Gibson attempts to turn Paso basin over to the state

March 16, 2016
Supervisor Bruce Gibson

Supervisor Bruce Gibson

Editor’s Note: A video of San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson asking to give the state control of the Paso Robles basin follows the article.


One of the most outspoken advocates of a failed North County water district plan, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson, said Tuesday he believes control of the Paso Robles basin should be relinquished to the state.

The supervisor spent the last two years advocating for “local control” of the basin.

Gibson also criticized voters who recently turned down the district proposal by a nearly 8-2 margin, saying, “The North County vote has put this county in an untenable position.” Gibson said the county cannot afford to manage the basin, despite the expenditure of more than $1 million by the county to nurse the plan into existence and then to an election.

Gibson’s suggestion, made during the supervisors’ regular meeting’s public comment period, earned him stern rebukes from two of his fellow supervisors.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Supervisor Debbie Arnold

The county has five water basins which the state now require have additional management, two of which are in significantly worse shape than the Paso Robles basin, Supervisor Debbie Arnold said. Arnold wants the county to retain local control of all five basins.

“We would never shirk our responsibilities to do this work (manage the basin through the county’s Flood Control District) on behalf of the citizens, to simply throw it all to the state,” said Supervisor Debbie Arnold.

Supervisor Lynn Compton said she thought it “unbelievable that the two supervisors who pushed this district proposal claiming the need for local control in the past now want the state to come in. I find that unbelievable.”

Gibson and fellow supervisor Adam Hill, who also tirelessly promoted the district’s formation, floated a motion to direct county staff to prepare an analysis of the five water basins in San Luis Obispo County with emphasis on the Paso Robles basin with a goal of handing management of the Paso Robles basin to the state.

That motion was defeated 3-2, with Frank Mecham joining Arnold and Compton.

Mecham said he plans to travel to Sacramento next month and hopes to learn what a state takeover of a water basin would entail.

“It is our responsibility to take a look at all basins in the county,” he said. “I need to know more about what the state would do and when it would do it. I would not want to support (Gibson’s) motion, but I need more time to explore with the state.”


Gibson is just a pouting loser and typical reaction of politicians here and everywhere. We need total control of the people – or else.

Well, the people spoke … in volumes. Listen to the people or we’ll be sending your arse out.


Poor Bruce and Adam, pouting about this tremendous loss. Them and Katcho and Frank…can hardly believe this has happened. Not to mention the Governor and his folks who wanted to use this new water district as their poster child for taking over water throughout the State. They’ll figure out another way. They won’t stop. That is why we need to get them out of office. Frank’s legacy is this failed water district that never should have happened. We have a real opportunity in getting Adam out by electing Dan Carpenter…the one, true conservative in this race. Hopefully Bruce will move on down the road when he finds himself “4-1 Gibson”, on the losing end of all of his schemes!


Good idea! Looking forward too seeing the article next week that will criticize him for wanting to manage it locally. Then another article criticizing him for wanting to turn out to the state and vice versa. Some people are going to get criticized no matter what they do.


They have figured out some way to get paid.


Now sore loser bruce is gonna make us pay. Remember who pays your wage and start doing your job.


Local control for Bruce means do what he wants. Well Bruce, you ain’t no local and you were voted you down by 77%. Adios to you and Hill O’Beans.


It would be much more appropriate to agendize Gibson’s topic and then have a complete discussion, with public comment, focused on control of the Paso basin.

Then it would be totally okay for Compton and Arnold to make their arguments against Gibson.

There is good reason for County Counsel to tell them to limit their discussion; an agenda item will have to come up in the future regarding the state mandate to determine who is in control of that basin, whether county or state.

By speaking so boldly now they have basically told the public their minds are already made up and no matter what data is presented in the future, either from the state or county or the public, they will never take that information into consideration.


Geeezuz! So typical of his type. Lets relinquish local control to big government control. Gee, look how well that has worked for California. It’s not lack of water that’s put us where we are at statewide, it’s poor management. Years of liberal control. Our legislators couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper sack.


Never turn over property (control) to a higher agency–City to County to State to Feds. That’s how the State Prison got built on former dairy land sold to expand Camp San Luis after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The Feds then gave/sold the land so California could build a prison next door to their State College! The County gave Avila Beach to the State. They then removed two snack shacks and the Harbor Inn from the beach and built a bathroom on the sand where the Harbor Inn once stood on pilings. I could go on.