Adam Hill gets lectured on the First Amendment
October 20, 2011
The public comment period during this week’s San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting turned into a lecture on the First Amendment for 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill. [New Times]
Hill shut down comments from Los Osos activist Linde Owen during the Oct. 11 meeting. Owen said she came to the meeting to address her concerns about a lax investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship between county Public Works director Paavo Ogren and former Los Osos CSD board member Maria Kelly–the official county report found “no conflict of interest.”
Owen and Hill argued throughout the entire three minutes allotted to public speakers. During the exchange, Owen’s microphone was cut off and she was escorted away from the lectern by a county sheriff’s deputy who for the past 10 months has been stationed in the back of the Board of Supervisors Chambers during public comment.
Owen and others from Los Osos returned this week to condemn Hill’s actions, many of whom cited the Ralph M. Brown Act which established rules for public comment at government meetings. Several of the speakers called on Hill, who last summer had to publicly apologize to COLAB executive director Mike Brown, to issue another apology.
“The allegations that did not come out of my microphone last week … on the combination of what happens when a CSD member takes up close relationship with the head of Public Works and they both have influence on the [Los Osos sewer] project,” Owen said. “That’s where the investigation should have gone, and anyone in their right mind would not have let this county investigate themselves.”
Hill, who is up for re-election in 2012, sat quietly through the remarks and did not comment.
When asked for a comment by New Times, Hill responded by email. “I am not much interested in spending any more time on Ms. Owen.”