Paso Robles council to appoint member to vacant seat
November 21, 2014
The Paso Robles City Council is expected to fill a vacant seat by appointing a fifth council member at its upcoming meeting, rather than opting to hold a special election. [Tribune]
Council member Steve Martin ran unopposed for mayor, and won, creating a vacancy on the council. Following a close five-way race for two council seats, Martin is joined on the council by current members Fred Strong and John Hamon and by newcomer Jim Reed.
The likely choices for the final council seat are the third through fifth place finishers in this month’s election, each of who have expressed interest in receiving the appointment. Outgoing Mayor Duane Picanco ran for a council seat and fell short by 14 votes.
Newcomer Paul Avila finished just six votes behind Picanco and only 20 behind second-place Reed. Planning Commissioner Steve Gregory finished in last place, but only trailed Reed by 212 votes.
Each of the five candidates in the race received 18 to 22 percent of the vote.
If the council opts to appoint Avila or Gregory, the city may lose its seat on the San Luis Obispo County Local Agency Formation Commission. Picanco is currently a member of the LAFCO board, which will oversee the formation of a water district for the Paso Robles groundwater basin.
Picanco’s seat on the LAFCO board could go to a council member from another city if he does not return to the Paso Robles council.