Hill rationalizes verbal assault on Thoma

December 21, 2012

Adam Hill

(EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday, Adam Hill distributed an email apologizing for his attack on Bill Thoma, promising to be more civil in the future in his dealings with the public. That was preceded by CalCoastNews’ publication of this rambling self-justification of his earlier actions. See Hill’s comments in “Opinion.”)

County Supervisor Adam Hill issued a lengthy and impassioned apologia Thursday defending his vitriolic attack a day earlier on local business owner Bill Thoma amidst a dispute about location of a proposed homeless facility.

Responding to a flood of criticism following publication of his churlish commentary to Thoma, the District Three supervisor sent an email to himself, apparently to conceal the identity of his intended recipient.

Hill titled the email “Some salient facts regarding the proposed Homeless Services Center,” and noted, “This is all I have to say at this point on the clash with Bill Thoma. Very sorry to have created any anxiety for you.”

Thoma is out of town and unavailable for comment.

Hill’s email is reprinted here verbatim:

“A committee made up of city and county staff and homeless service providers evaluated a series of city and county owned properties for a new center because the Maxine Lewis Shelter is a dilapidated modular building that can’t properly meet the needs of homeless care and services.

“This committee spent nearly two years (2007-2009) in this process before contacting me about the county owned site on South Higuera next to our Department of Social Services.. I agreed then (May 2009) to speak with county administration and General Services about the availability of the property. Once it was determined it could be used for this important
public need, and once my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors agreed to have the property used for this, I joined a larger committee focused on planning for and entitling the property.

“As you know, in both processes, other sites and buildings were considered and evaluated. The county site on S. Higuera was deemed best and most practical each time (I had no role in these evaluations, just as I had no role in selecting the property to begin with).

“As you know, finding a location for a new homeless center is perhaps the most difficult land use related task. It is understood that a center focused on self-sufficiency services must be centrally located, but at the same time it is optimal for it to be located with the minimal amount of residential and retail areas surrounding it.

“Once we began work to plan for the property on South Higuera, we decided to publicize it as best we could so that we could receive feedback and gauge the issues of opposition. (Local media) reported on the plans and efforts, including the approvals at the Airport Land Use Commission and the city’s Planning Commission. Both TV stations also covered it extensively.

“Bill Thoma was opposed to the site, he registered that opposition at both public hearings and with the CAPSLO. It was promised and also conditioned that he would be involved/informed as efforts moved forward.

“For 16 months after the last public hearing, CAPSLO organized a capital campaign and began pursuing a quiet period fundraising campaign.  For a host of reasons, including renewed and broader opposition led by Bill Thoma, it was agreed that the public capital campaign should be delayed, better outreach efforts deployed, and revisions on design, policies, and practices should be pursued.

“There were several outreach meetings, meetings with committees of the SLO Chamber, and efforts to include more people from the business community in the newly constituted planning process.  Along with others from the SLO Chamber, Bill Thoma was included on a committee of leaders from the city, county, and CAPSLO.

“At no time did Bill Thoma express that he would always and forever be opposed to the South Higuera site. When he was told that we would make substantial changes to policies, procedures, and design, he was pleased, and when drafts of the documents were presented for input, Bill provided us with substantial feedback and suggestions.

“At the same time, Bill Thoma strongly encouraged that 40 Prado Rd be considered as an alternative. This site had been evaluated previously by city staff and some engineers from Cannon. It was determined that it had a variety of challenges hat would substantially add to the cost of development. Still, CAPSLO gathered more information. While Bill Thoma continued to insist that this site was better than the free, entitled one on South Higuera, it was explained to him that it made no sense to keep pursuing a property that would cost at least $2 million to acquire, would cost perhaps another $1 million to prepare for development, and was not zoned for a homeless shelter. CAPSLO simply does not have the money to acquire this site. Nor does the city or county have the funds to purchase this site. (Cannon provided a proposal to assess the development feasibility of the site at a cost of $80,000 for the study.)

“Despite the reality of the situation, Bill Thoma decided to re-launch his opposition campaign among the businesses in the area, circulating a flyer that is highly misleading in its claims. Bill did not tell anyone in the HSC effort, who he was putatively working with, that he would do this, and that he would do it during Christmas week.

“The holiday season is when CAPSLO’s homeless services receives nearly 50 percent of its operating funds in donations.

“While it is regrettable that the focus has come down to a personal clash between Bill and me, I believe that despite the sincere and substantial efforts made to include Bill in the efforts to better plan for the HSC and to better address the associated problems with homelessness in our community, including the business park, at no time was Bill acting in good faith. It now appears that including him only further empowered him in his opposition.” Adam Hill

(Updated Dec. 22 to incorporate mention of Hill’s apology.)


Adam Hill is a little man with too much imagined power. He and Gibson are really beyond embarrassing.


re: urged to resign by Slowtime…..make sure he takes Gibson with him!!!


Doesn’t Hill have the reputation of bashing someone and then turn around and apologizes just so he can bash him more in his apology?


He does and this was long before the election so we have to ask how did he get re-elected?


Yes, that would be Adam Hill, SLOCo’s Constant Nincompoop.


These “apologia’s” seem to come easy for this squirt of leg dribble. How can he defame another local business owner yet claim he’s here for the business owner?


Bill Thoma is one of the nicest, most thoughtful men in this County.

When Hill publicly aim his uncontrollable temper at Mr. Thoma for the “sin” of participating in the political process to find a better solution than Hill has found the Supervisor only served to show that Adam Hill cannot learn from his past mistakes.

Before Hill and SLO City Council members started urging the police to target homeless folks, none of us really knew that there were 1800 children, women and men sheltering under bridges and in vehicles within the City. Now that we know, it is obvious that spending Nine Million Dollars on a facility is a waste of funds. Simpler, cheaper solutions, and additional locations need to be examined that will serve everyone in ways that lift the poor out of poverty; instead of cruel measures designed to run folks out of town or confining a few people in a pretty, new, expensive jail.

Bill Thoma deserves credit for suggesting a better location, on a larger site, with less impact on housing or business tracts.


An apology does not take 13 paragraphs to say. Did he even apologize? Hill is a punk bully who has no business as a Supervisor. Hill does not even vote on these issues because of his chosen bedmate. He is a waste of space and can’t effectively represent his constituents because of his personal relationships! Take the high road Adam Hill- Step down! Your continued use of our County resources for your personal agendas, and continual rants and outbursts are an embarrassment to all.


Have you ever heard “never explain an apology”?


Perhaps he thinks his only constituents are his personal relationship?


As time goes on it becomes clearer and clearer that this guy has a huge ego, a short fuse and an overwelming need to be loved by the public.

How many aplogies does the public have to endure before they throw his butt out of office.

Here is my own apology …. I am so sorry that I supported you Hill. And I’m sure there are many SLO voters who feel just like me.


It was NOT an “apology.” An “apologia” is thus defined: “defense, justification, vindication, explanation; argument, case.”


Funny part is, he is so whacked he wrote the email to himself and apologized to himself apparently, writing; “Very sorry to have created any anxiety for you.”


How much longer before Hill starts referencing himself as the Royal We?


Politics as usual.


Adam Hill is a self serving, pompous, egotistical embarrassment to our county.With people like Hill involved it makes the process of dealing with the homeless more difficult. We are supossed to be planning for the best interests of the community, not just what a small group of people think we should be forced to do. Bill Thoma speaks for a large group of SLO citizens in an honest way, and we are a better community because of him.

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