John Shoals running for Grover Beach mayor

July 15, 2014
John Shoals

John Shoals

Former mayor of Grover Beach John Shoals announced Monday that he is running to reclaim the city’s mayoral seat.

Shoals served on the Grover Beach City Council from 2008 to 2012, including four stints as mayor. He was termed out from running for mayor in 2012 due to a city rule that limits mayors to serving two consecutive terms.

In the November election, Shoals will square off against current mayor Debbie Peterson, who has already announced her plan to run for reelection.

Late in Shoals’s most recent term as mayor, council members requested that he replace Councilman Bill Nichols on the South County Sanitation District board. At the time, the district was regularly exceeding its $6 million budget under the leadership of manager John Wallace who had the support of Nichols. Shoals refused to remove Nichols from the board despite letters from sanitation staff claiming mismanagement and misspending.

After Peterson became mayor in 2012, she took over the seat on the sanitation board for one year. Peterson called for the elimination of waste in the district’s budget and an examination of Wallace’s management. Since Wallace has left the district, it is operating cleaner at 50 percent of the cost.

Shoals’s endorsers in the current campaign include Nichols and Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara, who also backed Wallace on the sanitation board.

Shoals is also endorsed by County Supervisor Adam Hill, who led an effort to throw Peterson off of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District board. The Grover Beach council voted Peterson off of the air district board late last year after she campaigned to repeal the agency’s disputed Oceano Dunes dust rule.

Shoals currently works as government relations representative for PG&E.


17 Comments

  1. Kevin Rice says:

    Shoals is backed by Cory Black—the same campaign consultant behind Tim Covello (expect lots of election ugliness and lies). Shoals is a socialite, not a leader. His accomplishments include satisfying the status-quo and the politically entrenched. He never took on controversy or action that didn’t forward his social status (i.e., sanitation district, streets, APCD). Then, there is reputation for liking the ladies a bit too much… he has his arm around women in BOTH photos in today’s Santa Mara Times.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 20

    • granola_girl says:

      “Then, there is reputation for liking the ladies a bit too much… he has his arm around women in BOTH photos in today’s Santa Mara Times.”

      Trying to get a jump start on the election ugliness? Those are pretty standard issue poses for an informal photo of two people standing together.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 11

      • Kevin Rice says:

        I agree the photos might otherwise be unremarkable in a vacuum, yet supports what I keep hearing over and over. I haven’t asserted any conclusions.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 18

        • surfdawg says:

          Hysterical given Mr. Rice’s relationship with Ms. Peterson.

          So much for a race focused on what is best for Grover Beach…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

          • MajorityFan says:

            So true. It always becomes partisan and who spends the most money on a campaign. We, as voters, are the employers who have to choose the best candidate. Doing your homework, asking questions and doing research on all the candidates is the way to make the best decision. Mud slinging and negative campaigning turns off voters.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

            • SLOBIRD says:

              Democrats are going to vote demorats and Republicans are going to vote repukicans. That is how most of the voters vote and that is why we have the political issues we have. Yes, money counts because looking for the worst in each other and then exposing it in a nasty campaign is very expensive. If it has anything to do with issues and solutions the majority of these politicians would be unelectable!

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              • kayaknut says:

                I tend to agree but as much as money has destroyed the election process as bad is the pitiful voters numbers, usually around 30 – 40% of possible voters actually vote. I wonder if things would be different if we had voting percentages near 100%. Some countries actually require a person to vote and there are penalties if you do not have a good reason for not. I never asked if a good reason not to vote is because none of the candidates running deserve a vote.

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    • MajorityFan says:

      Kev, did Shoals take the kickback that Dan Dow did? Fill us in, oh wise one.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  2. Nancy says:

    John Shoals is a nice guy. That being said, as mayor he was more worried about his work status with RRM then doing the right thing and stopping Wallace from ripping of the public. Instead, as mayor, he stepped off the sanitation board and put Nichols in his place after learning of the misdeeds by Wallace.

    Then, when councilmembers Debbie Peterson and Karen Bright attempted to get Nichols removed, Shoals said leave it as it is costing tax payers millions each year in misspending by John Wallace.

    He then first supports Ed Waage in his battle to unseat Adam Hill, but his PG&E bosses order him to back Hill and he does, though Shoals wife stayed as a primary on Waage’s campaign.

    Now PG&E spokesperson Tom Jones is on a team attempting to groom Hill for a run for Katcho’s assembly seat in two years. They want Shoals to oust Peterson to help Hill get a state seat.

    Mr. Shoals, you can either stand attached at the hip to the no integrity Adam Hill and John Wallace team or elect to serve the public.

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    • SLOBIRD says:

      Mr. Shoals and Adam Hill in the same sentence, paragraph, discussion is disgusting.

      If your statements above are even half correct then it is appalling to enough conceive Mr. Hill representing us in Sacramento although that seems to be where the criminals politicians have migrated to in this State.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 10

    • snooky156 says:

      It’s crazy how complicated all this becomes, mostly because elected leaders choose NOT to lead. John Shoals as a leader is inflicted with conflicts of interest, and along with his SSLOCSD history of choosing NOT to lead on important issues, he will leave himself open to speculation of “why?”. Those who embraced the status-quo at the SSLOCSD held firm on their commitment that if they held rank it would all be over soon. Instead, it got worse because leaders refused to acknowledge the obvious changes that were necessary.

      Now, you see them joining ranks again. Local leadership should not be that hard. Who will Shoals represent? The alliance that refused to recognize the obvious at SSLOCSD, or will he be independent enough to ask the hard questions of the Establishment? History shows Shoals will choose the Establishment and continue to wrap himself in conflict. Trust is a problem here.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  3. justchuck says:

    Adam Hill’s endorsement is enough to make me vote for anyone else.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 10

  4. kayaknut says:

    Not sure that Grover Beach needs a person who previously sat around twiddling his thumbs on the city council and as mayor while the city streets crumbled, but I think that would a first question to ask him. Next would certainly be his failure to act on the theft by John Wallace.

    If I lived in Grover Beach the fact that Mayor Ferrara, another supporter of John Wallace’s, theft, endorses him would be enough to prevent me from voting for him, to say nothing of the fact that Mr. Hill supports him. And the fact that he now works for PG&E’s PAC.

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  5. hijinks says:

    You go, John. Good luck.

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  6. Slowerfaster says:

    I think John Shoals is the better choice. Debbie Peterson seems a nice enough person, but her stint has been too busy with controversy.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 38

    • Mr. Holly says:

      Controversy is good at times as it eventually leads to something getting done. The alternative is politics as usual and most of the money is spent on studies and committees since no one has the courage to be controversial and get something done.
      The choice is simple? The old or the new?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 9

    • Kevin Rice says:

      Being that Adam Hill Corporation was the creator of much of Peterson’s controversies, it would be more accurate to say that you LIKE controversy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

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