A brickbat for the Tribune
February 8, 2015
OPINION By KEITH GURNEE
Shame on the Tribune’s editorial and Bruce Gibson’s Viewpoint rant for totally missing the mark on the leadership changes on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.
Anyone who attended that meeting would have been stunned with Chairman Frank Mecham’s self-sacrificing, selfless decision to step down as chair and allowing Supervisor Debbie Arnold to become chair and Lynn Compton vice chair. With a grumbling crowd poised to pounce on Mecham and Supervisor Adam Hill, the audience’s reaction to Mecham’s motion quickly turned to praise. Consider what really happened:
1. Supervisor Arnold was finally given her first opportunity at chair, a position Hill has already occupied before.
2. It removed the advantage of giving the bully pulpit as chair to Arnold and Hill during 2016, the year of their potential reelection campaigns.
3. It reordered the rotation so that Hill would become chair in 2017 should he be reelected in 2016.
Amazingly, supporters of Hill and Gibson were nowhere to be seen that day. Seeing the writing on the wall, the duo still chose to oppose Debbie Arnold as chair and left the meeting steaming and pouting. So much for Gibson’s call for “collegiality.”
Frank Mecham proved himself a statesman deserving of a bouquet. As for the Tribune, it deserves a brickbat for “letting no good deed go unpunished.”
Keith Gurnee is a Cal Poly graduate, a former member of the San Luis Obispo City Council and a principal at RRM Design Group. Gurnee retired from RRM in 2013 and was elected as president of the California Planning Roundtable, a state-wide think tank organization.