Ideologically speaking, there isn’t much difference between the two candidates vying to replace Katcho Achadjian on the county Board of Supervisors.
Paul Teixeira of Nipomo and Mike Zimmerman of Arroyo Grande both are politically and fiscally conservative and see eye-to-eye on most, if not all, issues.
Both support Proposition 23, the initiative that would effectively halt California’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Both believe more study is needed to determine whether off-road recreation at the Oceano Dunes is responsible for air quality violations on the Nipomo Mesa.
Both support offshore oil drilling, though they oppose oil extraction in the Huasna area.
Both describe themselves as strong on property rights, and believe that regulatory agencies have placed too many restrictions on property owners.
And both also have impressive records of volunteer service to a number of community organizations.
What sets them apart, we believe, is their record of government service.
Zimmerman has not held a political office, though he did run for state Assembly in 2004, finishing third in the Republican primary. Teixeira, on the other hand, has served on the board of trustees of the Lucia Mar Unified School District — the largest school district in the county — and on the county Parks and Recreation Commission.
He has had experience in the public decision-making process, particularly on the school board where he has faced tough budget and personnel issues. His service on the Parks and Recreation Commission has given him a familiarity with county staff, procedures and regulations — particularly because he was involved with the lengthy process of updating the county’s Parks and Recreation Element.
We also believe that his experience in dealing with different constituencies has better prepared him to represent all county residents and to strive for compromises whenever possible.
Zimmerman, on the other hand, has repeatedly stated that he wants to be the voice of farmers, ranchers and business owners. That’s fine. But the county isn’t composed solely of farmers, ranchers and business owners, and we question whether Zimmerman would be equally committed to his other constituents — particularly when conflicts arise between, say, business interests and environmental concerns.
We have concerns, too, that he would approach county staff from an adversarial standpoint. For example, he has stated that he believes it would be good to have an attorney on the board because he could challenge the county counsel’s advice. That might be necessary on occasion, but to make such an assumption seems both premature and confrontational at this stage.
Bottom line: While Paul Teixiera will have some learning to do on the Board of Supervisors, we believe his experience on the Lucia Mar school board and the Parks and Recreation Commission has given him the background and skills to make the transition. We also believe he will be a stronger voice for all constituencies.
The Tribune strongly urges voters to elect Paul Teixeira to the county Board of Supervisors.
Race: County Supervisor, 4th District
Term: Four years
Annual Salary: $82,014
Candidates: Paul Teixeira, operations manager for industrial technology firm/Lucia Mar Unified School District trustee; Mike Zimmerman, attorney specializing in trusts, estates and business law
The Tribune Endorses: Paul Teixeira