An Arroyo Grande man with experience managing public infrastructure projects is challenging Lynn Compton for a seat on the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors.
Jimmy Paulding, 31, filed paperwork for his candidacy Aug. 15 and said he will officially launch his campaign for the June 2018 election at the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party Labor Day Family Picnic on Sept. 4.
The Arroyo Grande native graduated from Cal Poly with a bachelors degree in City and Regional Planning in 2008 and this year became a California-licensed attorney after attending Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law.
For the past 10 years, he worked in the private sector for Vanir Construction Management Inc. and currently for Arcadis North America Inc. as a project manager and construction claims analyst on government projects, including construction of the new San Luis Obispo airport terminal and the San Luis Obispo County Women’s Jail expansion project.
Those experiences negotiating with government agencies, managing budgets and “working through red tape” give him a skill set he said doesn’t exist on the current board.
“I want to put these skills to use in the good governance of our county, which, in my opinion, is substantially lacking at the moment,” Paulding said.
In a phone interview with The Tribune on Thursday he said he believes the communities of District 4 could be better served. He criticized Compton’s voting record, arguing that her vote on the county’s implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was “basically saddling South County taxpayers with the burden of paying for North County issues.”
“I would have managed that process more strategically to ensure a better approach for South County taxpayers,” Paulding said.
He added: “There’s a tendency of overlooking the community of Oceano and Nipomo. Homeless issues, opioid addiction, mental health problems, these are issues that haven’t gotten enough attention. There could be more focus there and on public health in general.”
His platform will prioritize jobs, water supply, affordable housing, maintaining infrastructure and improving air quality on the Nipomo Mesa.
The campaign likely will be costly.
Compton, 54, raised more than $420,000 when she was first elected in 2014. She announced she would run again in June, and by the end of that month had already received contributions totaling more than $64,000, according to a campaign disclosure statement.
Paulding said he is not concerned about the potential expense.
“The money will come. People believe in my ability to lead and my values and my vision, which reflects the community’s goals,” Paulding said.
He lives off Huasna Road with his wife, Kendra, and their miniature golden doodle dog, Remy.