The Tribune’s Opinion Of The Other 4th District Candidates

The Tribune has provided its analysis of the challengers to incument Katcho Achadjian here. I agree with the Tribune's analysis, and have provided my own thoughts at the end of the prior post regarding the recent 4th District Candidate forum here. The Tribune notes:

ELECTION 2006 Candidate endorsements
The Tribune: Opinion of the other Candidates
4th DISTRICT COUNTY SUPERVISOR term: 4 Years | Salary: $70,860
Opinion of the Tribune
The Tribune

Chris McSweeney

Background: Chris A. McSweeney is a new entrant into SLO County politics. Passionate about the county's beauty, he vows to protect those things that distinguish the SLO lifestyle from the sprawl and congestion of Los Angeles.

The former sales executive for Anheuser-Busch and Coors beer companies believes that better infrastructure — including roads and new water sources — should be in place before more development is allowed.

He says he doesn't have an answer to South County water issues, but vows to "study up." He believes his management background gives him the necessary skills to meet the county's financial and strategic planning needs.

On the Dalidio Ranch issue, McSweeney says he's not in favor of farmland being converted to commercial use and doesn't want to see more big stores: "I don't want to help the Wal-Marts."

McSweeney says the job of an elected official is to vote what the people want, and until he is elected, he says, "I can't tell you what I'm going to do." Nonetheless, he is plain spoken about his overarching concern over "the uncontrolled growth we have been seeing," noting that he moved to his home in the Cypress Ridge development seven years ago to escape the urban ills of the Los Angeles area.

Our concerns: McSweeney hasn't done his homework on possible solutions to water issues and can't offer voters any insight on what he would advocate as solutions to any of the county's difficult challenges. He says strategic planning is needed, yet is uninformed on the county's existing general plan.

Judith Wirsing

Background: A Nipomo resident of 17 years, Judith Wirsing is a familiar face in local politics and is serving her second term as a member of the Nipomo Community Services District.

She says her campaign for supervisor is about addressing the effects of "out-of-control growth upon the quality of life" in the district.

She says she is opposed to approving developments while the Nipomo Mesa has an uncertain water supply. "We need to stop urbanization of the rural atmosphere," she says.

She also is concerned about the effects of development on traffic, parks and flooding because of poor drainage.

She is opposed to development of the Dalidio Ranch project: "Farmland should be kept farm land," she says. "We can't afford to use rich land to grow houses."

She also says she is concerned about whether District 4 is getting its fair share of the county's operating budget.

Our concerns: Although Wirsing has admitted she was wrong, her filing of false tax information as reported in Saturday's Tribune suggests a serious character flaw rendering her unfit for this office.

We have other concerns as well: Wirsing capably identifies some of the issues facing the South County, but offers no concrete solutions to problems other than vowing to oppose growth. While knowledgeable about many of the issues specific to Nipomo, she is unable to express points of view on broader issues affecting the entire county. She expresses concern about the way current supervisors are managing the county's operating budget, but she hasn't taken the time to study the budget.

This is a very useful tool in evaluating all the candidates for the seat of the 4th District Supervisor. Thank you Tribune for this analysis and timely report.

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