Political Notebook 4/4

Grover Beach

Dave Mullinax of the League of California Cities will speak to South County Democrats on Wednesday about a proposed November ballot initiative designed to keep the state from taking local money to plug budget shortfalls.

He’s set to speak to the South County Democratic Club at 7 p.m. at the Grover Beach Community Center, 12th Street and Trouville Avenue. A “social hour” at 6:30 p.m. will precede his talk.

The ballot initiative is dubbed the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010. If a majority of voters statewide approve it, it would stop the state government from shifting, borrowing, or outright taking money from California cities to cover its own budget shortfalls.

Along with the state budget, about 500 bills a year affect local governments in some fashion, according to an event announcement from South County Democrats.

The League of California Cities represents all 480 cities in the state. Mullinax is regional public affairs manager for the league’s Channel Counties Division, which represents the 25 cities in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

For information call Nancy Davis at 489-7398.

— Bob Cuddy

Arroyo Grande

Former Pismo Beach police Chief Joe Cortez, who is running for county sheriff, has announced a meet-and-greet event and a fundraiser this week and later this month.

The meet-and-greet will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the SLO Down Pub, 1200 East Grand Ave. in Arroyo Grande. The event is to include free music and appetizers.

Cortez’s $50-a-plate fundraiser is set for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 18 at the Oceano/Five Cities Elk Lodge, 410 Airport Drive in Oceano. There will be music and food and a raffle.

To RSVP for the April 18 fundraiser, contact Jennifer Poelking at 801-2508 or via email at cortezforsheriff Cortez is seeking to succeed Sheriff Pat Hedges, who is retiring after this year. Other candidates are former county Supervisor Jerry Lenthall; retired CHP Sgt. Michael “Tex” Teixeira; sheriff’s Deputy Mark J. Adams; sheriff’s Cmdr. Ben Hall; and Ian Parkinson, a San Luis Obispo Police Department captain.

— Bob Cuddy

SLO County

A trio of corrections veterans has endorsed Jerry Lenthall in his effort to become the county’s next sheriff.

Lenthall has picked up the endorsements of retired county Probation Department Chiefs Kim Barrett and Donald King, along with that of Dan McCarthy, former California Men’s Colony warden and retired director of the state Department of Corrections.

“For over 25 years, I worked with Jerry Lenthall in his capacity as a police officer and county supervisor,” Barrett said. “Jerry possesses the honesty, integrity, education and experience necessary to lead the Sheriff’s Department.”

Lenthall, who retired as a sergeant from the San Luis Obispo Police Department in 2003, spent 30 years in law enforcement. In 2004, he was elected to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. He lost his bid for re-election in 2008.

— Bob Cuddy

San Luis Obispo

The Green Party of San Luis Obispo will outline its positions on ballot initiatives, explain its views, and listen to two guest speakers at its general meeting April 11.

The meeting takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ludwick Center, 864 Santa Rosa St., in San Luis Obispo. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served.

The Green Party is one of a handful of statewide political parties offering an alternative to Democrats and Republicans.

“We are the only political party advocating for a living wage, affordable housing, universal health care, building more schools and fewer jails, and for electoral reform, including instant run-off voting,” the party’s Peggy Koteen wrote in a news release.

A speaker from the American Red Cross will speak about community disaster preparedness.

In addition, county sheriff candidate Cmdr. Ben Hall will speak. The Green Party says it is not endorsing anyone in the sheriff’s race, but wants to hear from all candidates.

For more information call 544-1580.

— Tribune staff report