Dan Carpenter reflects on his years on the SLO City Council

July 13, 2016
San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter

San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter


With my tenure on the San Luis Obispo City Council ending in a few months, a reflection on what “representation” has meant to me as a public servant seems relevant and appropriate. I hope those who follow in my footsteps will see wisdom in my thoughts.

If you live in the city of San Luis Obispo, you’ve no doubt seen me walking about our streets stopping and engaging the public. This has been the hallmark of my accessibility to the people I serve.

Many find spontaneous conversations in a neutral area the most organic and unassuming environment to openly express their genuine concerns. Much less intimidating than a sterile office in City Hall.

A year and half ago, I became a candidate for District 3 supervisor knowing there would be challenges in serving my current elected position while campaigning for another elected office. Interweaving my daily constituent interactions in SLO with the need to be actively engaged in the rest of the district would require discipline. Thus far it’s been possible by committing to a seven day of week schedule and having the support of a very understanding family and business partner.

As an elected councilman, my commitment has been to serve without equivocation until I step off the dais at city hall later this year.

I’ve enjoyed the luxury of intimately serving residents in a very well defined geographical area. I have no illusion that serving a district with three incorporated cities and a vast rural area will be much different. I especially look forward to being actively engaged in the areas of the district that have no other elected representation.

Having spent my entire life in San Luis Obispo, it’s natural to question whether I’ll be able to make the transition to districtwide with the same commitment and enthusiasm as I have as a city councilman. While I have no hesitation in offering that commitment, the track record of my opponent and his lack of presence in many areas of the district, rightfully gives people pause in expectations of their next representative. While my opponent spends copious amounts of time pandering to special interests groups and isolated populations of the district, I assure you that is not my past and will not be my future. Many residents and business owners have expressed openly their frustration with my opponent’s neglect and look forward to having representation the way it was intended.

We’re fortunate to live in a republic where certain inalienable rights cannot be taken away by a government that elects it’s leaders by a majority of voters. It’s unfortunate that we have local representatives who only serve those constituents with similar ideologies secured with deep pockets of financial support during campaigns.

My record of representation clearly indicates a desire to never alienate anyone from the decision making process. That means genuinely listening to differing opinions and giving consideration to opposing viewpoints.

Many in District 3 have had to endure years of my opponent’s “you’re either with me or against me” style…..an extremely divisive character trait that should no longer be tolerated in our community.

It’s been an honor to serve you as a city councilman and and I look forward to continuing my public service as your supervisor.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Debbie P does not have to endorse anyone she does not want to. When you run for office it is hard not to go all out to win. If a candidate does not work to win by showing why they should be selected then why would anyone vote for them?

Then there will be winners and losers. That is the outcome. It can and usually does hurt to lose. Debbie P and Dan are not connected by a political party. Debbie P and Adam Hill are connected by the democratic party. So endorsements are tricky based on party.

If Debbie P goes with a Decline to State and not a Democrat then will the Democrat party reject her future races? This is the real issue not Dan Carpenter supporter comments.

Hey everybody…donate to Dan Carpenter’s campaign for 3rd District Supervisor!


Eight years are enough of Adam Hill.

I’m sorry, WHO or WHAT is “Adam Hill?” Is it somewhere in New Jersey?

Vote Dan Carpenter, SLO County District 3 Supervisor.

It appears that the Carpenter supporters who previously slimed, smeared, attacked and trivialized Debbie Peterson are now begging for her to endorse Dan because she ran such a strong race and that a shift of just 450 votes would have put her in the runoff. First you attack and vilify a gracious lady and now when you need her support for your candidate to win, you’re demanding her endorsement. Unbelievable!

What the heck are you talking about?

Sounds like sorry grapes to me, don the beachcomber!

I wish Debbie Peterson would do the right thing and endorse Dan. We need change in November and Debbie’s endorsement would speak volumes to the voters.

I agree polyprof, this is about residents who have had NO ONE listen to them in some time.If you care about your residents stand up and say who you back Debbie, be it, Dan Carpenter or Adam.

By not saying anything it appears she does not think Adam is that bad of a supervisor, and quite honestly that shocks me.

Debbie stated early on if she realized she could not win she would back Dan. I understand people changing their minds, just tell people who you think will do the better job.

I have seen how Adam Hill does business and I don’t agree with him at all. I have supported Dan Carpenter since the start and I continue to support him.

This should speak volumes about Peterson, and her reason for being a candidate in D3. This was not about the community, it is about her. Politicians need to understand, when they lose, if your commitment was to create something better, then endorse what is best for the community. I don’t know Peterson, never met or had a conversation with her, but what I know understand is her failure to do the right thing. This is a major character flaw, it will not change in the future, it won’t get better. The voters who supported her now need to force the issue.

FIRE ADAM HILL! That’s what must happen, the primary is over, the elimination of Peterson has happened. It makes no difference if Peterson does the right thing. It belongs to the citizens to conduct themselves with character, let us all FIRE ADAM HILL…. Are you listening GIBSON! FULKS! OCHS!

I have not heard her refuse to support Carpenter…do you know something we all don’t? Maybe she has just not made that announcement yet. Geez, we have 4 month to still go!

Thomas and Co…just sayin’… you’re not likely to win the hearts and votes of Peterson’s supporters by attacking her…especially given that they chose to support a candidate who played fair and played nice.

If you want your candidate to win, you might want to consider acting more like those you wish to attract than like the one you most dislike.

Your point is well taken, and the facts lead me in a different direction. As Peterson’s editorial today shows, she’s involved. To me her endorsement means little, and I’m wondering what the percentage of the citizens voting in D3, will vote for Adam Hill?

My position is, does Peterson value her allegiance to the Democratic Party, or SLO County more. Just a question….

Agreed. Endorsements at this level don’t necessarily have that much impact. Peterson has consistently acted independently. Odd that you would think she would be a party player when her party has consistently endorsed her political enemies.

It may be complicated to cross party lines in support of the other although Debbie has a mind of her own, is reasonable and I would not be surprised if she openly supports Dan at some point. I believe that Dan will do a good job and will work with Debbie too.

It is extremely rare for a party politician (especially democrat) to support ANYTHING the party does not give its blessing to support. Party loyalty: It’s part of their DNA.

I would be surprised if she endorsed anyone but Adam. Not unless she is ready to leave the party of little d’s…


I am not a D3 resident and I have contributed more than I normally do to political candidates, to him.

I am just one person (last we checked…) and I have convinced at least four (4) lifetime democrats who never seem to veer from the party line (ever) to vote against Hill. I just presented Adam in his own words to them. Amazing how little people know when they only listen to NPR and occasionally read the Tribune (yeah, there are still a few old farts left who are not giving it up).

You’ve got my vote. I would like to donate to your campaign.

Slo TownMan and others…go to http://www.dancarpentersupervisor.com to donate to Dan Carpenter for Supervisor. Go Dan! Beat the bully!