Debbie Peterson for District 3 Supervisor

February 23, 2016
Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson


As an aging genetic Republican and an individual of distinct conservative values, I am reluctant to admit that I have come to admire others of different persuasions, especially in a political context.

Debbie Peterson is a Democrat, a feminist liberal, an endorser of progressive instincts – but, I must admit, one steady in common sense, having an astute regard for doing the “right thing” in her position as a public servant. Despite my admitted bigotry, I have come to regard her highly – and for a very good reason.

I mean this as a message specifically for the major partitions of District 3 comprising the City of San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach.

The reason: In early 2014, I wrote concerning the political environment in the south SLO County that included Grover Beach when Debbie Peterson was mayor. I met with her to discuss my concerns.

A that time, the area’s political fabric was strongly influenced by the omnipresence and strong personality of Tony Ferrara. He was then a “Caesar” in his own time. His political strength constituted a substantial political establishment with collegial and close social relationships such as his governmental/business dealings with John Wallace.

Ferrara, therefore, was the father of the area’s political establishment, reaching beyond the geographically small village of Arroyo Grande to regional considerations including the now documented financial fiasco while being on the board of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District.

There was at the time no real accountability to pin the rose on the reasons for the financial fiasco at the sanitation district as suggested by Peterson.

In my meeting with her, we discussed my experience in considering cases and circumstances where fraud occurred in business and government. She admitted that she was very concerned and suspicious about the use of funds at the district, a matter where she came to be severely criticized by numerous individuals defending the financial practices there.

She asked specifically what did I believe regarding the mishandling of finances at the district, considering the overwhelming political situation. I answered, “I did not know” – not that I could deny my own suspicions that such intrigues existed.

Debbie Peterson pointed her finger at the obvious problem now revealed that there was something wrong – and she paid a heavy political price for her astute and honest assessment. I believe it contributed to her losing her job as mayor of Grover Beach.

We now are experiencing a political emergence of a rebellion against the political establishment as evidenced by the emergence of Sanders and Trump in their political parties. In a sense, the traditional political ideological partitions are being subordinated to issues that appeals to common sense.

As this manifestation of the body political applies, as a Republican, I support the political aspirations of a Democrat, Debbie Peterson. For, she exemplifies where political ideology bows to doing the right thing. Please, citizens of the District 3 – take notice. That appears to not being an attribute of the present incumbent who is purchased by and yields to documented interests.


Respectfully, just the facts, I stand corrected, except I stated “it appears” for the reason that it does appear to me that the Dan supporters ignore the courage and “stick-with-it-ness” that Debbie exemplified in exposing the Wallace issue at great political risk to herself.

What has Dan done to parallel this courageous action, except as noted by your pleading that she resigns from the field?

I do not need to name names except to cite the inference that I believe applies. I suggest you name names of those supporting Dan that recognize her outstanding effort in the Wallace matter and acknowledge this outstanding attribute of smarts, strength and political character that should apply to Hill’s successor.


I get where you’re coming from Otis. Debbie has done great things for South Sanitation District issue and helping to expose the criminal activity. But the goal, the end game, has to be to get rid of Adam Hill. Everyone opposed to his vicious attacks on the public speakers, business people who oppose him, elected officials who speak out against him, public employees who have the courage to speak out…must unite! And unite against the person that can beat AH. That person is Dan Carpenter. He has the experience, a wide base of supporters from throughout the county, has proven himself on the SLO City Council, and HE CAN WIN. Debbie’s loss to Shoals shows she is vulnerable and does not have enough support even in Grover Beach. We all want the same thing. I think Dan can and will beat AH, and that will make SLO County a better place to live for all of us.


Think. Let’s talk numbers.

* Dan won 38% (over one-third) more votes than Adam in SLO.

* Debbie won 2-1/2 times more votes than Adam in Grover.

* Even when Debbie lost in 2014, Debbie still won 11% more votes than Adam received in Grover.


I have been reluctant to register as a commenter on this site for several reasons but the time has come to do so.

First of all, I am a supporter of Debbie Peterson because I have seen first hand what she has done to help change the course of the South County Sanitary District. Her intensive research and attention to detail are qualities I want to see on the SLO County BoS.

She is NOT a party puppet like many other local politicians. I would call her a “moderate Democrat” in that some of her views are liberal and others (especially fiscal ones) are conservative. I don’t agree with all her positions on all issues but the differences are few compared to almost any other local politician. That is all one can reasonably expect if the differences are not on really major issues like integrity and decency which she has in spades.

As for Dan Carpenter, IF he can beat Debbie in the primary, I would support him. Many of his views are similar and he also seems to have integrity and decency. However, to counter the arguments of his supporters here:

1. He has never held an office higher than City Councilman — Debbie did get elected as Grover Beach mayor even if she was later ousted much because her outspokenness generated a backlash from the powers that be.

2. Her background is more broad and she seems more aware of what happens in SLO than Dan does of what happens in South County. A representative of District 3 needs to be able to represent both areas.

3. District 3 is a majority Democrat/Liberal district. While her views aren’t always in line with the local Democrat power structure (i.e. not dictated by bureaucrats and developers), they are slightly closer than Dan’s which makes her more electable. That should be the biggest thing in her favor as dumping Adam Hill should be the top priority.

4. For the person who suggested that she move to District 4 to run against Debbie Arnold — really? Move to an area where she is relatively unknown and away from friends and business contacts? This late in the election season when starting over would be virtually impossible? If anyone should move, it should be Dan. He could move across SLO to District 5 and run against Gibson in the next election and do so without a significant loss of his support base. Personally, I would rather see him stay on the SLO City Council to continue acting as a gadfly to the fiscally (and sometimes ethically) irresponsible majority there.


“especially fiscal ones are conservative” , nowadays not exactly sure what a fiscal conservative is, but can tell you that when Debbie Peterson was mayor of Grover Beach she did not want to accept the reality that the government is spending too much and she never wanted to make the fiscal cuts where they really needed to be made. She was always just looking for ways to get more money from the taxpayers and couldn’t see that what really needed to be done was understand you have to live within in means and if that meant cutting salaries and employees, then you have to do it.


Back that up with some facts, nut.


Name me one time she choose to reduce staff, cuts salaries, benefits or such instead of just looking for more ways to squeeze the taxpayers for more money. Even though she was not in office at the time, she told me she would have voted to sell the community garden in the ponzi scheme redevelopment district shell game just to band aid the cities budgets instead of making the real decisions and reduce government costs.


Ron what you may not realize is that moderates and conservatives a done with the Democratic approach to this county…

ACLU is a BIG factor in NOT supporting DEBBIE P.

She is a REAL democrat not a moderate.

Remember we have an off the rails Democrat Adam Hill and that makes anyone look like a moderate but in fact Debbie is not a moderate on all subjects she is not a moderate on very many subjects. So she does not like corruption WOW! Should anyone like corruption????

Republicans, Democrats and any other types do not like corruption WOW!!!

Ask her about climate change and social programs….

I do not want my property rights removed under the nose of a democrat…

We need a change forward to real people with real character.

Dan Carpenter is the right, best, correct and Character Choice

Get Adam Hill out and vote for Dan Carpenter June 7, 2016


Well you are entitled to your own opinions but you don’t get to define “moderate” as anything short of total support for a strict conservative agenda for me. I consider myself a “moderate” although I swing to the left on some issues and to the right on others. I don’t buy into most of the extremes on either side and make no apologies for not being a “true conservative” according to your (or anyone else’s) dogma.

While no politician should like corruption, many (including much of the Democrat Party power structure in this county) seem to have made their peace with it. I can remember a time when the local GOP was that way too. Debbie has not just disliked it but actively fought it (so has Dan) and it has cost her political support from them.

What some people seem to forget is that they can’t have everything their way in politics. SLO’s 3rd Supervisorial District is less likely to elect a more “conservative” politician like Dan than one like Debbie. I suggest that you focus your efforts on helping elect conservatives to the North County districts where they are favorites if you want to be effective in changing the philosophical orientation of the BoS.


You all want to reward Debbie P for going up against Wallace. That is worthy.

The problem is that the on going enemy is Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson!

Against Adam Hill Debbie P lost big time. She lost being on APCD and lost being Mayor. This is the big reason why she needs to fight with all of you supporting her to regain her local (Grover Beach) electability.

Did you all fight and walk and talk for her when she was running for Mayor? Where were you then? She LOST BIG…

So fighting corruption in south san is great and worthy but the first step in coming back in Grover Beach where she clearly lost. This may not be what you want to read or know but this is Politics 101.

If you truely believe in Debbie P know that Grover Beach is left left left and Debbie P was the least left only on corruption.

Here is how it will go…June 7

Dan Carpenter 48% of the vote

Adam Hill 42% of the vote

Debbie Peterson 10% of the vote

That is the “Mike Byrd Effect”

Are you ready to provide the labor and $$$$$$$$ to beat Adam Hill in November or will you just die away since it is not your problem your pawn in the race lost?

I recommend that you all get behind Dan have Debbie P not appear on the ballot and the June 7 voting will go as follows

Dan Carpenter 51%

Adam Hill 49%

Then we move forward and Debbie P runs to dump John S. during the November election and you all help her do that. It should be a piece of cake since you all are on board with Debbie P and have been working for her tirelessly for the big office of supervisor so helping her unseat John S. for Mayor should be easy as her base (according to you all) is solid in Grover Beach!

Then she has cover from the Board of Supervisors and can work and do from Grover Beach with you alls help. ARE YOU THERE for her?

We need good people everywhere…Grover Beach needs your help.

Back Dan and get rid of Adam and in November bring Debbie back and win! This way we all win because this is doable.

Supervisor is way different and the dynamics of San Luis Obispo City Council are way different than Grover Beach….for another day…….

Go with those supporting Dan and support Debbie P where she can regain her credibility at the city level and she is young enough to fix that and then work from strength not from a “SINGLE ISSUE” position (this is weak for supervisor).


The only problem in having District 3 decided in the June election will be that Dan or Debbie would not take office until, what is it December or later, can you imagine the damage Adam Hill will cause from June when he knows he is out of office, but if he still has to run in November one would think he would limit the damage because he may feel he still needs to try not to pi$$ everyone off until after the November election.


“You all want to reward Debbie P for going up against Wallace.” It isn’t just that she went up against Wallace — a lot of us did that — it is the way she did it with thorough research and a calm but determined presentation of the evidence she unearthed.

“Against Adam Hill Debbie P lost big time.” I wouldn’t call the losses “big time” but the fact that she didn’t let those losses stop her is a positive sign in my book. (Read up on Abe Lincoln’s history of election success to see what I mean.) Times are changing and her persistence can win out in the end.

“Did you all fight and walk and talk for her when she was running for Mayor? Where were you then?” Fair question/criticism. I was pretty much uninvolved in local politics at the time and ignorant of the situation so I did not contribute to her efforts during her re-election loss to Mr. Shoals. That changed when the Sanitation District fiasco came onto my radar and I saw from Jim Hill’s upset of Tony Ferraro that problems can be corrected in politics on the local level. I think a lot of other people did the same.

Now I won’t criticize Dan for what he has tried to do on the SLO City Council but he has been pretty much unsuccessful in his efforts there too. Does that lack of success mean that he is unqualified to move up to Supervisor — by extension of your logic? If you want to criticize Debbie for specific policies — relevant to local politics — do so. We can respectfully disagree or not depending upon the issue. However, let’s try to keep the debate civil and honest so that the only mud-slinging and disingenuous arguments are those coming from Adam Hill.


Against Adam Hill Debbie P. lost big time. No, the courts agreed with her three times. Where was Dan Carpenter?

Lost BIG in Grover. No. 171 votes the other way would have made her Mayor again. You don’t think that Shoals was corrupt enough to sway that? You don’t think that Adam Hill and John Wallace didn’t use their influence there?


Half the votes are in South County. South County deserves a voice too and they share the party with SLO. Why are you making this about SLO is better than Grover?


“Respectively, phoenix.rising, you are partially correct in stating,” Jim Hill championed the south county sewer issue long before Debbie P jumped in and helped.” But Jim Hill resigned while Debbie persisted in its disclosure – and suffered politically in doing so.

It is important to understand both Jim Hill and Debbie Peterson continue to be active on the matter today, a continued resolve by two outstanding citizens.

Again most respectively, you are wrong is stating I “have never run a campaign…out of ignorance.” You are ignoring my political activities on record here in the South County.

Politically, it appears that the same group supporting Dan is also supporting John Wallace on the matter now being considered by the SLO County District Attorney, the California Office of the Attorney General, and the FBI. Here is where politics has crossed the great legal divide on the matter with possible criminal implications.

I believe Dan is a worthy contender opposing Hill. But to suggest that Debbie should resign to support Dan’s political chances is wrong. If the goal is to depose Hill, and given that is the objective, why shouldn’t Dan resign and allow Debbie to proceed independently if he believes strongly that Hill must go?

That is the rub, for neither will or should resign. For Debbie also supports the dismissal of California Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester and the managed development of selected coastal properties that greatly enhance the Avila and Grover Beach areas – not effecting the land bound SLO City areas on District 3. Shouldn’t that be the issue being discussed – not the resignation of worthy Hill contenders?




No one that is supporting Dan Carpenter is supporting John Wallace…You must be cut from the cloth in campaigns that says say whatever makes your candidate win…

John Wallace is an entitled business man that was given the keys to rape us financially, yes that happened and is still happening.

Can you see beyond this topic?

Dan will win and at a great cost because Debbie will not get out….

That is the way it is….

just the facts

WOW…Otis…where is your proof “that the same group supporting Dan Carpenter is also supporting John Wallace…”? Name names! As the saying goes, put up or shut up! These are Democrat tactics straight out of the book, “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky. Enough!


Bobfromsanluis’ comment begs the question, in my mind, why are those who are in favor of Dan concerned with Debbie leaving the field when the real question should be what is the relative excellence of the contenders to replace Hill?

Debbie’s record of challenge and integrity “putting it on the line” is of record. What has Dan done that is remarkable?

Dan’s supporters are avoiding the true issue in begging Debbie to leave when the issue should be who is best qualified in terms of record to succeed Hill — assuming he is politically vulnerable considering his massive financial war chest.


Be sure to read about Debbie Peterson and the San District in today’s New Times


The muck and the mire: The down and dirty back-and-forth over mismanagement allegations against the South SLO County Sanitation District


Thanks for the link; the mention of Debbie Peterson in that article almost makes her look like the only adult in the room at the time. Demanding accountability and public disclosure of an audit? How brash, how rude. Debbie has my vote for Supervisor. Period.


Yeah! Debbie but not a supervisor to win against Adam Hill

very different


Otis you have never run a campaign…out of ignorance you say all this. Character is always present or it is not. Jim Hill championed the south county sewer issue long before Debbie P jumped in and helped.

Once she lost her mayor position she chose to work tirelessly on this project. That does not make her the best candidate.

Dan is a sitting city councilman and works tirelessly protecting SLO citizens against over spending.

This big issue is who can win and Dan can win and Debbie will come in 3rd. One does not need a crystal ball to know this.

If Debbie could win I would back her but she cannot.

SLO has 50% of the voting population for one point of fact and Dan is gaining exposure in the other 50% of the 3rd District.

Kia Kaha

You speak as if you are a sear…..and make such sweeping statements about an outcome you really can’t predict, phoenix rising. Sounds like you really only know 1 candidate and have made little or no effort to investigate Ms. Peterson’s qualifications or abilities.

Time to remove the dust from that cloudy crystal ball….


I suspect you only know one.

I am very familiar with both. I have walked for Debbie P. when Adam Hill went after her while Mayor due to APCD issues with the Dunes.

How well do you know Dan?

Dan is a sitting councilman and can win Debbie lost her mayor’s race…all those voters pick John S. and John S. is supporting Adam Hilllllllll


I have many opinion pieces here by Mr. Page (and a few letters to the editor, when I read the Tribune) and up until this piece, I never found myself agreeing with Otis on anything. It is my belief that Debbie Peterson would help bring some balance to the BOS, something like a slightly left-of-center version of how Frank Mecham operates, in his slightly right-of-center approach.

Adam Hill as a County Supervisor is, IMO, toast, period. The real race is between Dan Carpenter and Debbie Peterson, and both of them need to show the voters how much better they could be in Hill’s place, which really shouldn’t be too hard.

My problem with Dan Carpenter is his (IMO) too-business friendly attitude, due to his statue as a multiple property owner and landlord type mentality. There are three conservative types on the board already, we really don’t need another one, even if he slyly refuses “to state” his political preference.

San Luis Obispo County will be served very well with Debbie Peterson in the 3rd district seat, and perhaps Dan Carpenter should be thinking of running for mayor of San Luis against Jan Marx; I would vote for him in that position, without hesitation.


Some perspectives to consider:

The June primary will vet out the top 2 candidates for the November race presuming Hill does not take 50% +1. Maybe Carpenter and Peterson both being in the race may dilute the outcome enough that no one candidate can win outright in the primary.

In the unlikely event that Peterson or Carpenter manage a stand alone win in the primary and edge Hill out, he would still have about 6 more months as a lame duck supervisor. What a wild ride that might prove to be.

Some commenters here seem to think that Peterson should drop out and give Carpenter a better chance of succeeding Hill. If either Peterson or Carpenter win and replace Hill and if Peschong is the shoe in as purported, then the board will still be divided 3-2.

So the bigger issue is not Debbie Peterson, but Debbie Arnold who is up for re-election and if one is concerned about their particular flavor of the balance of the board.

And the solution to that dilemma could be Peterson drops out of the District 3 race, moves north, and runs for supervisor in District 5.

Meathead Movers number is 544-6328.

just the facts

Debbie Peterson should remain in Grover Beach and run for Mayor of that city next time around!. She needs to remove herself from the 3rd District race for Supervisor. If this supervisorial race goes forward to November, the candidate standing against Adam Hill will have to raise mucho $$$. Adam Hill needs to be defeated in June. Vote Dan Carpenter on June 7th!


If Carpenter replaces Hill, and Peschong gets in, then the board will be 4-1.

How do you see 3-2?

Kevin Rice

3 men and 2 women! :)


It is in my opinion that Debbie would do well running for Mayor of Grover Beach again. She could win over Mayor John and unseat him. In my opinion, she is not yet qualified nor does she have the political capital to win the Supervisor position. Dan Carpenter is the person that can best beat Hill and break the power of the three men on the Board of Supervisors. The people of Grover Beach need Debbie back with them. It will not bode well to have a run off in November between Debbie and Dan where we may all lose. Debbie should save her political capital for a future Mayoral race.

Hill’s large war chest of money from developers makes him a formidable opponent. Unseating him will be difficult. Debbie’s endorsement by the ACLU puts a sour taste in the mouths of Democrats and Republicans alike; thus, splitting the vote between Debbie and Dan Carpenter gives Hill an advantage. I believe the current incumbent, Hill, cannot win against Dan Carpenter.



Respectfully, PolyProf. Your ad hominem attack that I am a ”homophiobe and bigot”, while endorsing Debbie Peterson for her courageous positions, suggests that as one who believes marriage should be between a man and a woman – that the homosexual agenda is morally wrong – that I be censored, even though Debbie, as a liberal, probably disagrees with me.

I suggest, again most respectfully. that you have missed the point, for I have not criticized the other party (Dan Carpenter) also running to depose Hill.

That point, in summary is best summarized by Mike Byrd’s comment that, “Debbie Peterson came along and she talked with those people who had information and suspicions. She spent countless hours digging through feet of paperwork. She educated and organized citizens to become involved. She built the political pressure to force a reluctant board to order the investigation. Hell, she even researched and recommended the person who ultimately conducted the audit. These are basic facts known by everyone who was involved at any level. She didn’t do a thing single handedly and has never claimed to have done so. But what she did do was research then educate and organize. That, my friend, is called leadership. That is exactly what this county needs.”

Given that I have offended you, PolyProf, by my statement, I am sorry. For bigotry, often like a sordid coin, also has two sides as proven by your own attitude on the issue.


Is “OTIS PAGE” (sic) accurate when he labels Debbie Peterson a “feminist” in this pro-Peterson puff piece? I would certainly hope he’s not as feminism is nothing more than a euphemism for sexism. The last thing we need is a (another?) sexist in that supervisorial seat.

We also need a winner and that’s not Peterson. She’s demonstrated that. I become concerned when I read that some suggest Adam Hill is “done.” The hell he is! That desperate monster is going to use every trick in the book (and big developer $$$) to get reelected.

Peterson’s presence in this race only muddies the waters. This race is about Dan Carpenter beating Adam Hill and bringing some normalcy and civility back into local county politics. Peterson needs to do the right thing and quietly bow out. I hope her ego allows her to do the right thing…