Atascadero’s upcoming election will turn over half the City Council and put a new mayor in office — and three-quarters of the candidates are women.
Two seats on the council were left open after Heather Moreno decided to run for mayor and Brian Sturtevant opted not to run for a third term.
Current Mayor Tom O’Malley chose not to seek a third term, and Moreno will run unopposed to replace him.
Three newcomers will vie for the two council seats in November.
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Funk — who’s lived in Atascadero for the past decade — owns the Kailos Group Inc., a healthcare management consulting business.
She’s running on a platform that includes improving the city’s downtown area, using community resources efficiently and encouraging more residents to become involved in Atascadero’s decision-making process.
“We really need to have a broader range of voices on our council to represent our community,” Funk said.
A major element of her campaign is reforming the city’s status as one of San Luis Obispo County’s bedroom communities.
“We have to build an economy that’s strong enough to support the community we want to be,” Funk said.
Newsom — who moved to Atascadero in 2015 — owns an accounting and tax practice with offices in Cayucos and Denver.
She’s also involved in various community groups, including the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Greyhound Foundation and the Atascadero Kiwanis Club.
“I feel like there’s a lot I can do in my community,” Newsom said.
Her platform includes maintaining Atascadero’s status as a family-oriented city and improving the experiences of the its small-business owners.
Dariz — an architect who’s lived in Atascadero since 2003 — has served on the city’s Planning Commission for the past eight years.
“After being on the Planning Commission for this many years, I thought it was time to take the natural progression and run for City Council,” he said.
If he were elected to the City Council, Dariz said he’d like to continue bringing businesses into Atascadero.
“I want to see tax dollars stay in our community,” he said.
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