San Luis Obispo’s newly-elected Mayor Heidi Harmon who defeated incumbent Jan Marx by less than 50 votes had her first press conference as Mayor-elect Monday afternoon.
The difference in the race for Mayor of San Luis Obispo came down to just 47 votes in favor of Harmon over Marx in a final count reached just last week.
“Its such an honor and of course a surprise”, Harmon told a large crowd of reporters, supporters and local residents on the steps of San Luis Obispo City Hall.
“Really excited also to be part of a growing, progressive movement that is really putting people first”, Harmon said.
The Mayor-elect Harmon says San Luis Obispo is at a crossroads.
“We’re sort of victims of our own success”, Harmon said, “we have students, businesses, tourists, retirees and young families all wanting to be in this magical place and its a great problem to have but it is a challenge nevertheless.”
Harmon says her priorities include bringing good-paying jobs to the city, adding more affordable housing, adopting city policies that embrace climate change, improving diversity in the city and in City Hall and tackling the growing and increasingly problematic homeless population.
City residents we spoke with in downtown Monday night had their own ideas on how and where the city could improve services.
“Affordable housing, because the students take up all the affordable housing and everyone else that’s trying to get a cheap place to live is having a hard time”, a Cal Poly student said.
“I think some of the parks in town can definitely be improved”, added another woman.
“I think the main one is housing”, another Cal Poly student said.
“Higuera Street, I’d like to see it look like 3rd Street Promenade (Santa Monica), pave over it and make it a plaza”, another man said.
Mayor-elect Harmon says everyone has a role to play in bringing change voters said they wanted from her over incumbent Jan Marx.
“The voters entrusted me to lead this city and for that I’m really grateful but I am not leading this city alone”, Harmon said, “I’m asking every one of you to show up and run this city with me.”
Mayor-elect Harmon will take the oath of office next month.