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Paso Robles City Council to consider going back to at-large elections

The city council says the 2020 elections will still be by-district
Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 10, 2020

The Paso Robles City Council says it is considering potentially reverting back to at-large elections.

The city changed its elections to by-district after threats of litigation and claims that the city wasn't electing many officials of color despite having a nearly 40% Hispanic or Latino population.

The city will not move forward with pushing for at-large elections for 2020, but officials say they will discuss converting to a charter city at a later date which would return the elections to an at-large system.

City officials say by-district elections don't always produce the intended results.

"The representative is very conscious of his constituency and getting as much as he can for his people and it doesn't work well for the entire jurisdiction because you have to make decisions based on the entire area," said City Council Member Fred Strong.

Others say they prefer getting elected by the entire city since they feel that they are well connected with residents in Paso Robles.

"We know our community very well and they call us up if they have a problem or if we're doing something wrong," said City Council Member Steve Gregory.