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SLO's Councilman Settle to retire ... for now

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Allen Settle, longtime San Luis Obispo city councilman and former mayor, has announced he will not run for reelection. This brings to an end more than 30 years of nearly continuous service on the City Council.

Because of term limits, Settle couldn’t run for reelection to the council, but could have run for mayor. Settle said he didn’t want to split the mayoral vote between himself and Councilmember Jan Marx.

“If Jan were not in the race, I would run again,” Settle said, who is supporting Marx. Settle underscored he will remain involved in city politics and may run for council again.

Settle is known to sometimes run counter to the financial leanings of the rest of the council. He voted against the last two-year budget and tried to put the kibosh on a million-dollar fire engine.

“I voted against the budget because [former finance director] Bill Statler balanced the budget on the back of raising fees by $1.3 million,” Settle emphasized.

The next mayor will have some very tough choices, Settle said. City employee salary increases and binding arbitration for police and fire fighters, he explained, are threatening the financial well being of the city.

“The staff is going to argue for organizational survival, and I don’t blame them for that,” Settle said, but the time for financial reform at the city may be at hand.

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