Hill calls Grover Beach mayor a disgrace
August 5, 2013
By CCN STAFF
EDITOR’S NOTE: See San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill’s email to the Grover Beach City Council at the bottom of this story.
In a recent email to members of the Grover Beach City Council, County Supervisor Adam Hill called Mayor Debbie Peterson “a disgrace to our community” and says he now has police protection because of death threats.
The email, dated July 26, was sent to all council members via the general email address “email@example.com.” City Manager Robert Perrault then requested that electronic copies be forwarded to Peterson, as well as council members Karen Bright, Jeff Lee, Glenn Marshall, and William Nicolls.
In addition to his comments about the mayor, Hill, whose supervisorial district includes Grover Beach, attempted to explain away his absence from the July 23 scheduled meeting of the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) Board. Hill and fellow county supervisor Bruce Gibson informed APCD officials earlier that week that they would be unable to attend the meeting for unspecified reasons. Hill was later photographed having coffee in San Luis Obispo with Arroyo Grande city councilwoman Caren Ray when the APCD meeting would have been taking place.
“My absence at the APCD meeting was precipitated by the illness of my fiance’s 11-year-old daughter (Sage). This occurred Monday morning while she was at camp and her mother (Dee) is in DC.” Hill has been dating Dee Torres of CAPSLO Homeless Services and Torres was away in Washington, D.C at the time.
Hill also used the email to accuse community activist Kevin P. Rice of stalking.
“On Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., Kevin P. Rice was parked outside my house,” Hill wrote in the email. “He then followed me as I took Sage to the doctor. After that, he followed me as I dropped another daughter off at day camp. Then he followed me as I met for coffee with AG City Councilwoman Caren Ray, and later followed me again as I returned to take care of Sage.”
Hill went on to call Rice “your mayor’s sidekick” and indicated that he will seek a restraining order again Rice.
“It should appall you that I have to live with death threats and stalking as it appalls me, and frightens my family,” Hill wrote in his email. He did not elaborate on the threats he has been receiving.
However, Rice said he did not follow Hill throughout the morning and just happened to be at a kitchen store across from the coffee shop where Hill met Ray. In addition, a CalCoastNews reporter met with Rice during the morning hours during a time Hill claims he was being followed.
Rice dismissed Hill’s comments as “utter fabrications” made in an attempt to turn the Grover Beach Council against Peterson, who is serving her first term as mayor. Peterson is also the Grover Beach representative on the APCD board.
“Like San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Hill’s harassment and abuse will only be stopped when the targets of his harassment speak out publicly,” Rice added.
The bad blood between Hill and Peterson stems primarily from the on-going debate over the so-called “dust rule” which calls for more stringent fines and regulations regarding dust emissions in the popular Oceano Dunes, a cause long championed by Hill.
Peterson has been questioning both the science and the economic impact of the changes, passed in 2011, and is trying to repeal the dust rule. Both Hill and Gibson argue that Peterson should follow the APCD staff’s recommendations.
The issue was scheduled to be addressed at the July APCD meeting.
Critics suggest that Hill and Gibson, both of whom were photographed at various public events that day, decided not to attend the meeting in order to prevent a quorum because they lacked the needed votes to block the repeal.
The Grover Beach City Council is scheduled to meet Monday, August 5, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Peterson has come under criticism from fellow council members for taking up the dust rule issue without consulting them. There is a possibility that council members will decide Monday to replace Peterson on the APCD board, a move believed to have the blessing of Hill.
Over the weekend, both Hill and Gibson contacted Grover Beach Council members asking them to vote to replace Peterson on the APCD Board. Several opponents of Hill and Gibson’s alleged “strong-arm tactics” contend that Grover Beach City Council members Jeff Lee and Glen Marshall have a perceived conflict of interest because they are also San Luis Obispo County public works employees who may have difficulty voted against their bosses wishes.
In his email, however, Hill said he didn’t care what the city council decided to do.
“Frankly, I don’t care what you do about her anymore,” Hill wrote, referring to Peterson. “If you want to keep her on the APCD Board she will continue to embarrass the city, and most likely get the county sued. She has alienated me entirely, and I find her a disgrace to our community.”
“From: Adam Hill
“Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:49 AM
“Subject: from Adam
“There has been another cycle of misinformation so a quick correction is in order.
“My absence at the APCD meeting was precipitated by the illness of my fiancé’s 11 year old daughter. (Sage) This occurred Monday morning while she was at camp and her mother (Dee) is in DC.
“On Wednesday morning at 8am, Kevin P Rice was parked outside my house.
“He then followed me as I took Sage to the doctor. After that, he followed me as I dropped another daughter off at day camp. Then he followed me as I met for coffee with AG City Councilwoman Caren Ray, and later followed me again as I returned to take care of Sage.
“This stalking by Mr. Rice, who you know as your Mayor’s sidekick, is actually legal. Nonetheless, I contacted the Sheriff and the SLOPD and I now have police protection. I will next have to seek a restraining order against Mr. Rice.
“This is how ugly and dangerous this nonsense about a non-issue stirred up by your Mayor has gotten. It should appall you that I have to live with death threats and stalking as it appalls me, and frightens my family.
“Frankly, I don’t care what you do about her anymore. If you want to keep her on the APCD Board she will continue to embarrass the city, and most likely get the county sued. She has alienated me entirely, and I find her a disgrace to our community.