About 375 people attended last night’s candidates forum at Atascadero United Methodist Church. The forum was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
Supervisor Debbie Arnold and challenger Ellen Beraud described their backgrounds and answered five questions prepared by members of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.
Before she was elected supervisor nearly eight years ago, Debbie Arnold served as a legislative aid for supervisor Mike Ryan and Assemblyman and State Senator Sam Blakeslee. Although she majored in animal science at Cal Poly, after she graduated Arnold ran a child care service in Atascadero.
Ellen Beraud worked at non-profits before serving briefly on Atascadero city council during a contentious time in the council.
The questions presented by the Mike Manchack of the Economic Vilatity Commission included issues like affordable housing; wages and cost of living in the county; the county’s economy; and issues related to housing industry like short term rentals.
Ellen Beraud accused Supervisor Debbie Arnold of pushing a groundwater sustainability plan that did not include all of the stakeholders. Arnold countered that it was a lengthy process, and that everyone had an opportunity to participate. The plan developed by the groundwater sustainability agencies of several communities will soon be sent to the state.
Thursday night’s forum was the first of nine forums and debates leading up to the election in the supervisors race. The election is March 3rd.