OPINION by JULIE TACKER
The San Simeon Community Services District won’t have to hold an election for the second time in row because so few residents are interested, or are unaware of the process to run for office. The tiny disadvantaged community of only 460 people has just 184 registered voters who would be eligible to sit on the five person board.
Because of appointments and terms expiring, four of the five seats were up for the 2020 election.
With Will Carson not up for re-election, only three incumbents — Gwen Kellas, Bill Mauer, and John Russell — made their way to the San Luis Obispo County Clerk’s Office to sign up; leaving one seat open.
Coincidentally, this trio of incumbents and the District’s General Manager Charles Grace, are under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission for various conflicts of interest.
Apparently, the forth incumbent, Daniel De La Rosa, was unaware that he needed to sign up because he was appointed to the board in June. This leaves his seat open for any qualified person to ask for an appointment to the San Simeon CSD Board by the County Board of Supervisors.
Unfortunately, the San Simeon CSD Board has already made its recommendation for De La Rosa to be re-appointed. This decision was made without informing the other 179 eligible citizens that they too could be considered.
If you are a registered voter residing in San Simeon and want to be considered for the vacant board seat, make your wishes known to the SLO County Board of Supervisors before they take action to affirm the CSD’s recommendation of De La Rosa.
You are encouraged to reach out to the District 2 Supervisor, Bruce Gibson, ahead of time to make him fully aware of your interest in serving and request his support. It is also important that you attend the supervisors virtual meeting at 9 a.m. on Oct. 20 to speak in public comment on the consent calendar to introduce yourself and ask for the board’s appointment.
Here’s a chance for San Simeon to put an end to lock-step politics and have real democracy.
Julie Tacker has been a county-wide local government watchdog for 20 years.