The Central Coast region is facing some important choices on election day this year.
In Santa Maria, a spirited race is on for the mayor’s office, and the winner will have big shoes to fill as longtime incumbent Larry Lavagnino heads into retirement. City Council members Alice Patino and Mike Cordero are facing off in a spirited contest to run Santa Barbara County’s largest city.
Meanwhile, in San Luis Obispo, three incumbents and five challengers comprise a very crowded field to fill three seats on the city council. At stake are serious fiscal issues, including whether to extend a sales tax measure that expires in 2014 and how to balance the city’s budget.
Two of the candidates, Donald Hedrick and Matt Strzepek, admit to being homeless, putting the spotlight squarely on housing as a campaign issue.