” she wrote.
In her email, Ray said the supervisors face several important issues, such as dropping groundwater levels in the Paso Robles groundwater basin, the Los Osos sewer installation and airport management.
“The first issue is simply the tone of the board itself,” she wrote. “I am looking forward to contributing to a newly congenial and functional atmosphere.”