Elections

Incumbent re-elected to Los Osos CSD board, but a second seat is too close to call

The race for one of two seats on the Los Osos Community Services District Board of Directors is currently down to 63 votes and will likely be decided Friday.

With two seats up for grabs and all eight precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, incumbent director Chuck Cesena had secured his re-election to the four-year term with 2,506 votes, or roughly 33.7 percent.

But newcomers Matthew Fourcroy, a Cal Poly alumnus and engineer, and Stephen Best, a former parks and recreation committee member, are neck and neck for the remaining seat. Fourcroy led with 2,097 votes (28.2 percent) to Best’s 2,034 votes (27.4 percent).

A fourth candidate, Craig Baltimore, an architectural engineering professor at Cal Poly whose website says he previously served as a board director, received just 761 votes, or 10.2 percent.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk Tommy Gong estimated Wednesday afternoon that he still had 41,973 vote-by-mail ballots, 6,222 provisional ballots and various other categories yet to be counted, including ballots that were postmarked on Election Day but not yet received by the office.

It’s unclear how many ballots from Los Osos residents remain to be counted.

The next round of results are expected to be released Friday.

Cesena, an environmental planner for Caltrans, has served for about nine years on the board, is current chair of the CSD’s Utility Advisory Committee and vice-chair of the Emergency Services Committee and a past representative on the Basin Management Committee.

“Obviously, it’s quite an honor to be elected by your community,” Cesena said Thursday. “This is an educated community — there’s always an issue.”

Right now, he said, that “hot-button issue” is the need to drill a new municipal well on the easterly side of the water basin, which is a rural part of the community in which residents also have wells in the area. He said he plans to continue being a “conduit of information” between residents and their elected board on the issue.

“That’s where communication comes in,” he said. “We have to consider how our well will affect others’ wells.”

Best, a 22-year Los Osos resident, told The Tribune in September that he’s running for a seat on the board to use his 25 years of experience in building geothermal heating and cooling systems to build an aquatic center, create a multi-purpose trail through town and address water concerns.

He said would also like to enhance Los Osos’ parks and recreation offerings.

Fourcroy also said he wants to improve parks and recreation opportunities, increase community engagement, and improve efficiency and cohesion on the board.

Tribune reporters Monica Vaughan and Cassandra Garibay contributed to this story.

Matt Fountain: 781-7909, @mattfountain1
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