San Luis Obispo county supervisors debate for nearly two hours yesterday the question of how many candidates should be considered for the job as interim county clerk recorder.
Ken Hampian was chair of the review committee. He explained the process. He said the intent was to get qualified candidates. That’s why they came up with only three, rather than seven as the supervisors asked for in their motion. Stewart Jenkins was one of the candidates passed over by Hampian and his review committee. He said that in light of the recent investigation by the FBI, he felt the county should be open to new leadership.
Of 18 people who spoke yesterday, during public comment, many were retired city and county workers, including former San Luis Obispo police chief Jim Gardiner. Cindy Marie Absey spoke for the League of Women Voters. Susan Devin worked at the county clerk recorder’s office, she spoke. Lee Price started work in San Luis Obispo county at the age of 13, and worked for many municipalities. Lee Price talked about her career for three minutes, then when time was running out she said she was against adding more people to the candidates list for consideration.
Then the supervisors weighed in on the issue. Supervisor John Peschong said he supports the original motion, that the review committee provide seven candidates. Peschong and one other conservative supervisor shared they had received a plethora of abusive names in emails from the public. Peschong says he was called a Nazi by one citizen. Dawn Ortiz Legg also weighed in on the issue defending those working in the county clerk recorder’s office. Bruce Gibson was also angry and upset about the discussion.
Ultimately, chair Lynn Compton called for a vote. The motion by Debbie Arnold to have the review committee provide seven candidates, as approved previously, failed 3-2. Supervisors Ortiz-Legg, Gibson and Compton voted to defeat the motion.
So, despite the fact the supervisors asked for seven candidates. They will interview only three, including the deputy county clerk recorder, in selecting an interim county clerk recorder to serve until an election chooses a new county clerk recorder to succeed Tommy Gong.