Opinion: Analysis of local county supervisors’ races
Our supervisorial election has seen so much misinformation, manipulative verbiage, and outright lies that it’s time to speak out
–The job of supervisor, particularly when done well, is very time-consuming and is broken up into two parts.
- The complexity and number of issues, the size and diversity of the County as a whole, and the number of boards and commissions assigned to each Supervisor – in addition to the avalanche of information to plow thru – requires a great deal of time, hard work, research and dedication in order to make reasoned, informed decisions.
- In addition, each Supervisor is also responsible for knowing, understanding and representing the people, issues, interests, and land within both their district, and the County as a whole. It is also important to note, the Supervisors cannot act unilaterally, but make decisions as a board of five.
And let’s not forget that much of what County government does is mandated by the State – meaning that the Board of Supervisors must juggle everything they do in a way that aligns with State law and State mandates…
How do the candidates stack up?
Stephanie Shakofsky is running against John Peschong for the 1st District seat on the Board of Supervisors.
- Given Shakofsky’s history in the San Francisco area and elsewhere, she might be able to do the work. However, she is an unknown in terms of serving as a San Luis Obispo County Supervisor – the highest and most difficult elective position in a County that is very different from the Bay Area. I would like to see what she can do here in other service capacities, and how she does it, before considering her for this position.
- It is impossible for someone who has only been here a very short time to get to know and understand the people and issues in the North County – let alone the County as a whole – in order to represent their potential constituents interests and concerns well.
For this reason, I don’t believe Shakofsky is ready for the job. If she truly wishes to serve, she needs to spend a few years getting involved – perhaps elected to a lesser office – and getting to know the people and the area that would be her responsibility if elected.
The time to get to know the people, issues, and the land is BEFORE you run – NOT AFTER.
Ellen Beraud is running against incumbent Debbie Arnold for the 5th District seat on the Board of Supervisors.
- Given Beraud’s history on Atascadero’s City Council, I don’t believe she has the temperament, gravitas, integrity or skills necessary to be a Supervisor.
- While Beraud has been here more than enough time to apply herself to building relationships and getting to know the people, issues, and the land in the 5thDistrict, and the County, her actions – one in particular – overwhelmingly negate anything she might bring to the table on this item.
As I write this, Beraud has cancelled out of at least three Candidates Forums – including one put on by the Templeton Chamber of Commerce. While it’s always possible that a supervisorial candidate might miss a forum due to illness requiring medical care or a family emergency, there is absolutely no excuse for declining to participate in three. To purposefully cancel participation in these forums is a slap in the face to every voter in the 5th District.
A candidate who treats potential constituents so disrespectfully – essentially making appointments for interviews with potential employers and then not showing up – does NOT deserve to be considered for the position of Supervisor.
Incumbents John Peschong and Debbie Arnold
- As a reporter who has followed the Board of Supervisors meetings and the work of our Supervisors for more than two decades, it is my considered opinion that both District 5 Incumbent Debbie Arnold, and District 1 Incumbent John Peschong have proven they have the skills, knowledge, work ethic, integrity, and drive to handle the workload well, and then some.
- Both incumbents – John Peschong and Debbie Arnold – have always been actively involved in the greater Templeton community throughout their individual times in office. And both have lived and worked in the Districts they represent for years prior to taking office – building relationships, gaining knowledge and understanding of the issues, and developing a sense of the people and place they each serve.
You will regularly find them attending various local government and civic meetings in Templeton in addition to holding both scheduled office hours and special meetings with constituents. Both know the people, concerns, and issues of our community well. And both work hard to represent their constituents here, in their Districts, and the County as a whole.
My personal experience with both John and Debbie is that they are hard-working, dedicated public servants who are readily available, genuine in their desire to serve, very hard-working, and possessing great personal integrity. And they both know the areas they serve extremely well.
I would re-hire John and Debbie without hesitation.
Editor’s note: These are the opinions of Soaring Eagle Press Editor Nanette Fisher.
Read more about the candidates and their positions
- Q&A with 1st District Supervisorial candidate John Peschong
- Q&A with 1st District Supervisorial candidate Stephanie Shakofsky
- Q&A with 5th District Supervisorial candidate Debbie Arnold
- Q&A with 5th District Supervisorial candidate Ellen Beraud