Politics & Government

A look at who's spending money to support, oppose local ballot measures

The latest round of campaign finance statements filed this week shows that thousands of dollars are being spent in support of or against a slew of measures on the Nov. 4 ballot in San Luis Obispo County.

Nearly every city in the county has a measure on the ballot — and four of them would impact residents’ wallets.

The measures include sales tax increases or extensions in Atascadero, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. In Grover Beach, voters will consider a $48 million bond measure for street rehabilitation.

Other measures include whether to change Arroyo Grande from a general law to a charter city, whether to eliminate Morro Bay’s primary election and, in Pismo Beach, whether to limit development in Price Canyon.

The campaign finance statements, which were due Oct. 5, show how much money was raised from July 1 through Sept. 30 and overall in 2014.

Measure C, Arroyo Grande

The only money spent on Arroyo Grande’s Measure C — which asks voters to make it a charter city rather than a general law city — came from a Sacramento-based political action committee called Members’ Voice of the State Building Trades Council of California.

The committee spent $28,000 on a mailer to oppose the charter measure, according to an independent expenditure report.

Labor unions have opposed the charter measure because it includes a provision that allows the city to set guidelines for when it could waive prevailing wage requirements on public projects.

Read more about Measure C »

Measures E and F, Atascadero

Measure F would increase Atascadero’s sales taxes by a half-percent for 12 years, with the funds going to the city’s general fund.

Its companion advisory Measure E asks whether the money should be directed toward fixing more of the city’s roads. Both would take a simple majority to pass.

A committee formed in support of Measure F has raised $1,100 from three sources, including Michael Frederick Paving Corp., which contributed $500.

Read more about Measures E and F »

Measure G, San Luis Obispo

Measure G would extend the city’s half-percent sales tax increase for eight years.

SLO Citizens for Measure G has far outraised the committee opposing the measure, with $21,013 in contributions.

The largest donation was $1,200 from the Wallace Group, a San Luis Obispo engineering and design firm. Other contributions include $1,000 each from MindBody Inc.; the Cannon Corp.; real estate development firm MFI Limited; Tim Williams of Digital West; and Once Upon a Time LP.

Other donors included city Fire Chief Garret Olson and Monica Irons, the city’s director of human resources, and retired police chiefs Deborah Linden and James Gardiner. Former City Manager Ken Hampian gave $500. Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong gave $350.

The No on G committee, meanwhile, collected $4,800 in monetary contributions and $4,878 in non-monetary contributions. Keith Gurney, chair of the No on G committee, used his personal credit card to pay for the majority of the committee’s expenditures, including yard signs, fliers, and newspaper advertising, said Treasurer Kevin P. Rice.

Gurnee also gave $500 in cash to the campaign, bringing his total contribution to $3,729. Rice said Gurnee hopes to recover most of that money once contributions are collected.

Other cash donors included $200 from Leslie Halls of San Luis Obispo, $200 from Rice through his group Integrity San Luis Obispo and $300 from Sandra Rowley of Residents for Quality Neighborhoods. Council candidate Mike Clark also gave $300.

The largest contribution of $1,500 came from the San Luis Obispo Property and Business Owners' Association.

Read more about Measure G »

Measure H, Pismo Beach

A committee formed to support Measure H has raised $11,032, including a $6,000 loan from the Central Coast Action Coalition.

The measure would limit what types of development could happen in Price Canyon should the area be annexed into Pismo Beach.

The largest contribution of $2,000 came from Glen Richardson of Arroyo Grande, a consultant at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The committee has received 13 other contributions from Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande residents, including longtime Pismo resident Effie McDermott and retired professor Ted Case, who each gave $500.

Pismo Beach also has Measure I on the ballot to extend a half-percent sales tax for 12 years, but no money has been raised to support or oppose it.

Read more about Measures H and I »

Measure J, Morro Bay

This measure asks voters whether to amend Morro Bay’s municipal code to change the election of mayor and City Council members to the November general election and eliminate the June primary election.

Money has only been raised in support of the measure. Supporters have received $2,022, with the highest donation of $300 coming from Morro Bay resident William Luffee, president of San Luis Obispo-based marketing company Promotions Plus.

Read more about Measure J »

Measure K, Grover Beach

This $48 million bond measure would pay for street rehabilitation projects on all residential streets and some major thoroughfares.

A committee formed in support, Save our Streets, has raised nearly $6,626, including about $865 in non-monetary contributions.

Contributions include $3,000 from the Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee of the California Association of Realtors; $250 each from former Grover Beach councilmen Peter Keith and Steve Lieberman; $250 from current Councilman Jeff Lee; $300 from council candidate Miriam Shah; and $100 from Friends of Adam Hill, the 3rd District supervisor’s campaign committee.

Read more about Measure K »

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