Paso Basin Water District decisively rejected



If voters have their way, there won’t be a water district formed for the Paso Water Basin—at least that’s the unofficial version. 

Polls closed on March 8 after a month-long mail-in election to decide the fate of the contentious Paso Robles Water District. The district would have management authority within the boundaries of the sprawling Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, where well levels have steadily dropped in recent years.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong said there are several administrative tasks to finish before certifying the results. Those won’t likely be completed until March 17 or 18.

“It’s not done until it’s done,” Gong said.

Gong’s office released unofficial results late March 8. Voters eligible to participate in the election cast votes on three separate items: Measure A-16, for a new tax to fund the district; Measure B-16, for the creation of the district; and a third vote to elect board members, should it be created.

Because it involves a new tax assessment, Measure A-16 required at least two-thirds approval. According to the unofficial results, only 22.17 percent of voters said yes, with 77.83 percent saying no. Of the 7,291 registered voters eligible to participate, 46.6 percent of ballots were counted as of press time. Ballots postmarked on March 8 are still being collected and counted.

Measure B-16 saw a similar preliminary defeat. That vote, which only involved landowners, saw 22.17 percent vote yes, and 77.83 percent say no, with a 51.3 percent turnout.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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