Atascadero planner mocks the public on Twitter
December 16, 2015
By KAREN VELIE
Over the past four years, an Atascadero planner has made a series of negative comments on Twitter about people who speak during public meetings, the homeless, old people, churches and several public officials he calls teabaggers. These tweets are regularly made during the work day or while Alfredo Castillo is attending public meetings as a paid city planner.
During public comment at a city council meeting several years ago, Steve Weiss, a member of the Ohr Tzafon, thanked the Echo Homeless Shelter for allowing members of the synagogue to participate in feeding the homeless.
“We are not special, we’re special when we help these people,” Weiss said.
Castillo responded by tweeting about Weiss, “A man just stated ‘we are not special.’ I am angered, I am special and entitled.”
Castillo has tweeted multiple comments about the homeless. For example, “Yes…This one brought show and tell! Nothing riles the community like a homeless shelter meal program.”
In September, Castillo tweeted about the American’s with Disabilities Act: “Uggh, why does ada always become an issue. ‘I am tired of helping others less fortunate then me.’ ”
Castillo told CalCoastNews that he regrets making the tweets. He said that the posts are not how he feels, they are meant as jokes and sarcasm.
“It was just stupidity,” Castillo said. “So many people get upset at these programs. I am an activist for the homeless.”
Castillo has also tweeted from the city’s administrative offices during the work day about management at the Refuge Church “thinking they can do whatever they want.” The comment was in response to the church attempting to get a permit to modify their parking lot.
Another workday tweet, included a pornographic drawing of a Latino man having anal sex with the statue of liberty.
When asked about posts Castillo made from city offices, Castillo said that he only tweets during his breaks.
“That is my own personal time,” Castillo said. “I am allowed a 15 minute break.”
Nevertheless, shortly after CalCoastNews contacted Castillo, he removed many of the controversial posts from Twitter.
Several Atascadero residents questioned if Castillo is impartial when performing his job because of the tweets he posts.
“I have no agenda,” Castillo said. “When it comes to my job, I am unbiased.”