Apology from Supervisor Adam Hill

December 22, 2012

OPINION By SAN LUIS OBISPO SUPERVISOR ADAM HILL

The Tribune was right in strongly admonishing me for my over-the-top attack on Bill Thoma, for which I apologize to Bill, his family and friends, and all those who have worked so hard to best address the crisis of homelessness in our community.

I have too often, and to too many, expressed myself in a manner too offensive. There are no excuses I will hide behind, and my critics and adversaries also deserve my apology and my pledge to adopt a more civil and decent attitude when communicating on any issue.

This holiday season allows me some time for reflection, and already doing so, I do understand the importance of not only better moderating my passions, but of embodying the sort of informed humility we all expect and deserve from our elected officials.

There is much discussion these days in our culture of the dismaying lack of civility, of the corrosive effects of hyper-partisanship and combative approaches to any and all disagreement. I am not sure we have made any tangible advances but we must keep trying.

We must keep trying because the venom that consumes respect and dishonors differences courses through our own community in a variety of ways, and I have thoughtlessly engaged in it with my own spiteful retorts and have surrendered to the temptation to broadcast it when my anger has overcome my judgment.

While I have prided myself on candor, there is a point where that candor becomes an easy justification for behavior that is not acceptable from anyone, be it an elected official or an anonymous commenter.

So I make a whole-hearted and community-wide apology and promise to live up to the moral ideals of a community that rightfully prides itself on friendliness and cooperation.

As to the issue of homelessness, it is of such critical importance that we must work together, more collaboratively, more sincerely, and more generously to better address it. Because it is at a crisis point and the good folks who work everyday to help those in need are overwhelmed.

The Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter is in a terrible state of dilapidation, and the Prado Day Center goes well beyond its capacity in trying to feed people and provide services. Every day and night is a struggle for those who are homeless, for those who help the homeless, and for those who have to deal with the collateral problems that result from our simply not having the necessary resources to deal with the wide variety of challenges.

Currently it is nearly impossible for those who work with the homeless to case manage all the clients that want to regain independence or to provide the needed mental health and substance rehabilitation services. This is true throughout our community, in every town and city.

So no matter what any of our philosophies about dealing with this situation may be, if we are to help people become self-sufficient, if we are to reduce the number of innocent children spending nights sleeping on cots or worse, if we are to experience a true decline in the safety, nuisance, and sanitation issues that arise from the crushing number of homeless people in our community, than it will take much more work, sacrifice, and open-minded collaboration from all who want to see this crisis diminish.

So to that end, again I apologize for my many intemperate remarks to all, and ask that in this season of giving and celebration, we reflect seriously on how best to plan and create a homeless services center that will not only deal with so many of the problems but that also reflects the best values of our community.

There is so much to do, there is so much needed, but if we can come together as partners, as friends, as truly decent and civil fellow citizens, I believe we can make it happen. We have the opportunity before us with a parcel of land that can become one large part of the answer to many of the challenges. It is with sincere humility that I ask that we do it together.


19 Comments

  1. Willow says:

    Looking at Hill’s conduct history – going back to his days teaching – I wouldn’t believe any kind of apology coming out of this megalo-ego-maniac. It’s just a political maneuver to keep himself on the board and a “power button” in his hand (that his ego so desperately needs).
    He obviously has a psychological problem with his own self perception and is a detriment to the public until he gets his ego under control.

    I would HOPE there is someone in his district who’s got it together a bit more than this “fringe” ego maniac that would give the people of this county much better “SERVICE” and RESPECT.

    To all the Hill supporters – it is people like you that are part of the reason why corruption prevails in government – you just can’t/won’t hold anyone on the public dole ACCOUNTABLE for anything they do. Yet, amazingly, you have no problem in allowing these self-serving ego maniacs to IMPOSE their beliefs on others and hold them ACCOUNTABLE for not complying.

    And so the sheeple create and support the bratty, self-serving little demi-gods that they so badly need ’cause after all, they are “sheeple” and by no means EQUAL to the demi-gods they need and create.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Slowerfaster says:

    The previous comments here are very telling.

    Adam Hill states an open apology, and he does iut numerous times throuhout the article.

    Instead of an”apology accepted” and a mutual declaration for civil discourse and a willingness to address this vexing problem in a spirit of co-operation; it is met with more insults and contempt.

    Perhape some of these same voices of reactionary ignorance are what has led to Supervisor Hill lashing out in the first place ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  3. Cicero says:

    Mr. Hill complains about society’s eroding civility. Hill has yet to change his behavior, or curb his undeserved attacks on good people. We must conclude that he is unwilling to change.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 36 Thumb down 6

  4. Paso_citizen says:

    Adam’s futile effort at an apology should be taken for exactly what it is – BS. His track record of these type of actions has defined him very well – a self-centered, small-time politician who has no purpose being in an elected office.

    My guess is that the only reason he put out this ‘apology’ was becuase other members of the B of S had a little talk with him; but it will have no lasting effect. You can not teach an old dog new tricks and Adam Hill has shown too many times exactly how he feels about anybody that may question his perceived authority.

    If he had any real remorse for his statements, he would resign immediately. Unfortunately he does not and will not. I would give it about 2 weeks max and everyone will again see his true colors.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 7

  5. Myself says:

    This may not be the thread to throw this out in, but there was a place where the homeless could go and get some help and were off our streets but for a couple people the BOS and other govt agencys rammed their nose into Duvals shelter and made life misrable for all involved, now the agencys want to put something together to help out.
    Yes I know Dan doesn’t work well with others but he did have a place for these people to go and ran a fairly decent ship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

    • kayaknut says:

      Yes, but Deval’s main problem was Christine Mulholland, she didn’t like looking out her expensive house just to see Devals property, and she has friends in high places, so Devals was in for a big fight.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

      • SLOBIRD says:

        It’s true about Christine. Every sense she was Councilwoman in SLO she has been after this guy and his property. It disturbs her views from her home. Then of course, we have Dee Torres, CAPSLO Homeless Coordinator who Adam left his wife for and are not partnered. The whole thing is a scam with the BOS, SLO Council, CAPS, Dee Torres, Prado Day Care Ctr, SLO Police, and of course the Democratic Party. This is a County issue… Either split it up amongst the cities or build it in the County, like out near the airport. Lots of County owned property out there. SLO transportation runs at out, and very little damage these people can do.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  6. korie says:

    “So no matter what any of our philosophies about dealing with this situation may be, if we are to help people become self-sufficient, if we are to reduce the number of innocent children spending nights sleeping on cots or worse, if we are to experience a true decline in the safety, nuisance, and sanitation issues that arise from the crushing number of homeless people in our community, than it will take much more work, sacrifice, and open-minded collaboration from all who want to see this crisis diminish.”

    Not surprisingly, you are able to be quite eloquent, Mr Hill. Perhaps this is why I was once a supporter. I’m even willing to step back and hope that you can follow through on what seems to be a heartfelt promise. At the same time, I wonder if YOU are truly able to be open-minded on this issue. Have you not completely decided upon a course of action to solve this problem? Are you able to entertain the possibility that those of us who have concerns about a 200 bed shelter are NOT heartless, selfish, self-absorbed but maybe have different life experiences that lead us to believe you are not addressing a root cause but are instead bringing a much larger problem to our community without the resources to actually do much to help?

    I believe Dee Torres herself has acknowledged that a growing number of people tapping into services are coming here from out of the area. How much has the problem grown over the past five years? How many of these people are truly motivated toward gaining self-sufficiency? How can we keep children from sleeping on cots without enabling dysfunction in adults?

    I provided health care to the homeless in SLO 6 years ago. Going in, I was idealistic and, indeed, there were clients who were legitimately in need of a hand. Unfortunately, not only were they overshadowed by the large number of people who were choosing a lifestyle but they tended to ultimately avoid services because of the culture the lifestyle choosers brought. My patients schooled me on all of the different communities in California and exactly which services were offered where. They openly recommended various counties to the wanderers they met at Prado — based on weather, generosity when “signing”, and access to food and shelter with minimal expectations in return.

    The most disturbing aspect of my one year stint at Prado/Maxine Lewis was the lack of legitimate access to functional drug rehabilitation and psychiatric care. It was heartbreaking to watch a few patients try so hard to get sober in that environment. It was even harder to see people reach out for psychiatric care only to have a two month wait if they were lucky enough to get a referral at all. HIPPA prevents me from being fully forthcoming but suffice it to say that there are people in our community who have suffered tremendous loss due to a system that was too dysfunctional to address the needs of a mentally ill man crying out for help. It’s happening all over the country. I personally don’t see the point in inviting more until that void is filled.

    I now work at ASH where it is SAFER.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 5

    • scottabeer says:

      Fort Hunter Liggett, CA. is the largest US Army Reserve Command post with over 165,000 acres. FHL is located in the central coast of California, 150 miles south of San Francisco and 250 miles north of Los Angeles.

      There are countless empty buildings there. Suppose someone can move in there IF they agree to paint and maintain their building, agree to mental health evaluations and take courses to learn a trade.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        That is a good thought but I would imagine the bureaucratic processes alone would be enough to sink it. Then there are the costs of giving the treatment and training to those who could benefit from it. Finally, would the isolation of Hunter-Liggett make it more difficult to reintegrate into normal society?

        Still, if there was political support, it might be a good location to which people could go who were truly committed to rehabilitation and retraining. The harsh summertime climate and isolation would discourage the unmotivated. Hopefully, it might also deter the drug dealers and others who prey upon addicts. It could also help those from Monterey County and be expanded to those from other areas beyond if it proved successful.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      • Laughlines says:

        Other people have tried to float this idea with Camp Roberts or Camp SLO. The problem, and I’ve been to all three posts, is that they are actually all quite busy with a military mission. There are vehicles, aircraft, ranges, etc., all going every day. There are no “vacant” buildings that can be made habitable anytime soon, and anyway, it’s a local problem, not the military’s problem. Camp Roberts has Guard units from all over the western U.S. and territories including Guam and U.S.V.I. coming to train up for deployment. It’s not really fair to dump another problem on the military simply because civilian politicians get tired and wash their hands of it. Caring for the local down-and-out is properly a local responsibility. The Guard and Reserve have enough to do as it is. They can’t have a bunch of drugged-up, drunked-up homeless people wandering around getting in the way of training. Sounds harsh, but there it is. This mess needs to be cleaned up exclusively on the civilian side. The military is not the nanny of last resort.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

        • SLOBIRD says:

          While your point is legitimate, the problem the problem is not the City of SLO either. The County Of SLO I has encouraged this for years, it is a County problem, not SLO City Police resources, but the Sheriff’s Dept, not the SLO Fire Dept resources, but cal Fire, not SLO City ongoing funding ambulance, City services, cleanup, etc. On Cuesta Campus, the old section in the back has several buildings for this project. These people do not need a Taj Mahal, they need a dry place to sleep, eat, get therapy, ca job, and move on. We do not need palaces for the political posturing of all these losers feeding off the taxpayers. Feed, treat, rehab, move on.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • Pelican1 says:

        Hunter Liggett, Camp Roberts, and Camp San Luis are either federally or state owned properties. In order for any of the facilities to accommodate the homeless, the property, or portions thereof, would have to be declared excess. That won’t happen.
        With respect to Camp Roberts, most of the cantonment area is currently being demolished. that which remains, is actively used, although sometimes periodically, and is fully utilized during AT periods.
        Camp San Luis simply has NO available quarters as most buildings are used for administrative training of soldiers.
        Both state and federal discretionary funding does NOT support such endeavors as homeless facilities, but rather, the training of military personnel, in order for them to be the best trained soldiers in time of need.
        In addition, since 911, all three of these facilities are guarded installations required to remain at a certain THREATCON security level 24/7. Providing a shelter, could in fact compromise that federal mandate.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        • Laughlines says:

          Well, we certainly disagree on some other issues, but on this issue we may be more closely aligned. So, in the spirit of reconciliation for the New Year, I gave you the first “like” on your comment. Happy New Year.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Yes, this is much more of an apology and I hope he means it. However, it is late enough in his political career that I am skeptical that he can follow through even if does intend to do so. I guess this is “wait and see” time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  7. givemeabreak says:

    blahhhhhh….blah…..blahhhhhhhhh….Adam Hill you are as useless as your sidekick Gibson.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 35 Thumb down 6

  8. Bored Watcher says:

    Adam has been recusing himself from votes on homeless issues for at least year now. He doesn’t say why he’s leaving the dais, as is customary, but is likely stepping down out of an “abundance of caution” to avoid any possible perception that a “personal friendship” is causing him to favor one prospective grantee over another grantee.
    So, instead of 5 Supervisors, there are now only 4 speaking to these very important issues and Adam is glaringly absent in representing his constituents (including much of the San Luis Obispo City area).
    Adam cannot vote due to his relationship with Torres; rendering him impotent.

    Adam should be CENSURED, his foot keeps ending up in his mouth, embarrassing the Board and they are sick of it. 

    Better yet, grab Gibson and get the helloutta there. RESIGN!!!!

    cen·sure [sen-sher] Show IPA noun, verb, cen·sured, cen·sur·ing.
    noun
    1. strong or vehement expression of disapproval: The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the tax proposal.
    2. an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.

    verb (used with object)
    3. to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner: She is more to be pitied than censured.

    verb (used without object)
    4. to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 10

    • Pelican1 says:

      Bruce and Adam went up the hill
      To fetch a pail of votes
      Bruce fell down and broke his crown
      And Adam came tumbling after

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

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