Why is Adam Hill silent on firing of Coastal Commission director?

February 17, 2016
SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill, Dee Torres, developer Gary Grossman and Pismo Councilman Erik Howell.

SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill, Dee Torres, developer Gary Grossman and Pismo Councilman Erik Howell.


A week has gone by since the firing of the Executive Director of the Coastal Commission, and no public comment by Supervisor Adam Hill whose district includes the coastal zone from Montana De Oro south to the Oceano Dunes. Why are you silent, Mr. Hill?

Late last Wednesday, after an all day meeting in Morro Bay with more than 1000 people attending, the commission emerged from a closed-session to announce it had voted to dismiss Dr. Charles Lester. All of the speakers spoke in support of the state’s most important guardian of sensitive habitats and public access to the coastline. Thirty-five former Coastal Commissioners, including San Luis Obispo County’s own Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, wrote in favor of Dr. Lester’s stewardship of the fragile California Coast.

For the many environmental and community groups that support the Coastal Act, firing Dr. Lester creates a major political rift over development and access on the 1,100 miles of coastline in California.

Avila, Pismo, and Grover Beaches are all coastal communities that may face significant development impacts from this back room decision made by a slim 7-5 majority of the Coastal Commissioners.

Erik Howell, Pismo Beach city councilman and Coastal Commissioner, led the charge to remove Dr. Lester, stating that “a lack of communication and needless delays on projects in the coastal zone” were reasons he voted to dismiss the commission’s Executive Director.

After his dismissal, Dr. Lester told the LA Times that “This commission seems to be more interested in and receptive to the concerns of the development community as a general rule. There is less focus on how we can make decisions to implement the Coastal Act.” The San Luis Obispo Tribune even awarded the commission a “boatload of brickbats” for the secretive firing, calling it “arbitrary and at odds with public opinion”.

It should be noted that Mr. Howell is an avid supporter of current 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill’s reelection. He is listed as an endorsement on Mr. Hill’s website, along side many developers.

It’s no secret Mr. Hill has been a supporter of substantial development throughout his district, including Avila and Pismo. Just look at his campaign financial disclosures – every major developer has made substantial donations. Could it be that Mr. Hill had some influence in Dr. Lester’s demise?

It appears convenient to have an impediment like Dr. Lester removed so his financial supporter’s projects could move through the process with less scrutiny.

Why hasn’t Supervisor Hill addressed this publicly, explaining to his constituency in these coastal communities why he supports this decision or doesn’t? Is he playing politics again to get reelected?

So, where do you stand on this Supervisor Hill? Do you support your good friend and campaign endorser Erik Howell and his development backed colleagues, as well as yours, in the firing of Dr. Lester, or do you stand behind the thousands of 3rd district residents, including myself, that want the coastline protected from irresponsible development?

Your constituency awaits Supervisor Hill…….if you can’t answer, I am sure the electorate will on June 7.

Dan Carpenter is a San Luis Obispo councilman and a candidate for the San Luis Obispo County District 3 supervisor seat currently held by Adam Hill.

Thomas A

The reasons to Fire Adam Hill are numerous. Let’s get active and vote this clown out of office and run him out of town before he can do any more damage to SLO.



Thats just a nasty looking foursome.


I would imagine that Adam Hill has not commented on the firing of Mr. Lester because none of the coastal commissioners are appointed by the county board of supervisors.

I would ask if Governor Brown has spoken out on the matter. It would be more appropriate for him to do so since he actually appoints some of the commissioners who voted to fire Mr Lester.

As for Mr Lester’s termination, I applaud it.

Local governments have been frustrated time and again trying to maintain public infrastructure along the coastline because of the red tape and double-speak that they encounter when dealing with Coastal Commission staff.

This represents a waste of taxpayer dollars when one government entity is setting up roadblocks for another government entity charged with public safety health and welfare. It’s one thing for the Coastal Commission to protect our coastline from over development buy commercial Enterprises, but it is quite another thing when they stand in the way of public infrastructure maintenance and repair.

I hope that Mr Lester’s termination will signal a new beginning in the relationship between local coastal governments and the Coastal Commission.


Gordo ‘none of the Coastal Commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors’. Yes, and no. The BOS NOMINATES coastal commissioners, as does the Mayors Selection Committee. The Mayors, with the exception of Jan Marx, nominated Mayor Debbie Peterson. Adam Hill, Bruce Gibson, and Caryn Ray nominated Erik Howell.


Perfect example of a picture is worth a thousand words.


This is a cleaned up, one minute version of my family’s response to Adam Hill’s troll stalking and harassing me. Investigate and Arrest Adam Hill!



Easy answer every time there is a question about something Adam Hill ………$$$$$$$$$$, Everything he does is based on not interrupting the $$$$$$$ stream to him, or Dee, or someone else close to him.


There are more than enough reasons to want Adam Hill out of office. This isn’t one of them.


All these downvotes on this comment reveals most of the people here are just interested in personalities and don’t care about the issues. Carpenter is taking the side of the property stealing coastal commission. Two wrong don’t make a right.


Carpenter taking side of “property stealing coastal commission?” What planet do you live on? He’s a libertarian, property-rights kind of guy just making political hay out of his opponents crookedness.


Adam Hill is on the payroll of Big Development. There wouldn’t have been a move against the Executive Director of the Coastal Commission unless the cognizant SLO County supervisor gave Big Development a big wink in support of ousting the director.

The real question is how much extra grease did it take to ensure that Adam Hill would once again be deficient in the discharge of his duties? It’s no wonder he leads in “campaign contributions.”


Then again, Hill would become eco-green in a heartbeat if that side were willing to pump more grease into him than he is currently receiving from Big Development.

miles archer

Then again, (insert ANY politician) would become eco-green in a heartbeat if that side were willing to pump more grease into him than he is currently receiving from Big Development.


Well, what’s your answer, Dan? If you’re really going to be ready for prime time you’re going to have to do better than this. Do you support this land grabbing, property-rights infringing agency? I didn’t think you did. But it sounds like you do, or at least you will to score a cheap point.


You didn’t even read it, did you? Your question is answered.


It’s all just implied. He never clearly states it. This is not a good criticism of Hill because for once who cares what happened.

what the

pandayho Panda, y u Adam’s ho? Go troll on CCF.



(Pronounced “pan”-“day”-“ho”)

(Urban def.)


It’s just baffles me how any human being would choose a path of ignorance and stupidity. Much less a whole “team” of them.


It’s called “having a sense of humor.”


SLO County officials are therefore making a mockery of our established peaceful region. If the density population increases as speculatively forecast, “happy” residents will be cease to exist.

I envision litigations occurring left and right by neighbors concerning barking dogs, traffic noise and obstructed views.

A crowded Central coastline seems increasingly inevitable at the current unfolding momentum. District 3 constituents will be held accountable if they re-elect Adam Hill, based on the insatiable love of money.


Should have listened to Andy “COLAB” Caldwell on the radio last Friday. He’s ticced he doesn’t have enough places to have a cocktail with an ocean view in between Monterey and Santa Barbara.


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