In his first term on the City Council, Andrew Carter has shown himself to be highly responsive to residents, an excellent communicator and a dedicated problem solver. He’s also been a strong voice for fiscal restraint.
To say that he does his homework is putting it mildly; Carter is meticulous in his research. We also like the fact that he shares his findings with the community, not only at council meetings, but also in community presentations and through Viewpoints in The Tribune.
Carter has an MBA from Wharton School of Business and is especially adept at looking out for the taxpayers’ interests.
For example, he took strong issue with the amount the Copeland family paid for city-owned parking lots in the Chinatown project area; he believes the city was underpaid. While we did not agree, it’s good to know that someone with Carter’s business acumen is examining city finances.
It’s also worth noting that, while other candidates for city office opposed binding arbitration, Carter alone said that he would help lead a move to repeal it.
“That’s a function of leadership,” he said.
We couldn’t agree more.
We’re also impressed with Carter’s wealth of experience in local government — he served on the city Planning Commission and on various task forces before his election to council, and he was a regular attendee of council meetings before that.
He’s also been a strong advocate for affordable housing and was among the first in the community to highlight the need for lower-cost homes.
In short, we believe Andrew Carter can be counted on to stand up for the community’s best interests. We strongly urge voters to re-elect him to the City Council.
Kathy Smith served on the City Council from 1994 to 1998; she left to head a literacy program in Columbus, Ohio. She later returned to the area and worked for a number of nonprofit agencies.
During her years on the City Council, she lobbied for the Arts in Public Places program and for creation of the city’s economic development and natural resource manager positions.
Bravo for that. As Smith notes, about 6,000 acres of open space have been preserved in the city since that time, and she is justified in being proud of having a hand in that.
However, she correctly points out that more progress is needed in the area of economic development; she says the city has not been successful in attracting industries that offer head-of-household jobs.
We believe her commitment to economic development would be a plus for working families and young people who are struggling to find decent-paying jobs.
At the same time, Smith is strong in supporting environmental protections. She is, for example, a proponent of California’s leadership role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and she opposes Proposition 23, which would suspend the state’s tough emission rules.
Smith also has a good understanding of the city’s financial position — she says the city is in “dire financial straits” — but we like the fact that she focuses on budget cuts and on building the city’s business base. If personnel costs do need to be further trimmed, “leadership should take the most severe cut,” she said.
We found Kathy Smith to be smart, straightforward and dynamic. She has a wealth of institutional knowledge about the city, as well as a good understanding of current issues. We believe her focus on economic development would make her a strong addition to the council. We urge voters to elect Kathy Smith to City Council.
San Luis Obispo City Council
Number of seats: 2
Length of term: 4 years
Salary: $1,000 per month
Eligible for health benefits
Candidates: Cultural Heritage Committee member Dan Carpenter; City Councilman Andrew Carter; former city Planning Commissioner Andrea Miller; truck driver Terry Mohan; retired barber Arnold Ruiz; former Councilwoman Kathy Smith
The Tribune endorses: Andrew Carter and Kathy Smith