Gilman may not defend Paso Robles council post

May 23, 2012

Nick Gilman


First-term Paso Robles City Council member Nick Gilman said Tuesday he is uncertain if he will try to protect his council seat in November, saying, “I have been disappointed by my inability to help.”

Gilman, fellow council member Fred Strong, and Mayor Duane Picanco each face reelection in the fall.

Emphasizing that he is still considering options, Gilman told CalCoastNews he has been “surprised and perhaps naive to learn how little influence individual council members have.” He said he believes the council has been able to accomplish “very little” during the past three and a half years. And over time, he added, “I have become less enthusiastic.”

“But there’s no negative slant on anything… it’s just a lot more points of view pushing in different directions,” Gilman said.

Gilman, an architect and former member of the Paso Robes Planning Commission, found himself embroiled recently in a controversial public defense of former Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon-Chitty. That was after The Tribune reported that the council would have “forced her (Solomon-Chitty) out” if she did not depart her position willingly.

Solomon-Chitty has been accused by former and current police officers of sexual assault and administrative wrongdoing, such as ordering unlawful traffic ticket quotas, and retaliation against certain officers. In an agreement with the city, the 43-year-old Solomon-Chitty took “early retirement” and accepted a $250,000 payout.

City officials justified the amount by claiming her reputation had been irreparably damaged by online news reports of her behavior. She has withdrawn a subsequent disability claim — one that city officials had agreed not to contest.

Gilman and council peer John Hamon objected to the assertion that the council would have pushed Solomon-Chitty out. In a “Viewpoint” commentary published by the daily on March 28, Gilman wrote, “My comments [to a reporter] were meant to convey that the atmosphere caused by the on-line attacks were making it extraordinarily difficult for Lisa, and I was being sympathetic. I have had, and still have, the utmost respect for Lisa and the way she ran the police department.”

Hamon and Gilman jointly penned this comment: “What became clear over the last two months was that the allegations regarding, and especially the online rumors, speculation, and attacks on Chief Solomon were making it increasingly difficult for her — as well as other city officials — to attend to the management of city business.”

Gilman’s was one of five still-secret votes on the issue of Solomon-Chitty’s departure package, and that could cause him grief in a reelection campaign.

He said he did not relish “the process of running… campaigning is no fun.” And, he noted, political campaigns are getting more and more expensive, “even in a little community like Paso Robles. You can’t ask for [campaign] money without someone wanting something in return, and I don’t want to feel obligated.”


Dear Mr. Gilman:

I’ll tell you what’s “not fun anymore.” How about daily driving my kids around town on absolutely CRAPPY streets with no painted lines, faded red curbs, and potholes the size of basketballs.

Or what’s really “not fun anymore” is wondering if peasants like us will be allowed to swim at Centennial Pool this summer or will it be closed down again….

And, Mr. Gilman, it’s REALLY “not fun anymore” knowing that your pal Jim App is up for a raise soon and your other pal Lisa Solomon Chitty screwed Paso residents out of a quarter of a million bucks for her so-called “tarnished reputation.”

Yeah–Chittygate was REALLY not fun, Mr. Gilman. YOU and the other councilmen allowed Jim App and Lovely Lisa the Karaoke Meter Maid to run the whole show for a few months while you 5 sat idly by claiming there was just nothing you could do or you really just didn’t know anything. In the immortal words of your co-councilmen and our bumbling mayor. “Uh….that’s news to me!!”


I find it a bit disturbing that the people who are elected to speak for you do not think it necessary to speak TO you. Emails sent to all CC members meet with a response from Fred Strong and maybe, just maybe, Duane Picanco, but Hamon, Steinbeck, and Gilman never respond. I asked Fred Strong why this is. HIs answer was “they don’t want to”. Really? This doesn’t present well at all. I am sure they bend over backwards for their “cronies”.

We must have change.


QUOTING DANIKA: “am sure they bend over backwards for their “cronies.”.

Well, I think they bend over for their cronies–except in the opposite direction.


This is great news, hopefully he won’t run again, one less useless council person to have to worry about being re-elected. At the council meeting on the 15th he had the perfect opportunity to make a difference. Steinbeck and Strong voted for adopting the resolution to refresh pavement striping and markers at various locations. Gilman voted “NO”. A yes from Gilman would have adopted the resolution. This is a safety issue, we had been approved for a grant of $164,828.52 and would have paid from general fund reserves $77,208. What kind of stupid logic are the other three using?


Fred Strong said that Nick Gilman likely won’t run because “it isn’t fun anymore”. He said this to several people attending our CPRN2012 Meet and Greet last Saturday.

Ted Slanders


“Hamon and Gilman jointly penned this comment: ‘What became clear over the last two months was that the allegations regarding, and especially the online rumors, speculation, and attacks on Chief Solomon were making it increasingly difficult for her — as well as other city officials — to attend to the management of city business.”

Ohhhhh, poor babies! How terrible that they were embroiled into a controversy with Solomon, whereas they couldn’t perform their duties! Waaa-waaaa-waaaa! Wussies!

Tell that to the city council members of Compton, Inglewood, South Gate, Lynwood, Willowbrook, and other high crime areas of Los Angeles, where their agenda is how to fight crime 24/7/365 without crying about it! Paso city officials, you don’t know in how good you have it relative to other cities!

What a bunch of crying little candy-@sses! You made your bed, now you’re about to sleep in it as well in the near future!


First off, no elected official ‘owns’ or can ‘protect’ their position. it is the peoples office, and those that are elected ‘serve’ at the behest of the electorate.

If an office holder did own or protect their seat, they would be a dictator or some form of monarch.

Mr. Gilman, while sounding completely sincere, apparently has some fundamental misunderstanding of what his role as an elected Council person does.

If he wanted to not be under the strain of a “qid pro quo” from campaign donations, then run on a platform of clean government and independence by not accepting any campaign funds. Make it an integral theme of your campaign.

Former Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin did this for decades and kept getting re-elected. His biggest campaign expense was the cost of postage to mail back unsolicited donations.


Not to worry, Danica has assured us that any day now there will be suitable candidates coming forward. Any day now


Paso_Guy, if you are going to quote me, please do so accurately. What I said was there are candidates who will come forward when they are ready to come forward. The filing date is still a way off and some simply do not want to file early. That is their right.

Just because you do not know them now, does not mean they do not exist.


So sorry, Danika, I seem to recall that the nominees were announcing “any day now”

The Jews are still waiting, I just hope our wait is shorter.

BTW, if you know anyone that is considering a run, let them know that their chances are greater of success if they come out ASAP so this they can be properly vetted. Contrary filing dates, time IS getting short


I do know 3 candidates wanting to run. They plan on making the announcement when they feel their timing is right.

Ted Slanders


The hell with the Jews, we Christians have been awaiting a Second Coming for 2012 years! It’s coming, real soon!

As Brother Luke stipulates, it’s been a LONG generation to say the least! (Luke 21:31-32)


Ted, there were no Christians 2012 years ago, Christ hadn’t risen yet. Close, but no cigar.

Another reason an edit option is needed here


This man was on the Planning Commission, he knew what he was getting into. He is just inapt to do the job with honesty and integrity and is obviously tired of being in bed with all the other cronies. He could have stood alone, protected the people of Paso Robles that trusted him to do the right thing and been re-elected. But no, he like the others have given their power over to Mr. Apps and created this web of deciet and now have to live with it. Just go away Mr. Gilman and do the right thing and don’t run for office again because you are not man enough to have the moral compass that you should have brought to this office.


Sounds like this gentleman has a pretty clear grasp of reality. “If you lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas.”