Amid community concerns, the Los Osos Community Services District (CSD) appointed Christine Womack to continue her two-year term on the board of directors.
Womack ran unopposed for a two-year term during the Nov. 6 election because of a clerical error, was elected, and then that election was rescinded. Her appointment didn't sit well with some district residents who spoke up during public comment at the Feb. 7 meeting.
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- PUSHING AHEAD Christine Womack gets to stay in her appointed board of director position as the Los Osos CSD hopes to put a 2018 election error behind them.
Resident Linde Owen told board members that the other CSD candidates had to spend their time and money campaigning in the community, while Womack didn't.
"That just left Christine to not have to do that work and to give her a four-year term is just pretty much unfair to those that made the effort," Owen said.
Other public comment makers blamed the error on SLO County Clerk Tommy Gong—who took responsibility for the incident—and district staff.
Matthew Fourcroy, a recently elected board director, said he didn't believe that anyone in the district had made the error on purpose, and this decision was a good time for the community to move forward.
"This is a point where we could pick each other apart about this or we can decide that this is something we could come together about," Fourcroy said.
While Womack ran unopposed in 2018, four other candidates competed for two open four-year term seats. All of the candidates should have been on the ballot for four-year terms.
The SLO County Board of Supervisors rescinded Womack's election on Nov. 20, leaving the district with the responsibility of deciding whether to hold a special election for the open seat in November 2019 or appoint a member to serve until the general election in 2020.
Renee Osborne, the district's general manager, told New Times that she's glad the decision is made and the district can move on.
"We have so many things we're trying to accomplish, and this is something that we don't have to worry about anymore, and we can move forward," Osborne said.