Two candidates are facing off in the race for mayor of Grover Beach. Incumbent Jeff Lee will face a challenge from Elizabeth Doukas.
Lee was first elected Mayor of Grover Beach in 2018 after serving as a city council member from 2012 to 2018.
He says he wants to continue working to solve issues in the city including homelessness and housing affordability, residential street repair using K-14 bond money, and making sure the community has sustainable police and fire services.
"I visualize myself as a cheerleader for Grover Beach and I think the positive attitude that I bring, leadership with a vision, is what I bring to Grover Beach," Lee said.
Full interview with Jeff Lee:
Lee says one of the biggest issues facing Grover Beach is homelessness.
"I think that is one of the things that we've started to make strides on but it is still going to take a lot of concerted effort by the community as well as the by council and staff," he said.
His challenger, court reporter Elizabeth Doukas, is concerned that the current mayor and council aren't making enough progress.
"All of the city's time, effort, monies, and studies and still, we got $2.5 million of emergency homeless money last year and we don't have one facility for the homeless to go to," Doukas said.
Full interview with Elizabeth Doukas:
Doukas says she doesn't believe current leaders are listening to the community. A lack of "feeling heard" is what she says made her want to run for mayor.
"They are acting autonomously. That's the best way I can say it. The city council acts autonomously more often than not," she said.
Grover Beach was one of the first local cities to license marijuana sales. There are now 12 legal businesses operating in the city.
Doukas wants to know where the promised tax money has gone.
"They want to know what happened to the marijuana money. We were promised a lot of things with the marijuana money. That was supposed to solve a lot of our problems," Doukas said.
But Lee points to cannabis as a success.
"And what that's really done for the community and the city is to bring in some tax revenue and in the last fiscal year, I believe it was $1.3 or $1.4 million of tax revenue did come into the community," Lee said.
Both say they want to represent the residents if elected.
"So I'm here to represent unrepresented and under-represented citizens. I'm here for the local people. I don't have any special interest I'm connected to. I'm just citizen X," Doukas said.
"I want to make sure that I'm doing the best for the community and I hope that they give me the opportunity to continue that leadership," Lee said.
Three city council seats are also on the ballot in November.