Morro Bay is at a crossroads.
It may not seem like it at first glance, but there’s a lot at stake in this election.
The City of Morro Bay is pushing for highly controversial projects and measures that will adversely impact our community.
Proponents of the proposed 600 mega watt lithium-ion battery installation in Morro Bay will tell you the facility — which would be the world’s largest of its kind — will bring revenue to the community and empower our energy grid. But the truth is the costs outweigh the benefits. Lithium-ion facilities are more prone to environmental hazards that cause immediate harm to residents in the surrounding area than even nuclear power at Diablo Canyon. The facility would be located in a tsunami zone and a key economic zone, which is our treasured Embarcadero. While Morro Bay should embrace innovation, we shouldn’t embrace innovation at the cost of public safety. Morro Bay is not an experiment or a personal sandbox for special interests.
The City is also looking at the possibility of developing hundreds of homes in Morro Bay in geologically hazardous areas, with some of those areas being originally designated for open space. Voters made it abundantly clear in past measures that they want to preserve that open space. And technical studies commissioned by the City of Morro Bay have made it clear developing homes in some of those areas on that land could result in erosion and landslides like we’ve seen in the small community of La Conchita where in 2005, a major landslide occurred. Ten people lost their lives and dozens of homes were either damaged or destroyed due to the landslide. While the City of Morro Bay needs to have a serious conversation about workforce housing, we cannot develop housing that poses an inherent risk of serious harm to residents.
The City also supports Measure B-22, a $120/year parcel tax for homeowners to pay for harbor infrastructure improvements. While everyone can agree the harbor desperately needs repairs and a dedicated source of revenue, we can also agree Morro Bay was hit by record-setting inflation. Young families and members of the working middle class are living paycheck to paycheck to live in our slice of paradise. But now they’re facing an additional burden of increased utility bill costs, gas and grocery expenses. Seniors on fixed incomes face the same obstacles, but they also have to pay for the increase in medical expenses and prescription costs. They should never face a choice between spending what little they have on groceries or medicine. And every property owner impacted by this parcel tax will be forced to limit their discretionary spending, which will undoubtedly cripple our already sluggish economy. Proponents of Measure B-22 will tell you the measure will help increase tourism, but that increase will result in a decrease of resident spending in our economy, which is guaranteed year-round.
Mayoral candidate Carla Wixom, City Council candidates Sarah Robinson and Robin “Zara” Landrum are the candidates who not only understand the risks associated with these issues, but they’ve shown they are well capable of fostering a robust public dialogue on solutions to the problems we face. Carla, Sarah and Zara are deeply invested in the community, our residents and small businesses. They recognize the community should play an integral part of the public process, not a revolving door of consultants and special interests that constantly dictate what our needs are.
Please vote and volunteer for Carla Wixom, Sarah Robinson and Robin “Zara” Landrum.