What are the people of Paso Robles going to do?

September 15, 2012

Gary Nemeth


The citizens of Paso Robles are the employers, the council are our employees, and it is all right to like them as individuals, but when they continue to prove they are not up to the job of leadership, it is time to replace them.

The majority of the employers have asked that the city manager be removed, instead we are told what a great job he has done, and he deserves a raise in pay and benefits. Did we forget the ex-chief incident with both the city manager and city attorney recommending an investigator they knew?

Investigation completed, report provided and council briefed. Ex-chief retires and is awarded $20,000 in pay that she earned, the council is told the city is not at fault in any way, and gifts her $230,000.00 from public funds. Why?

Now they want us to vote and pass an increase in taxes. No guarantee on how the money will be spent.

Are you tired of the three amigos as you see them on the 1st street on ramp, apparently not listening to anyone except the City Manager? Don’t let the pundits, who at best stretch the truth, hide their names, frighten you from improving Paso, you hold the power.

Gary Nemeth retired from the San Luis Obispo Police department following a 30-year law enforcement career. Nemeth sat on the Paso Robles City Council from 2000 through 2008.


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Gary, Are you going to run as a “write in candidate” for Mayor?

Write in under the mayor line: Gary A. Nemeth. Thank you for asking.

Gary A. Nemeth

All of these comments are great, but the real rubber is going to hit the road in about 6 weeks. Elections will happen and decisions will be made.

If everyone that reads CCN, and even takes the time to comment on it, are only 1/2 as frustrated and upset with the current city government as they seem to be then —

1. Be absolutely sure you vote.

2. Tell 5 of your friends about this city’s problems and get them to vote.

3. Get each of these 5 to tell 5 more and get them to vote.

4. Repeat step 3 again and again.

The citizens will send a very clear message to the city government in the upcoming election – what that message will be is a little unclear.

Will it be to bend over and re-elect the current city council? Will it be to give them more of our money that they have shown repeatedly that they will waste? Do we not care about our city? Are we happy with

our water treatment and sewar systems? Are we thrilled that our streets are in such a disgraceful condition? Does it make us feel lilke good citizens to know our city council gave $250K of our money to our ex-police chief? Are the problems facing this city just Minor (as one of the CC candidates states)?

Think about it, and send the right message.

I hear often mentions of how the city only cares about “tourism”…I find that this is not a fact. They are doing what they can to stop events, productions, concerts, they have a stronghold on the wineries to limit the number of events that they can have, they do all they can to kill promoters that try to produce events in town that are not part of the fairground/event center network or part of the Main Street Ass. There is very little arts in this town, no major music events, no theater…VOID OF THE ARTS… They ran off the car show, did all they could to kill the winery music awards, fight against the film festival…seems to be some kind of conspiracy against the arts, Franklin Pond is fighting for survival, the Pine Street Saloon is always fighting to stay open… The good-ole-boys and girls seem they are afraid that someone might drink a glass of wine and dance at the same time…

Studio….I was refering to the money spent to promote Paso Robles. We give 179K each year to split between Main Street, Chamber, Wine Alliance, and Pacific Coast Horse Cutting Association to promote Paso Robles. The City has a full time person who’s only job is to Promote Paso Robles. Then we come to the TOT Tax . That is the tax hotels charge on daily room room rates. The standard tax is 12%. Oh, hotels are COLLECTING 12% , but they are only giving the City 10%. They are keeping 2% to promote to promote Paso Robles. That’s 800K per year for hotels to spend. They have been collecting this money for eight years.

Residents would have voted for a 12% TOT rate. The City has not has a TOT Tax increase for 15 years. We need that money for Roads, Sewer, or Water. Residents would pay nothing. It was easy money to start a road fund. We could have started paving roads 8 years ago..

Our council does not see it that way. We are paying 5K in fines because our 85 yr old serer is omitting gases above the safe levels set by the state. Hello, anybody home? Are we ever going to address this at the city? The City votes each year to allow the Hotels to continue to keep the 2% TOT money or

($800,000 per year) Enough already! Our city needs that money.

If this City cared about the Residents the way they should have and were suppose to, this never would have happened. That is why I say Tourism is the priority in Paso Robles.

WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO PROMOTE TOURISM UNTIL WE TAKE CARE OF OUR INFASTRUCTURE. In addition, we do not have the money to make donations. The city says it broke.

thanks for the stats viamagnolia and how that element works and/or doesn’t work. What might be some of the ideas and/or projects that these good-old-boys are thinking and planning on bringing in some income to the town? For sure the bad infrastructure and the bad schools, rising gang problem, lack of housing is not going to help to draw tourist, or good families to move to town.

Conspiracy against the arts,Franklin ponds and Pine Street Saloon in the same sentence? Are we looking there for contribution to the arts from these locations?. Sorry, but almost every weekend the is something happening downtown with some association with the arts, tourism or our incredible bounty….if you are spending your time in the Pine Street Saloon you might have missed it.

@ 4paso…I list Pine Street Saloon because it is virtually the only venue, besides the wineries where there is any live music in town. In the past year there has been three new art galleries in town and that is a positive sign, and the Still 0 theater and in plays, no independent movies, I stand on my statement that there is a conspiracy in this town against the arts!! Very little produced outside of the events produced by the Fairgrounds and the Main Street Association. Why is the city fighting to limit the number of events that the wineries can produce? Why did they run off the car show? Why did that make it near impossible for the Winery Music Awards to continue? Why have the ignored the Film Festival from day one?

Lets not forget the “Uptown Specific Plan.” This is agenda 21 behind the scenes to me but that is JMO.

This plan is a sneaky way to prevent people from doing anything with their own land and even the posibility of “Eminent Domain” takeovers. Yes, the city has been amending their Eminent Domain processes with amendments slowly changing our zoning to present mostly our “Conditions of Blight” (that I believe they are creating) so that they can take properties. This is very serious folks. They are building more behind your backs than you know. Good luck with these bozos.

While we would like to kick Mr App to the curb, can we send Iris Yang out there too? She is about as big a joke as App has been to the city. Wow what a piece of work she is. It doesnt make it any easier to know that she is or was from the legal firm that bent the city of Bell over. Wow, sounds like Paso Robles is the next to bend over ? With App in there and his stronghold over the city council, makes for another round of Big City / Little City BS. Throw em both out, I say bring em down to size so they can feel what kind of government they have really been giving the city of Paso Robles. Right back at ya, APP & YANG> Apologies in advance for the citizens that have to put up with this circus . It has to end somewhere JMO.

Oh YES inmyopinion. Iris Yang needs to GO. She mis-handled the Lake Naci/water rate increase soooo badly; does she even HAVE a law degree? She’s incompetent and–like Jim App–quite arrogant. A bad combination! Even though the city would have to cough ANOTHER quarter of a million bucks for Jim and Iris to go…it would be worth it to start with a clean slate.

Our current city council do not have any balls whatsoever. They would bend over for App at a moment’s notice because they are afraid to speak their own mind (or they don’t have one). I heard it straight from a city employee that there are too many chiefs and not enough indians. App brags how the city has cut staff to go along with the recession. Well, take a close look at management cuts compared to people that actually work. I am not saying that management doesn’t wok but I am talking about working in the field so to say. Jim App is still surrounded by his little protection group that he controls. There is favoritism all through those ranks and lazy people that won’t do their job. They don’t care that they waste our money. We need a citizen’s group to go through the city and look for waste and cut it because App surely won’t cut his little generals that surround him. There is trouble at the city with decisions about everything from road repairs to tourism. We should put it on the ballot to actually pay our council good full time wages so we get some people in there who have half a brain. If we did, they would feel empowered to put a kebosh on the ways of Mr. App.

Gary, my friend, I was hoping to be able to vote for you as our new mayor, but you elected NOT to run. What happened, kiddo? Picannco will run apposed so we will have four more years of his good ole boy approach and I’m afraid the others will be re-elected too. I was hoping to make a clean sweep in our city council but guess we’ll have four more years of their mess – and Jim App too as they wonh’t want to upset the apple cart… Too bad you didn’t run for office…

Since I’m new to the area, it would be nice to have some background on the authors references. Seems like he has been given this opportunity to clearly state his positions. Whenever someone references “pundits”, I cringe and wonder about their objectivity. The author may have a valid position but it is hard to determine based on this article.

I assume the 3 Amigos are city councilmen Picanco, Strong and Gilman. They’re all up for re-election in November and NONE of them will get my vote.

If you’d like some background as to the current political mess in Paso, just google “Lisa Solomon Chitty” and you’ll get plenty of info. Read back articles here on CCN (or see the Trib, KSBY, and many other news sites) to see just how the Paso city manager/czar Jim App and councilmen failed to promptly deal with serious allegations that Lisa sexually harassed officers. Basically the councilmen and city manager Jim App kept her on the job for months and then let her “retire” with a quarter of a million dollar payout of taxpayer money. If it weren’t for CCN, the whole story probably would’ve never been exposed because other media outlets are city lapdogs and often cover up negative stories.

Meanwhile, Paso’s roads are in complete disrepair, Centennial Pool has been closed for 2 years, city landscaping around town is overgrown and not maintained, gang violence is on the rise, Paso residents are paying big bucks for Lake Naci water and not getting one drop of it for YEARS to come, we still don’t have a permanent police chief, our city administrative staff averages $100K each…gee, what have I forgotten?

So welcome to darn near paradise, onceknown. Open your eyes & ears and get involved. Paso’s full of amazing residents, dedicated volunteers, wonderful folks…. but our city leaders have proven themselves to be incompetent, unethical and arrogant. NONE of them deserve to be re-elected and just like ex-chief Lisa, Jim App ALSO needs to go bye bye.

pp5- Good recap but you forgot to mention our city leaders focus all their time on Promoting Paso Robles. The Residents needs are not met and the Visitors are the priority. This has been the priority for the past twelve years. Geez, that is how long Mr. App has been City Manager.

Absolutely agreed, viamagnolia!! An example of this would be how councilman Gilman mentioned our embarrassing roads during a recent council meeting. His words were something like “we don’t want tourists driving into Paso on Spring St. and seeing all those potholes! We don’t want them to think that’s what Paso’s all about…”

WOW Mr. Gilman. How about the LOCALS who have to drive here every freakin’ day?! How about the kids who have to negotiate busy streets using crosswalks that have totally faded and haven’t been re-painted in years?! How about the parents who have to shuttle their kids back and forth to school, sport events, doctor appts. on city streets that are in complete disrepair?!

I’m beginning to wonder if the only way to get the council to listen is to file a lawsuit.

pp5 I was also at that same Coincil Meeting and when Gilman said that, I almost choked. The Vistiors won’t want to come to Paso Robles???????? REALLY

Council, your job is to support the taxpayers. See how you have forgotten that.

Gary, they are going to vote for JIm Reed. That’s what the residents are going to do. The tax won’t pass because we don’t want it to go to the General Fund. We would have passed a special tax for roads but the council would not vote for a special tax. They wanted to collect and spend the money as they saw fit.