Long-time trustee may not run

After nearly five decades in office, this year could mark the last term for Lucia Mar school board member Georgie O’Connor, who said Wednesday that she does not plan on seeking re-election, unless no one else is interested in the post.

“At this present time I’m not running,” she said, “but in the event that no one will run, I will run again.”

Two spots are open in the trustee area that O’Connor represents in Arroyo Grande, including hers.

As of Wednesday, school board President Colleen Martin and small business owner Matthew Gabriel Guerrero had qualified to run in that trustee area, according to the county Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

Guerrero, 39, is an attorney who also owns a laundromat on Highway 1 in Oceano. His oldest daughter will start kindergarten at Fairgrove Elementary in a few weeks, and his 3-year-old is not far behind.

“I think I have a vested interest with two children entering the school district,” he said.

Other seats up for election are those held by David Foster, representing the Oceano area, and Paul Teixeira, who represents the Nipomo area.

Vern Dahl, an Oceano Community Services District board member, has qualified to run in the Oceano trustee area.

Teixeira and Arroyo Grande attorney Mike Zimmerman are in the November runoff for the county Board of Supervisors seat representing much of South County.

Teixeira has been on the school board for a single four-year term and said he won’t seek re-election.

Foster could not be reached for comment.

Lucia Mar trustees are elected from four areas, depending on where the board members live, but are voted on by South County residents at large. The school district is the largest in the county and has about 10,700 students.

If any of the incumbents do not file by 5 p.m. on Friday, the filing deadline is extended until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

O’Connor was elected in 2006 to her 12th consecutive term. She was first elected to the Arroyo Grande Elementary School District board in 1961, four years before it would merge with other South County districts to create Lucia Mar.

She was honored in 2006 by the California School Boards Association for being one of four longest-tenured school board members in the state.

“I think I served the children of the community well,” said O’Connor, who recently turned 88.

Lucia Mar Superintendent Jim Hogeboom said Wednesday that it is important during difficult budget times to attract first-rate candidates.

“We want people who want results,” said Lucia Mar Superintendent Jim Hogeboom. “Their role is to be clear on where we’re going and to hold me accountable.”

Run for school board

The Lucia Mar Unified School District board meets twice monthly and receives a monthly stipend of $439. Members are also eligible for health benefits. Anyone interested in running can contact the Elections Division of the Clerk-Recorder’s Office to make an appointment at 781-5228. The office is at 1055 Monterey St., Suite D-120 in San Luis Obispo.

Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated on Twitter by following @SouthCountyBeat.