Most cities fill up ballots; Grover, Pismo get a few more days

Candidates for most city council races across San Luis Obispo County met the Friday deadline to turn in election papers, but Grover Beach and Pismo Beach hopefuls will have until Wednesday to get their materials in.

That’s because in each of those South County cities, an incumbent council member decided not to run for re-election, which extends the deadline by five days for the general public, according to state election law.

Numerous special and community services districts, as well as school boards, also have races Nov. 6.

Here’s a look at the candidates for local city council races now set for the ballot:

San Luis Obispo

Three seats will be on the November ballot: the two-year mayoral position and two four-year council seats.

Mayor Jan Marx will face architect Stephen Barasch and artisan welder Donald Hedrick.

Councilmen John Ashbaugh and Dan Carpenter will square off against teacher Jeff Aranguena, firefighter Kevin Rice and Matthew Strzepek. Strzepek didn’t provide an occupation in his election papers.

Paso Robles

Three seats are up: the two-year mayoral position and two four-year council seats.

Mayor Duane Picanco is unopposed.

Councilmen Fred Strong and Nick Gilman will face businessman Steve Martin and designer and draftsman Jim Reed.

Also unopposed: City Clerk Dennis Fansler and Treasurer Mike Compton. Both posts have four-year terms.


Three seats will be contested: the two-year mayoral position and two four-year council seats.

Current Mayor Bob Kelley is running for City Council. City Councilwoman Roberta Fonzi is also seeking re-election, and they will be challenged by business manager Ann Ketcherside.

This will be the first year Atascadero has an elected mayor, for which mid-term Councilman Tom O’Malley is running unopposed. After the election, the council must appoint a new member to serve the remaining two years of O’Malley’s council term.

Grover Beach

Three seats are up for election: the two-year mayoral position and two four-year council terms.

 John P. Shoals has reached his term limit, having served two terms as mayor. Shoals could not be reached Monday to find out whether he will run for council. He has until Wednesday to file.

 Incumbent council members Phyllis A. Molnar, whose term is up in 2014, and Debbie Peterson, whose term is expiring this December, are both running for mayor.

 Incumbent Councilwoman Karen Bright is seeking re-election.

 Newcomers for the council seat are civil engineer Jeff Lee and consultant and author Anita Shower. More candidates could emerge by Wednesday.

Arroyo Grande

Only incumbents filed for the three seats up for election: Mayor Tony Ferrara and council members Jim Guthrie and Caren Ray. The mayor’s post is two years, while council seats are for four years.

The council will hold a meeting Aug. 21 to decide whether to forgo the election, which could save the city between $17,000 and $20,000, City Clerk Kelly Wetmore said.

Pismo Beach

Three seats: the two-year mayoral position and two four-year council terms.

 Incumbents seeking re-election are Mayor Shelly Higginbotham, who is running uncontested, and councilman Ed Waage. Although incumbent councilman Ted Ehring initially filed to run for re-election, he withdrew from the race. At age 82, Ehring is leaving on good terms and will focus on personal pursuits, he said.

 Newcomers seeking to join the council are property manager D.J. White, who is also chairman of the Pismo Beach Planning Commission, and Kevin Kreowski, who did not list an occupation in his filing. More council candidates could emerge by Wednesday.