Arroyo Grande City Council candidates meet with voters, lay out vision in forum

Posted at 10:48 PM, Sep 13, 2018

Candidates for Arroyo Grande City Council are getting ready for the general election. They met with voters on Thursday to discuss the number of challenges ahead for the small community.

From the issues of growth and infrastructure to fire services and specialized projects — those and more were topics of discussion.

Both incumbent Mayor Jim Hill and challenger Caren Ray could agree, the city of AG is stable after it took a number of steps this summer to avoid bankruptcy.
"One of the most essential things we can do is support our businesses here and support commercial development," Hill said.

"We need a balance between our services which bring repeat business toward to our retail. so all those things go hand in hand — our housing, our economic development so we can bring in the income to provide the services our city needs," said Ray.

The two had a similar vision of what needs to be prioritized for the city, but it was Ray who had a pointed critique of Hill regarding past issues with sanitation.

"We’ve got to have a change at sanitation district, because the mayor is not effective there any more. not at a lack of trying to do the right thing, but because for whatever reason, it’s just not working," said Ray.

Hill responded, "I’m proud of the record i have in the sanitation district and clearing up the corruption that was there. I’m not afraid to face those issues and take them head on. The good news is the sanitation district now is on a good footing going forward." 

Those elected will also be faced with decisions on the Brisco Interchange as well as how much AG pays to the Five Cities Fire Authority for service.

Grover Beach will host a similar forum for its candidates on Sept. 24. Election day is Nov. 6.