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SLO County Farm Bureau hosts 2020 District Supervisor Forum

Ballots for the District Supervisor elections are expected to go out next month
Posted at 7:24 AM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 10:27:24-05

With agriculture supporting more than 13,000 jobs in San Luis Obispo County, it's no surprise it was a standing room only to hear candidates for three supervisor seats discuss the industry.

The 2020 San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Candidate Forum was held at the SLO County Farm Bureau.

The candidates had 30 minutes per district to discuss a series of topics.

All candidates answered questions about the relationships between rural areas and agriculture, the odor control for hemp and cannabis grows, who should pay for groundwater sustainability and if the candidates would support housing for farmers.

John Peschong and Stephanie Shakofsky were in attendance in representation of the first district.

"About raising taxes to pay for the sustainability plan -- I'm not your guy. I'm not going to do that" said Peschong when asked about groundwater sustainability.

When it came to odor control for cannabis grows, Shakofsky said the odor was not something that could be ignored. She also said everyone should have a seat at the table in order to come to an inclusive solution on the reoccurring issue.

"If you're growing indoors from 4-6 harvest a year. that's not a 3 times out of the year smell.. that's an ongoing obnoxious smell" said Shakofsky.

On the same topic, Adam Hill said he's hopeful for the future of hemp and cannabis.

"It's an important agricultural. there's a big future in it -- obviously CBD being the main one. I think we can get to a reasonable ordinance" said Hill.

Candidates were also asked about farm worker's housing and all candidates agreed a solution is needed.

"My vote would be that is that the regulation should be minimized so that housing could be provided for the workers so that we can provide housing for the farmers"said Stacy Korsgade.

For the fifth district, Ellen Beraud was unable to attend the forum, but did send in a video sharing some of her hopes for her district if she was elected.

"I envision us as innovators -- implementing collaborative, next generation housing solutions for our homeless population"said Beraud.

Her opponent, Debbie Arnold, said the support for agriculture comes down to all sides working together.

"The support is there and a lot of the conflict is just case by case and we just have to work through it" said Arnold.