Last place candidate appointed to Paso Robles council
December 3, 2014
Planning Commissioner Steve Gregory has joined the Paso Robles City Council despite finishing last in a five-way race for two council seats.
On Tuesday night, Councilman Steve Martin took the oath of office for mayor, vacating his seat on the council. The four-person council then decided between the third, fourth and fifth place finishers in the November election for someone to serve out the remaining two years on Martin’s council term.
Previous mayor Duane Picanco finished third in the council race, just 14 votes behind Jim Reed, who also took the oath of Tuesday. But, the council passed over Picanco and newcomer Pam Avila, who finished fourth in the council race.
Martin supported appointing Picanco, but Reed and councilmen Fred Strong and John Hamon voted for Gregory.
Gregory has served on the planning commission since 2009 and works as a project design consultant for homes and small businesses. He developed and helped build the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach, and he helps his wife Dawn Gregory run the Odyssey World Café in downtown Paso Robles.
In November’s election, Gregory received 18.15 percent of the vote. The council race ended with less than a 4 percent margin between the first and fifth place finishers.
By opting not to appoint Picanco, the Paso Robles council may have relinquished its representation on the San Luis Obispo County Local Agency Formation Commission. Strong’s seat on the LAFCO board will now be up for grabs by council members in any of the county’s seven cities.