Adam Hill explains the path to civility

June 9, 2013
Adam Hill

Adam Hill

UPDATE: Shortly after Hill sent out his response, Paso Robles Councilman Fred Strong responded with an email available at the bottom of this article.

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill said Sunday that the path to civility requires disassociating with those whose views differ from his own.

Hill’s comments were made in response to a Sunday morning email by San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx, who sent out a copy of the 2011 United States Conference of Mayors Civility Accord. The document was created in response to the shooting rampage in Tucson where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 14 others were wounded.

The mayor’s email, which was shared with 14 elected colleagues, suggested that public officials “need to work together at this time to restore our long standing tradition of collegiality and focus on conducting the business of the people to the very best of our ability.” Marx wrote the email because “at the Mayors’ meeting last Friday, concern was expressed about the lack of civility demonstrated during several recent regional meetings.”

The Civility Accord asks public officials to commit to “respect the right of all Americans to hold different opinions; avoid rhetoric intended to humiliate, de-legitimatize, or question the patriotism of those whose opinions are different from ours and to strive to understand different perspectives.”

Hill responded by email, asking that his colleagues not associate with COLAB, the Tea Party, or political activist Kevin P. Rice.

“You can’t have it both ways; associate with and take policy recommendations from people who vilify and lie, and then demand civility,” Hill wrote. “If this is a priority to some, then either disassociate from COLAB, the tea party, and Kevin P. Rice, or demand that those advisors of yours stop behaving the way they do in their newsletters, online activities, and even public comments.

“I also think running and/or supporting campaigns of personal attack and demonization lead to many ill feelings. Civility has to occur across all sectors of political activity for it to have any meaning. Otherwise you are simply asking people not to disagree with you.”

Rice responded saying that both the APCD and SLOCOG boards voted against Hill becoming the 2013 chair of those bodies because he continues to attack those whose politics do not always agree with his own.

“Hill is presuming to tell other elected leaders who they are allowed to speak to,” Rice said. “Eliminating diversity of opinion appears to be Hill’s goal.”

Less than 15 minutes after Hill sent his email, Paso Robles Councilman Fred Strong responded in an email that noted the importance of elected officials representing all of the people in their jurisdictions.

“It goes across the board between and among the elected representatives of the people in their official capacities, Strong said. “Everyone has beliefs and opinions. In this country we are free to express them and we are free to abuse our freedoms if we do not wed responsibility with freedom.

“Those in the private sector have freedom of speech which they can use to good effect or to drive people away from them. Their miscalculation as to the effectiveness of their behavior does not mean that anyone who agrees with them in principle is going to change their principles because others of similar belief behave badly. However, it would behoove those who want to be effective in their communications and persuasion to behave in a civil and civilized manner if they wish to enlarge, rather than diminish, their numbers.

“As to us, we have a deeper and more extensive responsibility as the elected representatives of all of the people within our respective jurisdictions. To be a civilization, it must be based upon civility.”

 

 


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Pelican1

Adam, once again your lips were moving….and we ALL know what that means.


Citizen

Adam Hill is the problem, not the solution.


No one on the Board of Supervisors is authorized to tell people in this county who they can associate with, and no one on the Board of Supervisors, including Adam Hill, is authorized to punish and harass political opponents. Will someone from the BOS or County legal office please explain this to Mr. Hill in terms that he can understand.


pasoparent5

Once again, rather than debate his political opponents, Adam resorts to name-calling.


south

Some political opponent must have hijacked his email. It is otherwise hard to fathom the pure stupidity and shocking hubris required to send out something like this. More and more do I think that Mr. Hill should turn off his computer and phone while drinking.


CherieMcKee

Let me share some recent observations I had of Mr. Hill during the afternoon session of a recent BOS meeting. He’d obviously had a healthy lunch, as his eyelids drooped and head began to bob. He clearly was bored and was beginning to nod off. I watched in amazement, when all of a sudden his Legislative Assistant came in carrying a large cup of coffee, she walked behind the dais and all the other Supervisors as though she was a servant to her King.


This “show” of opulence, each (Hill and his LA) being paid in excess of $6,000 per month, repulsed me as a taxpayer that his assistant would be called (emailed or text) during the hearing to bring him anything but important documents that pertain to the subject at hand.


I’m certain she had better things to do, like walk his dogs.


Then there’s the case of his random response to a citizen in South County last week using the comment section of the Tribune. While the commenter complained that there was a $25 fee to hear Hill and Teixeira speak at a Chamber luncheon coming up, Hill offered to purchase the seat for the constituent. Seemingly a nice gesture at first blush, but when there are people in his district going without food and shelter it seems odd that he would pay $25 for just one person to attend the gathering. Is that one person more important than the hundreds that line up in a soup line for one meal a day? That $25 could feed so many more.


Why anyone would want to hear Hill or Tiexeira speak is beyond my wildest imagination. The visual of foot in mouth might be worth the price of admission. Together they eat a lot of crow.


SLOBIRD

What is really sad about this and the mentality of Mr. Hill is the concept of what he brings to the table for open an honest debate on issues that effect the County as a whole. His demeanor is the same we see with President Obama and I will call it the “Chicago Rule of Government” which Mr. Hill demonstrates well, “my way or the highway”. This mentality filters though out all branches of our local government: Waste Management, Air Quality, Homeless Services, Off Road Vehicles, Los Osos Sewer, etc. How much more does this community have to tolerate of this bullying supervisor? Would any of us allow this type of behavior of our children or spouses? I sincerely hope not.


MaryMalone

I agree with your post, SLOBIRD, but let me offer another vantage point.


I see Adam Hill as embodying the “omnipotent child” syndrome. Of course, the fact that he is an adult and a SLOCo supervisor makes his behavior both tragic and dangerous.


zaphod

Wah-Wah I did not know this was a thing.


taxpayer

Will the people of Adam Hill’s district please list the redeeming qualities that make this man fit for public office. To think that he was teaching students at Cal Poly before he, and his paid campaign consultants, managed to market him as a decent, logical human being is scary enough. The fact that he is allowed to continue the charade of caring for his constituents is absolutely disgusting. This individual was given the honor of serving on the Board of Supervisors and all he has done with it is show us all that if you give a little power to some people they start to believe that they’re smarter than everyone else. What a disappointment. Napoleon complex anyone?


MaryMalone

Apparently the folks of his district believe being the biggest doofus in a 100-mile radius is just what they need to represent them on the BOS.


obispan

His vote doesn’t matter and he has given us a look into of the bowels of both governement and quasi-government corruption (eww!) so I can deal with the stench for the next 3.5 years. It will be a reminder to both parties to vet their candidates properly.


euroamerican

Adam Hill, there is something terribly wrong with you. I think paranoid would be a good diagnosis. I think these elected officials should be known as Civil Servants. Maybe then they might understand their real position…. to serve the people.


Kevin Rice

By popular request (actual email addresses redacted):


> Subject: RE: Mayors’ Civility Accord

> Date: 6/9/13 9:11:11 AM

> From: “Adam Hill”

> To: “Fred Strong”, “Marx, Jan”

> Cc: “Aida Nicklin”, “Bruce Gibson”, “Debbie Arnold”, “Debbie Arnold”, “Debbie Peterson” , “Debbie Peterson”, “Frank Mecham”, “Fred Strong”, “Fred Strong”, “Jamie Irons”, “Jamie Irons”, “Paul Teixeira”, “Shelly Higginbotham”, “Tim McNulty”, “Timothy Gubbins”, “Tom O’Malley”, “Tom O’Malley”, “Tony Ferrara”, “Tony Ferrara”, “Ron DeCarli”, “Steve Devencenzi”, “Pete Rodgers”, “Rich Murphy”, “Geiska Velasquez”, “James Worthley”, “Sue Hall”, “Barbara Troyan”, “Larry Allen”, “Ashbaugh, John”

>

>

> You can’t have it both ways; associate with and take policy recommendations

> from people who vilify and lie, and then demand civility. If this is a

> priority to some, then either disassociate from COLAB, the tea party, and

> Kevin P. Rice, or demand that those advisors of yours stop behaving the way

> they do in their newsletters, online activities, and even public comments.

> I also think running and/or supporting campaigns of personal attack and

> demonization lead to many ill feelings. Civility has to occur across all

> sectors of political activity for it to have any meaning. Otherwise you

> are simply asking people not to disagree with you.

> AH

>

>

>

> Sent with Good (www.good.com)


Kevin Rice

Love the thumbs down! Vampires hate sunlight.


pasoparent5

Yeah–and the only thing worse than blood-sucking vampires are small, short, over-paid, angry bullies!


MaryMalone

Kevin, I already had a high opinion of you, but the fact that Adam Hill views you as such a threat that he has to waste his own time (and the time of others, including county supervisors and staff) just increases my respect for you.


MaryMalone

This would be a hysterical representation of a doofus politician, speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, if it wasn’t for the tragedy of Hill playing a role in the important decisions made by the SLOCo BOS.