After weeks of negotiations, San Luis Obispo County got a political facelift and was divided into five shiny new districts.
Unfortunately for a contingent of vocal so-called Templetonians, the North County community of Templeton was split, bisecting it into two districts currently overseen by Supervisors Frank Mecham and Jim Patterson.
On Sept. 20, county supervisors voted 3-2 on a plan that reshapes the political boundaries for the county’s five representatives. That decision came after several debates and failed compromises reached by the supervisors, largely due to outcry from Templeton residents who didn’t want their town to split.
Supervisors Mecham and Paul Teixeira voted against the final proposal. Mecham favored a different plan that would keep Templeton within one district, which he said would meet the needs of his constituents there.
“In my opinion, my job is to listen to what the folks have to say and then try to carry that out,” Mecham said before being outvoted.
Templeton residents continued an effort to protest any plan that would divide their county representation, but were ultimately overruled by supervisors Patterson, Bruce Gibson, and Adam Hill.
“It’s difficult, if not impossible, to please everyone,” Patterson responded to the Templeton critics.
Many residents hinted they would challenge the decision in court. An attorney representing Templeton residents said a lawsuit could likely be filed within 30 to 60 days—but wouldn’t disclose specifics, citing attorney-client confidentiality.