Gangs, what gangs? Not in Paso Robles

February 22, 2012

Gary Nemeth


Reviewing budget recommendations made by Paso Robles City Manager Jim App, and approved by this Council, do you believe they have our health, safety and welfare in mind? Are they listening to anyone except App when the Council continually approves dangerous budgets that drive our community back to when App was first hired and our safety levels are now at 1991 levels instead of 2012?

Police Chief Lisa Solomon recommended cutting DARE, SRO, Gang Unit, SET, Oak Park Officer, and Council cut Oak Park Recreation Program, and so many other programs while raising our fees. Solomon gave App a contingency plan that 29 sworn officers was the minimum level the department could function safely, now they are at 27.  Picanco and council nonetheless supported the hiring freeze potentially putting our safety in jeopardy.

At the study session Saturday we were told we need 15 Police officers, 8 Fire Fighters and 20 General Employees, almost all line level and middle management positions.

Paso Robles pastor Ruben Tate of Second Baptist Church was quoted stated that “he also thinks the city ignored its gangs.”

The people who are committing crimes aren’t stupid and can see that the resources dwindle and see it’s easier to come into town and get a stronger hold on the community, I said during the meeting.

Solomon does not plan to devote an officer to gang prevention with the current new hires, citing ongoing budget pressures. Rather, she plans to get one when money is available.

Marci Powers is the coordinator of the San Luis Obispo County Anti-Gang Coordinating Commission.

The reason we’re doing the gang assessment in Paso is because we picked Paso because we know that there are issues in Paso and we wanted to start there and then go forward, Powers said. I know from the gang assessment that one of the things that concerns me is that we have the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Paso, we have the highest rate of truancy in Paso; compared to other areas of the county population-wise, the highest rates.

We have the highest rate of individuals who are accessing CalWorks programs, which means that the poverty in Paso Robles is higher, compared to other areas of the county. Poverty itself isn’t bad – it’s fine. But when you put all of those thing together, I think it just tells us that we need to be doing more than we’re doing, so those things are concerning.

I do believe that we do need a new source of revenue, but do you trust this City Manager (APP) and this current council with your money? We are not in 1991, we are in 2012, and this council needs to be replaced.

Gary Nemeth retired from the San Luis Obispo Police department following a 30-year law enforcement career. Nemeth sat on the Paso Robles City Council from 2000 through 2008.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Does anyone even read what is written here?

My reference to Fred Strong was not an endorsement. I used Fred Strong as an example of a public figure that posted here and was hammered for it.

Why was Nemeth proclaimed Roblan of the month and before he could be honored, the proclamation was rescinded? Now that would make a good story

Yes, we’re reading what’s written, Paso_Guy. But your numerous posts are contradictory and quite confusing.

For those who continue to think that we do not have a gang issue in Paso, you might reconsider if you knew that both the PRPD and the Sheriff’s Department spent over an hour and a half providing a very informative and insightful presentation for some PR teachers today during a staff meeting. Sticking your heads in the sand and wishing it away is not going to make it so. There are many levels of gang activity. The “kids” who are *just* carving their names in benches and/or doing a “little” tagging are just at one particular level. Don’t be naive… open your eyes to what is going on around you.

“The people who are committing crimes aren’t stupid and can see that the resources dwindle and see it’s easier to come into town and get a stronger hold on the community,”

Thirty years in law enforcement, and this is what you come up with? This statement reflects a fairy tale view of reality. Where to begin!? Not all criminals are stupid, but the kind of criminals you are talking about in Paso Robles MOST CERTAINLY are! Lack of a good, engaging education, getting stuck in the system, poverty, boredom go along with it. Secondly, this is NOT the m afia man. These criminals are committing crime as a matter of circumstance, they are not seeking to get a “hold on the community.” And they CERTAINLY did not target Paso Robles due to dwindling resources. Very little of what they do is planned, organized, or cogniscent of what the sources of the city are or how they are distributed. They did not COME there to commit the crime, but because of work (note: INCREASE in resources), family, or cheap cost of living.

With that statement alone, you have demonstrated how law enforcement lives within its own insulated bubble that has very little real perspective on the world, crime, or what it takes to stop it.

That aside, when HASN’T Paso had the highest rate of teen pregnancy? And why hasn’t anyone been able to show and actual numbers demonstrating any increase in crime?!


You be amazed at how accurate you are!

About 15 and 12 years ago (maybe longer I am getting old – time flies), a LE officer in Atascadero, and a State employees in management position who resides in Paso confided in me about their sons getting in trouble with the law.

One of the sons even had a Bachelors degree in psychology.

The common denominator with both of them was (from the fathers) “There are no jobs, there is nothing to do out there!”

Additionally, both towns have good resources for drug and alcohol rehab (I assist in care-taking a retired teacher (old friend) that instructs out there) because “There is nothing to do out there-resources are slim!”

As for Gary Nemeth, I am guessing and I do believe he appreciates your comment, neither of you are stupid and the both of you in context appear down to earth.

For Gary Nemeth who spent 30 years in LE and a few years in political office, it is more easier for him to lose the common touch, and I believe he is not taking this wrong.

I don’t believe he is totally out of touch because he had “the balls” to speak up on what he believes about the Paso governing bodies.

I do not doubt he means well. But he has been trained to think a certain way and I find it extremely disturbing. If he does in fact mean well, then I hope he is the kind of person that is willing to consider that the way he perceives things may be effected by 30 years of law enforcement indoctrination, and be curious enough to try and explore other ideas about what the real issues are, what dangers there are/aren’t, and the true extent of the B.S. on all sides.

I hear what your saying

Thoughts are the substance of a person’s ego (30 years of law enforcement indoctrination) and not all thinking is actual clear perceiving (The Teaching of Don Carlos by Carlos Castaneda) even if one means well (I agree).

“And why hasn’t anyone been able to show and actual numbers demonstrating any increase in crime?!”

Perhaps because Chief Lisa Solomon won’t allow her officers to respond to calls for police assistance because a crime is being or has been committed?

Who’s gathering the numbers?

Maybe the fox is guarding our hen house…..we could call it “safety mode.”

Thank you, and this is EXACTLY why the FBI and DOJ numbers differ. It’s all based on which agencies publicly report the numbers versus which agencies provide federal assistance. This whole mess has so much corruption from top to bottom, it’s not even funny. Games and scams abound.

That’s just nonsense. Their is, if anything a HUGE incentive (in the form of grants, equipment, federal assistance, etc) to OVER-report crime. Consider this possibility – that the police are receiving large numbers of calls from people who are suspicious, especially about minorities, that are reporting crime when there is none, and that is preventing them from responding to legitimate calls in a timely manner. Now, don’t get me wrong and interpret this as support for Solomon or the police, it just is what it is.

Some of us can see very clearly what’s going on in Paso Robles. I’m not sure that I would support anybody’s position though, as all I see is a giant cesspool of universal self-interest and lying, a paranoid and racist citizenry, incompetent/corrupt law enforcement, and incompetent/corrupt city officials. When no one is seeing things as they are clearly, you can’t really expect any good outcomes.

Speaking of OVER-reporting…check out the current add for police officers found on the city website.

“The Paso Robles Police Department is a modern, well-managed department in a new state-of-the-art emergency operations center, with 46 budgeted sworn personnel. Rotating specialized assignments include K-9, SWAT, Detectives and Field Training Officers.

Looks like we have 46, not 27.

Your cesspool analogy strikes pretty close.

Just back from a family visit in So.Cal. The small town visited has it’s own police department and there’s lot’s of political activity around trying to reduce a big police budget. Coincidentally, they have complaints about poor management and there’s a strong effort by residents to push the Council to contract police services to the L.A. County Sheriff. Apparently they could save quite a bit of money, and avoid much of the past bickering.

What are the numbers for such a transition in Paso?

Well, since the city council won’t step up to the plate because of the pansies they are, they need to be shined in the next election. We must not re-elect the whacko mayor we have now. “Wowee, Weewee, everything is fine!” He is a strange duck that Picanco.

“Poverty itself isn’t bad – it’s fine.” I wonder if this will be Nemeth’s campaign slogan.

It sounds like Nemeth has taken a lesson from the Mitt Romney campaign playbook: “I don’t worry about the very poor.”

I don’t think that’s what he said.

And I don’t think that’s what you think he said, either.

I think you’ve got a reasonably transparent attempt to sully him going on. And I think you should keep it real, or keep it down.

The “poverty isn’t bad” quote was taken directly from the article. Either Nemeth said it or the reporter got it wrong. The next post was just my comparison of Nemeth’s statement to Romney’s recent statement. If Nemeth was “sullied” by the poverty statement, it was a case of self-sullying.

I’ll try to “keep it real.” I hear that’s the gangsta thing to do. I’ll also try to abide by any other cliches you might want to throw my way. None of it changes the fact that Nemeth said: “Poverty itself isn’t bad – it’s fine.” I haven’t seen him ask for a retraction.

Thank you.

I understand all of our propensity to undermine the opposition.

In this case, you are having the opposite of your intended effect. I don’t know Gary Nemeth from Joe Namath, but I do know a cheap shot when I see one. Your cheap shot leads me to believe you’ve got nothing better on him than a personal vendetta. In a left handed way, what you are saying is that his enemies need to make up dirt, because there’s no real dirt.

Stick to the higher ground.

Oh, so I’m making Nemeth out to look better by pointing out that he said something that sounds, in my opinion, stupid? I have no personal vendetta against Nemeth. I just don’t want him in a position of leadership in the city because I don’t think he will lead it in the right direction. He didn’t run over my dog or have may car towed or anything like that. I just happen to think we have a lot more qualified people who can lead and I also think he is trying to exploit current events for his own political gain.

I personally think we give these gangbangers way too much credit by saying things like “aren’t stupid and can see that the resources dwindle….” I still don’t understand this part “I said during the meeting.” On the contrary they ARE stupid parasites who simply prey on opportunity.

You aren’t building much of a case in the homicide at the laundry where the whack job innocently killed that man. He would have carried it out in front of the police ergo…..whack job.

Stunned, I agree that some of the wanna-be gang bangers in Paso (Sherwood Park/Dry Creek apts/Oak Park) are more bark than bite…many are merely Flamson kids or high schoolers who may tag mailboxes but that’s about it in terms of crime. PR13 boys carve their signs into utility poles but so far, they’re not out stabbing anyone…yet.

But Paso leaders DO need to think about the REAL gangs from King City and Salinas in the north and Santa Maria and Los Angeles in the south. Those gangs are organized criminal operations dealing in drugs and weapons, among other things. Those gangs DO look for opportunities to recruit new members and expand their gang activities.

Norteno and MS13 leaders, are thugs but they’re not all stupid. Paso is a great opportunity for them. We have a minimal police force, increasingly slower response time, and–worst of all–a horribly incompetent police chief. We are an easy target. The gang leaders could easily size up who’s in charge in Paso–a blonde, overweight, female who frequently bar-hops, sings and dances– and realize that we’re sitting ducks.

Pasoparents, IMO, if a group of people are damaging public and private property, and attempting to intimidate others in public spaces, then they need to be dealt with as the threat they are.

If Paso Robles continues on its path of supporting police chiefs accused of committing sexual assaults against her subordinates, and retaliating with wrongful termination those subordinates who refuse to follow her orders to commit illegal actions, then there should be no surprise that there are not only gangs (of all levels of severity).

The City of Paso Robles is setting a terrible example for the young people of Paso Robles, who now can see that that it literally is not what you do, but who you know and who you blow, that matters to the city manager and the city council.

Think of it: a police chief is accused by sexually assaulting her subordinates and she is rewarded with the simpering support of the city manager and city council, and gangs and drug dealers are allowed to commit crimes while the police look on.

Quite a message being sent to the youth of Paso Robles.

Micro version of US Congress.

Thumbs up, Mary. I agree w/ya 100%

Here’s a crazy thought:

The night that poor fellow was stabbed at the Laundry Mat at the north end of town, on normally staffed patrol shifts how many cops would have driven by that location, and how many different times during their shift? Maybe if the PD would have been staffed just a little better a little POLICE VISIBILITY could have possibly deterred that murderous cad from stabbing that poor fellow numerous times.

The same thing occurred at the Farmhouse Motel. On normally staffed patrol shifts officers make it a point to drive through that Shady Rest motel, but on the night of the stabbing/murder no one had done a drive through. This is another case where POLICE VISIBILITY could have possibly deterred a murder.

The citizens in Paso Robles got screwed! App, Solomon, and the City Council signed off on the staff reduction plan essentially GAMBLING that nothing would go wrong in the city until they could hire more bodies. Well they (City Admin) gambled with the lives of two citizens of Paso Robles and lost the gamble big time or should I say those two citizens lost the ULTIMATE gamble their lives because of a lack of police presence.

If the citizens let this one ride they get what they deserve what they get, a bunch of inept people like Picanso, App, and Solomon running the city. I realize Gary Nemeth is making noise nowadays. I am not a fan of Gary but all he is doing is asking the questions that no one wants to. As goofy as he is he does have some inside information as to the inner workings of the city so don’t discount his info.

One of the female suspects in that Farmhouse murder lived (because she is now in jail) directly across the street from my office. I had called the PRPD having witnessed several of her drug deals in my parking lot. Had the PRPD actually responded to any one of my calls, perhaps the deceased would be alive today.

PRPD has the resources to put 2 cruisers on one speeding ticket but can’t be bothered to stop a druggie now charged with murder?

PLEASE vote the entire City Council out of office, get rid of Lisa Solomon, Jim App, and everyone who has allowed Paso to become a feeding ground for gangs and drugs.

Gee Gary, you have me really concerned. What is your solution?

PasoGuy. Here’s the solution. Get a City Manager who’s not inept, and get a decent crime fighting police chief. If you can’t figure that out, then you’re part of the problem. Go talk to the family of the man killed at the laundromat–for no reason– by a vagrant from San Jose that had no reason to be here except that the Police Chief allowed the vagrant population to grow by her own lack of competence and concern about the city. What can you expect from a Police Chief who puts drinking and sex as her number one priority? How many times and ways does she have to prove her incompetence before she is fired?

Gee, Thanks Citizen/Gary

If you are gary, know this :

You are perceived around Paso as a sore loser and a cronic complainer.

It’s always nice when one points out the bad, with a solution to make things better. The city council leaves much to be desired, but not many see Gary Nemeth as a solution to Paso’s problems.

If Gary was smart and wanted to be considered for any position of influence in the city of Paso, he wouild not be a part of this site. He will attract more flies than bees here. Ask Fred Strong about that.

Paso_Guy’s know-it-all attitude make him sound just like our city manager, Jim App. Paso_Guy/Jim thinks he’s the resident expert around here, I guess.

The only locals who perceive Gary Nemeth as a “sore loser/chronic complainer” are perhaps some of our woefully incompetent city council members, the corrupt city manager & police chief and of course, Mike Gibson & his cronies.

Mr. Nemeth has zero to gain by coming foward and speaking the TRUTH. He’s a truthful whistle-blower and as always, it’s easier for critics like Paso_Guy to criticize the messenger since they can’t discredit his message.

No, I’m not Gary and I’ve never even met him in person but I’ve heard him speak many times and know what he’s done to help our community. He served on the council for years and has dealt w/App, the city staff, and various council members who have chosen to blindly look the other way while our city goes down the toilet.

I respect Mr. Nemeth for having the cajones to use his own name in his writings and to publically speak out against our embarrassing, incompetent, and arrogant city manager Jim App & his sidekick, the singing, dancing & groping police chief Lisa Solomon Chitty.

PaSoGuy, know this: Anyone who isn’t grabbing the dicks of subordinates is far and away better than Lisa Solomon and her Enabler-in-Chief, Mr. App.

You cannot get any lower than Lisa Solomon.

LOL! And for that….you get a green check mark!

Mary Maone

I have no use for App, Solomon or the Paso CC. I also have no use for Nemeth.

What would make you think otherwise? The fact that I think Nemeth is a joke doesn’t mean I favor the others.

Is it Ok with you if I have no use for any of them?

Well Paso Guy,

I’m not Gary, and everytime I think that Fred Strong has redeemed himself, he turns around and does something stupid. Did you listen to the City Council meeting last night. Fred is the one who pushed the city council to go forward with the 46 W (Target Center) project. They say we have no money, then commit us to a multi million dollar project. Dumb and dumber at work.