A reckoning for Councilman John Ashbaugh

October 29, 2014
Councilman John Ashbaugh

Councilman John Ashbaugh


In the aftermath of San Luis Obispo Councilman John Ashbaugh’s public tirade that included violating open meeting laws, San Luis Obispo City staff announced plans to discuss the violations at the Nov. 10 council meeting.

Following months of lobbying by several developers and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill to override of the airport land use commission, Councilman Dan Carpenter wanted clarification of the issue in open session before making his decision. Ashbaugh then violated the Ralph M. Brown Act by chastising Carpenter for not asking the city attorney questions in a previous closed session meeting.

The Ralph M. Brown Act was enacted in 1953 to insure that deliberations by government officials be conducted openly while permitting public participation. Closed session meetings are only permitted in order to privately discuss threats of legal action, employee discipline, and salary or payment negotiations. It is a violation of the law to discuss closed session negotiations outside of closed session.

Nevertheless, Ashbaugh chastised Carpenter for not having addressed his concerns in an earlier closed session meeting, violating the confidentiality of the closed session.

Ashbaugh’s violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act:

Ashbaugh was pushing for an override of the airport land use commission that would allow for high-density residential development on the south side of town. One of the projects in the area is developer Gary Grossman’s bid to build high-density housing on the property he has in escrow with rancher Ernie Dalido. Grossman has donated large sums of money to supervisors lobbing for the override and several city council members who recently voted in favor of the change.

Both the airport commission and the aeronautical division of CalTrans have hinted at suing the city over the proposed developments because of safety issues. Carpenter questioned how a vote to override the commission could legally impact the city at the public meeting.

Amid Ashbaugh’s tirade, Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson attempted to calm him down, Ashbaugh responded by screaming at Christianson.

Ashbaugh’s outburst at Christianson:

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The Great Pro Tax Increase Debate $$$

The last thing these highly paid Consultants want Is a real debate on the Facts or a discussion on Past Practices on Spending.

We need to balance spending with growing existing tax revenues, reduce staffing levels, eliminate waste, and gain control of out of control salaries, pensions , and benefits, that are driving all these New Tax Increases, that will Not Solve These Structural Budget Problems.

If these New Tax Increases are approved, it will be a Green Light for more New Taxes and Automatic Water Rate Increases in the Next Election.

Vote- Be a Free Independent Voter


Just another reason to vote NO on Measure G.

If you like this City Council, you will LOVE how they spend your $46 MILLION in the next eight years.

Wake up SLO! These people are bozos and if they can’t even get the basic rules of a council meeting right, even with the conspicuously silent city attorney sitting there, how could you possibly think they will spend your money wisely or keep their promises?

No no no! No on Measure G! Throw the bums out! Send them the message we won’t tolerate this behavior!


What a doooshbag. Wait…


Too bad he’s not running for reelection.


What an arrogant and childish individual. It’s clear this public “representative” has been bought. He needs to be booted from the council.


Ashbag should go….a know-it-all talking head. One reason why I cannot watch him

during council meetings….blah…blah…blah!!!


Ashbaugh is an embarrassing disgrace. How does an ass like that ever get elected? He should quit the council, and if he doesn’t, he should be tarred and feathered and put upon a rail and carried out of city hall.

This isn’t his first run in with the law. He was cited and fined for a campaign reporting violation last time he was elected. He has reneged on practically everything he promised when elected, and has turned vehemently against the PEOPLE of SLO and given everything to the developers. Note how he talks in the video about how carefully he listened to the people in the room who had testified. Well, they were all developers and Chamber people — that’s not the PEOPLE of SLO. Normal people don’t go to endless city council hearings to testify about anything. Half these special interests pleading to the council don’t even live in the city!

Ashbaugh is an idiot, and needs to go. Maybe Katie Lichtig can offer him refuge at her Malibu compound where he likes to hang out.


QUOTING HIJINKS: “Ashbaugh is an embarrassing disgrace. How does an ass like that ever get elected?”


My guess….his airport development masters.


So Adam Hill, who has announced to several donors plans to run for Assembly in two years, is pushing Gary Grossman’s plans for high density near an airport.

Who do you think he will hit up for donations during his election campaign? Maybe PG&E with the public relations person Blair Jones teaching Adam Hill how portray himself to the public will throw in some cash also.

Then you have Mayor Jan Marx who fought against the amount of residential units approved by Measure J as dangerous because of the airport, now is cheerleading for more because it is a developer who is donating money to her and her buddies Adam Hill, Caren Ray and Carlyn Christianson. Marx threw Dalido under the bus for the Copelands and now has completely taken a different stance.

The Brown Act was made into law after public outrage over backroom dealings with developers.

Does San Luis Obispo need high density in the airport zone which in other cities has led to lawsuits after accidents, which the taxpayers will be on the hook for, or should the development style approved by the public for Measure J stand? Obviously money talks.


Really? He wants to run for the State Assembly?


What will he give out for campaign momentos…”Adam Hill” imprinted with the word “Doooshbag”?

Mr. Holly

This ought to be interesting since the word on the street is that Atascadero’s O’mally is going to make a run at it.


Word is that our Sheriff Ian Parkinson also sees himself as the next Assemblyman.

Can I mark “None of the Above”?


OMG. I just viewed the second vid clip. How rude and aloof Ashbaugh is.

Heck … Is he trying to give Adam Hill a run for the money in the “dingbat” category?

This is yet another example of narcissism in our local government. SLO takes the cake!!!

The FPPC should conduct an investigation as related to a clear cut violation of the Brown Act.


You know what I have in reply to your post?




This entire council is plain and simply enept and should be embarrassed. And, citizens of City SLO deserve exactly what they have voted for. This is what happens when you sell yourself to people like the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association, Democratic Party, Client Pierre, Gary Grossman, , developers and the best, Adam Hill, City Manager Katie Licktig, and City Attorney Christine Dietrick. This Council is trusting the advise of the City Attorney who has already cost this City thousands of dollar for bad legal advice?

You all deserve each other and the citizens definitely deserve better!


The “Democratic party”? And, what, pray tell, would the Democratic party have to do with development in SLO? If anything it is Republicans that are hell-bent on development at any cost. Your prejudice is showing…

Kevin Rice

COUGH! Ha! Yeah, right. Follow the money…to the DEMOCRATS.


The truth is, both parties specialize in corruption. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be one of the two major political parties running our nation into the ground.

As my mother would have said, “There ain’t no Baby Jesus in this bunch!”

Kevin Rice

The money here is going to Democrat CANDIDATES, not the political party.


Technically true but practically speaking the differences are insignificant. They are also heavily supporting Measure G.


Nothing is done by this Council, in this town without the Hi-Fi from the Central Coast Democratic Party. Why? Money and money buys votes, illegals buys votes, fake War On Women buys votes, Keystone Pipeline buys votes, Birth Control issues buys votes, minimum wage increase buys votes, Anti-Business/Corporation buys votes, etc. etc. etc. Democratic Party needs money and the very things their are against pays them to control the train of power and control. Republicans are no better, just not as much hatred toward everyone and everything.


catdude this is precisely the perspective that many of us are working to try and correct. The elected Democrats in this area are not acting in the manner that most Democrat voters expect they will. They fight to block development of single family homes or raise the fees to ridiculous levels, and they do similarly for local businesses. Meanwhile, because of the potential sales and property tax money, they are pushing through large cookie cutter development projects and what’s worse, they’re often pitching in taxpayer money to make it happen.


History was on your side in this argument up until about 10-20 years ago.Then developers and others who can benefit big from legislation figured out that there were plenty of Dems willing to sell out to retain or gain power. Where they have a chance to do so, their contributors will pay them just as they would a Repub. When your main ideology is getting rich, other principles take second place.

It doesn’t help that political propaganda via mass media has come to be essential for winning most elections. The Dems can’t stay in power if they are being outspent by large amounts as was the case 30 years ago. So they promise to be “for the little guy” while selling out to the big guy. They can always place blame for their failures on the opposition rather than admit that they are liars and hypocrites.