Hill hammers Thoma for homeless questions

December 20, 2012

Bill Thoma


A San Luis Obispo County supervisor lashed out Wednesday at a local business owner for posing questions about a proposed homeless facility and seeking more detailed information from the facility’s planners.

In a disparaging email, District Three’s Adam Hill assailed Bill Thoma for distributing what the elected official called a “fear-mongering flyer.”

Thoma said he was simply attempting to inform other local business people about the county’s plans for the homeless shelter’s location and construction inside a business park.

“There could be a better way to do this,” he said, “and I think it warrants an open discussion.”

The bombastic supervisor wrote in the widely-circulated email that “Thoma is determined to defeat this project no matter what… (and) has shown himself to be selfish and dishonest.”

Hill apparently was angered after seeing Thoma’s single-sheet pamphlet raising a number of issues Thoma suggested should be considered before the current plan goes forward. Thoma also contends that business owners who will be impacted by the center’s placement have not been fully informed of county plans and approvals.

Proposed location of the planned 200-bed facility is on a one-acre Higuera Street plot adjacent to the county’s Social Services Department building.

Thoma wants more consideration of a nine-acre parcel on Prado Road, behind a trailer rental outlet, as an alternate location.

“I’m not sure what set him off,” said Thoma of Hill’s outburst. “We’re not asking that much.”

Concerns raised by Thoma and a growing number of fellow local business owners include overnight campers, parking, vandalism, crime, concerns for safety of employees and others, trespassing and littering.

“We need to get more people involved to let our elected officials know this location and its terms are unacceptable,” Thoma wrote in the brochure.

In response, Hill bristled that he has “had enough of Mr. Thoma’s passive-aggressive attitude and actions” and intimated that if the project would fail, “the blame should fall squarely on the hunched shoulders of Bill Thoma.”

Hill’s broadside came after he received a copy of the Thoma brochure from Dee Torres, Homeless Services Director for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo Co., Inc. She is Hill’s long-time girlfriend.

Several public officials, such as Hill, who have connections to CAPSLO, have repeatedly approved government funds to be spent on the organization while battling for its programs. Both SLO County Supervisor Jim Patterson and SLO City Councilman John Ashbaugh, proponents of the proposed center, sit on the CAPSLO board.

Late Wednesday, Ashbaugh responded to Hill’s objections to Thoma’s flyer by asking that further email discussions that place the proposed homeless center in a negative light not be distributed.

“I would urge all parties included in this email to avoid further email exchanges or the circulation of defamatory materials in the near future” Ashbaugh said in his email. “The circulation of a flyer opposing the approved Homeless Services Center site has caught many of us off-guard and ill-prepared to respond in any manner that is productive.”
Bill Thoma’s brochure

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How much does the owner want for that 9 acre piece of property (it’s been up for sale for a long time, the price must be fairly well known) adjacent to the Sunset Drive-In and how would it be paid for?

It would be paid for the same way all CAPSLO Programs are paid for – money from the taxpayers: Federal, State, County and City grants. Prado would close, Maxine Lewis Night shelter would close, de Vaul is gone, and Hill and Torre sail off in the sunset. If anyone thinks the major problems at Maxine Center are a problem now for the few homeless there at night, take a facility that has 200 beds, rev camping, counseling and all the other services intended and this is big issue. Anyone who really cares should should go talk to the businesses located on or near Broad and Orcutt. Let’S put this Center out near the airport where the County has lots of LANs, the bus goes, and there are few numbers and this becomes a County issue not a City of SLO problem using City resources. This is A County issue.

“Concerns raised by Thoma and a growing number of fellow local business owners include overnight campers, parking, vandalism, crime, concerns for safety of employees and others, trespassing and littering.”

My mother in law is 83 years old, we recently got her a senior citizen bus pass.

Today my wife took her on her first bus ride to downtown and back.

I asked how she like the ride, she said the homeless people in the bus smell very bad.

So add the “Smell Test” problem as an additional concern to long time residence of SLO.

Bus services here do not exist to facilitate easing traffic or pollution. Nasty, stained upholstery and riders complaining about their government benefits. I once sat down and was overwhelmed by a nasty stench I thought was from someone ripping one. No such luck, the seat was contaminated. I moved and them undressed in the laundry room and showered after getting home. The classic was listening to the junkie complaining to her Mohawk’ed boyfriend that her a**hole doctor was going to reduce her methadone dosage after she had her baby. God bless America.

So true!

My truck was in the shop a while back. Rather than request a shuttle or beg I ride I hopped on the bus. All I heard were conversations and cell phone calls about welfare benefits, getting booted from care facilities and how limited tattoo options were here in SLO. Scummy!

“Limited tattoo options”? I think not. I would rather my tax dollars pay for a rental car for any working person in need whose truck is in the shop than to pay these people to breed.

Does anyone here know how tall Adam Hill is? Thanks.

I would like an answer to something directly related to this project.

The County of San Luis Obispo declared this property surplus to its needs and thus made it available for this potential project. That much is public knowledge. Yet at the same time San Luis Obispo County apparently has entered into some long term lease agreement(s) for additional office space directly adjacent to this property?

If that’s the case, then SLOC is wasting taxpayer’s money! This land under discussion should be developed in such a way that the taxpayers don’t have to pay the long-term rental leases on privately owned buildings.

Perhaps Mr. Thoma could opine on this matter? Thanks.

You make a good point, I hope some answers emerge

I really wish Dan Blackburn would make a few phone calls on this one. It is reprehensible to buy land using taxpayer dollars and then not develop it even though there apparently is a need for extra office space. I don’t want to hear about “different budgets” either. I suspect the correct dispensation for this land is to develop it into offices (how about some portable trailers!?) so the taxpayers don’t have to pay for nearby leased office space.

Thou shall not speak badly of Adam for his wrath will descend upon you for he is God and he is a vindictive God.

And Ashbaugh – how pathetic. Giving himself the role of mediator.


Thou shall not speak badly of Adam for his wrath will descend upon you for he is God and he is a vindictive God.

And when he gets caught playing god, he will confess “It was just a joke”

The “solutions” section of Thoma’s letter seem good; can anyone describe the pros & cons of those solutions? Nine acres sure seems better than one acre.

“Although Adam might consider himself king, he is one vote out of five,” Thoma said (Tribune, today).

The thing is Adam has been recusing himself from votes on homeless issues for at least year now. He doesn’t say why he’s leaving the dais, as is customary, but is likely stepping down out of an “abundance of caution” to avoid any possible perception that a

“personal friendship” is causing him to favor one prospective grantee over

another grantee.

So, instead of 5 Supervisors, there are only 4 speaking to these very important issues and Adam is glaringly absent in representing his constituents (including much of the San Luis Obispo City area).

Adam cannot vote due to his relationship with Torres; rendering him impotent. ‘Nough said.

Bill Thoma is a recognized leader and longtime resident of this community. Adam Hill needs to learn some respect. All he contributes to this community is animosity.

If Hill succeeds in demonizing Bill Thoma, maybe out of town history “professors” are savvy enough to take down well respected, generous and charitable community leaders, he is that Machiavellian.

Adam Hill does not like anyone to disagree with him. If you ask Adam he will tell you he is the smartest guy in the county and anyone who doesn’t bow down to his superior intelligence should be shipped out to the valley. What is sad is that the voters in his (my) district were not sharp enough to see that he should not have been reelected.

Hill needs to be taken out in the primary by a decent liberal candidate. Then we can decide based on positions on the issues between a decent liberal and a decent conservative such as Ed Waage. I’ll vote for the decent liberal. Waage and Hill again and I vote for Waage.