Los Osos ser­vices board vote likely to be held again

The Tribune (SLO) (Sunday) - - Local - BY NICK WIL­SON nwil­son@thetri­bune­news.com

The San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Of­fice made an ap­par­ent cler­i­cal er­ror that could force a spe­cial elec­tion to fill three seats on the Los Osos Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Dis­trict Board of Directors, said Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong.

Gong said Fri­day in a phone in­ter­view that the county’s at­tor­ney is look­ing into the mat­ter, but his feel­ing is that a di­rec­tor’s seat in the Nov. 6 elec­tion was mis­tak­enly des­ig­nated on the bal­lot as a two-year term and should have been iden­ti­fied as a four-year term.

The race in­cluded two open four-year seats and a third two-year seat, for which in­cum­bent Christine M. Wo­mack ran un­op­posed.

Wo­mack re­placed Jon-Erik Storm, who left the board April, as an ap­pointed di­rec­tor, ac­cord­ing to the Los Osos CSD web­site. Storm told The Tri­bune by phone that a fam­ily mem­ber had health prob­lems that he had to at­tend to, and thus stepped down.

Gong said that, un­der the elec­tion pro­ce­dure, if an ap­pointee fills a va­cated seat within the first two years of a de­parted di­rec­tor’s four-year term, then in the next elec­tion that per­son runs for a two-year seat to ef­fec­tively com­plete the four-year cy­cle.

In this case, Storm had served more than two years, and thus Wo­mack is re­quired to run for a four-year term to start the new cy­cle.

“We still have to look into this fur­ther, but I would say it was ab­so­lutely a cler­i­cal er­ror by my of­fice,” Gong said. “There was no con­spir­acy or wrong­do­ing here, just a mis­take.”

Gong said his of­fice estab­lished the Los Osos CSD po­si­tion for the twoyear seat, and no­body no­ti­fied his of­fice about the po­ten­tial mis­take un­til about a week ago.

Gong said a spe­cial elec­tion likely will need to be held in late Jan­uary, if it’s con­firmed the mis­take was made, open­ing the race to all can­di­dates to fill three seats of four-year terms.

On Nov. 6, four can­di­dates ran for the two avail­able four-year terms, with Chuck Ce­sena earn­ing the most votes with 33.9 per­cent, fol­lowed by Matthew D. Four­croy at 28.3 per­cent, Stephen Best at 27.3 per­cent and Craig Bal­ti­more at 10.2 per­cent of the vote.

But those votes could be moot, and each can­di­date, in­clud­ing Wo­mack, would have to run again, Gong said.

“I would ven­ture to guess that we could do a spe­cial elec­tion (at the end of Jan­uary),” Gong said. “We’d need to work with a bal­lot printer, so it would be an all-mail elec­tion and sent to the vot­ers in early Jan­uary.”

Gong said that, if a spe­cial elec­tion is held to cor­rect the er­ror, his of­fice would ab­sorb the cost or it would come from the County’s Gen­eral Fund.

Reached by phone Fri­day, Wo­mack said she hadn’t heard of the mixup but planned to run if a

Christine Wo­mack

Chuck Ce­sena

Matthew Four­croy

Stephen Best

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