My friend, Ellen Beraud, possesses all of these qualities and is running for the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors against incumbent, Debbie Arnold. I’ve known Ellen Beraud for over 10 years as a friend and observed her in her role as a Planning Commissioner (7 years), member of the Atascadero City Council and Mayor of our city for one year. I was regularly going to the City Council meetings during her terms. Along with the normal business of the city, it could also be intense at times with the Gearhart controversies and many Atscaderans attending to protest against a supercenter Walmart coming to our town.

At this time, and only six months into the progressive majority on our City Council — George Luna, Mike Brennler and Ellen, disgruntled citizens called for a recall of Ellen and Mike. It was unsuccessful because the good people of our city believed Ellen and Mike were elected and should serve out their terms. I observed Ellen on the City Council as hard-working, prepared and with an ear to the community she represented.

Ellen’s take on her election (2006) and service on the City Council, “It was a great education and I appreciated the professional staff of the city who knew all the answers and history of the issues. I loved the collaboration with other cities and counties when looking at policy decisions. I’m a believer in the ‘best practice’ approach to adopting solutions known to have a positive outcome.”

Ellen was ahead of her time when mayor, she was able to help pass a voluntary resolution to limit the use of styrofoam and plastic bottles to decrease litter in our creeks, helped to craft a plan to restore the historic City Hall and, with the Council, fashioned a strong budget getting the city through the 2007 recession.

Ellen’s life experiences: serving on our city council/mayor, as a health care professional for 30 years, small business owner, parent of two children and dedication to community service have taught her how to navigate the difficult balance of preserving our county’s lifestyle while supporting a healthy, prosperous local economy and advocating for a better future for everyone.

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I caught up with Ellen recently at a Meet and Greet for her candidacy for SLO Board of Supervisors. Ellen has come a long way since her dedicated city council days. She believes in her community more than ever and wants to now represent north county. She took many questions at the Meet and Greet and all were impressed with her knowledge and history of north county and current issues affecting SLO county–water issues, affordable housing, health and mental health accessibility, support for adopting the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) for county energy users, safeguarding our environment/public lands from oil drilling particularly in Carrizo Plains, support for Veterans, working on decreasing homelessness and the continuing opioid crisis.

Ellen is aware, “North County is facing a groundwater management crisis.” The SLO Board’s task is to stabilize the basins with creative solutions managing our water.

Ellen Beraud has talked to residents of Santa Margarita (SM) who are unhappy with the “quarry project” which would bring heavy truck traffic (over 200 trucks) daily through SM downtown and

past their elementary school. This project could again come before the county board. Supervisor Arnold voted in favor of the quarry development in 2015, citing a shortage of gravel. The SLO planning staff identified approximately 233 to 302 million tons of total resources at existing local quarries, which could satisfy the projected 273 million ton demand. She ignored her County staff and SM constituents’ input about concerns of quality of life and safety. Ellen will not ignore SM residents.

The only pressure I see for SLO County to come on board re the Monterey Bay Community CHOICE Aggregation (CCA) is Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Barbara have already signed on along with 23 other cities (except Atascadero) at a projected savings of 3 percent yearly on bills. For years, our Board has refused to adopt CCA and recently missed an August deadline for 2021. Ellen favors adopting CCA.

Ellen points out, CCA allows for local control of where we source our energy. But besides savings, the program is economically and environmentally responsible. An element of CCA is the opportunity for investment into local energy projects benefiting SLO County by creating jobs bolstering our regional economy.

Ellen says she has experienced the incredible opportunities and countless blessings our country and this community have to offer. She wants to give back to her county and serve as your 5th District SLO County Supervisor. I encourage you to participate in the democratic process by going to ellen’s website for more information — ellenforsupervisor.com. The SLO County Board of Supervisor election is March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary.