By the Election Board of the Paso Robles Press

As we round the corner in the final days of this year’s election cycle, we put together a final preview of the local candidates, measures, and voting hints for the Nov. 3 elections.   

Paso Robles City Government

The City Council acts upon all legislative matters concerning the city, approving and adopting all ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other matters requiring overall policy decisions and leadership. The Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, and various other commissions, boards, and citizen advisory committees, all of which ensure broad-based input into the city’s affairs.

City Council Candidates

Paso Robles City Council has two open seats, both four-year terms. The city of Paso Robles has transitioned to a by-district voting system this year. Both Incumbents Steve Gregory and Fred Strong are up for re-election. Gregory is running unopposed for District 3, and District 4 Strong is running against challenger Jacob Allred.

The Paso Robles Treasurer has one seat open with a term of four years. Local resident Ryan Cornell is running unopposed.  

Paso Robles Joint Unified School Board 

The role of a local school board is a critical public link to public schools. School board members serve their communities in several important ways.

First, school boards look out for students. Education is the only item that school boards focus on and is accountable for. Second, school boards are accessible to the public and accountable for their schools’ performance, and third, school boards ensure that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent.

The most important school board’s responsibility is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local public schools. School boards derive their power and authority from the state. In compliance with state and federal laws, school boards establish policies and regulations by which their local schools are governed.

PRJUSD Board Candidates 

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board has four seats open all four-year terms. This year 15 candidates are vying for election. Incumbents Chris Bausch and Joan Summers, and challengers Jim Reed, Leonard Washington, Laura Parker, Ruben Canales Jr., Caitlin J. Vierra, Nathan Williams, Jim Cogan, Dorian K. Baker, Frank Triggs, and Greg. S. Goodman.

Local Measures

The City of Paso Robles placed a 1% sales tax measure on the ballot, Measure J. The City estimates the sales tax increase would generate $10 million annually that the City would use to maintain essential and general services such as fire protection/paramedic services; wildfire/natural disaster emergency preparedness; 911 emergency response times; public safety; equipping first responders; fixing streets/potholes; and school protective services. Measure J needs a simple majority from voters to pass.

Templeton Elections 

Templeton Community Services District Board has three seats open all four-year terms. Incumbents Debra J. Logan, Pamela Jardini, and Navid Fardanesh are vying for re-election against challenger Dianna Vonderheide.

Templeton Unified School District Board has three seats open all four-year terms. The eight candidates include Incumbents Ted Dubost and Nelson Yamagata, and challengers Nagla Orlando, Jay L. Raftery, Peter Romwall, Mendi Swan, and Matt Allison.

San Miguel Elections 

San Miguel, Joint Union School District Board, has two seats all four-year terms. The three candidates are Incumbent Michael J. Sanders and challengers Lily Huynh and Constantino Victor Delgado.

San Miguel Joint Unified School District has placed a $6.2 million school bond measure on the ballot; Measure I. Needs at least 55 percent voter approval to pass.

Shandon Elections 

Shandon Joint Unified School District Board Trustee Area has two candidates for one seat, a four-year term. Incumbent Flint Speer and challenger Amy Russell.

Shandon Joint Unified School District placed a $4 million school bond measure on the ballot; Measure H. Needs at least 55 percent voter approval to pass.

Hints for Voters During Four Days of Voting from the County Clerk-Recorder

Return of Vote By Mail Ballots 

Make sure the identification envelope is signed before you return the ballot. Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and received within seventeen days of the election are eligible to be counted. If you are dropping your VBM ballot in the mail on Election Day, get a “Circle Date Stamp” on your envelope at the mail counter. However, vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered at any of 23 Voter Service Centers in the County, at the 19 VBM ballot drop boxes located throughout the County, or at the County Clerk-Recorder’s offices in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero must be RECEIVED by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drive-by-Dropoff of VBM ballots is available at all Voter Service Centers throughout the County. If you want to vote at the polls instead of voting by mail, take the ballot with you to surrender, but if you have misplaced your ballot, new legislation allows VBM voters to vote a regular poll ballot if it is determined that their ballots were not returned. At a minimum, VBM voters will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot at the Voter Service Centers.

 Voter Service Centers Open for Four Days of Voting

There are 23 Voter Service Centers that be open from Saturday, Oct. 31- Monday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Nov. 3 Election Day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Many locations that had been used as polling places in the past are not being used for this election. Please note that voters can go to any Voter Service Center located throughout the County instead of assigned polling places.  

A listing of Voter Service Centers and VBM Ballot Drop Boxes is located here.   

And interactively here.

Accessible Voting Equipment and Spanish Language  

The new accessible ballot-marking devices purchased during the March Primary are designed to help voters with disabilities vote independently and confidentially. 

However, any voter can utilize the machines if they desire. Furthermore, these devices were also equipped with a Spanish language ballot for voters desiring to vote in Spanish. Request to use these machines at the ballot issue table at the Voter Service Center.  

Voter Ballot Tracking 

Voters can also sign up to track their ballots: https://wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov, a free service the Secretary of State provides voters to receive notifications via text, email, or phone message.

Voters are encouraged to visit the Clerk-Recorder’s website for updates regarding the election at slovote.com. For any questions, please contact the elections office at elections@co.slo.ca.us or (805)781-5228.     

Getting through this together, Paso Robles