Campaign contributions to those vying for the seats on the San Luis Obispo City Council continue to trickle in, with two of the four mayoral candidates — Paul Brown and Jan Marx — far outpacing the others. Both report contributions of more than $20,000.
Nearly $12,000 has been spent in support of Brown by local businesswoman Kristie Molina, who owns the Laguna Village Shopping Center. She has spent $11,593 to date on advertising supporting Brown for mayor.
Molina said she wants Brown elected to the City Council because of his small business experience — something she said is lacking on the existing council. Brown owned Mother’s Tavern (now called MoTav) until its sale in 2009.
A city ordinance limits campaign contributions to $200 per election by anyone other than immediate family. But by forming an independent expenditure committee, Molina is able to spend as much as she wants.
City Clerk Elaina Cano said that, dating back as far as the 2000 general election, no independent expenditure committee has spent as much money on one candidate as Molina has.
“That is what San Luis Obispo is — small businesses,” Molina said. “If we are going to keep the uniqueness of San Luis Obispo, we need the majority of the people on the council to support the small business experience.”
Earlier this year, Molina petitioned the City Council for improved access to her shopping center on the corner of Los Osos Valley Road and Madonna Road.
In March, she successfully got approval to restore a left turn from Madonna Road that the city had made illegal in 2007 and to make other access improvements.
Molina, who spent more than $150,000 on experts to show the need for the restored turn lane, said the experience was exhausting.
“It was a long, hard two years,” Molina said. “I really believe that the City Council needs to understand small business and how hard it is to make a living at it. There is just a lack of understanding of what it takes.”
Three of the five City Council seats are up for election on the Nov. 2 ballot: the mayoral seat held by Dave Romero and two four-year seats held by Councilmen Allen Settle and Andrew Carter. Four candidates are vying for mayor, and six for the two council seats.
Campaign finance statements on file with the city show that through Oct. 16 Brown raised $21,834 in campaign contributions and spent $21,509.
Contributors to Brown’s campaign include Clint Pearce of Madonna Enterprises, who gave $100, and a combined $1,000 from many of downtown’s bars including McCarthy’s, Bull’s, Frog and Peach Pub, the Library and MoTav.
Marx has raised $22,242, which includes a $2,000 loan she made to the campaign, and spent $19,462.
Contributors to her campaign include Councilman Allen Settle, who gave $200, and County Supervisor Adam Hill, who gave $100.
Mayoral candidate Andrew Farrell has raised $2,757 and spent $1,352. The fourth mayoral candidate, Donald Hedrick, has raised less than $1,000.
Monetary donations also continue to come in for the six council candidates.
Councilman Carter has raised the most money of the six City Council candidates. He has raised $11,375, which includes a $2,000 loan he made to the campaign. He has spent just under $9,519.
Former Councilwoman Kathy Smith, who is running again, has raised $8,691, including a $2,000 loan she made to the campaign. Smith has spent $7,851.
Andrea Miller, owner of Spike’s Pub, has raised $2,463, including a $1,000 loan she made to the campaign. She has spent $2,255.
City council candidates Dan Carpenter, Terry Mohan, and Arnold Ruiz have all raised less than $1,000.
In addition, $14,104 in contributions has been given to the No on Measure H Committee — an independent expenditure committee formed to oppose the ballot measure that proposes to eliminate part of the Prado Road extension in San Luis Obispo. That committee has spent $20,817. Contributors include attorney John Spatafore, who has given a total $750 to the committee, and $500 from former San Luis Obispo city manager Ken Hampian.
The Support Our Fields committee supporting Measure H has raised $400 and spent $9,733.
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.