Grover Beach mayor keeps seat on APCD board

August 6, 2013

We Heart DebbieThe Grover Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to keep Mayor Debbie Peterson on the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District Board despite concerns from council members over her decision to circulate a petition calling for the repeal of a controversial regulation.

Last month, Peterson circulated a petition calling for a repeal of the APCD dust rule, which would fine the California Department of Parks and Recreation $1,000 a day if it does not reduce the amount of dust blowing onto the Nipomo Mesa. After Peterson asked her fellow council members to join her in opposition to the regulation, a majority of the council requested to reconsider Peterson’s position on the air district board.

But, the majority sided with Peterson Tuesday as the council voted 3-2 to keep her on the board. Councilwoman Karen Bright and Councilman Glenn Marshall joined Peterson in voting to maintain her appointment to the APCD board. Bright waivered throughout the evening, but eventually broke the 2-2 deadlock and cast a vote in Peterson’s favor.

“I’m putting my faith in her,” Bright said.

Councilman Bill Nichols, who initially requested that the council remove Peterson from the board, voted against the continuation of her appointment. So did Councilman Jeff Lee.

Nichols said Peterson “damaged her credibility” by using her status as mayor in her effort to repeal the dust rule.

“Mayor Peterson has taken on the task to creating and writing a petition,” Nichols said. “This is something she should have and could have done as an individual, not as the mayor of Grover Beach.”

The meeting Tuesday drew a crowd from all over the county. More than 30 members of the public spoke about Peterson, approximately 20 supporting her and 10 opposing her. Many speakers supporting Peterson came from North County, while the majority opposing her came from the Nipomo Mesa.

County supervisor and fellow APCD board member Debbie Arnold said Peterson belongs on the air district board.

“She does her homework,” Arnold told the council. “She comes prepared with the information she needs to be able to ask questions and vote in the best interest of your citizens.”

Peterson faced opposition, though, from Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill, who are trying to regain the APCD board majority. Neither Gibson, nor Hill appeared at the meeting Tuesday night, but both supervisors emailed and called most of the council members in advance, asking that they remove Peterson from the APCD board.

On July 26, Hill sent an email to the city of Grover Beach that called Peterson “a disgrace to our community.” City staff forwarded the email to the entire council.

During public comment, Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business representative Mike Brown cited the email and requested that Lee and Marshall, who are both county employees, recuse themselves from the vote on Peterson’s APCD seat.

Lee said he did not have a conflict of interest and that he received clearance from county counsel and City Manager Robert Perrault.

Prior to the vote, Peterson asked Nichols and Lee to reveal the amount of email and phone communication they had with Gibson and Hill leading up to the meeting.

Lee said he received three or four emails from the supervisors and had a conversation with each of them. But, Lee said that by asking the question, Peterson solidified his decision to vote against her.

The APCD board next meets in September.



Okay, it’s now a part of the public record:

This afternoon on the Dave Congalton show, lobbyist Mike Brown admitted that he meets with Debbie Arnold ONCE A WEEK to advise her on how to vote at Supervisor’s meetings. This is a fact, verifiable via Congalton’s archived podcast.

Kevin Rice

So what? The Sierra Club directors sister was Patterson’s planning commissioner. And the clubs treasurer is Jan Marx’ husband. Go cry a river.


It simply confirms what I’ve said in the past: that Debbie Arnold is a bought-and-paid-for-tool of big-money corporate lobbyists and extremist anti-environmentalist zealots who tell her what to do and how and when to do it. It also underlines the fallacy of her claim to be an “independent” voice on the Board of Supervisors. In reality she is just a neighborly-looking puppet for men who pull her strings behind the scenes.

And what Debbie Arnold is for the North County is what Mike Brown hopes to turn Debbie Peterson into and by the looks of it, she is more than willing to be a willing pawn and sell-out.

Maybe Peterson and Arnold are so full of themselves and unaware that they don’t even know the full extent of who and what they are working for. Maybe they have, like many others, suckered into believing the COLAB myth and not realizing what a total sham it is, it being a complete front for the most selfish and greedy of special interests that are trying their best to suck every cent they can from the Central Coast, having absolutely no concern about the overall well=being of the people who live here or the environment, or the future. It’s all about selfishness, greed and exploitation and trying to fool all the people all the time. Peterson and Arnold barely have a clue. They are suckers and are being used and don’t even seem to realize it.

Kevin Rice

The only thing it confirms it’s she meets with constituents and you’re a tin foil conspiracy nut.


Constituent? Does Mike Brown live in Debbie Arnold’s district? Does Mike Brown even live in San Luis Obispo County?

Arnold meets personally with Mike Brown once a week, every week. Why HIM and why so often?

Mike Brown is not Arnold’s employee. More like the other way around. Will Debbie Peterson be Brown’s newest hire?

Calling me a “nut” does not change ANY of this, Kevin. By the way, can’t Mike Brown defend himself? Are you hoping to get on the payroll also?

Kevin Rice

You’re so narrow-minded but lets give it a try anyway. Brown represents hundreds of members of that organization who have hired him to follow, interpret, consult and lobby on their behalf. A meeting with Brown is hearing the interests of hundreds of constituents. It’s how things are done throughout politics at every level. Your reps do it too and it’s completely legitimate, proper, and right.

Your baseless, conspiratorial finger pointing is what constrains you to caustic anonymous Internet rhetoric. Grow up.


The public has no way of verifying how many “members” lobbyist Mike Brown represents, nor the amount of money paid him by business interests outside of SLO County, (Although we do know that Brown gets considerable funding from Indian casino interests.)

And of any “members”, we don’t know how many have been suckered into giving Brown money, not knowing the full scope of who and what he represents,. Brown is nothing more than a private, highly paid lobbyist who represents special interests, but is more than willing to accept money from others who believe him to be something other than what he is. He’s running a racket and between the MASSIVE government pension he receives, and the money he collects from special interests, he is becoming filthy rich at the expense of the best interests of SLO County and its people.

Kevin Rice

When the Sierra Club discloses it’s membership list and payroll I’ll buy you a beer and agree with you.


And that’s only the tip of the iceberg, Homer. Mike Brown is BAD, BAD news.


I assume you’ve walked the Oso Flaco boardwalk. The one that goes through the dunes covered with native vegetation? Have you ever looked north just a few hundred yards to where the fence separates the Oso Flaco Lake area from the off-road area? Notice there’s not a sprout of vegetation where the off-roaders zip around. Yeah, off-road recreation has zero impact on sand. You seem to know a lot about sand; perhaps because that’s where your head is stuck.


A reply to Rice.

Kevin Rice

I made a statement about SAND. Ponder that until you figure out your confusion. The Oso Flsco foredune was artificially planted. FYI.


Reading the comments, it is clear who attended this council meeting and who didn’t. Many of you that were actually present have shared excellent observations of last night:

I don’t know where you sat snooky156 but I think your recap is dead on.

If anyone thought Supervisor Arnold had a ‘deer in the headlights’ look to her yesterday evening, it is obvious they have not witnessed her at the Supervisor BOD dais during their Tuesday meetings. She is always engaged and respectful of the speaker before her while sitting up there. Last night she gave the impression that she came of her own volition and as a county resident to speak up, nothing more.

Jorge Estrada and Jarrett, you expressed my sentiments of last night better than I could.

My personal hopes for my south county hometown do not line up with Mayor Peterson in the least, actually, but her leadership last night, her calm in the eye of the storm, her hat-in-hand demeanor? This Mayor is a class act. She has my respect, period.

A few other observations:

I found Council member Nicholls bombastic in his demeanor overall. Maybe his audio was a bit too loud or am I giving him too much wiggle room? During the APCD portion of the agenda, the timber of his voice spoke to the level of his anger, which I found disconcerting and definitely off-putting.

Council member Lee exposed himself to be the complete puppet of those in power above him. He is now “Uncle Jemima” in my book, due to his shockingly high level of fake ‘waffling’ on his decision. He punted to not be the third vote and lost me completely when he said Mayor Peterson’s inquiry into the level of upper level political interference against her swung him to vote for her removal.

Council member Bright seems less than, if you know what I mean and I think that you do.

Council member Lee came across as the only person that was unabashed in his voting choice and it is so refreshing when that happens. Say what you mean, mean what you say and put your name on it when you say it.

And then there is Mr. Kevin P. Rice.

I like him. I like his charisma, I liked his ‘shake it up’ politics and activism. He’s him and he delivers *him* without reservation.

But after last night I agree with Slowerfaster. Mr. P. Rice really is becoming a ‘one-man Cult of Personality’ and that trait is starting to muddle the message.

This area isn’t pretentious and nor do we want to be. Facts, logic and reason work very well- not grandstanding and showboating. I want the LOCAL activist Kevin, not the HOLLYWOOD caricature activist Kevin.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the Mesa/Nipomo folk. I honestly do not know what happened between the early 70s, when I grew up on the Mesa and road my butt off on my ATC all over the Mesa and dunes, to what you folks have issue with. Seems like back then we just lived life – in all its ups and downs. It’s a shame that you guys are so unhappy up there now. All I know is that Grover Beach government isn’t the solution to your perceived problems. Go to a Board of Supervisors meeting every once in a while.


Council member Bright seemed less than… No I don’t know what you mean. Bright’s vote kept Peterson on the APCD and prevented dividing the council and the city. Hardly a ‘less than’.

And your second comment about Lee I presume you meant to say councilman Marshall.


AHHH…Conservatives ! What would life be without certain groups, or individuals, to ridicule ?

Conservatives provide.

They are SO stupid, that they are are the perfect canvas for wiseasses like me.

They NEVER fail !

Thank you for being and staying so obtuse !


AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…Obtuse? did you get that from Shawshank? I bet you did…I think you need to check your dictionary….lol


Well, that was deliberate. Evidently, you are a bit quicker and more perceptive than your wooly minded compatriots.

The ‘sharpest tool in the shed’ , per se.

I could’ve written ‘oblique’ and had them chasing their own tails for days, but I’m not that cruel.


Umm hmmmm, and donkeys fly.

Kevin Rice

Interesting comment. Bill Nicolls, who wanted to remove Debbie, is Republican. Debbie is Democrat.

Want to revise your Hill-esqe angry and devisive rant?



Kevin Rice

Then, in Nicolls case, I tend to agree with you.


To: Adam Hill



Grover Beach


Hear Hear,

Strong memo to follow….

Its a tragic shame Lakerhater (and hopefully Dodgerhater as well), that San Luis Obispo doesn’t have the intelligence or the Balls to send the same email to that malignant dwarf.

Jorge Estrada

A Bright day in Grover Beach! How refreshing to see this support for the Mayor, not a spineless politician, a sensible person with her feet on the ground.


I attended the meeting last night and must say that I was impressed with the professionalism shown by the mayor of GB as she recognized both sides of the issue with the same level of respect. That’s how all elected officials should act under similar circumstances. I live in south county, but not GB. I attended the meeting to listen and learn just how much intrusion into city politics came from elected county officials. Council members stated they received phone calls and emails from two elected county officials urging them to remove their mayor from the APCD. That confirmation gave me pause.

However I was also surprised to see the large number of Grover Beach residents in attendance, all of which supported their mayor. Those who spoke in favor of removing her were from Nipomo.Two Nipomo residents spoke in support of her. It was an interesting glimpse of democracy at work.


“However I was also surprised to see the large number of Grover Beach residents in attendance, all of which supported their mayor”

This is false. The ‘large number’ of sign wielding brigands were ringers from COLAB, mostly residents of backwoods SLO county; and the one man cult of personality that is Kevin Rice…who brought all the signs.

Only 3 Grover residents spoke, and just former mayor King expressed outright support for Peterson.

Kevin Rice

False. I only brought the orange signs. They really worked well, huh! The angry close-our-state-park crowd mentioned my signs at least ten times.

There were WAY MORE than 3 Grover residents there suppoting.

And I don’t even understand why Hill & Co. has to divide and denigrate real informed people by using racist hateful language like “back woods”. True colors i suppose. Shame on you.


Keep talking…Go on…. really, I love it !

I don’t need to work so hard when you hoist your own petard.

Kevin Rice

Nice Bard ref. You should move to Ashland OR. Please?


It was also immediately apparent that the Mesa folks opposing Mayor Peterson knew very little about Debbie Peterson. It would have benefited their cause if they could show some recurring issues with her conduct. But, they couldn’t and that’s part of the reason Karen Bright was able to say, “I’m going to giver her another chance”. After all, Grover Beach City Council has NEVER voted to remove a council member from a committee. The bar should be set high.

The only people at the meeting from Grover Beach that spoke to have the Mayor removed were Council members Nichols and Lee. Nichols was his usual aggrivated self, and Jeff Lee was unable to clearly formulate his reasons for removing the Mayor. After all that coaching from the Supervisors, you’d think he’d be able to hammer something out! But, he was unable to elevate the discussion, so he essentially equated himself with Nichols. I think this is a vote that Jeff Lee will regret. If he hasn’t come to that realization already, he will after all the drama has passed.


Nice to see that the good people of the North County care so much about what goes on in Grover Beach!

I guess the Tacker crew wasn’t there? That would have been choice, too.


Tacker WAS there………….


Tacker looked right at me, and appeared as if she had just swallowed a Rocky Mountain oyster whole.

We had never met before.

Likewise, …Debbie Arnold had that ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look when our eyes met.

Geez, i don’t ususally get this kind of response from women.

Is it peculiar to overweight, matronly, conservative types to be innately spooked ?


As was noted on another thread, last night was Debbie Peterson’s audition to become a bought-and-paid for pawn for big-money lobbyists Mike Brown, Andy Caldwell and the COLAB anti-environmentalist cult. She passed the audition, and will now be promoted to become the South County version of COLAB tool Debbie Arnold (who was in attendance to give Peterson moral support during the audition.)

Mike Brown couldn’t care less about the dust rule except as far as it gives him leverage to belittle government, stoke the fires of anti-environmentalism, and line his pockets with the profits of fear mongering.

Notice that the vast majority of those attending the meeting and cheering for Peterson don’t even live on the coast and are simply cheap bit-part players in the drama Mike Brown is directing.


The vast majority of the people there were from the Nipomo Mesa AND Grover Beach.

And the vast majority of the people from Grover Beach SUPPORTED Mayor Peterson.


“And the vast majority of the people from Grover Beach SUPPORTED Mayor Peterson.”


Karen Bright even commented that the overwheming number of actual Grover residents she talked with wanted Peterson removed.

Those trained seals in the audience were all plants from COLAB.

Kevin Rice

Bright surely met low-informed Tribune readers. It’s difficult to blame lay persons whose only information source is the polluted pages in bed with Hill. Yet hundreds of signatures from Grover residents were also presented. And those who are actually informed showed up and ALL supported the mayor.

I have no idea who is in COLAB or not, but I know many many of those attending and supporting the mayor ARE INFORMED AND ATTEND APCD MEETINGS as well.


THats funny Wiserguy, “Fear mongering”? so the crazy idea of the Dust Rule, to fine $1000 to CP&RD wasn’t created out of fear? My son and his wife live in Nipomo, no Fear of dust from them!

Well, Good for Peterson! I say the disgrace in this county belongs to Hill and the embarrassing way he conducts himself

Kevin Rice

Face it, LiesGuy. Hill was politically out maneuvered. The truth prevailed despite his slander, bullying, harassment and lies.


You mean the truth that, as you stated in that other thread, recreational use of off-road vehicles has “zero impact” on sand? That’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever read. Zero impact. It does not impact the sand, or the environment at all? So I guess signs saying to keep on a trail are clearly misguided, because certainly people walking would have probably less than zero impact.

Kevin Rice

Go read my reply on that other thread. There are no “Stay on trail” signs in the dunes because there is zero impact to open sand. Walkers included.


Justify “Impact” Homer. Where is the big enviro devastation in the sand? IF I take a walk how am I ruining the dunes? How is my footprint impacting the natural movement of the dunes?