Hill calls Grover Beach mayor a disgrace

August 5, 2013
Adam Hill

Adam Hill


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 “gbadmin@grover.org.” 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.”


Hill’s email

“From: Adam Hill

“Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:49 AM

“Subject: from Adam

“Council Members,

“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.





“Hill calls Grover Beach mayor a disgrace”. In other breaking news, pot calls kettle black…


Yep it happened.


Does it strike anyone as unusual that this malignant dwarf and his anthony Weiner wannabe only attack women. They would make all this fuss about men because they are well not men at all but spinless petty tryrants. I am disappointed that Debbie Arnold has chosen to back down from the repeated assaults that have been sent her way by the dwarf and the Weinerwannabe. Hopefully she will be a one term supervisor. We need folks with some guts to improve the politics in our area. I am anxious to see how Debbie Peterson fairs in the upcoming battle. Ms Arnold perhaps you could learn from the other Debbie. Ms Arnold, you still on the Capslo board ?? Hows that working for you ?


“Malignant dwarf” – I very much appreciate you sharing this little gem. I shall be integrating it into my vocabulary :)


I believe Peterson is welcome to her opinion on anything. I also believe she attempted to use her power as mayor to sway public opinion to suit her own best interests. Since she did this without consulting the city council (which provides oversight and input for the mayor), basically blind-siding them with a political hot potato to the face, the city council has the right to yank her from the APCD position.

Because of the huge lack of judgment in the way she abused her power as mayor to benefit herself, I believe the city council SHOULD remove her from the APCD position.

She has acted like a little kid who, fearing her parents (who provide oversight for her activities) would not sanction her political-theater petition, snuck around their backs and just did it without asking first, assuming she would be able to manipulate her parents into letting her slide on it.


Bill Thoma (for starters) is a woman? Hill has spread his venom in a bi-gender fashion.


Yes she’s still on the CAPSLO board but this is not a battle she wants to fight, especially absent a majority. If there was the ability to cut county social service spending she’d be all over it but the spending is mandated and largely funded by superior agencies (State and Feds), some of which is contracted out by the county. CAPSLO has become the United Way (another organization with great PR but a questionable record) of local government social service contracting. Looking into how, what she considers wasteful, money is spent is time wasted. Development and water regulations, or lack thereof, are jobs 1, 2 and 3.


Clearly Adam Hill has made some bad judgments but that should not be an excuse to give a pass to the questionable behavior of Kevin P. Rice who has done as much as anyone to exacerbate the level of toxic and misleading political discourse and animosity in SLO County and has done things behind the scenes that are worthy of serious journalistic investigation.

It’a shame that he’s so totally suckered folks at Cal Coast News and Dave Congalton who coddle him and facilitate his two-faced schemes. Dave should know better by now, but I guess he’s in it so deep now he isn’t willing to admit that he’s been played like a pawn. He’ll see the truth eventually but he may never admit it publicly.

You are better than that Dave! Same with you CCN!


Clearly, Hill is trying to blame the messenger for, once again, being “caught with his pants down,” doing something he obviously did not want the public to know he was doing. The fact that he did it publicly and now whines about being “stalked” just shows the degree of free-floating paranoia which fuels his very odd behaviors.

Rice has the right to go where he wants to in public places, and does not need to make excuses for where he goes.

Adam Hill’s malignant ego may lead him to think that he is sooooo very special that others can be excluded from public spaces where Hill chooses to visit, but that is not reality. I think this Hill mindset indicates an unhealthy degree of paranoia, which is Hill’s problem and not Rice’s.

If Adam Hill wants to have secret liaisons with other people, he should do it privately.


What “secret liasons” are you talking about, Mary? I hope you are not going down the same path as Rice, spreading rumors and gossip and misleading the public and using loaded words that paint an inaccurate picture. Stick to the facts and quit with the hyperbole and you will gain more respect.


liaison: communication for establishing and maintaining mutual understanding and cooperation. (Merriam-Webster online)


Please don’t load words with your own fantasies and then blame another for doing it.

It seems clear Hill wanted his liaison with Ray to remain secret. Otherwise, he would not be so briskly whining about it.

If he wants to have a secret liaison, he needs to have the meeting in private.

In addition, I don’t need advice on how to post, especially from an ad-hominem king like you.


Thank you for clarifying that Hill’s meeting with Ray was totally above-board, and not a “secret liaison” as so many here are obsessed with imagining. It cannot by definition be secret if held at a sidewalk cafe table.


By the same reasoning, Hill cannot expect some form of privacy while sitting at said table, in plain view of crow, crony, or citizen with camera. The man is clearly teetering on the knife edge of civility, if not sanity.


Thank you for the balanced, fair perspectives which is far from the norm on this site.



How can you assume that his meeting was “totally above board,” when he became so maniacal when the meeting–held in a public place, mind you–was documented by photo?

Hill acted guilty as heII when found out, and I can think of at least two possible reasons for his reaction.

Clearly, part of his problem might be because he and Gibson didn’t attend the APCD meeting and, conveniently for them, the meeting had to be cancelled. If he gave Torres’ daughter being sick as the reason for his absence, then that excuse really doesn’t hold water when he is seen out having coffee with a female politician.

However, perhaps there is more to the meeting than just talking politics, and maybe Hill is being dragged over the coals about it by Torres.

Knowing Adam Hill, he will out the real reason he missed the meeting in one of his future taxpayer-funded email rants.

One thing we know for sure…according to Hill, it will NOT be his fault. NOTHING is ever his fault.


“Knowing Adam Hill…” Please explain your relationship w/Adam Hill and how you know him.


And the question no one asks…why did Hill leave an 11-year-old home alone if she was so sick that she had to leave camp and go to the doctor??? Doesn’t this add child endangerment to his list of offenses?


WiserGuy says:”Clearly Adam Hill has made some bad judgments”

You mean like contacting the CCN advertisers and “suggesting” there projects won’t pass the county if they support CCN?

“who has done as much as anyone to exacerbate the level of toxic and misleading political discourse and animosity in SLO County and has done things behind the scenes that are worthy of serious journalistic investigation.”

This was written about Adam, you just did not realize it.

WiserGuy the Pawn, you have been used, be sure to send Adde a campaign check as he really is going to need it.


Often not on the same side of the political fence as Kevin Rice but come on, HIll is a misanthropic, paranoid, schizophrenic. I’d rather argue with Kevin Rice, or Ed Waage, than choke back vomit like Dave Congalton in qualifying agreeing with Adam Hill on certain issues.

Reality Check

I’m curious how the Grover Beach City Council will react to Hill’s obvious attempts to bully them while at the same time claiming that he is the victim of ___(fill in the blank)____. Hill’s message to the Council is an obvious attempt to interfere and get the Council to do his bidding. Shame on him!

Hopefully the Council will look at the best interests of the City of Grover Beach and retain Debbie Petersen on the APCD board. Many residents and merchants in Grover Beach are concerned about the future of the City, if the “Dust Rule” ultimately results in heavy fines of the State Parks that eventually lead to the closure of the beach to use by vehicles.

Grover Beach doesn’t have dozens of hotels, an Outlet Center and other consistent means of income such as Pismo Beach has. Reducing use of the Beach, or closing the Beach to vehicles will adversely effect Grover Beach. Debbie Petersen stepped up to alert the residents and council to what she knew of the situation. Punishing the messenger, Debbie Petersen, won’t save Grover Beach City and businesses from ruin when vehicles are banned from the beach.


I believe it is more important to protect the environment from ruin. Let the off-road enthusiasts get their ATV jollies at a less critically sensitive venue.

Kevin Rice

Open sand is the least impacted soil type. Recreation causes zero damage to sand. Invasive weeds are by far the most significant threat to the dune complex.


How can you say “recreation causes zero damage to sand” without putting it in the context of the dune’s delicate ecosystem, including the fine crust that forms on top of the sand?


Like I say, I don’t agree with Kevin, but the quicker we can get dildos like Hill out of the way we quicker we can focus on the facts.

Kevin Rice



The ORV threat to the dunes was going into native plant, particularly endangered coreopsis, habitat. These were made off-limits to ORV’s in the 70’s and strictly enforced since. Agreed, well and good. So now it’s all about blowing sand. Or is it?

Kevin Rice

Coreopsis gigantea (Leptosyne gigantea) is neither endangered or threatened. While boundaries were ultimately added to protect private property and plants and other species, the most significant threat to listed species such as the La Graciosa thistle is invasive ammophila arenaria, not OHV presence in open sand.

Kevin Rice

THERE IS NO “CRUST”!!! How many certified geologists do we need to convince you this myth invented by non-expert air specialists is FALSE? The entire extent of the “crust” myth is two sentences and one photograph in the 200-page dust study. They didn’t even study the issue! They simply coined a falsehood that sounds believable enough for lay persons to beehive it’s credible. THERE IS NO”CRUST”!!!


Zero impact? Really? Your credibility just took a significant plunge.


I don’t know who’s right or wrong on this blowing sand mess but I do know that I was just up the coast and stopped at the elephant seal pullout and noticed that the wind was blowing so bad that w got a free facials and that sand was all over the road, parking lot and a build up along the highway. We sure didn’t see any off road vehicles, but then again. we couldn’t see in the distance for the sand blowing in the wind!


“Zero impact to sand.” Yeah, and cars have zero impact on asphalt. Those dunes weren’t always denuded sand

Kevin Rice

You challenge my assertion about sand by substituting vegetation? Now that’s illogical! And there are hundreds of acres MORE vegetation today than in 1930, FYI.

Kevin Rice

Homer: Yes. Zero impact. I’ll supply you with a sandbox, OHV, dynamite, sledgehammer, and goggles. You show me an impact.

Oh, maybe you’ll succeed in making some tire tracks… that’s nothing compared to the wind which will erase it in hours or minutes.


Hill plays the kid card. You phoney.


I agree. He used a child to shield himself from his own questionable behaviors.


If I was the mother of this child I’d send him packing for involving an under age child in this way to cover his tracks. What a horrible role model. Bad dad. Very bad dad.


Adam, have you ever thought it could be your angry raging ways that have people threatened in and your family? Unless that is just more of your bs and lying ways. I find you a disgrace along with your side kick Gibson.

I was glad someone took those pictures of you and Caren Ray no matter who they were. You do strong arm people and when things don’t go your way, then the threats start coming.

I remember not to long ago you stated you would stop your angry rants, yet all you have done is tone them down a bit, but we still get the under tones loud and clear.

People such as you should not be in government because you forgot how to listen to others. You want them to hear you and you think screaming and yelling will get the job cone. How about truly listening , maybe then you and whom ever you are speaking to can come to a mutual agreement. I am sick and tired of hearing about you in a negative way and frankly I am disgusted by you ever time you open your pie hole.


Late last spring I started receiving emails at work from a Victor _______ that were all negative about Supervisor Hill. I replied briefly to each one. The third email from Victor was over the top, clearly threatening the supervisor and wishing him harm. I asked Victor to cease writing me and forwarded all of his emails to the Sheriff’s department for investigation. Several of us tried to find Victor ______ through traditional Internet searches and the only thing that popped up was a Letter to the Editor in a local paper from last year. I personally don’t believe this guy exists.

Looking back on the situation, I can’t help but wonder if I was being “tested” or entrapped by someone who wanted to know how I might respond to anyone wishing Supervisor Hill harm. Just wondering.

Then last Friday, Supervisor Hill started sending me messages through Facebook–the first time I’ve heard from him in over a year. He kept trying to pick an argument with me, but I wouldn’t play. He started up again Saturday morning and I finally blocked him on Facebook to stop the thread. Then he went after a friend of mine.

The ironic part is that I agree with Supervisor Hill on the dust rule. I don’t want it repealed, but nor am I comfortable with sitting county supervisors meddling with city council affairs. I certainly don’t wish any physical harm come to any elected official–we have to learn to disagree without making it so personal and toxic. BUt I don’t know how we do that. Do you?

Kevin Rice

Here is the letter from Victor Blake attacking Ed Waage around the time of the supervisor electiob:


My opinion is Victor is likely a sock-puppet email account owned by Hill or a friend of Hill. Too bad New Times appears to have failed to vet this letter.


Maybe “Victor” is part of the public relations goons Adam Hill uses to try to patch his tatttered and torn self image.


He claims he doesn’t try to intimidate, you should have taken screen shots of his messages. It sickens me, he needs to be exposed! More than we have seen already!


This letter clearly identifies Mr. Hill as the worst kind of passive aggressive personality type. These types seek to control others’ perceptions and never deal with anything or anyone who might challenge them directly. They always seek to characterize their challengers as crazy. Mr. Hill knows who Mr. Rice is, and knows he is not a dangerous individual. EVEN IF Kevin followed Mr. Hill around, and Mr. Hill does not consider this to be appropriate, then all he has to do (and all any “normal” person would do) is confront Kevin and ask that he stop.

The reason these kind of people always call the police first before talking to the neighbor that’s bothering them (or in this case, the activist following the politicians) is because they know they are wrong and so there is little to be gained from any sort of honest, direct communication. In the professional environment, they will seek to alienate other management from people with real information, especially good analysts and I.T. people and others whose jobs center on using data, through a process of marginalization. This is why you should never let the CFO/controller be the only gateway to I.T. in your business, and be wary of any employees that seem to frequently emphasize the “proper” chain of command.

The good news is, these people always have a weak spot…. a loose end which if found will totally unravel their B.S. I have based a whole career around eliminating this kind of behavior and refocusing management decision making onto factual, verifiable information.The bad news is, unlike private industry, in the public sector if you get caught in your web of pathological lies you are not immediately dismissed.


Hill’s “weak spot” is due to the fact that he has access to a computer and an email account.

I was going to say Hill’s weak spot was in his pants, but thought better of it.

Kevin Rice

Don’t steal from Gibson’s fame.

Kevin Rice

Dear CCN:

Would you please replace your dated young Elvis photo with the more current fat bearded Elvis?






Okay, that made me unhinge my jaw from laughing.


Thank you far contacting our suggestion department.

“Would you please replace your dated young Elvis photo with the more current fat bearded Elvis?”

I will task an intern to do this forthwith.


Yeah, we can use it to scare away mice in the corn field.