After an especially bruising campaign, it’s win-or-go-home for the candidates running for two seats on the county Board of Supervisors. Because only two candidates are running in each contested race, there will be no run-off in November.
And that’s not the only decisive local race on Tuesday’s ballot.
In Arroyo Grande, voters will again be weighing in on whether to fund a new police station in their city.In other words, don’t sit this one out.
If you’ve already voted by mail, good for you. If you are still deciding, we offer a recap of our local endorsements:
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Arroyo Grande Measure A12: Yes
Approval of the $6.7 million bond measure would allow Arroyo Grande to finally replace a woefully inadequate police station on Halcyon Road. The new station would be built at West Branch Street and Old Ranch Road, near the Arroyo Grande Women’s Club, where there’s plenty of room for expansion.
Homeowners would not see any increase in their property taxes. They will pay the same amount — about $40 per year on a $500,000 home — that they’ve been paying for fire station improvements. But instead of retiring that debt in 10 years, voters will commit to paying for 30 years.
We believe it’s an excellent investment. For less than the price of a tank of gas, voters can ensure that the police department will be adequately housed for decades to come.
County Supervisor, District 3: Adam Hill
We believe Hill brings the right balance of idealism and nuts-and-bolts practicality to the board.
During his first term, he was committed to reducing county spending and attracting jobs, yet at the same time, he sought to ensure availability of water and other resources needed to support growth.
Hill has been a strong advocate for the county on issues involving outside agencies, such as Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. We’ve also been impressed with his leadership on social issues. For example, he led the effort to dedicate county-owned land on Prado Road for a future homeless services center, while stressing the need for case management services that will help homeless people transition into permanent housing.
County Supervisor, District 5: Jim Patterson
Patterson has been portrayed by his opponents as an extreme environmentalist who will single-handedly ruin the local economy through his support of excessive government spending and ridiculous regulations.
An analysis of his voting record, though, shows that’s not at all the case. He’s sided with more conservative board members on a number of issues, including some controversial residential and commercial developments. He also supported measures designed to curb county spending, such as the switch to a two-tier pension system for county employees.
We’ve found Patterson to be a thoughtful board member who appreciates the need to balance growth with environmental protections — an approach borne out by his support of large commercial solar farms on Carrisa Plains. In short, Patterson is a moderate board member with the political maturity to put ideology aside and vote for what’s in the best interests of the entire county.
Morro Bay Mayor: Jamie Irons
Irons, a former planning commissioner, would invigorate the city. He is courteous, knowledgeable and we like his common-sense approach to the wastewater treatment plant issue. He remains open to considering other locations for the sewer plant, but if the Coastal Commission permits a new plant at the current site, he said he will support that. We also believe he would look out for taxpayers, as evidenced by his opposition to hiring an expensive lobbyist to guide the wastewater treatment plant application through the Coastal Commission process.
Morro Bay City Council: Christine Johnson and Noah Smukler
Johnson, who is seeking a first term on the council, has a wealth of volunteer and private sector experience — she’s currently president of Morro Bay Friends of the Library and serves on the board of United Way. She’s a strong advocate for long-term planning and economic development, and we believe she has an ability to listen and to broker compromises that would help unify the council.
Smukler is running for a second term. He’s proven himself to be a smart, hard-working and independent council member who has the gift of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. His strong voice and environmental background helps ensure issues — such as the controversial plan to replace the sewer treatment plant — are studied from every angle.