The Tribune has endorsed Katcho Achadjian for 4th District Supervisor. This is an endorsement with which I agree 100%. The Tribune’s reasoning and analysis is correct, and I commend them for their insight and this endorsement. You can read the endorsement on line at the Tribune’s website here, as well as in the reprint below:
ELECTION 2006 Candidate endorsements
The Tribune endorses: Katcho Achadjian
4th DISTRICT COUNTY SUPERVISOR term: 4 Years | Salary: $70,860
Background: Katcho Achadjian has served two terms on the county Board of Supervisors, and during that time has justifiably earned a reputation as a savvy, hard-working political leader capable of identifying workable compromises to difficult problems.
When land surrounding the historic Dana Adobe in Nipomo was threatened with development last year, Achadjian was instrumental in putting together an agreement to use county park funds to secure 100 acres for an historic park.
When Olde Towne Nipomo came up $1 million short for a major downtown renovation project, he went to bat, securing funds from a variety of sources to complete the work.
He even managed several years ago to bring together representatives from the city and county to try to hammer out a compromise on the Dalidio project. As a result of those sessions, a plan emerged that called for a 50-50 split between commercial interests and open space.
Of course, the final chapter in the Dalidio project has yet to be written, and in that sense, that particular compromise fell through.
But the fact that Achadjian would attempt a solution when the odds were against it is one trait that makes him so valuable on the board.
Yet that role of mediator has not prevented him from taking controversial positions when the need arises.
One example: He recently proposed raising property taxes for residents in the Olde Towne Nipomo area to deal with serious flooding issues there. The idea was immediately criticized as another effort to gouge the residents.
However unpopular the solution, Achadjian no doubt felt it was one he had to offer, and we’re glad to see that he’s willing to take such political risks.
We also like his energy, his commitment to community and the unique perspective he brings to the job.
Born in Lebanon, Achadjian moved to the United States in 1971 to attend college. He graduated from Cal Poly with a business degree, opened three service stations in South County and became a U.S. citizen in 1982.
He has always been deeply involved and in touch with the community, serving in a variety of organizations that promote education, health, youth sports, agriculture, the performing arts, law enforcement and the business community.
Critics charge that Achadjian has been too ready to vote in favor of development — often to the detriment of his own district, where water and traffic problems are big concerns.
It’s no secret that Achadjian opposes efforts to shut down growth. But he has been responsive to his constituents’ concerns about growth.
He worked to impose a growth cap specific to Nipomo, he recently supported lowering that cap to 1.8 percent from 2.3 percent, and he opposed a controversial proposal to allow 600 modular homes in the downtown area. He also recently voted against a Cypress Ridge expansion that would have allowed 147 additional homes and another golf course.
We think Achadjian has, for the most part, acted wisely in balancing growth with environmental protection and served his district extremely well.
But we don’t always agree with him.
Just this month, we were disappointed that Achadjian voted to rush through a viewshed protection ordinance backed by a private property rights group, rather than give staff more time to analyze it. Previously, we took him to task for voting with Harry Ovitt and Jerry Lenthall to approve an antiquated subdivision in Paso Robles, over the objections of the county’s lead attorney and its planning director.
On balance, however, Achadjian is the right choice for the 4th District.
He is dedicated, willing to listen to all sides, willing to change course when necessary and he’s often been able to help the Board of Supervisors find that elusive middle ground by bringing divergent interests to the table.
4th District voters should re-elect Achadjian. The entire county will benefit from his leadership.
Thank you Tribune for this endorsement. Please support Katcho on June 6, 2006.