New Board of Supervisors takes form

January 7, 2013

HillArnoldFollowing the swearing in of San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold for her first term and Supervisor Adam Hill for his second, the board voted 3-1 to make Teixeira chair and Gibson vice chair. The vote sets up Gibson to assume the chairmanship in a year in which he is up for reelection.

Arnold took her oath of office Monday and immediately cast a vote against the board majority decision to position Paul Teixeira as board chairman and Bruce Gibson as vice chair

Arnold said that Supervisor Franck Mecham, who was absent, should assume the current vice chair position because it is the turn of the first district supervisor to do so. None of the other three supervisors present commented on the matter, and they voted in favor of the new alignment as motioned by Hill.

From the year 2000 on, the board has loosely followed a five-year rotation of chairmanship outlined by Arnold. The board has, though, repeatedly elected supervisors to become chairmen in years they are up for reelection.

Outgoing Supervisor Jim Patterson, who conducted the beginning of the meeting as chairman, held the position last year during his unsuccessful reelection bid against Arnold. If the 2014 board chooses to keep the tradition of replacing the chair with the vice chair, Gibson, too, will assume leadership of the board in a year he is up for reelection.

Two speakers during public comment said the board should not reward Gibson with a leadership position following his affair with his legislative aide.

Prior to the swearing in of Arnold and Hill, Patterson made his final remarks from behind the dais. Patterson said he had served “a rather tumultuous eight years” as a supervisor and that he had worked hard “to enhance the social, economic and environmental quality of life” in the county.

After their swearing in, both Arnold and Hill commented as well. Arnold thanked her supporters, who packed the supervisors chamber and gave her a loud applause. Hill, who was sporting a beard, promised “greater tranquility and patience” in his second term.

“Hopefully, you’ve taken notice of my pacifying beard,” Hill said.

Gibson welcomed Arnold by saying, “I hope you find this job as satisfying as I do.”



Is it not more than a little comical that Arnold…for all her screeching about supposed over-regulation being such a problem during the campaign, that she now asserts herself as a stickler for protocol ?

As I predicted, she will be nothing so much as a constant “fingernails-on-blackboard” whining machine.


Better than fingernails scratched on the back of any current supervisor,


One important and rather costly issue the board needs to seriously address early on, is sexual harassment in the workplace.

They need to make it clear in actions as well as words that they really care how much it has cost and is costing the taxpayers, in many ways.

It reduces County budgets, diminishes productivity, erodes morale, ends in legal battles/out of court settlements and directly conflicts with the standards of ethical behavior demanded of employees.

“Sexual harassment” in the workplace whether invited or uninvited, welcomed or unwelcome, or even meets the narrow definition, eventually ends in court battles or another costly buyout.

While it is understandable and obvious that Supervisors are reluctant to accuse one of their own of sexual harassment, probably because he meant no harm, just made a mistake, or it’s the politically correct way to handle the thorny problem, the hypocrisy rings loud and clear that they are not really serious about dealing with the problem severely.

It now becomes crystal clear that County employees can misbehave with impunity, forget about all the resources devoted to training programs, it’s all just lip service or a substitute for taking actions that produce real improvements in the workplace.

We the taxpayers are all victims of sexual harassment in the SLO County government.


Good for Ms Arnold for expressing her opinion on the rotation. Hill obviously made this motion to put politics first, in that Gibson will be chair if he chooses to run for re-election. As for Hill’s beard, just one more step to clone Gibson. Does he really think that elevates him? Those complaing about Arnold having an opinion and not afaid to pursue it must have been equally irritated by the special treatment of Gibson’s gal pal and Hill’s continual arrogance. Or maybe not…’s amazing what people will tolerate in order to get their agenda approved.


Paul Teixeira, you have been set up to fail. You are not a strong leader and I do not doubt you will now take your cues from Gibson, the second-in-command, and not from your constituents. Every move you make can and will be held up against you as the very organized Democrat machine seeks to unseat you to get someone more to their liking whom they will not have to hammer/charm for every vote. Every vote you cast with Hill and Gibson will erode your base; every vote you cast against them will be used as fodder against you. This would always be true but as chair you are in a very exposed position. You should have listened to Debbie Arnold, or asked county counsel for an opinion, or at least demonstrated a little leadership and given Frank Mecham a chance to weigh in by voting with Debbie or agreeing to wait for a legal opinion. So you have already alienated him and his base.

Sometimes the truth hurts. You are in for a very rough road. But don’t blame Debbie and Frank, you did this one yourself!

My suggestion – stay true to the people who elected you and develop some backbone to make hard decisions. People respect leaders not followers.


Teixeira simply does not have the background, knowledge and skills to handle the role of County Supervisor. Therefore, he will be doing what SOMEBODY tells him to do. If he takes his cues from Gibson, I just hope the taxpayers don’t end up having to pay off another knee-pad bimbo, like we are having to pay off Gibson’s bimbo.


Here we go….During the election debates, I was curious about Arnold, and listened to a radio broadcast debate between and Arnold and Patterson with an open mind. I was shocked and appalled at the depth of ignorance and stupidity displayed by Arnold. Apparently she had a 3×5 card with five teabag talking points; no matter what the subject, no matter what the question, she just spouted one of her five Fox/teabag talking points, over and over; complete nonsense. I can respect someone with differing views from my own, but it is hard when that person displays a breathtaking ignorance of the issues and the world in general. Plus, she ran a mudslinging (as in lies) campaign. The huge mass of developer money pushed pinhead Arnold over the truly caring Jim Patterson, but couldn’t the good ol’ boys at least come up with someone who can think critically? I guess not….


Catdude, I am shocked and appalled at the depth of your ignorance and stupidity.


catdude says: “I can respect someone with differing views from my own…”

When you gonna start? All you’re doing is regurgitating furball memes from the nouveau riche SLO glitterati that got theirs somewhere else and want to “protect” their newfound playground. Bury it with sand, dude.


Actually, I started quite some time ago…Remember Harry Ovitt? I despised his politics, but I respected the man for his intelligent and articulate discourse. Arnold is not even in the same class…


Spot on !

Harry and I are on the opposite side on many things, but ( by both looking for common ground ) have been able to come to amenable conclusions.

Some times, I have changed opinion. Other times, Harry has. Most times, both have a better understanding.

Other times, we had to agree to disagree, but not make it personal.

Debbie Arnold is an absolutist harpie and drama queen, besides being a nincompoop.


100% agreement with catdude on this one.

My favorite debate scene was in Atascadero, when some teabagger went to the Carlton front desk and got ahold of a beatup and mouldy American flag and tacked it up on the wall behind the candidates. It was in that sad context that we were treated to the monotony of the “5 talking points” of the Meridian-Pacific orchestrated Arnold campaign, one of the most pathetic and shallow campaigns for supervisor I’ve witnessed in my 33 years of county residency.

I hope for her sake that Ms. Arnold brings more to the table than she did in her campaign, but if the words “Agenda 21” escape from her mouth, my optimism will go out the window.


On the surface, I appreciate her first vote.

1) It challenges the status quo.

2) It demonstrates her willingness not to be a BOS follower.

3) It pokes at Gibson.

Did she think she would change the order of chairman selection? No, probably not. But she took a position she believed in and ran with it in the face of opposition.

Will the Board meetings become more contentious with her involved? Probably. Is that a bad thing? In my mind, no, it is not. We elected her for her opinions, not for her willingness to kowtow to the Good Ol Boys.


What makes you think the Board meetings will become more contentious? Would it come from the Supervisors, from the audience, or both?

By herself, I don’t think Arnold has the experience, knowledge, skills and background to actually be a threat to any of the Supervisors, except for Adam Hill, who no one takes seriously, anyway.

The reasons for her vote seem both sound, illogical and grand-standing for the following reasons:

1. Frank Mecham would be much better Chair than Teixeira will.

2. However, if it is not written policy that the district represents gain Chair status by a specific rotating schedule, then Arnold using that as a reason to name Mecham Chair (because it is the first district’s turn for Chair) is illogical. I really don’t think it is written policy that the Chair decision is based on which district’s turn it is because, if that were the case, there would be no reason for a vote by the Supervisors.

3. It appears to me that Arnold was using this opportunity to do a bit of safe grandstanding. She must have known her vote was very unlikely to change the outcome of the vote, and the reason she gave (it was the first district’s turn) seems almost childish and silly to me.

In addition, if Mecham wanted to be Chair, he would have made every effort possible to be there at the meeting when the Chair was named. If he was unable to be there because he had been hit by a bus or whatever, certainly mention would have been made of that. So, with Mecham absent from the meeting, It makes no sense for a supervisor to vote for another supervisor for Chair if that supervisor couldn’t even bother to show up for the meeting where the vote for Chair was taken.

Jorge Estrada

I have never seen so much family attend the swearing in of a board member. Supervisor Arnold is definitely the Queen Bee if one were to consider her swarm in family alone. It is safe to say that the Board of Supervisors has added accountabiliy and a strong vote for the best interests of ALL within San Luis Obispo County.


I don’t know how the number of people showing up for the swearing in of a board member equates with Arnold adding “accountability and a strong vote for the best interests of ALL within the San Luis Obispo County.”

That’s like saying a Facebook page must be a good page because it has a lot of “likes.”


Nailed it.


Arnold sets the stage for lots of contention. strife, and just plain stink stirring; as indicated by her first vote. It will be plenty of noisy, time consuming complaining; and many sole votes in the minority.

Now, I think it is unlikely ( and unfair ) that she sport a ‘pacifying beard’, but on days she wakes up late, one might mistake her for Katcho.


Welcome aboard, Ms. Arnold, and I sincerely hope you are prepared for the battles that lay before you. Hopefully, with Mr, Gibson taking on the vice chair and being chair next year, he will follow the same road of Mr. Patterson, Adios Paterson.

Please serve your distict first and the County second. Do the right thing and serve your community with commonsense and honesty and hopefully you will be around longer than Mr. Hill.

Thank you for serving your community!