Did supervisors dump ag ordinance to protect Gibson?

December 5, 2012

Bruce Gibson

By CalCoastNews staff

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting did not proceed as scheduled Tuesday.

After a late start to the meeting, Supervisor Adam Hill petitioned to move the 18th item on the agenda, the controversial agriculture cluster ordinance, to the beginning of the meeting. Hill made a surprising speech calling for the continuance of the agriculture ordinance to next year when it is unlikely the proposal will pass with Debbie Arnold on the board.

Recently, while lobbying his board peers to take action of the ordinance now, Hill said Arnold was not experienced enough to address the issue.

The complete turn-around had many observers questioning whether the board abandoned the agriculture cluster ordinance in order to shield Supervisor Bruce Gibson from public criticism over the handling of his affair with his legislative aide Cherie Aispuro. After Gibson admitted he had been having a long-term affair with Aispuro, county officials announced plans to offer Aispero a job with the county even though she is an at-will employee and not a civil servant, a move slated to cost the county $68,870 a year in salary plus full benefits.

Dozens of speakers arrived early to the board meeting Tuesday with plans to chastise Gibson during general public comment. However, after Hill changed the agenda, many left rather than wait through hours of public comment on the agriculture ordinance.

Once general public comment ensued, several speakers still spoke about Gibson’s affair and the resulting job created for Aispuro in the County Clerk’s Office. Some called for Gibson to resign, including former Congresswoman Andrea Seastrand, who said he violated the organization values of the county. Kevin Rice described Gibson as a “vile and despicable supervisor.”

But the majority of the approximately 30 people who arrived in the morning to comment on the affair and its financial cost did not do so, prompting many to question if the supervisors sacrificed the agriculture ordinance passage to mitigate public criticism of Gibson.

One week after Gibson said the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business would not succeed in its attempt to filibuster the agriculture cluster ordinance, he, as well as his colleagues, chose to postpone the item until next year when Debbie Arnold replaces Jim Patterson — and seemingly swings the board majority against the proposed ordinance changes. Hill, a supporter of Patterson who has been very critical of Arnold, even said the board should be fair to Arnold by taking on “a calmer and collegial tone.”

Patterson, who typically votes with Gibson and Hill, did not support the motion to move the agriculture cluster item to the beginning of the meeting, saying that doing so was unfair to the people waiting to speak during general public comment.

Several speakers who did not attend the meeting to specifically comment on the agriculture cluster ordinance criticized the board for its impromptu rearrangement of the meeting. Eric Greening questioned whether the board violated the Brown Act by rearranging the agenda without notice, and Julie Tacker said the process was undemocratic.

“I object to the way the agenda was shuffled, and I believe that was undemocratic and very non-transparent,” Tacker said.

In addition to shuffling the agenda, the supervisors approved a new emergency services position, which some believe was intended to provide permanent employment for Aispuro, who is working only temporarily in the clerk’s office while she remains an at-will employee of Gibson.

County Administrator Dan Buckshi said the position had nothing to do with the Gibson affair. As Gibson continues to use funds from his budget to pay Aispuro, he is operating without a legislative aide. If he chooses to hire a new aide, Aispuro will lose her job and will have to compete with other applicants to get a new position with the county.

County Counsel Rita Neal, who said during Tuesday’s meeting that Gibson did not violate any county policies, said Gibson is not actively seeking a new legislative aide.

The fact that Gibson is operating without a legislative aide also causes some to question whether the supervisor assistant position is actually necessary. They cost county taxpayers nearly $350,000 a year.


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easymoney

Who cares about the has been gibson or his affair. This article is about the AG oridinace and the taking of private property by public entiies. It is wrong and hurtful to the long time rightful owners. This is a simple take over of private propertry…

Sidebar: Gibson should step down and his mistress should as well. End of story…


Mr. Holly

Birds of a feather flock (I couldn’t use the word I wanted to) together.


Jorge Estrada

Plane and simple, there are bigger huevos looming over this county. If the County Board of Supervisors continue to squelch property rights, water being much more valuable than oil, they will further validate any existing claims of damage. Try $6.2 billion for starters, romance is just a smoke screen for the ragg sheets. Just my opinion………


racket

What if there’s a bigger bomb than the Gibson/Aispuro affair?


In my spy-vs-spy world, I can construct a scenario wherein someone wanted to squeeze Bruce, and threatened to expose the Aispuro Affair. Bruce beat them to the punch by publicizing the affair. Now the squeezer has used the threat of an even more damaging revelation, and this subsequent squeeze was successful. So Bruce told Moe and Curly to stand down on the ag cluster ordinance.


Not sayin’ it’s true, just sayin’ it could be true.


Politics is heinous business. Even if you started out good and clean, you’re not going to end up that way.


Bluebird

I wonder what Shirley Bianchi is thinkiing of her her fair haired boy? Shirley its not the first time you showed poor judgment and at one time I was one of your supporters. Have you given Brucy a good talking to?.

By the way I’m an environmentalist and contributed to Gibson’s campaign.


SLOBIRD

Notice how Ms. Bianchi who always seems to come to the defend of Mr. Gibson and the current board has kept her big left wing shut on this subject. She seems to have lots of opinions on this site regarding other actions, so where are you now, Shirley? Proud of your boy there, are you? So much for your family values that you always spout at to the rest of us…


justme

No kidding, Thank you.


CommonSenseMama

We can count on Bruce to get behind a woman!


zaphod

the voice of experience?


Crusader

Buckshi had the opportunity to show he has courage and integrity.


He failed.


Miserably.


HarryMalone

“County Administrator Dan Buckshi said the position had nothing to do with the Gibson affair”


With a comment like that Dan Buckshi must think the taxpayers of SLO County are the most gullible in the world! Mr. Buckshi how dare you insult our intelligence. You need to go down the road if your job priorities are too serve the Supervisors and not the people who pay your salary! Outrageous!


shelworth

If they get rid of the supervisor assistant position, who will they bang when they get bored?