Without a doubt, the most important issue in the 3rdDistrict and in the County, is the looming closure of Diablo Canyon.
PG&E is in bankruptcy and fighting a hostile takeover bid, the timing and process of decommissioning is still to be decided, and the fate of the 12,000 acres of beautiful coastal land is of primary interest to our community.
We didn’t have a voice or a choice in the decision to close the plant, and that’s why I’ve fought hard for our interests since the company made the decision, including the mitigation funds to the county and our cities; making sure we retain our land use authority for the future use of lands and the industrial site; supporting the full funding for decommissioning but asking that it be tied to the fastest and safest process so local workers can be employed; and declaring that the lands be conserved and turned over to the public for future use, which could allow for one of the most exciting coastal trails in the state, running between Avila and Montana de Oro.
I’m also working closely with the Hourglass Project as we plan for new opportunities for our local economy.
The decisions we make in the next few years will affect our County for the next 50.
We have to get this right, we can’t afford to be weak, vague, or naïve.
We have to lead, protect, demand, and create.
Other critical issues: we have programming and priority lined up to address traffic on 227 and also on 101 in Pismo Beach.
We have made great progress on the state required ground water management district that covers the San Luis/Edna Valley Basin. That will get to some key decision points in water use and increased reuse & supply in the coming years.
And we have to keep building on the turn-around we’ve made on issues in our county jail, and also out in the community. Too many people suffering from serious mental illness end up homeless and/or in jail. Too many people are suffering from untreated illness and their suffering hurts all of us, whether it be public order, public safety, or the moral responsibility we have for our fellow human beings.