Supervisor candidates tussle in Nipomo

April 17, 2014


Caren Ray is warning voters about big money donors, Lynn Compton is making no bones about being Republican and Mike Byrd is facing a charge of unethical behavior for offering an opinion during a debate. Those revelations and more surfaced Wednesday evening during a fourth district supervisorial candidates forum at Nipomo High School.

Ray, an appointed incumbent from Arroyo Grande, Compton, a Nipomo businesswoman, and Byrd, an Arroyo Grande real estate broker are vying for the District 4 seat on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Each of the candidates participated in the forum Wednesday put on by the San Luis Obispo County Latino Outreach Council.

Ray touted her on-the-job experience and often warned audience members that her opponents would use fear as a weapon. Compton said she believes strongly in property rights and stated that government regulations are killing businesses in the county. Byrd, a moderate Democrat, proclaimed his independence from partisan politics.

Byrd took the only firm stance on the hot-button issue: the Phillips 66 rail spur. Phillips 66 has proposed creating a railway line to bring oil by train to its Nipomo Mesa refinery.

Byrd objected to the plan because of safety issues.

“I have a hard time with the trains,” Byrd said. “I don’t think they should be allowed.”

Trains tracks in the county have histories of mishaps, and the rail spur poses an environmental threat, Byrd said.

Ray, who opted not to take a position on the rail spur, said Byrd approached the issue with a closed mind. Ray claimed that it was unethical for candidates to take a stand on issues before the board.

Generally, sitting supervisors, not candidates, do not take hard stances on subjects until they have heard both sides.

“This is unethical and unacceptable,” Ray said.

Compton said Phillips 66 offers good-paying jobs and contributes to the county tax base, but the project has serious safety concerns.

Compton did not shy away, though, from discussing her partisan ties.

“I make no bones about the fact that I’m a Republican, and I’m the only Republican running,” Compton said.

Compton said she holds Republican values of less government, taxation and regulation.

Ray, a Democrat, disputed Compton’s assertion that the supervisorial seat is a partisan position. She also stated that, as supervisor, she has crossed party lines on close votes.

“I bring balance,” Ray said.

Byrd disputed Ray’s claim that she is not a partisan Democrat. He also said that he lost interest in seeking the Democratic endorsement after receiving a questionnaire from the county central committee. The questionnaire asked candidates if they would appoint partisan Democrats to fill county positions, Byrd said.

The forum, for the most part, lacked flare. The Latino Outreach Council issued the questions to the candidates ahead of time, and several of the questions pertained to the candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications.

A large contingent of the crowd left the forum early, and at least one audience member dozed off toward the end.

The forum closed with a bang, though, when Ray, who had the last word, took a jab at Compton. Ray said money is pouring in to Compton’s campaign, particularly from North County, which is allowing her to open multiple offices and place big posters everywhere.

“Those big posters mean big money,” Ray said.

Earlier Wednesday, CalCoastNews reported that Compton had several campaign signs on private property, which appeared to violate county code due to their size. Ray, however, had dozens of illegally placed campaign signs on public property, particularly on county road right of ways and beside freeway ramps.

The primary election for the District 4 seat will take place on June 3. Any candidate who receives a majority of the vote will claim the seat. If no candidate receives a majority in June, a runoff election will occur in November.



No matter the tussle Caren will never win,

regardless of how you choose to spin.

The signs, the donations are all so wrong,

Her campaign’s turned into a show called Gong.

With Adam and Bruce right at her side,

Compton and Byrd she chooses to chide.

Soon in June on election day,

We will say good bye to Caren Ray.


If prose were truth and wrong be right,

I may have bowed to you

on this Thursday night.

Through a looking glass surely you must view,

because come this June

we will have lost not one,

but two.

And on that day

when Ray stands alone,

what is that she holds?


it’s a pelican bone.

Thanks that was fun


The truth doth hurt, it’s plain to see

of signs and donations, she’s not for me

The 3rd of June can’t come too soon

When we all call the tune,

Then the piper will lead us to reason.

And a new day will dawn for those who stand long,

And the county will echo with laughter.


You get a gong and the hook for your attempt at a poem, Pelican. Fail!


Fail?! Are you kidding me? Pelican is “Almost Famous!” Great work getting the “Led” out Pelican! These knuckleheads don’t know their classics.


Oh! The humanity!


“…less government, taxation and regulation” is code for cronyism, special interests, and selective enforcement.

Tropes and buzzwords are the ‘blue smoke and mirrors’ for politicians that think laissez faire economics is legitimate.


Slowerfaster…being a Ron Paul Republican, I can tell you that Austrian Economics and smaller government IS the way to go. However, honest politicians are essential to start with. Also, intelligence counts big time. Therefore, I will be voting for Caren Ray, a moderate, who like Ron Paul, can work across party lines.

Frankly, I’m sick to death of both parties! They both stink to high heavens. Am only remaining a Republican so I can vote for Rand! Go wallo in Obama!


Curiously, I think we might agree on many things.Austrian or Chicago School economics is not one of them.

No matter how one tries to assuage or explain it: RANDIAN


Never has and never will.

“Trickle down” is a cruel myth.

I’m more of a Thorstein Veblen proponent …though I figure by now the forces of ‘Empire’ have so degraded everything that failure and dystopia is inevitable.

It’s already here; and most poor fools are deaf, dumb, and blind…while being intellectually illiterate.

Too many stupid people to deal with in this nation of egotistical morons.


This article really down plays the most entertaining parts such as the closing. I’m sure the video is on line.

Another jewel is when Compton comes out as an Affirmative Action Republican when she says the county needs to make special effort to hire more Hispanics. There where many more jaw droppers like that if you watched.


Ms. Ray’s entire appointed career can be summed up by part of line from this story, “Ray, who opted not to take a position “, not just about the rail spur but about too many issues in front of and about the board. We need a supervisor with idea’s, one we agree and disagree with but at least a supervisor with them, Ms. Ray has been quiet about too many issues and needs to be replaced.


Well a better place to derive an opinion is from viewing actual forum as opposed to paraphrased snippets.

She clearly stated many opinions, knowledge, and things she did that related to the questions. She of course is also limited by something called the Brown Act. An understanding of that law may help in understanding why a sitting board member canon openly discussing their voting inclination or lobby for a position, hence the unethical comment directed towards Byrd.

Kevin Rice

Ha! Caren is using the Brown Act as a phoney excuse??! She and you are wrong. See section 54952.2(c)(3).

Caren is lying or ignorant. She can espouse opinions all day long, but she is hiding her positions and lying about not bring able to tell us where she stands.


I used the Brown act as the reason, she merely spoke of ethics and fairness, certainly a higher moral standard than written law.

Anyone who watched the debates could clearly see all the substantive responses came from Ray.


Kev, were you at the debate? Did you watch the whole thing or are you making your judgments based on the article?

Frankly, if I didn’t have my mind already set on Ms. Ray, I would have been definitely turned off when the Republican candidate stated that she would be following in the past Supervisor’s foot steps.

OMG! Yes, he was a nice teddy bear when not being directed by his puppeteers who are now quietly trying to direct the long-haired, arm-candy Repub.

If the Republican candidate continues to welcome the last Sup’s corrupt friends to guide her she is liable to find herself in a world of hurt. They managed to guide themselves into big time trouble. You’d think that she would be smart enough to stay away from people like that.


Oh, is the Brown Act now? Not the mailer? My, how the 1inthemiddle shifts. Trotting out supposed Brown Act violations is right out of the Gibson/Hill/Marx playbook. That tells me plenty about you and about Ray. What. A. Joke.


Funny how you claim Ms. Ray doesn’t do some things based on the law,(Brown Act), but then she ignores other laws when it comes to placement of her signs. I for one do not want a supervisor that choose which laws they will follow and which ones the won’t.


Well your mind was already made up so that is no loss to Ray, but I’m sure Compton will be disappointed to not have your vote either. I guess since Byrd blindly followed Ray, he is off your list too. But then you may be one of the north county supporters so you would have had no vote


In the Middle – Remember North County $$$ being funneled down to South County equals BIG votes, probably counting as many votes in District 4. All it really takes to win down here are BIG SIGNS for the non-thinking DUH! crowd! And Compton knew that from the beginning:((


If Caren has no opinion on local issues then why the hell are you running. She does not like the 2 minute time limit when she is talking, but as a council member she had no problem with just giving the public a 3 limit time limit.

You came to the debate to give your stance on items, well what was it?

Caren fears she will be out of a job if she does not win this election. She wants to be the female Adam Hill and make money hand over fist, and rant and rave when things don’t go in her favor.

At least Compton says she is republican, I can appreciate that. Byrd leans towards being a democrat, she did not have problems with that. Caren which way do you lean when you vote, oh that right you are a democrat. I don’t care which way people vote, I just want them to admit it and own it.

I don’t know who I will vote for yet, but I know who will not get my vote. The whiny B from AG.

We don’t need another person like Hill and Gibson as supervisor, I have had enough of their arrogance.


Her lips were moving…obviously, she was lying.


As someone who actually watched the forum, I can offer some of the information you seem to be lacking. Ray offered many opinions throughout the night and stayed on question as opposed to Compton who often failed to answer although she seemed to try. If you want to know about Compton’s opinion on state and federal issues that are outside the BOS jurisdiction, she does tend to talk about that a lot.

Ray did not complain about the 2 minutes, she indicated that there was much more to be said than could be conveyed in that time frame. For her part, Compton also had issues with the limit, having to be politely cut off a number of times as she tended to run over.

I’m not sure how you get to your other statements. Ray did say during the forum that she left a job that paid the same and required less hours so I think that puts a hole in the whole job and money idea. Where one gets the idea that any of the guys make big bucks at that job is beyond me.


Caren has to attack Byrd for speaking out at the BoS otherwise she can’t justify the attack and removal of Debbie Peterson from the APCD for voicing her opinion in the dust rule issue.

Caren is Obama like. She speaks well and smiles through her dancing words but in the end she is Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson all day every day with a plan during this election to act like and look like a republican. Caren is a PROGRESSIVE Democrat that will take away your rights and property for “Smart Growth” infill life style she would impose on you not herself.


Except that you have absolutely no evidence to back the statement up.

It was the city of Grover that removed Peterson.


Whatever you say Adam.

And thank you for passing out the Adam Hill medallion bling to all of the Grover Beach council members on the night of the Peterson vote. That was an implied threat.

You, Adam, hold some financial purse strings for cities in your district, like Grover. And you conveyed that in your usual buffoon-bully way.


I take that as an insult. That man is an embarrassment.

Even if the county held financial purse strings of the cities, which they don’t , that still does not result in a supervisor making money hand over fist.

As Ray said last night, don’t subscribe to the fear mongering, pay attention and learn. Sheep, whether they lean left or right are poor examples of the responsibility of being a part of the democratic process.


I was cracking up every time she referenced the two-minute timeline for answering questions. Yea, this was not enough time for her but it is also for the bozo’s on the BOS to limit the free speech of the citizens at public hearings. Maybe she can go back to the BOS next Tuesday and state her support for the minimum 3 minute timeline instead of the 1 or 2 minute that Gibson and Hill want to impose. It was funny, she took so many stabs at the 2 minute limit but the other two candidates had no problem with it.

It was funny!


It seemed to me that Ray had a whole lot more information to convey than the other two candidates. They said basically nothing when it was their turns…just blah! blah! blah! They could have finished up in 30 seconds.


I know this is like yelling at the wind but

There were no illegal contributions, all were reported. Ray “illegally” used a PO box where a street address was required. That is clear in the letter from the FPPC.

The controversial Compton trailers have yet to show up on any reports.

I believe Ray took responsibility for the improperly placed signs as did Byrd. It appears that the offending signs have been taken down. On the other hand, Compton has not acknowledged that her signs are illegal even though that has been pointed out and hers remain.

There’s unethical for you


Ms. Ray’s response to her illegal signs, “Some of our volunteers, it appears, got a little over zealous, and we’re figuring out what to do with them right now,”, doesn’t sound like taking responsibility and saying they were going to be taken down. Sounds more like what we are used to from Ms. Ray an answer that really isn’t an answer or no comment. Enough of an appointed supervisor that is afraid to say anything, the government is full of those type of people, we need people who actually have an idea, even if we don’t also agree with them at least they would have something to say, unlike Ms. Ray.


“This is unethical and unacceptable,” Ray said.

Caren, you must have been talking about illegal contributions to your campaign that you recently were warned about by the CFPP…right?

Or perhaps the illegal placement of your campaign sings on public property…right?

Hmmm…maybe both.


“Ray claimed that it was unethical for candidates to take a stand on issues before the board.”

Give me a break! How in God’s name is that unethical? I sure as hell would like to know where a person stands on an important local issue before I cast my vote for supervisor. Byrd is completely correct. The rail industry and certainly the oil industry has a history of disasters that have happened not just in our state, but right here in south county.

Caren Ray, please don’t act like you have no opinions on the local issues. We know you do and most of them come from Adam Hill.


To add some context, Byrd went all in with a sensationalized mailer that would look at home on the National Equirer which many of us in Nipomo received last week. The mailer said to stand with him against trains. I believe that was the unethical, over the top position that was being referred to.


The mailer which I received sure told me how he would vote! It definitely left me with the impression that he had his mind made up about the situation. When you are elected to the board you are expected to have an open mind and are expected to listen to all sides. I doubt from the literature that I received that Byrd could claim to be able to do that now. What I like about Ray is her ability to listen to both sides. Believe me, it will come in handy for all of us some day with our individual issues.


Please. This has nothing to do with a mailer.

Byrd responded specifically during the debate, “I have a problem with the idea that this [the rail spur to the oil refinery] is going to be allowed.”

Thank you Mike Byrd for taking a very clear stance on a local issue of great importance.

Adam, your attempts at deflection are lame.

Caren Ray should have an opinion on this issue, and yet, as she indicated last night, she does not. Why would I want her making decisions on my behalf? Further, for her to claim someone is unethical for having an opinion on the matter is more than enough for me to recognize that she is not cut out for the job and never should have been appointed. Small wonder it was you, Adam, who most enthusiastically endorsed her.


It’s very apparent, Paso guy, for whom I’m sure the $$$ must be Paso’ing “Down” here pretty fast towards Compton, that you would never make a good judge or for that matter a good Supervisor. You are not clear-thinking. You have not allowed yourself to hear all of the issues. Ms. Ray stated during the debate that she was still dealing with information that she was gathering from the State and Federal Government about the lack of safety down here in regards to the rail situation. She is not about to make a snap judgment about this item until she has gathered all the facts. I do not want someone representing me that is a hothead and makes stupid snap decisions.

How is the grape situation up your way? Hoarding your water still? Awh, give the little guys a sip!


Why would you want someone like that making decisions? That is short sighted. Someday you or someone you know will be on the short side of an issue. I would think knowing that a member of the board will listen objectively to you would have great value.

That is why, it’s the fairness in government we all expect but seldom feel we receive. I don’t expect to always be on the winning side or have the vote go my why but I do expect to be heard.


It sounds to me like “Paso the $$$ Downy Southy” wants only his side heard. Sounds fair to him/her, I suppose.