Christine Johnson is smart, dynamic and articulate, and she has a wealth of experience that would make her a valuable addition to the City Council.
Here are a few highlights from an impressive résumé:
She served as director of student development at Pierce College in Philadelphia.
She was assistant executive director of the Girl Scout Council of Greater Long Beach.
She’s president of the 475-member Morro Bay Friends of the Library, serves on the board of directors of United Way of SLO County and has worked on a number of community projects, including the annual Fourth of July celebration, a bicycle parade and a community “block party” competition featured in Sunset Magazine.
We especially like Johnson’s idea of developing a “pedestrian-friendly” space to connect the downtown to the Embarcadero; her focus on preserving the character of Morro Bay’s unique neighborhoods; and her dedication to long-term planning and economic development.
On the issue of the wastewater treatment plant, she believes the city should have worked more closely with the Coastal Commission on the project — we agree — but she notes that at this point, the application is out of the city’s hands and with the Coastal Commission.
“If the permit is denied, we’ll have to move forward and reassess,” said Johnson, who’s promised to work with residents of Morro Bay and Cayucos to find the “right plant at the right price” in the event that the current proposal is denied.
That may sound like a campaign slogan, but we believe that Johnson has the diplomatic skills — and the ability to listen — that are essential to bringing people together.
Christine Johnson would be a unifying voice at City Hall and in the community. We strongly urge Morro Bay voters to elect her to the City Council.
We enthusiastically endorsed Noah Smukler for City Council four years ago, citing his strong environmental credentials, his background in natural resources management, his experience as a small-business owner and his technical knowledge gained from volunteering on the city’s Public Works Advisory Board. We also noted that Smukler’s youth — he was then 30 — would bring diversity to the council.
To that already impressive résumé, Smukler can now add four years of experience as a City Council member.
Along with the other council members, Smukler has faced some of the most difficult budget and infrastructure challenges in city history. The council has made some key decisions — such as adopting a two-tier pension plan for employees — that will help assure Morro Bay’s financial stability for many years to come.
Through it all, we’ve been especially impressed with Smukler’s strong voice and his independence.
One example: He was the lone member of the council to vote against allowing developer Dan Reddell to build a two-story house and granny unit atop Cerrito Peak — a promontory that is considered a sacred site by local American Indian tribes.
He’s also questioned the city’s plan to build a new sewer plant near the location of the current plant, which lies within a floodplain and tsunami-inundation zone.
While he would still prefer a different location, if the Coastal Commission does grant a permit for the site, Smukler said he will not oppose the project.
“I would not litigate the Coastal Commission,” he said. “I would move forward with the project as permitted, because that’s the most fiscally responsible thing to do, in my opinion.”
We believe that Smukler’s ability to analyze issues and articulate his positions — even when he’s in a minority of one — are strong assets that help ensure an issue is studied from every angle.
We strongly urge voters to re-elect Noah Smukler to the Morro Bay City Council.
Editorials are the opinion of The Tribune