Commentary: Two candidates, one city, one state

met Susan Funk about two years ago. We have talked about Atascadero, yesterday, today and what potential the future could hold for our City. Susan attends city council meetings, and is involved in our city’s cultural and civic events. In March, she announced and filed papers to run for City Council in July. By June 30, Susan had recruited more local donors and raised more money for her campaign than any other candidate in the last ten years. Her endorsers are Republicans, Democrats and Independents, including public officials, business owners, civic leaders, organizations and private individuals.

“I will bring a fresh, inclusive perspective to City Council,” said Funk as she announced her candidacy... I’ll use skills I’ve developed in my business.” Susan’s bio includes an MBA from Stanford, working as a hospital executive and creating a successful business, Kailos Group. For 25 years Kailos has been addressing important healthcare needs for clients to find ways to lower costs and improve their quality of healthcare.

Whether Susan is studying local zoning ordinances, developing business solutions, or singing in a church or community choir, she listens and responds to others. Susan’s priorities as your City Council representative would include: facilitate a thriving downtown, including dining around the Sunken Garden; more local retailers; space for activities and performances at the Printery; efficient use of taxpayer dollars, while creating an engaged community through expanded citizen participation.

Susan has observed “The same small group of partisan leaders have dominated Atascadero politics for the last ten years, moving between the Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor’s office. This process doesn’t bring us bad people, but their interests and concerns don’t reflect the variety of needs and opinions in our growing community.”

Go to Susan Funk’s website,, for more info and come to the City Council Candidate Forum Tuesday, Oct. 4, 6 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers. “It’s time for fresh energy and new voices. It’s time to support leaders who listen and respond to all our citizens to build a stronger Atascadero,” Susan Funk.

Bill Ostrander is the Democratic candidate running against incumbent Republican Jordan Cunningham for the State 35th Assembly Seat— SLO and Santa Barbara counties.

Bill is energetic, informed and a well-spoken candidate. An important issue for him has always been campaign financing, an “umbrella issue” as he calls it for so many important reasons. Studies show the largest influence on our legislative outcomes is money. Bill has lobbied for campaign finance reform in Washington and Sacramento.

As director of Citizen’s Congress and its educational foundation, Ostrander coordinates fairs at local high schools introducing students to community service opportunities related to homelessness, animal rescue, senior outreach, environmental clean up and mentoring youth.

But Ostrander is not a single-issue candidate guy. He supports a Medicare system for every citizen, commonly known as “single-payer” healthcare, and the passage of our State Senate Bill 562.

Bill believes, “We must fund more vocational programs in high schools and community colleges, increase online educational opportunities and funding for our state colleges and universities, incorporate robust education in our prisons, and start our children on a path of life-long learning through universal pre-school.”

He is outspoken in supporting incentive funding for employers to provide mental health treatment and programs to employees as well as have adequate treatment for those in the criminal justice system. “Jails have become repositories for mental health patients... we’re not taking care of our people.”

Bail reform is one of his passionate issues. He wants to end the money bail system requiring someone arrested for a crime put up cash or collateral to be released from jail prior to trial. This creates enormous hardships in the lower socioeconomic classes.

In August, In spite of Cunningham’s “nay” the State Assembly advanced a bill making California the first state to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial replacing it with a risk-assessment system.The proposed state reforms would ensure people accused of non-serious/non-violent crimes be appropriately released by a Judge from pretrial custody, enabling them to work, pay their bills and care for families.

Jordan Cunningham, after a short stint at the SLO DA’s office, partnered in a criminal defense office handling criminal defense, DUI and DWI’s. White collar crime and criminal defense are his areas of practice.

His Assembly voting record includes voting against Free Postage for Vote By Mail (passed by assembly (pba)); Same Day Voter Registration (pba); authorizing a ballot measure for 3B$’s to state parks; AB617 Air Quality Regulations (pba); and AB2160 Designate Playground Aides as Classified Employees (pba).  Cunningham has had no key votes on education. He voted against SB 395, which allows minors to consult with lawyers during all interrogations.

Jordan has a pattern for ducking out on candidate forums including Sept. 20 Lompoc forum sponsored by the American Association of University Women and Sept. 25 Madonna Inn SLO “Under 40.” Bill Ostrander shows up. He promises to be there to represent his constituents now and in office. Go to for more info. Hear both at the Templeton Candidate Forum, 6 p.m., Vineyard Elementary, Tuesday, Oct. 2.


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