Political Notebook

SLO County

In the past decade, officials in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties have filed four tax liens against county sheriff candidate Ian Parkinson.

Art Bacon, principal analyst in the county Tax Collector’s office, confirmed that since 1999, three tax liens were filed against Parkinson, for a total of $639. In all three cases, the taxes on a boat Parkinson owned were paid seven weeks or less after the lien was filed.

“I acknowledge we were late, and I’m responsible for it,” Parkinson said Tuesday. “We were late, and we paid a fee for being late.”

In addition, the Monterey County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office filed a tax lien against Parkinson in 2006 for property he owned in that county. According to a Monterey County official, Parkinson sold a house in November 2005, and the office sent him a supplemental tax bill in May 2006 after the assessor’s office had reassessed the property.

The lien was filed in July 2006; Parkinson paid $2,403, including penalties, in August 2007.

Parkinson said he had thought the supplemental property taxes had been paid in escrow. “Obviously it wasn’t, so we paid it,” he said.

A caller asked Parkinson about the tax liens on Dave Congalton’s radio show on May 10. Parkinson replied: “I think you have the wrong person, I’ve never had a county tax lien that I’m aware of and I’ve always paid my taxes.”

On Tuesday, Parkinson said the caller’s question was unclear and that he wasn’t aware at the time the liens existed.

Parkinson has also been delinquent five times on the boats he has owned in San Luis Obispo County. His tax payments were paid after the Aug. 31 deadline in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

He has also paid taxes on time in three of those past fiscal years: in 2000-01, in 2004-05, in 2008-09, according to Bacon.

Bacon said a search of the county’s unsecured property tax records did not show any tax liens filed in the last 10 years against any of the other five candidates campaigning for sheriff.

Parkinson, a captain with the San Luis Obispo Police Department, is one of six candidates running to replace Sheriff Pat Hedges. The sheriff oversees a department of 377 employees and a $57 million budget.

“I don’t write checks at the police department, nor will I at the sheriff’s department,” Parkinson said. “I just think it’s awfully small and petty to be drawing the correlation between the two, but people have that right and I can’t and I won’t offer an excuse.”

— Cynthia Lambert

Arroyo Grande

The Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce will host a forum Thursday featuring candidates running for the county Board of Supervisors.

Bruce Gibson and Marshall Ochylski are vying to represent the North Coast’s 2nd District, which encompasses Morro Bay, parts of San Luis Obispo and the communities of Cayucos, Los Osos and Cambria.

Candidates for the 4th District seat are Jim Guthrie, Paul Teixeira and Mike Zimmerman. The district includes most of South County.

Audience members can submit questions to Lenny Jones the moderator and chairman of the chamber’s legislative committee.

The forum is set for 5:30 p.m. at the South County Regional Center, 800 W. Branch St.

Contact the chamber at 489-1488.

— Bob Cuddy

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Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara has endorsed fellow City Councilman Jim Guthrie for supervisor in the 4th District, giving Guthrie a clean sweep among the city’s governing body.

Councilmen Chuck Fellows and Joe Costello also back Guthrie.

“I support Jim Guthrie because I know first-hand that he is the most experienced and capable candidate,” said Ferrara.

Guthrie is opposed by Paul Teixeira of Nipomo, a member of the Lucia Mar school board and the county Parks Commission; and Mike Zimmerman, an Arroyo Grande attorney.

— Bob Cuddy