October 3, 2023
Update from Supervisor Jimmy Paulding, District 4: Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Huasna, Edna Valley, California Valley, and unincorporated portions of San Luis Obispo
Happy Fall! The Board of Supervisors took action on a few key items last month including charting a path for fire service in Oceano, updating our State Legislative Platform, and progressing toward forming an independent redistricting commission. But first, an update on the proposed Dana Reserve project.
Dana Reserve update: The Dana Reserve housing project, which seeks to build more than 1,300 homes in Nipomo, is currently being reviewed by the Planning Commission. As I indicated was a possibility in my last newsletter, the Planning Commission voted on August 30 to continue the project hearing to October 23 and 24. They will deliberate and make official recommendations to the Board of Supervisors at that time. Additionally, the Commission held a study session on September 28 to learn more from staff and the applicant about the project as well as allow additional public input. You can find the latest information on the project HERE or at sloplanning.org. As I have indicated to those who have reached out, I will carefully consider all public input when the project comes before the Board, but I will reserve my comments or take a position on the project until it comes time to vote on it.
A path has been charted for fire service in Oceano: On September 12, the Board of Supervisors held a hearing on the Oceano Community Services District’s (OCSD) application to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for fire divestiture. Since July, the OCSD has been contracting with FCFA to provide fire service while the County determines how it will provide fire service to Oceano going forward. During the hearing, the Board considered several fire service options that took into account response times, one-time and ongoing costs, impacts to neighboring communities, and more.
Ultimately, the Board voted 5-0 to proceed with “option 5” to continue contracting with FCFA to provide fire service to Oceano. This will maintain existing service levels and response times to Oceano, avoid any new one-time investment costs, and ensure annual costs for service are managed at a reasonable level. As a next step, staff will return to the Board with additional information based on this direction.
Overall, I believe the Board made a balanced decision that not only ensured the same level of fire service and response times to the community of Oceano but protected County taxpayer dollars. The staff report is available here, and you can learn more about the situation in my August District 4 Newsletter.
Strengthening the County’s support for Prop 13 in our Legislative Platform: At the September 12 meeting, the Board voted to update the County’s state legislative platform. The Board clarified that the County supports the democratic process and the right of its citizens to qualify measures to be voted on by the people.
Additionally, at my request, the Board added language strengthening the County’s support for Proposition 13’s taxpayer protections for homeowners. Specifically, the Board added: “oppose any proposal that would weaken the homeowner protections afforded by Proposition 13 by increasing or eliminating the 2% cap on annual property tax increases for homeowners.”
The Board also voted to require that the County’s paid lobbyist come back to the Board for direction before supporting or opposing any proposal that would change the voter threshold needed to raise taxes. You can read more about my thoughts on this issue and my support for Prop 13 in my September District 4 Newsletter.
Progress toward forming an independent redistricting commission: Also at the September 12 meeting, the Board voted to move forward with developing a non-partisan, independent redistricting commission – a strong step toward the goal of ensuring free and fair elections in SLO County. After our Board settled the citizen-led lawsuit that alleged that the prior Board engaged in gerrymandering, we directed staff to research and bring back options related to the creation of an independent redistricting commission. The goal is to prevent future gerrymandering by stopping politicians from choosing their own voters. After receiving a presentation of various options for establishing a redistricting commission —including an advisory model, a hybrid model, and a fully independent redistricting commission—the Board directed staff to move forward with developing a draft proposal for a fully independent redistricting commission as well as schedule a public study session in order to gather additional input from community members and regional stakeholders on the proposal.
I am so excited to see our Board lead the charge on policy initiatives like this one that are truly non-partisan, putting the community in charge of drawing the supervisorial district boundaries instead of the politicians themselves.
Office hours: I welcome hearing from constituents. Please schedule an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 805-781-4337. You can also sign up for my email newsletter and learn more about what’s going on in the district on the District 4 webpage at slocounty.ca.gov/district4.
San Luis Obispo County
District 4 Supervisor