The San Luis Obispo City Council will stay much the same in coming years, as voters Tuesday showed unwavering support for incumbents Mayor Jan Marx and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson.
Newcomer Dan Rivoire, executive director of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition, will join the council and provide the vote needed to pass the city’s updated general plan.
“I have a lot to learn, and I hope to catch up quickly,” Rivoire said Tuesday night. “In particular I hope to see the council move forward on the Land Use and Circulation Element Update.”
On Tuesday, voters also showed their willingness to invest financially in the city, widely passing Measure G, which extends a half-percent sales tax increase for eight more years, keeping it at 8 percent until March 31, 2023.
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Two candidates, Donald Hedrick and Jeffrey Specht, challenged Mayor Jan Marx for her seat. Neither gained more than 19 percent of the vote.
Marx will serve an additional two years as mayor, making her the only woman in the city’s history to serve three consecutive terms as mayor. She has served for 10 years on the San Luis Obispo City Council, four of them as mayor.
Marx, a staunch supporter of preserving open space and environmental sustainability, is also leading the charge to override the Airport Land Use Commission.
That override is needed for the city to complete the update of the its general plan which paves the way for the development of more than 1,500 homes on the southern end of the city.
On Oct. 21, two council members — Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith — voted against the override; a 4-1 vote of the five-member council was needed to pass it.
It will come back to the council for another vote once the new members are seated.
Of the five candidates seeking two council seats, incumbent Christianson, who also supports the override, received the majority of votes.
Riviore followed close behind with 27 percent of the vote.
Gordon Mullin, a financial planner, followed with 18 percent of the vote, and Mike Clark, a retired Army colonel with 29 years of service, was close behind him with 17 percent. Dan Cano, executive director of The LINK, trailed far behind with only 5 percent of the vote.
The new council will oversee the spending of the additional revenue from the passage of Measure G, will go directly into the city’s general fund.
The City Council has pledged to use it to protect and maintain essential services and facilities such as open space preservation, flood protection, neighborhood street paving and code enforcement and senior programs.
The passage of the ballot measure also requires that a citizen’s committee be formed to make spending recommendations to the City Council — something that outgoing Councilwoman Kathy Smith lobbied for.
“We want them to spend it as they promised like capital improvements, open space and safety enhancements for the downtown communities,” said Clint Pearce, president of Madonna Enterprises and co-chair of the SLO Citizens for Measure G. “We are pleased that extra safeguards, like the citizen’s committee, were added so our community can understand where city leadership is spending the money.”