Change Paso is getting to work

April 10, 2012


There are many problems facing Paso Robles these days, and most of them have been caused by poor management in an environment where cronyism thrives, said the co-chairperson of a new group with “change” high in its agenda.

Karen Daniels, an insurance executive who has seen downtown Paso Robles’s infrastructure crumble to what she called “an embarrassment” since she opened her Spring Street office 16 years ago, leads Change Paso Robles Now, or CPRN2012, with co-chair Sally Reynolds.

Daniels cited diminished police services, terrible downtown streets, an ancient water treatment system, and a powerless panel of city council members for most of the problems.

“The city’s own objectives have not been met,” she said Monday. “Officials claim to be making efforts to maintain public dialogue, but I see no evidence of that happening. They claim elected officials ‘pride themselves’ on being available to the public. Again, not true. And they claim this is a well-organized city — the evidence speaks volumes to the contrary.”

Police services have been pared down by more than a third, with only 0.9 officers per thousand residents. By contrast, she noted, the county average is 1.8 officers per 1,000, and Pismo Beach has 2.2 per 1,000. The police department initiated a “safe mode” recently, which calls for limited response to 911 calls, and which was planned and initiated in total secrecy.

“The leadership of our department is suspect, too, ” she said, pointing to the recent departure of Lisa Solomon, the former chief of police who collected $250,000 and golden retirement benefits after news reports of her alleged sexual behavior on the job and her spotty management methods.

“Our city officials too often act autonomously, and ignore input from the residents,” Daniels said. “And there is an attitude around City Hall that the people of the city are to be tolerated, not served. Frankly, we are very tired of that attitude.”

Daniels noted that Jim App, the city’s manager, has been in his job for more than 16 years. “His arrogance is indicative of someone not realizing their place as a public servant,” Daniels said. “The people of this city run this city, and that is what these folks (currently in office) need to understand. We certainly understand it.”

“We live in a city where tourism is very important, and the condition of our streets in the downtown area is just pitiful,” she said. “While top management of the city is getting bloated, self-serving salaries, the city crumbles around us.”

Daniels said CPRN2012 will advocate that a new police chief not be hired until after the November elections, when two council members and the mayor are up for reelection.

“And we do not plan to support any new tax revenue until there are new people in those key seats of government, whom we can trust to use any new revenues in a proper manner,” she added. “Mayor Duane Picanco himself said he heard comment from citizens of Paso Robles that they do not trust their city council with their money! If the mayor can say that at a city meeting, there is definitive merit to it. We need to be able to trust who spends our money, and where it is being spent.”

The new group already has nearly a hundred members and is growing steadily, Daniels said.

“It’s quite obvious that many other people in this community share our concerns,” Daniels said. “We plan to make a huge impact. The people are the authority in this city. We are taking back Paso Robles!”

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This is such a great article!

This CPRN2012 goals is very wise:

“And we do not plan to support any new tax revenue until there are new people in those key seats of government, whom we can trust to use any new revenues in a proper manner,” she added. “Mayor Duane Picanco himself said he heard comment from citizens of Paso Robles that they do not trust their city council with their money! If the mayor can say that at a city meeting, there is definitive merit to it. We need to be able to trust who spends our money, and where it is being spent.”

It sends chills down my spine to think how quickly app and the current city council could squander the increased tax funds on, or commit it to projects by, their cronies.

Great article, Dan and Danika!

Love this part!

Daniels said CPRN2012 will advocate that a new police chief not be hired until after the November elections, when two council members and the mayor are up for reelection.

I think it would be wise to specify that a search for a new chief, negotiations, and anything else that has to do with hiring a new chief, be put off until AFTER the election.

It does no good if they spend tens of thousands of dollars on a personnel search for the new chief when the new city government, after the elections, may want to have different criteria for the chief, etc.

BCP is moving to Shandon??? Don’t they have enough to deal with already? He should fit in quite nicely, while we fix Paso!

It is encouraging that people are willing to step up and try to make a difference in Paso Robles. Things do need to change. When we first moved to Paso it was the “Can do” community that valued its roots, history and people. Those values still exist in the people of Paso Robles but have been eroded by arrogant management, ineffective administration and poor planning for the future. We have incredible blessings. A beautiful place to live that is envied by many, a broad economic base, a desirable place to visit, great weather and great location. If we can’t make the best of this then we only have ourselves to blame.

I believe that if people in Paso Robles want change they need to make change.

CPRN2012 is a start. My only concern is our approach. I heard Sally Reynolds at the Council meeting public comments and I have to say that she did not come over well. I don’t know what the reaction was at the meeting, but listening to her comments on the radio, she came off as rude. She effectively accused the City Council of being in the hot tub with Soloman. Sorry to be critical Sally,but we can do better than that.

I am also concerned that CPRN2012 remains independent of political or media influences. It would not be beneficial to our cause to have a particular politician or news media behind this effort.

Go out and do good. We need it.

Thank you.

4paso, I did not accuse anybody. I just asked if anybody else was there besides Soloman and her Officers. I did not get an answer either. Only the Mayor Duane Picanco answered and said he did not know who was there but he wasn’t there.

People who do not want to come forward at city hall meetings have provided questions they would like answered. We said we would be their voice. Since this question came up several times,I had to ask it.

I was just trying to get basic questions answered. If I sounded “rude”, I am sorry.

4paso, I decided to add the concerns of why the question was asked about the attendees of the Superbowl 2008 Team Building Weekend.

If it was a team building exercise only Soloman and her Officers would have been there.

If it was a weekend Get-A-Way for Superbowl and others were there at Taxpayers expense,that would have been a gross misuse of our taxpayers dollars.

You would be correct if you assume we do not trust our city officials .We do not..

The comments on App’s compensation were right on! The other comment just did not come off well although it was a fair question. Picanco sounded very awkward. Wish I could have seen his face.

Keep asking the questions. I did not mean to be too critical. Thank you!

4 paso- thanks. Regarding the salary of Mr App whether he gets fired or terminated, he would still receive his full pay for 12 months. Why would the city council sign something like this which is so damaging to the taxpayers. This salary comes very close to the Soloman payout. How many more contracts like this are there? That is the million dollar question.

Thanks for bringing this to light. I have heard this but sounds like you have researched the contract.

Don’t worry, you didn’t sound rude. It was clear you were there for answers. Good job.

“I am also concerned that CPRN2012 remains independent of political or media influences.”

Perhaps you might elucidate as to what you mean here, this statement sounds rather odd as we aren’t talking about a self interest committee that can be bought by special interests. This is a home grown effort on the part of CPRN2012 and any funds they raise will obviously be grass roots donations. Also since when does media influence a grass roots organization, isn’t it usually the other way around ?

I heard that Nemeth was backing this group and that CalCoast News was helping to sponsor the group. If that is not true then I am on board. This needs to be an independent group if we are going to have credibility.

“I heard”–really? Who is your source? And what is your point?

A political action group cannot control who supports, and who criticizes, them.

4paso says: “and that CalCoast News was helping to sponsor the group”

No, CCN is not sponsoring any groups, another untrue rumor.

4paso…. Cal Coast News does not sponsor this group.This group is independant. we have a small core group of five people and I can also assure you Nemeth/ CCN are not part of our core group. Like many Paso Robles residents, Nemeth also has concerns and has sent us some of those concerns.

I have never met anybody from CCN. I was once called by CCN to ask for my comments prior to a story being written by them. I would not even be able to identify any CCN people if they walked up to me on the street.

Join the hundreds of people that have signed up with us at Every day it gets bigger and bigger.

We have our core group and we have our followers. We are completely independant!

You heard that “that CalCoast News was helping to sponsor the group.”

Do you mean by carrying CPRN2012 story, they appear to be sponsors? If so, then I guess the Tribune is also “sponsoring” this group. The Tribune did a rather “snazzy” job of it yesterday if I might say so myself. CPRN2012 was their feature article of the day with a big photo of the CPRN2012 badge that supporters are sporting around town.

CPRN2012 is NEWS and media likes news.

I “heard” that same rumor. Nemeth is not backing this group, Cal Coast News is not helping sponsor this group any more than KCOY, KSBY, or The Tribune. With that in mind, welcome aboard!

Great post, Cindy.

I think the poster is just looking for high-minded sounding issues with witch to criticize CPRN2012.

To voice “concern” about the possibility of a group remaining “independent or media influences,” when the group was specifically formed because those in the group wanted to change the way politics are conducted in Paso Robles, is just hot air.

The group is dealing with politics. Therefore, most of what it does will be impacted by current politics in PR, and working towards a change in those politics.

PRECISELY! Well said. Thanks MM.

What agenda are you serving, 4 Paso? Your previous post says you support a 4 term mayor, Gilman and Hamon:

4paso says:

03/09/2012 at 10:11 pm

“…You kind of get it but don’t give Council any credit. Agreed, City Staff have run the show for a long time. The tide is turning. Thank goodness. That is why we need leadership. A four year term for a Mayor could help with less distraction of elections. However, we need someone in there that gets it. We have not had a leader since Mecham. Still, Hamon and Gilman have shown that they will not put up with less than professional performance. This is a good.

I hope you are right and that we have some strong candidates for mayor and council. It is time.”

Hamon and Gilman spoke to the Trib about Solomon saying she would have been terminated had she not resigned. They then redacted their statements and laid on the sweet love for the former Police Chief to the point of ad naseum.

Is coming off with a hidden agenda worse than coming across rude? HELL YEAH! Speak on, Sally!

If I were CPRN I’d check this guys “cause” very carefully. Sounds like a Jim App fan to me.

4paso, I agree w/your first paragraph 100%. Paso is a town full of hard-working citizens and hundreds of volunteers that work hard to improve our community.

I also listened to the council mtg last wk & didn’t think Ms. Reynolds sounded rude at all. She spoke directly and succinctly. Over the radio, I could hear the discomfort in Picanco’s voice when he responded to her questions. The mayor & councilmen just aren’t used to answering any pointed inquiries. I actually liked to hear them squirm a bit. The light of truth is getting pointed at the city’s management & I doubt they like it very much at all!

Next council mtg, it would be great if CPRN2012 brings a few questions directed to city mgr Jim App. The first could be why he did not put ex-chief Lisa on paid admin leave *immediately* after the allegations were made. The second would be where did the quarter of a million dollar payout money come from? The general fund? So we can pay off a disgraced police chief but we can’t open Centennial Pool? Or fix our pathetic roads? Or hire more cops?

It is easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize those who are doing the heavy lifting in bringing change to the currently dysfunctional cronyfied PR city government.

Perhaps you should join the group, go to the meetings, and voice your concerns there? Or, better yet, volunteer to do public outreach yourself.

It’s truly wonderful to hear that CPRN2012 is growing and beginning to jell. It takes courage and resolve to stand-up in the current climate. I salute you all. I have three points I hope you consider.

First make sure you have members of CPRN2012 who truly understand political strategy. It would be tragic if you worked hard, backed solid candidates and the vote ended-up being split amongst too many candidates allowing sewage to seep back into the council chambers.

Before supporting any candidate review them carefully under an electron microscope. They gotta be beyond reproach.

Everything you do must be very open and above-board. The last thing you want to be viewed as is a political machine. You might even note that once CPRN2012 has realized its goals, it will cease to exist.

Good luck!

Solid advice.

Crusader, thank you for your input. It is extremely valuable and well received. Know that we are very well informed and absolutely going to be something to keep an interested eye on as these weeks/months roll into the election. Our strength comes from our core members, in addition to those persons who have become our informed group members. We are all very much the things you mentioned. We have discussed the end game, when our organization will cease to exist. We are actually looking forward to the election, the results, and the acknowledgement that people do indeed STILL matter.

I encourage you to join our subscriber list to get the inside view to our organization if you have not already done so. ALL people are welcome to join us, not just those who live or have businesses inside Paso Robles. Blessings.

Contrary to CPRN2012 ceasing to exist once its goals are achieved, I think another group should be formed which serves as an organized PR city-government watchdog group (i.e., a citizen oversight committee) to keep PR residents informed of city government problems.

The current city government did not evolve in a vacuum, and the environment that allowed the PR city government to degenerate into such a cronyfied, self-serving, corrupt mess will not magically disappear with a change in the city council members and/or key staff-management people, such as app.

The current PR cronies have invested a lot into making the city council and app their puppets, and they won’t just go away with a change in city government.

They will try to corrupt the new government and, if that does not work, they will start using their resources to line up a slate of puppet candidates for the next election.

Part of the environment that allowed this corruption to become institutionalized in Paso Robles was the lack of citizen oversight. The importance of an organized citizen oversight committee, completely separate from PR city government, will be vital in ensuring that any change brought about in the election does not disappear once the election is over.


I have been one of the people involved in the early stages of CPRN.

I always thought this organization would be the citizens oversite committee you have refered to.

Our job won’t be finished after our next election, whatever the outcome.

We (us citizens) are just as responsible for the problems we let happen to our city through our

apathy and not staying informed. WE are still going to have to be involve after the next election.

It is painfully obvious to me that there is a certain amount of responsibility we all must share if we expect our government runs properly.

If CPRN isn’t going to be the citizen oversite committee we need, then where do I sign up for that one.

It seems logical to me that the CPRN2012 group continue as the oversight group. To have two groups would be sending mixed messages, duplicating the work unnecessarily, etc.

When I said “another group,” in my mind I was thinking about the name of the group being “new” or different than the “2012” group. CPRN2012 sounds like it is limited to the 2012 election.

I was a little concerned with that when we named it, oh well………………..

CPRN2012 was formed in 2012, hence the 2012 part!

It is common for political action groups to have an unbrella group (i.e., CPRN) and then add the year number for each election push. Most groups’ activities ebb and flow, with election time being the more “flowy” times.

Whatever. I think it is best to not have to explain a name more than once. Maybe that’s because I have a short attention span. =)

OK children, let’s keep our eyes on the subject. Get rid of the deadwood on the City Council and the rest of the City Administration. What’s too hard to remember about that?

CCOutrage, When replying to an individual, you need to hit the reply button that is attached to their post. Otherwise this can get confusing especially for new readers.

Submitted on 2012/04/10 at 8:38 am



BCP, You are full of it. Take your anger and misdirection elsewhere. I know several folks who have become involved in this group.

Now.. back to what I was going to say originally. I am so proud of all the CPRN folks for standing up and doing what they think is right for this community.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

moderator said:

lets keep the outrage nested under the offending comment and not create a off topic thread .

!!! or ???



said as a reply to CalCoast Outrage:

Submitted on 2012/04/10 at 4:56 pm

CalCoastOutrage: I cannot respond to your comment as that option isn’t available but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak up for CPRN. We appreciate your support. : )

(Thanks, Moderator, for allowing me to do this)

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

you’re welcome, please understand that the comment at the top of the scroll”should” be about the article. To reply to a specific comment use the handy reply button under the comment you wish to reply to.

Moderator, yes I know this. But there was no “REPLY” option showing for CALCOASTOutrage post for me to use. Thanks.

I applaud the people, especially the leaders, that have stepped up to improve Paso Robles.

Interesting article. I e-mailed CPRN2012 last week to see if either Gary Nemeth or Dan DelCampo were involved with this group……..the reply from a guy named Jim said that he Karen and Sally are IT for now. Not very impressive at this early date.


What difference does it make if Dan Delcampo or Gary Nemeth are involved with CPRN2012. I don’t personally know everybody who has responded to our web site. Does that make their opinion any less important or valid? I don’t think so.

Hi Joseph,

There are only a few of us trying to organize this group, Karen, Sally and myself, jim. They may have registered their Email address at our WEB site so we can communicate with them through Email.

Thanks for your interest.


—– Original Message —–

From: Joseph Denver

Sent: 03/28/12 09:31 AM



I’m interested in your group, but need to know if either Dan Del Campo or Gary Nemeth are involved.



I guess you don’t remember the above e-mail

I asked about Nemeth and del Campo because I wouldn’t support either, and wanted to know if your little group did.

Fair enough?

BCP reflects the kind of goofy thinking that often dooms legitimate efforts to change the status quo. He won’t do it to CPRN2012. His long-distance comments are usually irrelevant, as they are today.

I doubt that BCP even lives in Paso Robles, he pulled the same thing in A-Town making a big deal about the candidates who ran on platforms of transparency like Mike Brennler and Ellen Beraud. He is just a “$hit disturber”.

I wouldn’t waste a keystroke on him if I were leading CPRN2012 , he is out to create a distraction, nothing more.


I Remember it,

It isn’t any more important now than when you asked before…………….

I love the net, so easy to misread anything one has to say.

Point is, I wasn’t asking the question because is was important to you or anyone else, i asked beacause it was important to me, to know who CPRN2012 supports….do you and your group support Neneth?

You didn’t ask who they were supporting, did you? NO – you asked a different ambiguous question all together. Anyone who has signed up is involved aren’t they? Don’t start with your games, I’ll be reminding everybody about how you entertain yourself every time you start to undermine this organizations cause.

Hey! I think he’s trying to undermine CPRN2012!

So what does he do to entertain himself?

Oh God I hate this but agree with Cindy, you didn’t ask if the group supports those guys. Whether or not they are involved shouldn’t really matter. If you believe in what the group stands for then you shouldn’t care if there are few a people involved that you don’t care for.

I asked Neneth a fair and simple question in this forum that he couldn’t be bothered to answer so that also turned me off of him but if I lived in Paso that wouldn’t stop me from joining a group simply because he was involved in it.

TQ, we really do want the views, advice, and information from all sources, not just those who reside in Paso Robles. Feel free to join us and give us your input.

PJ, I suggest ignoring BCP. If the best it (BCP) can do to criticize you is attempt to establish a “guilt-by-association” argument–AT WHICH IT HAS FAILED–y’all are doing just great!

BCP – The elections are still 8 months away and currently, it is unknown which citizens will step up to throw their hats into the ring and serve their community . Isn’t is more important to learn which candidates that CPRN2012 will be supporting rather than which citizens/candidates are supporting “Change Paso Robles 2012” ?

Frankly, I would expect any one worth voting for to be supporting CPRN2012.

BTW – Its my experience that business merchants and prominent individuals/organizations who donate to high profile causes for change often ask to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. I have no doubt that CPRN2012 will also be supported by those who fear the “wrath” and will request anonymity, its perfectly understandable, so get off your high horse if they don’t release a complete list of their supporters as the elections approach. I don’t know if this will be the case with this PAC but I fully anticipate that they will encounter these types of concerns.

Well, I’m selling my homes in paso and Atascadero and moving to Shandon!

GOOD, take app and the city council with you.

Who cares?

Cindy, we anticipate these concerns and are prepared to address them when the time comes. Thank you for your help and support!


Do not underestimate CPRN2012. We have quite a following and some very influential people behind us. We choose to hold things close until the time is right, but no worries, whether you are impressed or not……….Change is coming to Paso Robles.

Just remember, the Black Copter will be monitoring your every move. Be careful who you support!

You just keep packing, BCP. After all, you need to get ready for your big move to Shandon.

Let the Paso residents take care of things here.

BCP, monitor away. We welcome it.

: )

LOL. You can’t form a guilt-by-association attack on the group (by blaming them based on whether or not you like their individual supporters), so you threaten them with future guilt-by-association attacks.

BCP, let me clarify this for you. The “core” members of CPRN2012 have not discussed candidates as we are very busy working toward growth and delivery of our mission. We are backing no one at this time. Our core members are comprised of many people of which include Jim, Sally, and myself. But there are others we consider “core” members. Neither of the men you mention are included in our “core” members list. For futher clarification, Sally and I are co-chairpersons of CPRN2012.Org.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this for you.

I trust this brings closure to your concerns. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at We will respond promptly.

And, in case you don’t know, I am Karen Daniels.

Oh, for crying out loud.

The group is in its formation stage. I know Karen Daniels has a full-time commitment to her own business, and the other two probably have previously established time commitments, as well.

Volunteer if you think they are understaffed.

Its easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize those doing the heavy-lifting.

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