Elections

What you need to know about CSD appointments in Avila Beach, Nipomo and Oceano

A ribbon-cutting for the Nipomo Community Services District’s supplemental water project was held in 2015. Water quality remains a key issue for board directors serving South County community services districts.
A ribbon-cutting for the Nipomo Community Services District’s supplemental water project was held in 2015. Water quality remains a key issue for board directors serving South County community services districts. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

In November, community service districts in Avila Beach, Nipomo and Oceano will appoint people to serve on their boards of directors.

They were able to opt out of election because the exact number of candidates ran for the number of open seats.

Three people will be appointed to four-year terms in both Avila Beach and Nipomo, the Oceano CSD is appointing two people to four-year seats, and a third to a two-year position.

Here are the CSD board directors who will be appointed to South County seats.

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Appointed Avila Beach CSD board members are, from left, Lynn Helenius, Pete Kelley and Ara Najarian. Courtesy photo

Avila Beach

In Avila Beach, Lynn Helenius, Pete Kelley and Ara Najarian will be appointed to four-year terms, and one two-year term seat will remain open and unfilled.

Helenius, a longtime Avila Beach resident, said she is happy to be a director because she is committed to the town’s well-being and wants the community to stay under local control.

Kelley’s main incentive to serve as a board director is water use.

Kelley said he wants to ensure that the community has sufficient water resources and that the ocean remains clean. He wants wastewater treatment to keep progressing and plans to advise the district manager in hopes to set clear wastewater policies.

Najarian, an incumbent, wants to continue his role on the board to further drought development by protecting water resources and strategically prepare for water-related challenges.

While doing so, he wants to ensure that drought-related costs are “fair and equitable to everyone,” he said.

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Appointed Nipomo CSD board members are, from left, Ed Eby, Dan Allen Gaddis and Dan Woodson. Courtesy photo

Nipomo

In Nipomo, three directors will be appointed to four-year terms on the board, including president Ed Eby, who has been a board director for the past 12 years.

Eby said his goal will continue to be to provide “penalty-free” water to Nipomo residents from Santa Maria to reduce overuse of local groundwater wells.

Over the 17 years Eby has lived in Nipomo, he has also served as a South County Advisory Council chairperson, Water Resources Advisory Committee delegate and Local Agency Formation Commission vice chair.

Dan Allen Gaddis, the board’s current vice president, will be appointed to another four-year term.

Gaddis is a U.S. Army veteran who moved to Nipomo 18 years ago. In addition to working as manager of administration at Raytheon Co. and Hughes Aircraft Co., he has experience in planning and managing new construction.

Dan Woodson, another incumbent, said it is his role to “continue efforts to bring full allocation of supplemental water from Santa Maria.” Woodson, who has lived in Nipomo for 18 years, previously worked as a civil engineer for the Sierra National Forrest in Fresno.

He said he hopes to maintain the quality of Nipomo’s CSD so that ratepayers are getting their money’s worth.

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Appointed Oceano CSD board members are, from left, Cynthia Replogle, Allene Villa and Karen White, not pictured. Courtesy photo

Oceano

Oceano appointed three open seats, two of which are four-year terms. The remaining seat has a two-year term.

Allene Villa, an Oceano native, will be appointed to a four-year term. Villa said she decided to run because she wants “to bring a much-needed positive change.”

Villa said she hopes to improve Oceano’s downtown, resolve flooding and lighting issues and engage the entire community in making local decisions. Villa, who identifies as Latina, added that she will “work relentlessly to engage our Latino community.”

Cynthia Replogle, who has served as an interim director since August, also said she wants to make an effort to personally engage with more of Oceano’s Latin community. Replogle will continue her role on the board for a two-year term.

She founded the Oceano Beach Community Association and represents that association on the Oceano Advisory Council. Replogle has worked as an aerospace engineer, attorney and Surfrider Foundation volunteer.

Karen White, the current president of Oceano’s CSD board, will be appointed to another four-year term. White has served as a director for the past six years.

Over the next four years, White said she and the board want to focus on infrastructure of the water resource reliability program, updating of the local hazard mitigation plan, implementing the Five Cities Fire Authority strategic plan and expanding solid waste and clean-up efforts for the community.

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