Paso Robles News|Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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City residents do not have vote on water district 

Confused voters calling city hall

–The vote currently underway to decide whether or not to create and fund a new Paso Robles groundwater basin district will be decided by 7,000 rural residents and landowners. The district does not include voters inside city limits or those served by a community service district.Paso-Robles-Ground-Water-Basin

Some city residents are confused on the issue. “I’m getting numerous calls here at the city from people wondering why they’re not getting ballots on the water district measure,” says Shonna Howenstine at Paso Robles City Hall.

However, “If a resident of the city happens to own property within the proposed water district boundary, he or she would receive a landowner ballot, but not a registered voter ballot,” says Tommy Gong, San Luis Obispo County clerk-recorder.

Whether or not to establish the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin district will be determined by March 8. In February, ballots were mailed to landowners and registered voters who live within the proposed boundary, excluding residents receiving water from municipal sources, such as residents in Atascadero, Paso Robles, and Templeton. Gong says 7154 ballots are being mailed, 5,000 to landowners and 2154 to registered voters who are not landowners.

There are three issues up for vote:

  • Measure B-16: A vote to determine whether or not to create the Paso Robles Ground Water District. Only landowners get to vote on this issue and only get one vote. Measure B-16 requires a yes vote from 50-percent +1 of the returned ballots in order to pass.
  • Measure A-16: A vote to determine whether or not to levy an assessment tax on landowners to fund the district. Only registered voters get to vote on this. If this measure passes by a two-thirds majority the tax is levied on landowners whether Measure B-16 passes or not. This tax is to collect more than $900,000 in new taxes for managing the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.
  • An election for a board of directors for the district. There are nine seats on the district board. Only five are open for election. Four directors will be appointed because those seats are not contested. Registered voters get to vote for three of the directors. Landowners get to vote for the remaining directors. The board of directors is not formed if Measure B-16 is defeated.


Preliminary election information, including candidates for the Board of Directors, can be viewed here.


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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.