Stop the intimidation, vote Adam Hill out of office

October 15, 2016
T. Keith Gurnee

T. 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.

Supervisor Adam Hill

Supervisor Adam Hill

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.



  1. Slosum says:

    The Tribune is a looser. They’ve picked the wrong side of virtually every race in the county. Hill was the coup degras. It will be two pages within a year with no advertising and three subscribers. Hill. Ortiz-Legg and Carbajal.

    (31) 35 Total Votes - 33 up - 2 down
  2. Silcad says:

    Things are looking up for Dan. The Tribune normally endorses the loser.

    (46) 56 Total Votes - 51 up - 5 down
    • Snoid says:

      Birds of a feather far as the fibune goes. Far as hill goes I have to laugh at his commercials, enviro..ha,ha yeah right. His home building buddy has violated every code of ethics in human safety with their short cuts. The Pismo preserve looks like its turned into a preserve alright, a preserve for a handful of elites who get to ride ATV’s around and enjoy the views. Hell, maybe someday in 2020 the rest of us will get to enjoy it. Your a sick man Hill, you need some help and a long vacation on another planet.

      (35) 49 Total Votes - 42 up - 7 down
  3. winedude says:

    Mr. Gurney, you had me convinced to not vote for Adam Hill for Supervisor of District 3 after your bit published on October 7th. But you just don’t seem to leave well enough alone. You have become boring and obnoxious yourself, droning on and on about what an obnoxious soul Adam Hull is. I promise you sir, if I see another bit like this prior to the election, I’ll vote for the moron (Hill) out of spite. I seriously doubt he can win this year, but what if there are more folks like me…tired of watching a frustrated fool beat a dead horse? I’m sure going to laugh if Hill pulls this one out…

    (-43) 61 Total Votes - 9 up - 52 down
    • fhill123 says:

      Please don’t cut your nose to spite your face. Hill back in office would be awful.

      (46) 58 Total Votes - 52 up - 6 down
    • RonHolt says:

      I am not quite as far along as you but I tend to agree with your criticism of Mr. Gurney. (I am also not a 3rd District voter.) However, CCN has become an echo chamber for conservatives to voice their frustrations. As a moderate, I sometimes agree with them and recognize that their voices aren’t being heard via most other media outlets in this county. However, Mr. Gurney and at least one regular in this comment section are annoying in their single-minded focus on Adam Hill. Even though I agree with them, it gets OLD. And their repeated messages are not reaching the voters they need to reach here.

      Please just ignore Mr. Gurney’s diatribes the same way you would ignore the masses of junk mail being sent out by candidates from both sides for state and national offices. Make your vote count at the local level because it probably won’t on the federal level.

      (-19) 41 Total Votes - 11 up - 30 down
    • TKG says:

      Well winedude and Ron Holt, first of all my last name is Gurnee not “Gurney”. Second, I’m a moderate, not a conservative. And third, I’m getting tired of writing about him too. Adam just keeps giving me material to write about. If he get reelected, you will just have to get used to reading more of my stuff. Go Dan Carpenter!

      (30) 44 Total Votes - 37 up - 7 down
    • TeeItUp says:

      GET a clue

      One cannot say it enough times


      How many reasons does one need?

      BAD BAD BAD boy Adam

      Vote for Dan Carpenter right now on your Vote by mail ballot! Do not wait

      (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  4. fhill123 says:

    I am proud to cast my vote for Dan Carpenter. I feel that he will vote his conscience rather than to whom he is beholden to. Adam has backers who have their own interests rather than interest for the betterment of the community.

    (43) 61 Total Votes - 52 up - 9 down
  5. Black_Copter_Pilot says:

    Thank you, Mr. Gurnee , for stepping up.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  6. Rich in MB says:

    Will an Adam Hill supporter please step up and tell us why?
    I’m serious here. I would like to hear the argument of why Adam Hill should be sent back to represent the voters of his District. What has he done for you? Why is he the best person for the Job? Why should I or anyone else support him?

    Will a real Adam Hill supporter please step up and answer the all important question of
    Por que (that’s “Why” for you non-spanish speakers out there)

    (36) 54 Total Votes - 45 up - 9 down
    • racket says:

      Ryan Petetit was going to step up and answer, but his attorney advised him to keep quiet.

      (41) 55 Total Votes - 48 up - 7 down
    • RonHolt says:

      I am not an Adam Hill supporter and would vote against him if I was in his district. However, I think I can provide a partial answer to your question.

      The commenters on this website are predominantly conservative. They may not recognize it but their views are not generally in line with large numbers of the citizens in the more urban areas of this community. When they speak out harshly and dismissively against any views not fitting the “party line” of conservatism, they turn off not only liberals but many moderates. When they then praise Dan Carpenter, they effectively make those people less likely to support him and look to Adam Hill as an alternative — sort of like Clinton and Trump except that Trump deserves the criticism he gets.

      (-20) 24 Total Votes - 2 up - 22 down
      • racket says:

        Ron — you had me going for a sec. Til the last sentence where you imply Hill may not be deserving of the criticism he gets.

        (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
        • RonHolt says:

          I guess I didn’t phrase the analogy too well. It is Carpenter who may not be deserving of all the criticism he gets. Sorry for the confusion.

          (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down

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