Did Gibson purposely doctor the agenda?
January 13, 2015
BY KAREN VELIE
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s last act as chairman of the board of supervisors was to shut down public comment and board discussion over Supervisor Adam Hill’s appointment to vice chair in violation of the Brown Act.
The Jan. 5 agenda, the last agenda created with Gibson as board chairman, did not include the usual public comment period as required by law. Even though multiple speakers were prepared to argue against Hill’s appointment and Supervisor Frank Mecham had already been voted in as chair, Gibson continued to lead the meeting and ordered Supervisor Debbie Arnold not to challenge his decision.
In 2016, Arnold and Hill will be running for reelection. Because of Gibson’s action, Hill will have the advantage of serving as chairman.
Gibson’s insistence that the board follow a disputed rotation allows Hill to serve twice in eight years while Arnold will not serve as chairman during her first four-year term.
Noting Gibson’s Brown Act violation, local activist Julie Tacker sent a cease and desist to the county detailing the failure to allow public comment and the absence of speaker slips in the county chambers during the Jan. 5 meeting.
County Counsel Rita Neal responded in a letter to Tacker saying the county would promise not to repeat the violation and that the board would open public comment on the item at the Jan. 13 meeting.
In addition, if a member of the board asks to agendize the appointment of Hill as vice chair in response to Tuesday’s public comment, Hill could lose his vice chair position.