SLO County supervisor board composition to change
November 9, 2016
Special to CCN by Katelyn Piziali and Will Peischel
John Peschong won the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors District 1 seat Tuesday changing the future makeup of the board to three solid Republicans and two closely aligned Democrats. Peschong, a Republican and Templeton resident, won with 9,164 votes or 55.5 percent, according to unofficial election night results.
“I’m looking forward to representing the people of District 1 in San Luis Obispo County and the issues that matter, like gangs and lowering taxes,” Peschong said. “This was a team effort of volunteers and people who helped me get here. I look forward to representing them.”
Peschong’s rival, Steve Martin, won 7330 votes or 44.4 percent on Tuesday.
Peschong’s campaign focused on driving down gang crime, the conservation of water resources and dealing with the fallout of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant’s closure. Peschong said that gang presence is on the rise, and has a direct connection to drug use in San Luis Obispo County.
“My goal is to increase funding for the sheriff’s anti-gang task force and the drug task force to be able to work on these issues and be able to shut down some of the supply lines into the community of opiates,” Peschong said.
Incumbent Adam Hill won the District 3 San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors seat with 57.43 percent of the vote, receiving 10,224 votes, according to unofficial election night results. His opponent Dan Carpenter received 7,533 votes.
Hill, a resident of San Luis Obispo, focused his campaign on his experience serving on the board of supervisors since 2009 and projects he has promoted like the Pismo Preserve.
Hill could not be reached for comment.
Carpenter conceded, stating his loss is just a part of democracy. He focused his campaign on the issue of civility within the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, stating Hill was the cause of discord. Carpenter maintained that he was the more civil candidate for the District 3 supervisor seat.
“I’m obviously disappointed about the outcome, but I’m very, very proud of the people who helped me and my campaign,” Carpenter said. “It was very successful in the sense that I was able to get my message out. I just think the message wasn’t one they wanted to hear. I have to respect that.”
Both Hill and Carpenter’s campaigns dealt with water, traffic, Phillips 66 and the closing of Diablo Canyon. Hill wants to upgrade the county’s wastewater treatment plant to recycle water for outdoor use and even for potable water.
“We waste water right now when we can’t afford to. We waste water in the sense that we treat it and then send it out to the ocean,” Hill said. “It’s bad for the ocean and it’s just a waste because that water can be reclaimed and used on landscaping and for outdoor purposes. It can even be treated again and used as potable water.”
During the past two years, supervisors Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold have battled supervisors Hill, Bruce Gibson and Frank Mecham over issues such as the creation of a North County water basin and approval of a proposed Santa Margarita gravel quarry. As a result of Tuesday’s election, it is likely Peschong will align more often with Arnold and Compton changing the balance on the county board.