“I’m just the average guy; your next-door neighbor,” Teixeira told a group of Nipomo and Arroyo Grande high school students at a candidates’ forum Wednesday night. “I care about my community.”
Teixeira has not owned his own business, as Zimmerman has, or graduated from college like his opponents.
His strengths lie elsewhere, he says. Teixeira believes “community involvement is the key.”
While all three have been involved with the community, Teixeira has a long list. He has volunteered with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, youth sports, the Dana Adobe in Nipomo, Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce and youth agriculture and has raised money for such exotic activities as India National Immunization Day and the Mexico Cleft Palate Clinic.
His critics say that good works do not necessarily lead to good governance, and question whether Teixeira’s service on the Lucia Mar school board and county Parks Commission has demonstrated any special leadership qualities.
On the issues, Teixeira is calling for a Sheriff’s Department substation in Nipomo; the closest is in Oceano. He also believes in a variable rate structure for water use and backs a statewide ballot initiative “to prevent legislators from raiding county funds.”
He said county leaders should pay more attention to the futures of students who won’t go to college — and look for ways to help develop apprentice electrician, plumber and other programs.
Q&A: Four questions for Paul Teixeira
Q. What would you do to protect against crime, especially gang encroachment in the South County? Should Nipomo allow a medical marijuana clinic?
A. Build a sheriff’s substation, ideally in Nipomo. Realizing that gang influence is not isolated to one area, but crosses over into other regional areas, I work with the Santa Maria and Guadalupe Police departments to combat regional gang problems that cross over the county line.
I would also advocate for the establishment of free after-school youth programs, providing a safe environment for children in our district.
If the capacity to monitor activities of the clinic are designed well, and it is verified by a physician, there are few reasons to say no to a medical marijuana clinic in Nipomo.
Q. Is pollution on the Nipomo Mesa a problem? Should motorized vehicles be banned from the Oceano Dunes, or limited? If they were banned, do you believe a new, reliable source of tourist income could emerge?
A. The results we are working with are from a preliminary study that was too brief and inconclusive. We need a yearlong study with funds secured from grants and conducted by the University of California.
If the study is conclusive that there is a health hazard to the Dunes, then a compromise is necessary, taking into consideration economic and safety concerns.
If motor vehicles were banned, it is possible that a new, reliable source of tourist income could emerge, but it would be best served to conduct an economic study by local universities to find the need and understand the economic impact.
Q. Water is in dwindling supply in every place in the South County. What would you do to guarantee a continuing adequate supply? Should water be rationed?
A. This issue affects not only our district, but the entire state. To guarantee a continuing adequate supply of water, I would first stress conservation. Second, I would look at the idea of taxing users based upon use of the water, enlisting variable tax rates for residential, business and agriculture. Finally, it is in our best interest to better plan communities so that they use water wisely.
Q. Where in the budget can you cut? What are your priorities? Is there a way to corral pension costs? Please be specific.
A. The budget needs to be designed like families run households. We need to be wise in working within our means, realizing that not all allocated funds need to be spent. We need to save for harder times, invest consistently and encourage our employees to operate within the budget. Moreover, a statewide ballot initiative needs to be established to prevent state legislators from raiding county funds for state purposes.
I also believe we should expand university internships, explore grants and allow room for retirees to come back to our community and volunteer their expertise for those departments that have been downsized.
Information from the official voter's guide
During the 46 years that I have lived in San Luis Obispo County I have always felt that community involvement is the key to a great living environment. To this end, one of the greatest accomplishments that I have experienced as a parks and recreation commissioner is the establishment of the Jack Ready Park in Nipomo for “special needs kids.”
As a trustee on the Lucia Mar Unified School District Board I was equally pleased when we were able to purchase the Oceano Community Center, thus saving it from having to close. Today the center still stands, serving the needs of the community and the school district.
As a Rotarian I worked to secure funds for an immunization project, and the establishment of a cleft palate clinic. As a charter representativefor the Camino Real Boy Scout District I was immensely pleased to serve Troop 450.
As supervisor I would be honored to serve the people of the 4th District while offering the most fair, honest and transparent leadership possible.