Three citizens ejected from SLO County Board of Supervisors’ meeting

September 19, 2013
Bruce Gibson

Bruce Gibson

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson tossed three speakers out of Tuesday’s board meeting following an argument that ensued after community members asked for information about a pledge Gibson and a fellow  supervisor signed.

Speaking during public comment, several community members asked the supervisors to explain the International Council For Local Environmental Initiative’s (ICLEI) Resilient Communities Pledge and county staffer’s engagement in the program. Supervisor Debbie Arnold suggested that the board set a time for staff to give a 20 minute presentation to explain the ICLEI movement to the board and the public.

Arnold also requested that staff provide more information regarding the Regional Water Quality Board and the Los Osos Community Services District’s concerns about the progress of the Los Osos sewer project. Arnold noted that many of the board’s Tuesday meetings had ended by noon, giving the board plenty of time to explain the issues publicly.

Adam Hill and Gibson, both of whom signed the ICLEI pledge as county supervisors, argued that Arnold should ask staff to explain the agreement in private and not waste their time responding to a small group of people who do not have the best interest of the community.

Members of the public began voicing outrage calling Hill and Gibson “bullies.” Gibson responded by ordering Templeton resident Bill Pelfrey, Los Osos resident Linde Owen and Cayucos resident Richard Margetson out of the county building.

Watch the entire meeting or start about 40 minutes in to view the altercation.


…a New World Order as evident by Gibson etal inability to speak plainly about ICLEI.

Rooted in Oil and US monetary policy, it’s like explaining Pascal’s Wager at an atheist convention.


so scary ? why ?

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, is an international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development. The association was established when more than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened at its inaugural conference, the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the United Nations in New York in September 1990.

over twenty years work has been done

what is an alternative idea?


It would be scary to sitting county supervisors who have voted to approve development after development after development, in areas where there is insufficient sustainable resources, despite the clear risks to our resources.

What is of more concern is Gibson over-reacting to citizens’ opinions, and using bully tactics to stop citizens’ opinions from being heard.

The board of supervisors is getting entirely too comfortable with using their positions as county supervisors to bully citizens from having their opinions heard before the board of supervisors.

The supervisors don’t have to like WHAT the citizens say. They don’t even have to like HOW it is said.

As elected officials, they are expected to be wearing their big-boy/girl pull-up pants now, and be able to listen to public opinions, no matter what the opinion or how it is expressed.

They were not anointed by God to their positions on the board of supervisors, and they are not agents of God in administration of their duties as supervisors.

They need to come down off their “ain’t-I-big-stuff-now” horses, start listening to the people, and treating the people with respect, even when the people are angry.

Good heavens, the local Jiffy-Lube staff can handle angry customers, but the county supervisors cannot?


Maybe you didn’t watch the whole meeting Mary. The Supes were respectful. It was the rowdies in the audience, yelling from the back, caused the problem.


Throwing people out of a meeting is not respectful. It is the act of an inept, cowardly supervisor.


As many parents have said to their old-enough-to-know-better-children: “If you’re going to act like a child, I’m going to treat you like a child.”


It is not Gibson’s job to cast judgment on how people act. In fact, he is the LAST person on the BOS who should be casting judgment about other people’s actions.

His job during the meetings is to run the meetings. That includes listening to what the people have to say.

If Gibson’s panties are so tied up in a knot these days that he can’t do his job running the meetings, then the BOS needs to put someone else in that position.


Gibson doesn’t control what comes out of peoples mouths. He listens to people when they talk at the podium, but not to people who are rudely shouting from the back of the room. Surely you see the difference.


If you were passionate about something and were in a meeting seeing YOUR elected official sweep it under the rug, I hope you would have spoken up too!


Once again Mary Malone BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Too funny! The usual suspects just don’t get it. No matter how hard they try to stop, disrupt, obstruct, delay, complain, insult others, embarrass themselves, and continue to remain obnoxious, the county is continuing with the sewer project regardless how many times they deservedly get kicked out of public meetings.


The people have the right to be heard at public meetings, and the people have the right to express their anger. It is a protected right.

If the supervisors cannot deal with citizens who are angry about the supervisors’ decisions, then the supervisors need to resign and get another job because, when they stoop to bullying tactics, they prove they are unfit for the job.


Of course people have the right to be heard, and they have the right to be angry. However, they are responsible for being decorous during the proceedings.

These same individuals, week after week ignore the rules of order and decorum in their attempt to forward their agenda. They have been doing this for years.


If the County Supervisors cannot find a skill-set between them all to handle this, then they should not be in office.

The power to decide what is “decorous” lies in the supervisor running the meeting. As we’ve seen in the past, just mentioning the conflict-of-interest problems with Gibson and his girlfriend, and Adam Hill and his fiance, is enough to get the mike cut off.


Freedom of speech is one of the most important privileges enjoyed by the citizens of this county. This freedom is circumscribed, however, by the necessity of maintaining order and decorum when debate is taking place. Thus, the right to speak is tempered by the written rules of the BOS which are, in general, limitations on what may be said, and when, by whom and for how long.

Unlike you, I don’t allow my contempt for certain supervisors to either prejudice, or compromise the rules of decorum necessary to properly conduct a public meeting.


Well stated.


Good comment, but… if I someone at the meeting were shouting, “Great job Mr. Gibson and Mr. Hill; you guys are the best!”, they would not have been tossed out.


You presume you know my motivations for my opinions. To no one’s surprise, you are wrong.

In this case, my opinion is based on the history of supervisors abusing their power to bully county residents into silence, going so far as to throw them out of the meeting.

Especially someone like Gibson has far too many skeletons in his closet, and far too short of a fuse, to be in charge of the meetings. He is simply unfit for the position, as we’ve seen from his hair-trigger response to meeting public participants being bullied or ejected from the room in order to silence them.

Gibson is unfit to be leading public meetings. I don’t think Mechum or Arnold are bright enough.

Hopefully, Mr. Teixeira’s replacement supervisor will have more experience in conducting public meetings.


MM says, “supervisors abusing their power to bully county residents into silence”

Silence? Really? These same people show up week after week! They are treated respectfully while at the podium. Shouting from the back of the room is not respectful to the Supes or to the audience.

(Don’t worry, they’ll be back next week, MM.)

Niles Q

If you think this was bad, you should have seen these same people’s behavior during the early 2000s at the Los Osos CSD meetings. Remember “Move the Sewer?”

Poor Rose Bowker and the others were harassed and yelled and screamed at so much they had to have Sheriff’s Deputies on guard at all the meetings. For a CSD meeting!

There is a small band of hooligans stemming from those days who are now apparently tired of being ignored week after week and have now decided to repeat their performances from the LOCSD days. What the hell? It worked once…

Where was Julie Tacker? I would of thought she would have gotten a big kick out of being tossed out of a meeting like this. Call it a badge of honor.

These folks need to be careful because disrupting a public meeting could be charged as felony. And you give a deputy trying to restore order or remove someone from the room even one ounce of crap, and off to jail you will go.

Public meetings are conducted under Robert’s Rules of Order and whatever policies the Supes have passed for their particular needs.

There is no such thing as Free Speech in a regulated setting like this. You have a chance to speak listed in the agenda and that’s it. Shouting from the back of the room is not only rude but potentially criminal, so watch yourselves because I for one don’t want my tax dollars wasted on trying to shut someone up.


what he said^


Thanks for your comment. You said it like it was, sad as that is.


Criminal? That is a scare tactic. Name me one case where someone yelling from the back of the room resulted in someone being charged with, and convicted for, a crime.

It isn’t Gibson’s job to judge whether someone is rude. If someone is behaving in a truly disruptive manner, there are better ways to handle it than using the bully pulpit to silence them.

In addition, supervisors have had ejected from the room people who were speaking at the microphone, and in a perfectly polite way. They just didn’t like the topic the person was discussing.

As far as your comment, “…so watch yourselves because I for one don’t want my tax dollars wasted on trying to shut someone up,” who in the billy-heII made you God? And why should your demands carry more weight than others’ demands?

There are plenty of things I don’t like the county supervisors spending taxpayer dollars for, and they are a lot more expensive (and some are illegal) than dealing with a member of the public who may be irritating.

It is the supervisors’ job to serve the people. It is not our job to serve the supervisors.


I’m confused, this clip doesn’t have anyone asking about ICLEI. All I see/hear is Pavo Ogren (think that’s his name) speaking and someone yelling in the background. The person yelling and interupting should have been thrown out of the meeting.

Please provide us with a link to the full exchange or a better clip. I like to grap pitchforks with the best of them, but give us something here.


I guess if you start yelling from the back of the room you get thrown out. Duh!


Why are the other two water purveyors not writing letters to the water board? All three are tied together in a court case. Also, the dewatering plan was discussed and approved by the Water Board and Coastal Commission. The speakers got the CSD board to write this letter, never acknowledging the facts that the water lost is negligible and to truck the water would have huge costs and traffic impacts on the project. The speakers got all hate this project and want to stop it and everyone knows this. I hate for these wrong headed and misleading opinions being seen as representing Los Osos.


Please let’s find good, honest folks to replace these idiots in the next election. We deserve better



I agree. If they are not able to handle citizens who are angry about the board of supervisors’ decisions, then they are unfit for the position.

Both Hill and Gibson are unfit for their positions as supervisors, and being able to handle angry constituents is just one of the many reasons that make them unfit.


One would think that with all the verbal abuse these two Public Servents have brought on themselves that they would watch what they say and do, but noooo not these two they seem to think that they can operate any way they desire, if they had their way no one would come to the supervisors meetings and then they could hold court among them selves.


They seem almost emboldened by their past poor performance.

They acted like crap previously, with no repercussions, so they continue.


In a very basic public-speaking class I attended at junior college, many years ago, dealing with angry people in the audience was one of the issues addressed.

Perhaps Gibson and Hill need to take a basic public-speaking class at a local junior college, on their own dime. There is no reason for taxpayers to have to pay for instruction of supervisors in skills they should have as elected supervisors.


The thing that leaves me wondering, is how in the HELL did either one of these guys get into office? Better yet if they get reelected.

Is there anyone here (posting) in these districts that voted for them? Would be curious if so, what is the attraction to them that the rest of us are missing?


What your clip of the meeting failed to show is Mr Gibson sizing down Ms Arnold when she ‘dared’ ask about the Los Osos CSD letter, who is a major water purveyor in the community. That letter was sent to the Regional Water Board out of concern of water being pumped into the bay instead of Mid Town or Broderson. Mid Town is not perking the water and the contractor has failed to connect the recycle pipe to Broderson in a timely, contract specific time. Broderson needs to be tested to see if it can perk the water unlike Midtown.

The CSD, as a water purveyor and Emergency Services provider, has consistantly asked the County to their monthly meetings for updates.The County stated they will never attend a CSD meeting. For what reason? Ask the County.

This CSD Board is not the Board of yester year. Yet the County refuses to engage. Why?

Good question. Ask Bruce.


Land use questions belong in LOCAC’s purview, the CSD has no part in the wastewater project. The County will go to a LOCAC meeting. It doesn’t matter who is on the CSD Board. Contrary to those angry speakers’ assertions, the contractors are not behind and are instead in Phase II of the approved dewatering plan.


CSD water and Emergency Services and what impacts them is the business of the CSD.

Those are not land use questions.

Pumping water to the bay is a contract approved method-after MidTown and After Boderson. Pumping to the Bay is not primary.


Agreed. She doesn’t know what she is talking about.