Proposed Paso Robles water district trampled by voters

March 8, 2016
Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Correction: The number of Measure B-16 votes for the formation of the district was 753 and the votes against the district 2,643.

In a crushing loss to large North County agribusiness interests, 77.83 percent of landowners above the Paso Robles basin have voted against Measure B-16, formation of a proposed Paso Robles water district.

Funding for the district, Measure A-18, also failed with 74 percent of voters against funding the district.

For the past two years, San Luis Obispo County supervisors Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill, and Frank Mecham have pushed for the district, claiming the basin is in “overdraft.”

Both supervisors Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton voiced their opposition to creating the district; the balloting cost taxpayers about $1 million.

Proponents, like vineyard owner Jerry Reaugh, claimed the election would determine “local control.” Reaugh is chairman of the well-funded, pro-district Paso Robles Alliance for Groundwater Solutions (PRAAGS). A number of major players in the state’s water hierarchy helped draft the failed proposal, and the vote was authorized by legislation carried by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo).

Opponents, on the other hand, countered that the plan was a “water grab.”

Tuesday’s votes were preliminary as ballots postmarked March 8 will be counted for the next three days. Nevertheless, it is unlikely the vote will change substantially.


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42 Comments

  1. JB Bronson says:

    Does Adam Hill qualify for treatment under Laura’s Law?

    (26) 32 Total Votes - 29 up - 3 down
  2. Thomas A says:

    Adam Hill and Dee Torres are trolling on Fire Adam Hill’s FaceBook page. Adam is accusing Karen Velie and Kevin Rice of being Fire Adam Hill. He calls them both sociopaths among other defamation. Screenshots have been taken and added as comments to the third post down from the top. The post is titled:

    Does Team Adam Hill’s Cal Coast Fraud wish DEATH to Radio personality Dave Congalton? Fire Adam Hill and Team Adam Hill 2016!

    A non psychiatrist, county supervisor, wrongly diagnosing residents of SLO as being mentally ill. That can’t be legal.

    Fire Adam Hill.

    https://www.facebook.com/Fire-Adam-Hill-2016-810084895784647/

    (40) 50 Total Votes - 45 up - 5 down
    • Thomas A says:

      Adam actually addresses me as “Velie and Co”, then Kevin, then Karen, then Rice. He is a very confused man.

      (38) 44 Total Votes - 41 up - 3 down
    • sezlittle1 says:

      Well…who is behind the Fire Adam Hill Facebook page? The question has been posed a few times and the administrator only says “an assortment of business owners”. I oppose Hill-but I am losing faith in the dirty politics of a site I was hoping to rely on for balanced reporting. If people wont put a name they can say whatever they want.
      Transparency please.

      (-20) 30 Total Votes - 5 up - 25 down
      • Thomas A says:

        sezlittle, we are private residents sharing news articles. We are not a political committee, just nice people that want this criminal, Adam Hill, brought to justice. We all have children and will not put them at risk with “Team Adam Hill” desperately attempting to locate and silence us. We have not made any claims that have not been in the news. It is none of any ones business who we are and it shows who you are by asking. All claims made by Fire Adam Hill can be verified in the news. Thank everyone for the tremendous support and Fire Adam Hill 2016!

        (27) 31 Total Votes - 29 up - 2 down
        • sezlittle1 says:

          Like you I am a business owner, a family man and have children. I have been adversely affected by Mr. Hill and align myself with your views. When there isn’t transparency it makes it easy to distort the truth and slip and slide into dirty politics and half truths. I started out opposing Hill. Things have gotten so dirty I am starting to distance myself from the anti Hills. Not aligning myself with Hill. Just questioning which camp has more ethics. Hopefully you can consider cleaning it up a little and making it a little more professional.

          (-9) 15 Total Votes - 3 up - 12 down
          • Thomas A says:

            And what, may I ask, needs cleaning up?

            (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
            • Kevin Rice says:

              At the point you spend $1,000 or more on independent expenditures (i.e., opposing Adam) or raise $2,000 in contributions, you need to file a Form 410 with the county and Secretary of State which publicly identifies your organization and the people behind it. It’s unclear when you will hit that trigger, but it seems you’re on your way there. Stay legal, my friend.

              (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
              • Thomas A says:

                Thanks Kevin, keep up the good work.

                (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
              • sezlittle1 says:

                Strange. At this point I am not voting for Hill; no way I would donate a penny to his campaign. The slinging of arrows, paranoia and other weirdness is precisely what I am getting at. This local fight is about as weird as the Republican campaign.

                (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
                • Kevin Rice says:

                  The battle of political and social ideas will never be less than contentious. I’ve never agreed with those who believe elections and legislation can be accomplished congenitally—especially in the presence of deceptive and dishonest leaders like Mr. Hill who mislead and should rightfully be bright to the attention of the People. “Passive acceptance is to aggressively condone.”

                  (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
                • Kevin Rice says:

                  … congenially …

                  (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  3. Josey Wales says:

    It is, once again, disappointing to see three SLO County supervisors so obviously selling out to developers and those who would unfairly take advantage of the whole. Until people like Adam Hill, Caren Rey, and John Ashbaugh are removed as decision-makers, it will be very important for voters to remain vigilant.

    Vote in every election.

    (24) 28 Total Votes - 26 up - 2 down
  4. CARNAC says:

    This vote was only round one – the special interests who want access to our water so that they can profit from the sale of water will be back. Remember they have spent millions to purchase land in the basin.

    I am proud to be in Debbie Arnold’s district – she gets it and worked to protect our rights as landowners. On the other hand Frank tried to sell his constituents down the river.

    First district voters need to support and vote for a BOS candidate who will support the rights of small landowners versus big money special interests. (Hint, Martin and Hamon don’t qualify.)

    Having co-opted both Kacho and Frank it will be interesting to see who the big money co-opts next and how they go about trying to achieve their goal.

    We need to elect people who will protest our interests and be alert to those in government who want to restrict our rights and tax us for the privileged of losing those rights.

    (28) 32 Total Votes - 30 up - 2 down
  5. HorseNutz says:

    Way to go Cindy Steinbeck and her supporters, we all owe her a debt of gratitude. Keep up the good fight!!

    (33) 45 Total Votes - 39 up - 6 down
  6. JerBear says:

    Thank you Debbie Arnold! You had our back when our own supervisor, Frank, was throwing us under the bus. I heard a contractor talking yesterday- he has a friend that was told by one of the powerful ‘yes’ people that if he didn’t vote for the district that person would cut his work. It backfired, I’m sure! Paso Roblans can’t be bullied! And we’re one heck of a smart community!

    (48) 58 Total Votes - 53 up - 5 down
    • just the facts says:

      So very pleased to see “Paso Roblans can’t be bullied!” Thank you for seeing through the lies and voting NO on the water district. Supervisor Adam Hill, the bully, supported the water district BIG TIME. Now let’s see if the voters of the 3rd district will be smart and will vote the bully out come June 7.

      (44) 52 Total Votes - 48 up - 4 down
  7. Kevin Rice says:

    Actual results are:

    A-16: Y-753/N-2,643
    B-16: Y-644/N-1,833

    Article needs a correction.

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • DetailDog says:

      It seems I hurt someone’s feelings with my earlier corrections. My comment was not published.

      CCN used interchanged the percentages between A-16 and B-16, they used total registered voters in place of ballots cast, ballots cast in place of dissenting votes, and they invented A-18 by making a typo.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  8. Kevin Rice says:

    You’re correct. The article needs a correction.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  9. kayaknut says:

    I remember seeing something one time that for this to be approved it needed 2/3 yes votes, but not sure.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down

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