By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold
I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! 2019 still has a strange ring to it. It always takes about a month after the new year begins before I automatically write
the date correctly on my checks.
2019 has already started out well with a substantial rainfall. Water supply is still an issue that is at the forefront of many policy discussions, and a wet winter will help alleviate the problems we saw in many rural areas of the county during the drought.
The Board of Supervisors held the first meeting of 2019 on January 7, and I was voted to be this year’s Chairman of the Board. It is an honor for me to represent the citizens of our county, and I look forward to filling that role in the coming year. 2018 was a productive year, and I hope to expand those efforts. 2018 saw success at the new San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. Airplane travel was up, direct flights were added, and tourism markets developed. All of this contributed to improvements to the tourist economy many local businesses depend on.
2018 also brought San Luis Obispo County a new Homeless Services Center located at 40 Prado Road, just off the freeway in San Luis Obispo. The Center serves as a shelter with 150 beds available, but also has medical and counseling services on site to help with the many needs facing the homeless population. This facility is a wonderful San Luis Obispo success story involving many non-profits and government agencies coming together to see the project through. A special shout out to CAPSLO who operates the facility, and a mega shout out to Friends of Prado who raised 80% of $5 .7 million needed from private donations.
2018 was also a year that saw many improvements to our county jail . The jail now has it’s own medical officer and has contracted with a private company specializing in jail population medical services to provide both medical and mental health services.
There are of course challenges that will follow us into this new year. The closing of Diablo Canyon, the management of our groundwater, affordable workforce housing, and maintaining the extensive county road system are just a few. The County is committed to working with the Chambers throughout the county to maintain a healthy economy, which will in turn provide funding for enhanced services.
Again, I thank you for the honor to serve you and look forward to a prosperous New Year.