Debbie Peterson’s priorities for District 3
May 29, 2016
OPINION by DEBBIE PETERSON
San Luis Obispo County faces complex challenges. It will take all of us to make good decisions on development, water, affordable housing, homelessness, oil trains, oil company expansion in Price Canyon, repair to the Avila pier, roads, traffic and parking, a coastal marine sanctuary, head of household jobs, and our long-term post Diablo economy.
As mayor of Grover Beach, I faced up to many of these issues. In response to the community’s wishes, I achieved the following in my two years in office:
· Ensuring that our 40-year beachfront hotel and conference center was approved by the Coastal Commission, a process I worked on for 10 years while also a planning commissioner and city council member
· Signing the contract to create a fiber optic network to connect our region to one of the fastest and broadest digital networks in the world, and the best in the state.
· A 20-year plan and voter-approved bond for much-needed street repairs.
· Reorganization of the South SLO County Sanitation District, saving taxpayers over $1 million a year and paving the way for long overdue statutory upgrades and future water reclamation.
· First South County water workshop to understand our watershed in order to ensure the best possible future decisions, knowing that problems were imminent.
· Annual tourism summits for Five Cities tourism providers to work together to improve marketing efforts.
· Calling on the SLO Air Pollution Control District to mitigate, not litigate – to focus resources on mitigation, rather than create the legislation that has ended in millions of dollars of legal fees and staff time.
I have been an outspoken advocate of the property rights of our farmers and preserving Proposition 13 for both homeowners and businesses. I was the first candidate who came out actively last summer to champion the water rights of both North and South County residents.
While on the City Council I met twice with current Supervisor Adam Hill to ask him to modify his divisive behavior and strong arm tactics against those who do not share his views. Later, as mayor of Grover Beach I advised him that while I may share his political persuasion I would not support his ongoing problematic outbursts and voted accordingly for a less contentious style of leadership on two local boards.
I was the first candidate to stand up to Adam Hill when I announced my candidacy for his seat in March 2015. I support the expression of diverse viewpoints and understanding of the concerns of all community members. We cannot represent you if we do not know your views and your concerns. While I believe that elected representatives should observe civil discourse, I heartily embrace the importance of questioning the status quo and your right to speak boldly so that we can arrive at the best decisions with all views aired.
I was the first candidate to support the public mandate that Wild Cherry Canyon remain undeveloped. I support protecting Price Canyon and I support the Airport Land Use Commission opposition to building homes in the airport flight path.
Over the past 15 months I have personally knocked on 8,000 doors and attended most of the Board of Supervisor and County Planning commission meetings. I have spoken in many of these meetings because almost unanimously, District 3 residents, regardless of political persuasion, want the Board of Supervisors to stop approving major development until we secure a sustainable water supply, and adequate roads and parking for existing residents and visitors.
I support the position of Cal Fire on public safety, that in the event of a wildfire or other emergency we could not effectively evacuate residents or bring in emergency vehicles in communities like Avila Beach if large projects continue to be approved.
Unlike the other candidates in this race, I neither solicit nor accept contributions from large developers, nor do I maintain silence in the face of the dysfunction of our special districts and boards. I have been there, in the meetings, speaking proactively about your concerns regarding public safety, infrastructure and accountability.
I am also the only candidate with a proven track record of building and growing successful businesses both at home and abroad. I recognize the frustrations caused by complicated governmental processes and regulations. I understand the complexities of dealing with often entrenched government culture.
It really comes down to knowing who we serve and having the courage and commitment to do so.
Other candidates may talk about leadership, but it doesn’t count unless you’re walking the walk as well as talking the talk. I have been there, fighting for the interests and needs of SLO and South County voters for years, while others have pursued personal agendas and photo ops with the right people in the right places.
As District 3 supervisor, I will work to ensure that policies are based on the best interests of the entire community and are made in a collaborative manner worthy of the trust the voters place in me. I will strive for transparency and full accountability at all levels of local government to ensure taxpayers receive the services they need and are paying for. I would be honored to have your vote.
Find out more at DebbiePetersonSupervisor.com or contact me at 550-4490 or PetersonTeam@charter.net.
Debbie Peterson is the former Mayor of Grover Beach and a candidate for District 3 Supervisor in the June 7 primary.