Stop the intimidation, vote Adam Hill out of office
October 15, 2016
OPINION by KEITH GURNEE
An open Letter to Adam Hill
As a contestant for the District 3 supervisor seat in the Nov. 8 election, San Luis Obispo Vice Mayor Dan Carpenter must be baffled by a character like you. What factors could possibly keep such a flawed character afloat?
Adam, how is it that you have scared so many people into keeping quiet about your true self? With less than 30 days to go and reality closing in on you, how is it that you are able to obscure your character enough to get the endorsement of a local paper?
The fear of you seems to be palpable. Yet where are the fearless when we most need them?
You seem to have the Midas touch in reverse: everything you touch turns into a cess pool. Those few of us who can see through you see you as little more than the Emperor in New Clothes, a cartoon waiting for others to wake up to the reality of you, and it’s not a pretty sight.
Here are but a few reasons to rise up and deny this man the bully pulpit:
Shaking down the business community
Reflecting upon last month’s revelations in the CalCoastNews and the New Times of your attempts to strong-arm local business leaders via strident emails into writing big “pay to play” checks to your reelection campaign, perhaps you have gone a step too far. With your latest foray at political shakedowns, you have once again revealed your true character and it’s not a pretty sight.
Telling those prospective donors that “$99 checks are not going to cut it” while extolling the virtues of your big developer contributors with their thousands of dollars in campaign funds, misses the ethical mark. Then after decrying the $99 amount, your campaign sends out another email begging for contributions for as little as $30.
Obviously, you’re getting desperate.
Not only was the tone of your emails to those business leaders disturbing, their content was dead wrong. Take the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), the members of which were the target of your emails. Your statement that “the EVC is still funded strongly by the county because of me– no one else on the SLO County Board of Supervisors cares about it. That is the truth.” No Adam, that is not the truth and you know it. The full SLO County Board of Supervisors has wholeheartedly and consistently funded and supported the EVC.
The myth of “effective leadership”
Touting of yourself as an “effective leader” is laughable. Does an “effective leader” take sole credit for promising to deliver desalinated water to the South County—a campaign promise you knowingly couldn’t keep– in order to get reelected to the Board of Supervisors? And does an “effective leader” advocate the public’s right to vote on the North County Groundwater Management District, only to join Supervisor Bruce Gibson in overriding the 4-1 vote against the district by inviting the state to intervene and take over management of the basin?
Thankfully, the rest of the board chose to respect the voters rather than punish them as you tried to do.
Adam, as you hopefully approach the end of your political career, what will be your legacy? Not much that one can be proud of. The poster boy of arrogance? Deposition dodger? Unfulfilled promises? Drunken rants? A series of cascading gaffes? You are certainly all of those, but it is the fear and intimidation that you have brought to this county that should bother voters most.
Fear and loathing
For years now, people have been afraid of your retaliation against them were they to go public with their concerns about you or with their support for your opponents. They are rightfully concerned for the wrath that you and your cronies might visit upon them.
Knowing many of your past contributors, they have donated to your campaigns more out of fear of your reprisals than out of their support for you. The strong-arm tactics that have served you so well in the past have finally caught up with you. Now those past supporters are leaving you in droves.
As a writer of many articles about you, the bloggers seem to share my opinions that you are the wrong person for the wrong job at the wrong time. Yet too few have opted the stand up to you and be counted.
To the members of the local business community, I too have felt that fear. Heck, I had to retire in order to write stuff like this.
So to all you bloggers out there, to Sam Blakeslee who at one time intimated that he wanted to run against Hill, to the sheriff and the Sheriff’s Association, to the other members of the Board of Supervisors, to those trembling City Council members who still support you, to the business community, and to the rest of the voters of the third district, it is time to throw off those shackles of fear and embrace the candidacy of Dan Carpenter.
To those who’ve been reluctant to come out of the shadows, find the courage of your convictions to just say “no” to the type of “leadership” that Adam offers and that we no longer want nor need.
Adam, your time has come… and gone. It’s high time for the voters to show you the exit and allow Dan Carpenter to enter the chambers.
T. Keith Gurnee is a retired urban designer and a former member of the San Luis Obispo City Council.