Local Control To Balance Health & Safety

By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

2021 has arrived and I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Covid-19 continues to be the issue that is on everyone’s mind. The County Board of Supervisors has voted to send letters to Governor Newsom asking for local control as we all strive to balance health and safety during a pandemic with the needs of our citizens, businesses, and families. Our latest letter was sent jointly with Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, asking if the three counties could be removed from the Southern California Region and be able to create a Central Coast region for the purposes of Covid-19 regulation. We were unsuccessful and presently schools and businesses find themselves under the stricter regulations that have been instituted for the Southern California Region. This can be a long-term problem for struggling businesses as well as families anxious to see their children be able to return to school.

The more restrictive tier has to do with available ICU beds, and Southern California has a low vacancy rate. San Luis Obispo County does have capacity. Many will remember last April when we were first told we needed to work on flattening the curve and building hospital capacity. Back then we were told by medical experts we may need 800 hospital beds beyond the 403 beds already existing in the County’s hospitals. SLO County worked quickly to develop a public-private partnership and within weeks an alternative care site (ACS) was built on the campus at Cal Poly. The ACS had 900 beds and is still available for set up if needed. We were prepared then for many more Covid-19 cases and we remain prepared now. We are in the process of offering vaccinations, and the County staff is working hard to make the vaccine available quickly to more of the population.

As your representative on the Board of Supervisors I continue to advocate for local control so we can use local data to decide appropriate measures to deal with Covid-19 here in our County. I believe it is important to bring a balanced approach to mandating safety protocols so we can allow our businesses and schools to open. For more information on everything from Covid-19 cases, hospital capacity, the Governor’s emergency order regulations, vaccines, assistance for businesses, information on schools, and more visit readyslo.org.

Lastly, I know many people are interested in how Covid-19 has affected property values. Our County Assessor, Tom Bordonaro has just released his 2020 Annual Report. It can be found at www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Assessor.aspx The report is full of information and updates. The report discloses that there are 174,000 taxable parcels in the County with a net assessment value of $60,369,523,169, a 5.14% increase from 2019. Property tax revenue totaled $622,619,570. Of that amount 61.61% will go to schools, 7.16% to cities, and 24.54% will go to the County to provide services. (6.69% goes to special districts and redevelopment agencies). Be sure to check it out!

Please feel free to contact my office with questions and concerns.

It is an honor to serve as your 5th District Supervisor

-Debbie Arnold

Atascadero City Big Cheese KL

5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

Debbie Arnold moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1973 to attend Cal Poly, she fell in love with both her husband, Steve, and the farming and ranching values that had been a part of the Arnold family way of life for more than 5 generations. While raising two children, she owned and operated a small business in Atascadero for more than 17 years. She then had the privilege of advocating for local families as a Legislative Aide at the County Supervisor’s office and as a San Luis Obispo District Representative for the State Senate. During these years, she worked with a broad range of community groups and interests, bringing people together to solve problems. Debbie Arnold now serves as the 5th District Supervisor for San Luis Obispo County.