While much of America was glued to the television or Internet tracking the presidential race, local government elections resulted in some familiar faces returning to office along with a few newcomers ready to take their turn at the dais.
In Arroyo Grande voters kept Jim Hill in the office of mayor with 60 percent of the vote. He defeated newcomer Richard Waller, who earned 40.17 percent of the vote. Councilwoman Kristen Barneich held on to her seat with 26.32% of the votes and former county supervisor Caren Ray secured her seat with 31.43 % of the vote.
“First, I want to thank my supporters and the residents of Arroyo Grande. I’m glad the campaign is over and we can get on with the business of the city. I’m looking forward to getting a responsible building moratorium to preserve water for our residents, to continuing working with our neighbors to bring regional wastewater recycling, to working through issues with the Sanitation District, and getting a better structured permit approval process.
“I’m excited to be given the chance to serve the amazing citizens of Arroyo Grande for four years. It’s been an honor and privilege to work on the betterment of the city these past two years and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and continuing that. My goals are to expand our water portfolio, advocate for building more workforce housing, and ensure our Public Safety agencies have the funds needed to continue to provide a high level of service that our citizens demand. Developing a Economic Development plan is imperative, as well as Team Building workshops for City Council. I’m passionate about Arroyo Grande and love my job.”
“I am honored to have been elected to the city council, and I believe the voters spoke loudly and clearly about the need for experience and a consensus building approach to governance. We have wide open wounds to heal, and I look forward to getting to work on this and the other pressing issues before the city. I can’t force consensus, though. I can only lead by example. I sincerely hope the entire council and Mayor resolve themselves to putting a stop to the toxicity in our town and at the dais, and work toward a more positive approach to problem solving. The voters have spoken. It’s on us to listen.”
Grover Beach sees a lot of familiar faces returning to office. Mayor John Shoals was re-elected with 63.7% of the vote in the race against Ronald Arnoldsen who came in with 36 % of the vote. Councilman Jeff Lee was re-elected with 36% of the vote and Debbie Peterson returns to the council with 41% of the vote.
“I am honored and humbled to be re-elected as Grover Beach Mayor. I take this responsibility seriously and will continue to work hard for our community. There are many exciting things happening in Grover Beach. I am looking forward to continuing work on our streets, securing additional water resources, breaking ground on the Grover Beach Lodge/Conference Center and the installing of broadband fiber in commercial areas.”
“I am honored to be re-elected to the Grover Beach City Council and look forward to working with the community on items important to our residents and businesses, including fixing streets and water issues. We are a great city, and together we can be even better.”
“I’m looking forward to working with residents and the council to fine tune the details of Measure L, and to be sure we also deliver on our current economic vitality projects. We must keep the momentum on street repairs, making sure the city is ready to go with repairs before bond funds are drawn and property tax increases go into effect. It’s critical now that we take the necessary action to get the beachfront lodge and fiber optic lines up and running. Finally, we must be diligent in working with our neighbors to protect and supplement our water supply.”
Pismo Beach voted in Councilman Ed Waage as mayor with 56.7% of the vote against Sandra Nielsen with 42.7% of the votes. Councilman Erik Howell was re-elected with 26.1% of the vote and newcomer Marcia Guthrie captured 26.2% of the vote.
“I am honored to be elected as Mayor of Pismo Beach by the wonderful residents of our beautiful city. I will work hard to earn their confidence in me. My top priority is the continuation of our effort to recycle our water to increase supply in cooperation with our neighbors. Beyond that I will support efforts to fix up the city and to make us more safe and secure.”
“I would like to thank the voters of Pismo Beach for your trust in me, I am humbled. It will be an honor to serve as your representative on the Pismo Beach City Council for the next four years. I want to encourage residents to stay engaged and to contact me anytime with questions or concerns on issues facing the city.”
Adam Hill was reelected to the County Board of Supervisors 3rd District with 57.4% of the votes. Challenger Dan Carpenter came in with 42.3%.
“I’m grateful to the voters of District 3, and I look forward to working with them on more open space and trails, more good jobs, and in addressing our water supply and drought issues,” Hill said.
The closest call on the local ballot wasn’t a candidate at all, but the Measure J, local sales tax increase that would have raised rates to 8 percent in the unincorporated areas of the county and 8.5 percent in SLO, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, and Pismo Beach. The measure required a clear two-thirds vote to be approved, but stalled at an even 65 percent.
Other winners include Dee Santos and Don Stewart for the Lucia Mar Unified School District Governing Board and Linda Austin, James Coalwell and Andrew Brunet for Oceano Community Service District Director.
The Lucia Mar Bond Measure passed as did the City of Arroyo Grande Water Measure and the Cannabis Tax in Grover Beach.