Members of the South County Advisory Council have voted to recommend that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors reject one supervisor’s plan to replace the existing advisory councils in the South County with one group.
During a special meeting Wednesday, SCAC members voted 10-2 to ask supervisors to deny Supervisor Paul Teixeira’s plan to create a Fourth District Advisory Council with 11 appointed members from throughout his district. Teixeira represents Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Nipomo and a southern portion of San Luis Obispo.
He said that doing so will streamline the current process, increase the group’s diversity and improve communication between various areas of the district. Teixeira proposes an appointed council with one representative each from Corbett Canyon, Edna Valley, Halcyon, Huasna and Suey Creek; and two representatives each from Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Nipomo.
But the majority of voting members of the SCAC disagree. In a letter addressed to board Chairman Adam Hill, SCAC Chairman Dan Woodson wrote that the change will disenfranchise thousands of Nipomo residents and contradicts guidelines established by the board of supervisors in 1996 for advisory councils.
“Many of the current board members have served on the SCAC for at least a decade and have a keen understanding of the problems facing the local community in terms of building and planning issues, roads and other infrastructure needs,” Woodson wrote. “This new proposed resolution would undo 20 years of hard work and set a new precedent.”
Members who voted in favor of the recommendation were: Rick Dean, Mike Eisner, Dan Gaddis, El-Jay Hansson, Istar Holliday, Vince McCarthy, Gary Spelbring, Elaine Thomas, Dan Woodson and Richard Wright. Members Bill Dorland and Stephanie Franks dissented; Mike Winn and Patricia Duron were absent.
Teixeira’s proposal would affect the SCAC as well as the Oceano/Halcyon Advisory Council. The other advisory councils in the county are located in Avila, Cayucos, Creston, Los Osos, North Coast, Santa Margarita, San Miguel, Shandon, and Templeton.
The advisory councils differ from community services districts, which are local government agencies that deliver a limited number of public services, such as water, sewer and street lighting. The community services districts hold elections; the advisory councils can be either elected or appointed.