APCD to pay consultant to teach civility

January 31, 2016

civilityAmid disagreements over high salaries and the controversial dust rule, the divided San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District Board of Directors voted to hire a consultant for up to $5,000 to moderate a team-building workshop tentatively scheduled for March 23.

Initially, staff recommended spending $15,000 for a consultant. However, Grover Beach Councilman Jeff Lee made a motion to spend no more than $5,000. SLO County Supervisor Bruce Gibson seconded the motion with SLO Mayor Jan Marx, Paso Robles Mayor John Hamon, Atascadero Councilmember Roberta Fonzi, Morro Bay City Councilman Noah Smukler and SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill voting in favor of the motion.

Arroyo Grande Councilmember Barbara Harmon, Pismo Beach Councilman Ed Waage and SLO County supervisors Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold voted against spending $5,000 on a consultant, though they said would support a team building workshop at no cost to the district.

After a lengthy debate over a request by APCD Director Larry Allen for a 4.8 percent raise in pay, the board voted to provide a 2.5 percent salary increase increasing his yearly compensation to approximately $250,000. The 12 person board, made of five members from the San Luis Obispo County board of Supervisors and a representative from each city, is often split on key issues.

Conservative members have voted primarily against large pay raises and the Oceano dust rule while liberal members have voted for increased salaries and supporting the dust rule.

The APCD dust rule requires State Parks to reduce the amount of particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes to the Nipomo Mesa or face fines of up to $1,000 a day. Opponents of the rule claim it was based on flawed science in an effort to raise money to pay bloated APCD staff salaries.

In 2015, a state appellate court invalidated part of the Oceano Dunes dust rule. Nevertheless, the APCD staff has been battling to keep the regulation in place with support from about half of its members.

Last year, Adam Hill served as chair of the air board. However, in recent years, several members of county and regional boards have objected to Hill serving in leadership positions because of his propensity for sending disparaging emails and attacking his critics in published writings.

In January 2013, Hill lost out on opportunities to serve both as air board chair and president of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments because of his lack of civility.

Morro Bay City Councilman Noah Smukler took over as chair in Jan. 2016.



I keep trying to type a response, but I start picturing a group of freaking assholes making 200k sitting in a room together not able to get along, and I start laughing. Honestly, for the amount of money they make, they need to just shut up and do their jobs, whatever it is that air anti polluter people do to make 200-250k a year.

For half that price, I would go to work and do my job and place nicely with others. I wouldn’t even need a 5k team building class.

These assholes just need to get on YouTube and look up some Steven Covey. 7 Habits of Effective People can probably be purchased on Amazon for a bargain. They can afford it.

If they can’t fire all of them. They can work at Burger King. For 250k a year, I will be a freaking expert in my job and even brings snacks to work.



Eliminate the APDC and the board completely. What a bunch of over paid air heads! They all need to move on.




just the facts


just the facts



Do they really not understand that someone has to earn that money before they tax it and give it away?


That would require thought, which is not a trait of politicians.


Money is created by debt. that is how the supply grows

what the

The next headlines will read:

Court Order Sends Team Adam Hill to Finishing School


WE have to pay to teach these people manners? What the hell is going on????

No @#$%&* way!


The source of the APCD board’s contentiousnesstraces–and that on the BOS–traces to Bruce Gibson. He is always the weasel behind the curtain, trying and often times succeeding in getting his way. And always it comes at the expense of civility and creates a liability for the county. Thanks Bruce, for the hole that you have have put us in.

Mr. Holly

Everything about this is disgraceful. Next will be either a tax or fee increase to cover their cost of doing business. Sooner or later the citizens of San Luis Obispo are going to have to stand up and say enough is enough of robbing us to supplement their lifestyles, benefits and to cover all of the misdeeds that they do with their out of control spending.


Shouldn’t the headline be APCD uses $5,000 of taxpayer money to prove it deserves it’s outrageous salaries, benefits and pensions?? or should it be Larry Allen with his $250,000 yearly salary spends more taxpayer money to prove he should get even more money??


The APCD board voted for this, not Larry Allen. You can see who the board is here:


CalCoast reporter should tell us who voted yes/no.


And the board is controlled by??? at least some of the board is?????


Passed 7-4. Dissenting: Arnold, Compton, Harmon, Waage. Interestingly Hill didn’t really like it either but wanted to support the motion maker.


Who was the motion maker?


I am sure Larry Allen was not the only person to get a raise. You don’t give the boss a raise with giving one to all the crew.

More fines and fee = more pay increases.