Arroyo Grande City Council race: Barneich in, Guthrie out

Arroyo Grande City Councilwoman Kristen Barneich will attempt to retain her seat this November.
Arroyo Grande City Councilwoman Kristen Barneich will attempt to retain her seat this November.

Two Arroyo Grande City Council members have announced their plans for the Nov. 8 general election: Incumbent Kristen Barneich said she will seek re-election to her seat on the council, while incumbent Jim Guthrie said he won’t run for a fourth term.

The announcements come a day after former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Caren Ray announced her own bid to rejoin the council, which she served on from 2010 to 2013.

This will be the first time Barneich will run for the seat. She was appointed to the council in 2013 to fill the vacancy left when Ray was appointed to the Board of Supervisors after the death of Supervisor Paul Teixeira.

“I’m excited to announce my candidacy to retain my seat on the Arroyo Grande City Council,” Barneich said Thursday. “I’m humbled by the strong community support I’ve received these past 2 1/2 years and want to continue to work hard for our wonderful city.”

In a news release, Barneich said she hoped to focus on making city operations efficient, ensuring effective financing, securing new sources of water and encouraging major road improvements. Barneich also said she would focus on preserving “Arroyo Grande’s unique character.”

Councilman Jim Guthrie confirmed Thursday he will not seek re-election after serving 12 years on the council.

“It has been my pleasure to serve this community, helping steer the city of Arroyo Grande over the last 16 years,” he said, noting his time with the city included serving on the Planning Commission. “Beginning with the 2001 General Plan it has been my good fortune to have worked with great staff, fellow council members, commissioners and citizens to write a chapter in Arroyo Grande’s history. It is now time for another council to write the next chapter.”

Guthrie has served on the council since 2004, making him the longest-serving current council member (Councilman Tim Brown was elected in 2010, and Councilwoman Barbara Harmon in 2014).

Besides Barneich and Ray, no other council candidate intention statements have been filed with the city.

Mayor Jim Hill, who ran a successful write-in campaign in 2014, has said he will run for re-election in November. He filed his intention statement with the city in January. No one has filed candidacy papers yet to challenge Hill.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie