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13 applicants in the running for San Luis Obispo mayor, city council seats

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Sep 28, 2021

Thirteen people have applied to lead the City of San Luis Obispo following the resignation of San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon.

Harmon's last day as mayor was September 21 after announcing in August that she was resigning to take a job as a climate activist with the Romero Institute.

Instead of holding a special election, which officials say would have cost as much as $200,000, the city council decided to appoint someone to the mayor's seat and opened up the application process to the community.

Applications were due by September 24. The 13 validated applications are now available for public review.

Among the applicants for mayor is current city council member Erica Stewart. If she is appointed to the position, her seat on the city council will be open and the council will also appoint her replacement.

The other applicants for mayor are:

  • Jeffery Specht - entrepreneur
  • Joshua Cohen - owner of Foothill Cyclery
  • Mark Buchman - owner of Schoolyard Communications
  • Matt Ritter - biology professor at Cal Poly

The applicants to fill the potential city council opening are:

  • Emily Francis - former teacher
  • Joe Benson - attorney
  • Michael Draze - Red Cross volunteer, former planning director
  • Michelle Shoresman - SLO County Health Agency Division of Health Care Access
  • Michael Multari - planning consultant
  • Mila Vujovich-La Barre - teacher
  • Robin Wolf - bar director
  • Sharon Whitney - retired political science professor

The city council will discuss the applications and appoint someone to the mayor's seat at the next council meeting on October 5.

Applicants will have five minutes to address the council and members of the public will also have a chance to comment.

The chosen applicant will take the oath of office during the meeting.

If a new council member is also appointed, that person will also be sworn in at the meeting on October 5.

The city council meeting will be held virtually. Click here for information on how to view the meeting and participate in public comment.