Letters to the Editor 10-12-18

Wary of vacancy tax


Uh...Atascadero, we have a problem. While great progress has been made in the past years, in bringing in new businesses, stores, offices, restaurants and hotels to Atascadero, and with our economic future looking bright, we have a candidate for our city council election, who proposes a change to how property owners of vacant land, and commercial establishments will manage their properties. That is, the creation of a “vacancy tax.”  This punitive tax, contrary to sound and rational economic and legal principles, will punish a landowner for not developing or ensuring occupancy of his or her commercial property, by imposing a tax on its vacancy.

As a former City Attorney, I have observed the cautious approach our past councils have taken in structuring our General Plan to ensure the siting of proper development, encouraging development in appropriate areas, and not enacting restrictive ordinances that would unduly and improperly impede the rights of landowners to develop and manage their commercial properties.

The grandiosity and absurdity of this proposal should not merit comment, but for the fact that it is proposed by a candidate for city council.

In contrast, the other two candidates, Mark Dariz, an architect and Heather Newsome, an accountant, appear to understand the council position to which they seek to be elected. Their reasoned and measured positions, reflect years of service to our community and city commissions, and reflect well on their good character and demeanor.

Let us avoid the unwise, and political theater atmosphere that the other candidate appears to want bring to our City Council Chambers.

Robert M. “Grigger” Jones


Support Susan Funk


I support Susan Funk for City Council because she has a vision of an exciting and balanced community for Atascadero: vibrant businesses, community services, and an enriching culture including the arts.

Atascadero is enjoying a renaissance and Susan will guide its continued development as part of a responsible team.

In her experience managing a healthcare consulting business, she has the leadership skills needed as we all move forward together in our community.

Marie Ramey


Supporting business people Dariz, Newsom


City councils make many decisions regarding finance, business and planning. 

Atascadero voters have the perfect opportunity this election to add two business people to our City Council.  Mark Dariz is an architect who’s served on the Planning Commission for eight years and Heather Newsom who owns a long-established accounting business, preparing tax returns and handling payroll and other issues for her many clients. Mark and Heather will further strengthen a City Council that operates in a forward-thinking way.  Over the last decade, Atascadero made great advances with even more on the way; we don’t want to pump the brakes now! Allow Atascadero to continue moving forward by electing Heather Newsom and Mark Dariz to the Atascadero City Council.

Kim Croft


Better Atascadero backing Dariz, Newsom


A Better Atascadero is proud to support Heather Newsom and Mark Dariz for Atascadero City Council.  Both have too many accomplishments to list here but can be found on their respective websites.  Dariz and Newsom are responsible young business professionals who will bring new skills, a new focus and practical ideas to the table as Atascadero’s two new council members.

In recent years, Atascadero has been changing for the better.  But, things have not always gone well.  10 years ago, we had a council that was contentious and not forward thinking.  There was angry opposition to projects such as the new route allowing access from the Junior High to the library, improvements to the Sunken Gardens, and the Veteran’s Memorial.  Atascadero voters brought a change to the council and those improvements and many others were implemented. 

A Better Atascadero hopes the voters will not go back.  We have 2 choices for new city council members in this election.  Please join us in voting for Heather Newsom and Mark Dariz.  Atascadero will be even better.

Ron Walters

A Better Atascadero, president

Stan Cherry was a
humane being


I’ve just read, and am saddened to hear, of Stan Cherry’s death.  Almost 40 years ago, when I was going through a divorce and trying to buy my ex-wife’s and in-laws’ shares of ownership in my home, I met Stan, then a loan officer at Mid-State Bank.  He informed me that I didn’t meet the debt-to-loan threshold to qualify for a loan.  I told him, not only of my state employment, but my plans to raise my two children in my home and to live in it until I die.

He bent the rules for me and approved of the loan — because he trusted me. I did raise my kids in my home, and still live here.  My children are raising their own just two miles from here, and both remember the name Stan Cherry from the story I’ve told them about this man whose humanity manifested through his job.  We weren’t friends, but whenever we crossed paths, we were on a first-name basis, having bonded in mutual respect.

Stan was a real human/humane being in the otherwise cold world of finance.  His memory lives on in one small corner of his universe.

David Broadwater


Dariz understands the complex issues


I endorse Mark Dariz for Atascadero City Council. Atascadero needs a Council member of Mark’s caliber to achieve economic growth, jobs, a downtown we are proud of and a city our citizens are proud to live in.

Mark has served on the City Planning Commission since 2011, providing us his significant expertise as an Architect. When you discuss an issue with Mark, he engages in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner, finding practical solutions that benefit our City. As a business owner, Mark understands the complex issues of bringing business to Atascadero.

In addition to his many leadership accomplishments on the Planning Commission, working on our City’s problems, Mark led Atascadero Kiwanis to benefit our community

One example touched me directly. Fifth grade is the time that school children have a chance to choose and learn to play an instrument. For three years, Mark has led the Kiwanis Club to send 400 Atascadero fifth graders to a special Kid’s Symphony Concert by SLO Winds Orchestra.

Mark is a good listener, open-minded and a natural collaborator for all issues. He will solve the tough problems in Atascadero.  Vote Mark Dariz - Atascadero City Council.

Ann Berry-Gallegos



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