Editorials

Vardas, Guthrie are Tribune's picks for Pismo Beach City Council

Pismo Beach mayoral and City Council candidates are, top row, from left: Shelly Higginbotham, Kevin Kreowski and Sheila Blake; bottom row, from left: Marcia Guthrie, Mary Ann Reiss and Kris Vardas.
Pismo Beach mayoral and City Council candidates are, top row, from left: Shelly Higginbotham, Kevin Kreowski and Sheila Blake; bottom row, from left: Marcia Guthrie, Mary Ann Reiss and Kris Vardas. newsroom@thetribunenews.com

Marcia Guthrie has been a leader in the effort to limit growth in the Price Canyon area east of Pismo Beach. Guthrie was involved in the drafting of Measure H, the initiative that in some circumstances would require voter approval of large developments in Price Canyon.

We’ve found Guthrie to be articulate, well-prepared and conscientious. We also believe she has the ability to work with colleagues who may not share her point of view.

While she’s been highly involved in Price Canyon, Guthrie is not a single-issue candidate; she has a good understanding of city finances, housing needs and downtown revitalization. She is especially concerned about water use — a legitimate worry, given that water will be one of the biggest challenges in California for many years to come.

While she has not held an elected position in Pismo Beach, Guthrie’s civic experience , which includes service on the city’s Parks, Recreation and Beautification Commission, as well as her many years in business, would enable her to get quickly up to speed on the City Council.

A note about Councilwoman Mary Ann Reiss: We believe that Reiss — the city’s first popularly elected mayor — is eminently well-qualified, and we greatly value her commitment and contributions to the city of Pismo Beach.

At this point in time, however, we believe that Guthrie’s perspective would be a valuable addition to the council. She would represent the point of view of many constituents who believe their concerns, particularly about growth in the Price Canyon area, have not been adequately considered.

The Tribune strongly endorses Marcia Guthrie for Pismo Beach City Council.

Incumbent Kris Vardas impresses us with his understanding of the issues, his common sense and his background in planning and economic development.

He can also be refreshingly honest. For example, he told The Tribune Editorial Board that, speaking as an elected official, he’s neutral on Measure H — the initiative that proposes giving voters a say over development of Price Canyon — though, from a personal standpoint, he would like to see the area remain in open space. Vardas may be playing to the voters on this, but we hope his willingness to go on record in personal support of Measure H shows he’s committed to striking a balance between preser vation and development in this critical area.

Vardas’ background is another plus. He served on the city Planning Commission before he was elected to the council in 2006, and he’s worked for years as a professional planner. As a member of the executive committee of the Economic Vitality Corp.’s board of directors, Vardas has been heavily involved in issues affecting the economic well-being of the county, such as workforce housing.

Vardas is a smart, hardworking councilman who has contributed to making the city of Pismo Beach one of the most financially stable on the Central Coast.

The Tribune enthusiastically endorses Kris Vardas for re-election.

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