Gibson and Hill ploy leads to cancellation of APCD meeting

July 24, 2013

Bruce GibsonThe San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District cancelled its board meeting scheduled for Wednesday following a late and likely politically strategic decision by Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill not to attend.

Gibson and Hill likely would have been part of the minority voting block if the meeting occurred, due to planned absences of other board members. By choosing not to attend, Gibson and Hill prevented the board from achieving a quorum needed to hold the meeting.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx, Morro Bay Councilman Noah Smukler and Arroyo Grand Councilman Joe Costello, who each tend to vote with Gibson and Hill, announced prior to this week that neither they, nor their alternates would attend the meeting Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the APCD cancelled the meeting when it determined the board could not reach a quorum. To achieve a quorum, seven of the 12 board members must be present.

The board is currently missing one member due to the death of Supervisor Paul Teixeira, so, entering this week, eight board members planned to attend the meeting.

APCD board clerk Kim Johnson would not indicate when or why Gibson and Hill announced that they planned not attend the meeting. Johnson said district staff completed polling board members Monday on whether or not they planned to attend. She also said that she believed both Gibson and Hill spoke with Air Pollution Control Officer Larry Allen by phone.

Both Gibson and Hill attended Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Wednesday’s APCD agenda included a vote on a proposal to levy $49,420 of air monitoring fees on the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The APCD is currently battling state parks to implement the Oceano Dunes dust rule, which would require the state agency to reduce the amount of particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes to the Nipomo Mesa or pay fines of $1,000 a day to the air district.

If the meeting occurred Wednesday, the board likely would have voted down the proposed fees and may have placed a repeal of the dust rule on a future agenda. The majority of the board members who planned to attend the meeting often vote against proposed APCD regulations. One of the members of that voting block, Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson, recently campaigned to repeal the dust rule.

However, by the time the board meets again in September, Peterson may no longer be a member of the regulatory body.

Earlier this month, Peterson requested that the other members of the Grover Beach council join her in opposition to the implementation of the dust rule. Peterson’s fellow council members chose not to do so and instead decided to consider replacing her on the APCD board.

The Grover Beach council is scheduled to determine whether or not Peterson remains on the APCD board at an August 5 council meeting.

On Tuesday, Peterson sent an email stating Gibson and Hill were working to remove her from the board.

“Both Hill and Gibson have been petitioning the Grover Beach City Council to remove me from the APCD board,” Peterson wrote. “If I am removed as the APCD representative, Hill and Gibson may be able to restore their majority by the next APCD meeting.”

 


19 Comments

  1. Kevin Rice says:

    Supervisors are not paid $80,000/yr. to hide, sleep in and scuttle meetings dozens have cleared their calendars to attend. Numerous items of business were on the agenda, the district is operating without a budget, and thousands of dollars were wasted preparing staff reports. Many routine items should have been taken care of yesterday which will now double-up and cause a marathon meeting in September. Some board members often have to leave early, so will this now carry into November? Two items on yesderday’s agenda were already deferred from May! Ridiculous.

    These two crooks should be HONEST about why they no-showed. If it is proper and upstanding to play this kind of game SAY IT OUT LOUD. The excuse being floated by spin artists does not fly unless Hill and Gibson act like grown men and say it themselves. If these losers scuttled the meeting purposely, say it. Don’t jack us around with lies.

    Hill/Gibson should have attended, and should have let the regular, uncontroversial business get done. They could have advocated to defer the controversial items. If they had done so, then they would be in an upstanding position to point fingers at the rest of the board. They are not in an upstanding position because they hid at the eleventh hour.

    Or, Hill/Gibson could have walked out on the disputed items if they believe game-playing is the proper tactic. Then, at least the regular business and budget could have been addressed. Then, at least they would be honestly dealing with the public. They are not honest. They are dirty politicians.

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    • WiserGuy says:

      You are misleading readers, again, Kevin. The work that went into the “reports” that you speak of as being wasted was in fact not “wasted”, but used for the following meeting.

      What would have been wrong is to allow a vote to be ramrodded through the board when key people on the board were on vacation and could not participate. Kevin, you were hoping to make that dirty deed happen but didn’t count on Hill sitting out in order to scuttle the voting. What was wrong was not canceling the meeting when it was known long beforehand that Smukler, and Marx couldn’t make the meeting.
      All this was was typical political gamesmanship and in this case you were outmaneuvered and are now trying your best, with the help of mindless pawns and tools, to turn this into a sheeeit storm and leverage it for his own selfish purposes.

      Kevin, you have a lot of energy. Consider trying to channel it into more positive and productive pursuits and then, perhaps, you wouldn’t suffer so many embarrassing political failures. If you are dead set on working in the political world, try helping others rather than simply trying to boost your own interests.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  2. WiserGuy says:

    Kevin Rice was politically out maneuvered once again! And now he is crying like a baby. Time for him to suck it up and get real.

    There is no way that APCD meeting should have been held without Smukler, who happens to be one of the wisest and most ethical politicians San Luis Obispo County has ever known.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 19

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