The recent—and successful—struggle to save the quarter-millennium-old mission aqueduct from casual destruction by a developer’s backhoe shows why experienced leadership is necessary for San Luis Obispo. Demolition began shortly after 7 a.m. one morning. The Chumash archaeological observer called the tribal chair, the tribal chair called me, we alerted Jan Marx, and the mayor immediately sprang into action. A stop work order was issued, and within days the city and the developer reached a preservation and display agreement that will make them both proud.
The candidates for mayor have a long list of ideals; only Jan Marx has a long list of accomplishments, both before and during her tenure as mayor. The city commission I volunteer for, the Cultural Heritage Committee, is bound by reams of municipal, state, and federal regulations. As an activist, it is easy to be flippant about process, but we live in a rule-bound society. Unless you understand process, you don’t achieve product. All of my work with Jan, even when we don’t agree, shows her to be the city’s most thoughtful, committed, and—more important—effective advocate of both our natural and historic environment.
-- James Papp - member , SLO Cultural Heritage Committee