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Jul 30, 2013 9:36 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Locals apply for vacant seat on SLO County Board of Supervisors

A San Luis Obispo County supervisor seat is still vacant. It's been that way since Paul Teixiera, 57, died of a heart attack a month ago this weekend.

Three Arroyo Grande residents have submitted applications to fill the 4th District seat, but there are more.

Filling the seat is not like an election; there is no campaigning. Governor Jerry Brown will make the decision.

To be eligible, candidates must live in the 4th District and be a registered voter. To be considered, someone had to submit an application on the Governor's website and then go through an interview process and background check.

The Governor's Office is being tight lipped about how many people have applied and are not releasing applicants' names, but there could be 15 or more.

KSBY spoke with three applicants, who have all had phone interviews with the Governor's Office.

"I know how the government works and how to get things done for the people," said Mark Millis, board president of the Lucia Mar Unified School District. "I am concerned that this seat be filled as soon as possible so that the people of the south county will be fully represented on the board."

He has years of political experience as the former Mayor of Arroyo Grande and he was a teacher at A.G. High for 33 years. In fact, Paul Teixeira was one of his students.

"For the last 27 years I have made my living negotiating solutions between parties with competing interests and certainly that is what the board of supervisors is comprised right now," said Michael Byrd, a Central Coast real estate broker.

Byrd told KSBY he was a legislative assistant for eight years.

"I think I fit the district. I have almost lived there for three decades. I know the issues, I know the people, and I am one of them," he said.

If Byrd is not appointed, he says he will run for the seat next year.

"I was approached by community leaders asking me if I would consider it and after careful consideration I thought I could do a good job," said Caren Ray, A.G. City Councilwoman.

Caren Ray has been in the community for 30 years. She was on the A.G. Planning Commission for five years and was then appointed to city council.

Whomever Governor Brown chooses will serve out the remainder of Teixeira's term, until January 2015. At that point, they would need to run for election to keep the job for another four years.

Right now a legislative assistant is helping answer questions and concerns from constituents and working with other supervisors regarding area issues, but she cannot vote.

The final applicants will be invited to Sacramento for interviews. At this time there is no specific date for when the seat is expected to be filled. However, the Governor's Office told interested applicants they hope to make headway by the end of August.

In other counties it has taken six to nine months to fill a vacant supervisor seat.

Supervisor Adam Hill told KSBY Jim Harrison, Mike Winn and Dan Woodson have applied as well.

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