As an Atascadero councilwoman, I’m supporting Debbie Arnold’s re-election for 5th District Supervisor. I have worked with Arnold on boards and commissions for years. Debbie comes to meetings well-prepared, willing to take on entrenched interests and when necessary, call staff to account. Staffs often have agendas and sometimes do sloppy work. Elected officials, representing the people, have grave responsibilities to protect the public from overzealous staff enraptured by ideology at the expense of practical solutions.
When comparing incumbent Supervisor Arnold to opponent Eric Michielssen, the contrast is dramatic. Observing both in a public forum, Michielssen was vague when giving opinions on important North County issues. He supported Supervisors Bruce Gibson’s and Adam Hill’s position on the recently defeated water district despite widespread constituent opposition. Alarmingly, Michielssen indicated his willingness to uncritically submit to “staff expertise.”
That’s naive and will lead to public underrepresentation on critical issues. Why have elected officials if “technocrats” make the decisions and ignore the public? By contrast, Arnold makes her positions crystal-clear, both in comments and votes. Debbie’s values are rural and common-sense based.
She does her homework and draws her own conclusions. We can’t afford to rely on Michielssen’s vague answers to important questions.
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Roberta Fonzi, Atascadero city councilwoman, Atascadero