Paso nomination period starts Monday
July 11, 2012
Candidates for Paso Robles mayor, two open seats on the city council, and the offices of treasurer and city clerk can obtain nomination papers beginning Monday for the November 6 election, marking the beginning of what many are predicting will be a vigorous campaign season.
The nomination period extends through August 10. (More details here.)
Positions now occupied by Mayor Duane Picanco and council members Fred Strong and Nick Gilman will be open. Picanco has said he plans to run for another two-year term. Gilman hinted recently that he might not seek reelection. Papers must by picked up in person by making an appointment with the city clerk’s office.
City Clerk Dennis Fansler and Treasurer Michael Compton also face the voters.
Paso Robles’ government has been under intense scrutiny over past months, with residents voicing concern over crumbling streets, a decimated police force, disintegrating infrastructure, and what is widely perceived as an unfriendly environment in city hall.
The council’s handling of the recent scandal involving former chief of police Lisa Solomon-Chitty also has been under fire from voters, critical of the city’s payment to her of $250,000 upon her forced departure.
Circumstances led to formation of a citizens’ action group, Change Paso Robles Now, or CPRN2012.
That group’s chairperson, Karen Daniels, said Tuesday that the upcoming election offers the chance for “change and hope for fiscal health of the city.”
“We are firm in our commitment to bring change to Paso Robles,” said Daniels. “There is an acute need for qualified candidates whose interest on behalf of the citizenry outweigh their own political ambitions. It has become apparent that the people of Paso Robles have been awakened to serious fiscal irresponsibility by the current leadership.
“CPRN2012 is issuing a call to action by voters to bring change to the key positions of power in city government. We encourage all who feel the call to serve to make their candidacy known by observing the candidates’ filing period.”
Daniels said CPRN2012 will be promoting interactive meetings between candidates and community members by sponsoring at least one candidates’ forum/debate.
– By Daniel Blackburn