Sep 28, 2012 2:23 AM by Kathy Kuretich

Pismo Beach candidates square off at public forum

The five candidates running for two open seats on the Pismo Beach City Council faced each other last night at a public forum.

They weighed-in on the major issues facing the city, like annexation, downtown parking problems, and the hiring of a new city manager.
About 40 people were there, and they got to ask the questions through a moderator from the League of Women voters of San Luis Obispo County.

First question of the night... what's the most important issue facing the city?

Candidate Erik Howell, Lucia Mar School Board Trustee stressed maintaining property valued.
"To a certain extent it does seem mundane, but it's about street sweeping, it's about keeping the roads up, and fire safety."
And he said, avoiding annexations that will put a strain on resources.

Candidate Kevin Kreowski, former U.S. Boarder Patrol Agent and current business owner said the city needs clarity.
"I think we need to think about what direction we are going in, and whether we are going to concentrate on what we have right now, and improve upon it by taking chare of Shell Beach, which I think is very important."
He also said the city needs to promote small business.

Incumbent Ed Waage said the most important issue facing the city is keeping the city financially healthy.
"Unlike many other cities in California, Pismo Beach is in excellent shape, we're doing things for example that many other cities are not. We are pre-funding post retirement benefits."
And he said the city took in a million dollars more than budgeted, last year.

Candidate DJ White, current Planning Commission Chairman said encourage a more business friendly atmosphere.
"We need to protect and preserve our city. We want to help our business people make as much money as they can so the city can function."
White also stressed the importance of tourism.

Finally, candidate Shelia Blake was not able to attend, but her campaign treasurer, Richard spoke for her during opening remarks.
"The way to maintain our current property values is to concentrate on improving the properties currently within our city limits, and not expanding into our inland canyons, with unwanted development," said Blake in a written statement.

Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham is running unopposed for re-election, but she was there last night, and answered questions along with the city council candidates.



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