Jim Hill on issues facing Arroyo Grande

September 30, 2014
Jim Hill

Jim Hill

OPINION By JIM HILL

Brown Act – California’s Ralph M. Brown Act, also known as the “open meetings act,” makes it illegal for a majority of the members of city councils, commissions or boards to converse on any topic under the group’s area of responsibility outside a public meeting.

It also strictly limits topics allowed in closed session meetings. This has proven necessary to eliminate the “back room deals” that otherwise get made without the knowledge of the public.

It is clear that the Arroyo Grande Council has disregarded the Brown Act in matters conducted in closed sessions under the guise of performance reviews. In the past, I’ve irritated other members of boards who routinely practiced such violations, by not contacting them outside of meetings. I am not here to gain four new buddies. I will strictly observe the Brown Act in conduct of city business.

Charter City – I am opposed to making Arroyo Grande a charter city due to the increase and concentration of power that would result. It is better when some powers are spread out and citizens retain more control.

Conflicts of Interest – As past South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board member from Oceano, I recognized the conflict of interest then Administrator John Wallace had by assigning district engineering work directly to his own firm. My efforts to separate the contract for administration from that for engineering was opposed by Mayor Tony Ferrara (the longest tenured Board member) and Bill Nichols of Grover Beach until the SLO County Grand Jury investigation forced change.

Employees – Employees of the city have carried on providing high quality services while controversy engulfs the city manager, council and mayor. In point, the Arroyo Grande Police Department continues to provide exemplary service even though failures of city management and officials compelled a response that required as much courage as the police routinely exhibit on the job. Every Arroyo Grande resident owes our employees a vote of thanks.

Equal Treatment – I believe city laws and policies must be applied equally to all citizen, employee, administrator, and official alike. If laws and policies need change, officials have the capacity to do that. Favoritism and unwritten exemptions for the privileged undermine trust and morale and cannot be tolerated.

Term Limits – I support term limits because they are the most effective mechanism available to prevent elected and appointed officials from becoming too comfortable in their positions and slipping into patterns of privilege that no longer benefit the constituents or the city. I will immediately move to adopt eight-year maximum terms for city council and mayor, as well as appointed positions such as planning commissioners. Additionally, I believe certain city contracts should occasionally be reviewed and changed. For example, good financial practice requires that auditors be changed every three to five years. In Arroyo Grande, it is also clear a change in city attorney is timely.

I am humbled and honored that so many of you have asked that I run for mayor of Arroyo Grande. I am your qualified and registered candidate. If you agree that it’s time for change in Arroyo Grande, your choice is to write-in Jim Hill for Mayor on your blank ballot line under “City of Arroyo Grande – Mayor” and fill in the oval to the left of that line. If elected, I will represent your views and work to change city policies to avoid future derailments. I can be reached at 481-5654 and deeply appreciate your support.


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23 Comments

  1. toryrand says:

    term limits, change of mayor, change of attorney, change of council, improved ethics and arms length transactions – y not? get’s my vote.

    Tony and his lack of Arms Length Transactions is just truly disgusting. Think South District Sanitation Scandal (>$1M lost), City Hall Purchase from Thompkins (>$1M lost), Verdin/Thompkins Marketing Contract ($70K a year lost), and lord knows what else. Veiling it doesnt change it.

    (18) 30 Total Votes - 24 up - 6 down
  2. aft50s says:

    Jim,

    You got my vote.

    Where can I get a sign for the yard?

    Do you have an email address for the election period that you wouldn’t mind disclosing to those of us who have further questions about your position on various matters?

    Good luck to you AND us Arroyo Grande residents who are looking for a change!

    (18) 30 Total Votes - 24 up - 6 down
    • BuelahBB says:

      At the end of Jim Hills article he gave out his home phone number so that at ANYTIME, ANYONE can call. This is way more personal, you know, the old fashion way.I wonder does anyone have Tony’s home phone number?

      (15) 25 Total Votes - 20 up - 5 down
      • LeAnn says:

        I have never known a candidate to give out their personal phone number. Yet, one more reason why I will vote for him. He will do right by the citizens of AG. I don’t think the points raised in the statements above are lofty or even ideals–they are concepts all leaders could attain if they set aside their personal interests and worked solely for the people who elected them.

        (8) 22 Total Votes - 15 up - 7 down
        • LeAnn says:

          I am sure it is safe to assume the person who disliked my post above either stands to loose something if Tony goes OR is someone who is currently in a leadership position in AG who cannot put their own interests aside for the betterment of the community……..

          (6) 20 Total Votes - 13 up - 7 down
      • toryrand says:

        yeah, i just looked up his number, here it is……(1me)111-meme

        (2) 16 Total Votes - 9 up - 7 down
        • agag1 says:

          Here’s his cell: (Yme)-Yme-meme
          Please leave a message

          (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
      • BuelahBB says:

        This is so funny! How could you not like this?

        (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
    • BuelahBB says:

      I called this number to get a yard sign 441-5133, hey they need walkers, etc. if anyone wants to help. Not a lot of time left.

      (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
    • Mike Byrd says:

      Anyone can call Jim ‘ s number posted at the end of his article, call or text me at 805-441-5133 or message through http://www.facebook.com/WriteInJimHillMayor. The full website should be up and operating soon. Sign locations, volunteers and, of course, financial support are needed right now.

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
      • LeAnn says:

        Hi Mike,

        Sorry for the Facebook issues, I don’t know what the issue was……..the page looks good. Is there something specific I could contribute to it?????

        I really want to contribute any way I can.

        (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
    • Mike Byrd says:

      Contact@WriteInJimHillMayor.com

      (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • nurse1 says:

      Someone should be writing an editorial on The League of California Cities president.
      LeAnn Akins perhaps?

      http://www.cacities.org/Top/About/Contact-Us.aspx

      (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
      • dogeatdog says:

        Nurse 1 why not you? if you can comment here you can write a letter, don’t depend on others

        (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
        • LeAnn says:

          Hi dogeatdog—-hope you are well—-want to meet up this weekend and go through a neighborhood?????

          (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • LeAnn says:

        Hi Nurse1,

        I am currently working on two things—one which will poke holes in the City Charter initiative and one hopefully for the Tribune—-yikes—that’s Tony’s paper—-no guts no glory for our new candidate.

        (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • agag1 says:

      contact@writeinjimhillmayor.com for a sign. Let us know if you’re available to canvas your neighborhood, or help $$financially$$.

      Thanks for your interest, it will take a little effort from a LOT of folks to make this happen!

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. willnose says:

    We need new leadership, as the present one has left us, once again, with a mess! The root of this is likely to cost our city, as in the past, plenty of dollars. To date, close to 1,5 million dollars have been paid in settlements tied to personnel issues. Further liabilities may yet hit us rate payer concerning the Sanitation District / Wallace fiasco. Enough already, it’s time for new leadership!

    (17) 33 Total Votes - 25 up - 8 down

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