Jan Marx is the obvious choice for mayor; her two opponents have no political experience and could more aptly be described as crusaders rather than viable candidates.
Challengers Donald Hedrick and Jeff Specht are concerned about the mistreatment of homeless people and what they see as excesses at City Hall — including bloated salaries — but are vague and in some cases uninformed on issues such as water and land use policies.
With long shot, non-traditional candidates as her only opponents, Marx could kick back during this campaign. She hasn’t done so — she’s campaigned hard and has taken nothing for granted. Good for her.
We like Marx’s strong positions on a number of issues:
Challenging the Airport Land Use Commission on its restrictions on higher density housing near the airport.
Recognizing the seriousness of climate change and seeking to implement the city’s Climate Action Plan over the next two years.
Voting to put Measure G — the extension of the half-cent sales tax — on the ballot.
Supporting construction of a homeless services center.
Supporting development of the new skate park, the addition of open space and other recreational amenities.
She’s also been strong on the need to increase the city’s supply of workforce housing, though we believe there are times when she could be more flexible. For example, during a housing discussion in January, she dug in her heels when it was suggested that open space requirements be adjusted to allow more housing density on the 150-acre Avila Ranch on the north side of Buckley Road.
“It is really bad planning policy to allow for affordable housing as a tradeoff to open space,” she said at the time.
Yet it’s also bad policy when housing prices are so high that workers have no choice but to live outside the city and commute to and from work, and we urge the mayor to consider compromising on this.
That said, we believe Mayor Marx is a strong leader who continues to impress us with her compassion, diplomacy, accessibility and commitment.
The Tribune Editorial Board strongly endorses Jan Marx for a third term as mayor of San Luis Obispo.