Peschong and Nipomo win amid contentious supervisor meeting

January 11, 2017


At a particularly ugly and contentious San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, the board voted to award the chairmanship to John Peschong and to move forward on plans to build a sheriff substation in Nipomo. Supporters and opponents of the new political majority packed the board chambers.

For more than a week, the SLO Progressives rallied their members to speak out at the meeting in support of Supervisor Adam Hill getting the chairmanship. The group claims supervisors John Peschong, Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton are members of the Tea Party who are threatening the democratic process. A claim Peschong, Arnold and Compton contend is baseless political rhetoric.

“Hill is next in line for the traditionally rotational position, but the new Tea Party Republican majority is threatening to upend tradition and civility, and install one of their own as chair instead,” the SLO Progressive leadership said in a Jan. 8 email. “The chair has control over public comment on important issues like the Phillips 66 oil trains project.”

Those opposed to Hill’s leadership complained that he has been disrespectful to other board members and public speakers. In addition, several people including Stew Jenkins questioned his self-serving ties with developers.

“A man or woman whose vote is up for sale is neither a conservative, a moderate, a liberal or a progressive. Such an individual is simply corrupt,” Jenkins, a Democrat, said. “Putting such an individual in charge of what-and-when measures reach your board and in charge of deliberations, will put you, the staff and the citizens of our county at the whims of that person’s burning consumption.”

While most of the public speakers were composed during their comments, several board members raised voices and traded barbs.

Noting that a chair should treat all members of the board and public respectfully, Supervisor Arnold made a motion to make Peschong the chair and Hill the vice chair.

Gibson said Arnold had questioned the rotation three years in a row and that he opposed her motion. Gibson then blamed Arnold for the lack of collegiality on the board.

Peschong spoke briefly saying he would work respectively with all five members of the board and the public if selected as chair.

“I will not discount minority voices on this board,” he said. “That is my pledge to you, and that is my pledge to this board.”

Hill argued that the board should follow the traditional rotation. Hill then joined Gibson and blamed Arnold for the lack of civility among board members.

“This has been an difficult situation not just for the board, but a difficult situation for the public and an extremely difficult situation for staff,” Hill said. “Why are we spending so much time to stick it to someone?”

Hill also castigated Arnold claiming she was working at the behest of the Coalition of Labor Agriculture and Business (COLAB) to keep him out of chair position.

After Hill finish speaking, COLAB’s Mike Brown approached the speaker’s podium asking for a point of order so that he could respond to Hill’s comments.

“Hill castigated COLAB, we should have a chance to respond,” Brown said.

A sheriff deputy then approached Brown and escorted him out of the meeting.

“I can’t allow you to voice your opinion,” the officer said.

Outside the board chambers, Brown told the deputy that he was out of line and that his request to respond to Hill’s attack was permitted under the rules of parliamentary procedure. The deputy then let Brown return to the meeting.

Supervisors Arnold, Peschong and Compton then voted to make Peschong chair with Hill and Gibson dissenting.

In what appeared to be an attempt to punish Compton for her vote against making Hill chairman, Gibson then asked to take the approval of an agreement to build a substation in Nipomo off of the consent agenda.

Compton has worked for more than a year towards having a new sheriff substation in her district.

Approved in 2002, the Trilogy housing development includes four stages. Before the builder can move ahead with phase two, a sheriff’s substation is required. In the proposed agreement, the developer, Monarch Dunes LLC, will pay $594,000 toward a future substation in the Nipomo area.

Gibson and Hill said that the developer should pay for the entire cost of the sheriff’s substation.

Compton argued that public facility fee funds dedicated to her district had been snagged by both Gibson and Hill.

Developers in San Luis Obispo County are required to pay public facility fees (PFF) before they can get development permits. These fees are dedicated for public facilities and parks that support the residence in the area of the development, according to county records.

However, estimates are that approximately $10 million in PFF funds related to developments in Nipomo, have been spent in Gibson and Hill’s districts.

“Don’t change the subject,” Gibson said to Compton’s mention of the diverted PFF funds.

Compton argued that the 2002 agreement does not require the developer to pay any monies towards a substation and that this is a good deal for Nipomo and the county.

“This is something Nipomo needs,” Compton said. “We had money diverted, so don’t mess with this.”

After the heated exchange between Gibson and Compton, Hill joined in claiming Compton was compromised because she had shared a meal with the developer.

Compton said she had met with the developer over a hamburger, which she said she purchased, to discuss the biggest project in the county.

Both Hill and Gibson argued that Compton was lobbying for the developer and appeared to be in his pocket.

After a contentious argument, Compton, Arnold and Peschong voted in favor of the sheriff’s substation agreement with Hill and Gibson dissenting.

beacon of light

With all of the Hill and Gibson shenanigans reported here, the good news of Supervisor John Peschong being elected 2017 Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has been somewhat lost.

Congratulations Supervisor Peschong!


What a great day it was for our County! John Peschong is a class act and will lead this board with dignity and fairness. Wouldn’t it be something if Hill and Gibson would actually learn how it should be done? Couldn’t have been prouder of the way Ms.Arnold stood up to the crap dished out by the bullies! And Lynn, as a Nipomo resident, thank you for standing your ground against their petty games to keep us from having our much needed Sheriff’s Substation. Just a fantastic day. It will be refreshing to watch the bullies whine all year long.

truth set me free

Last I read the First Amendment, we still have the right to free speech, but I read the article above that a “sheriff deputy then approached Brown and escorted him out of the meeting.” The officer stated: “I can’t allow you to voice your opinion.”

Article goes on…”Outside the board chambers, Brown told the deputy that he was out of line and that his request to respond to Hill’s attack was permitted under the rules of parliamentary procedure. The deputy then let Brown return to the meeting.”

Sheriff Parkinson needs to inform his deputies about the Constitution and the Amendments that protect us all. Guess can’t blame the deputy sheriff. He probably never read the Constitution.

curiouser and curiouser

Two interesting observations re the January 10th Board of Supervisors meeting to elect 2017 Chair and Vice-Chair:

1) The SLO Progressives answered The Tribune leftist columnist Tom Fulks call to fill the board chamber and support Supervisor Adam Hill for Chair. The call was basically to fight the new conservative majority!

2) The SLO Progressives are flexing their muscles due to the election of Heidi Harmon for Mayor of San Luis Obispo. She was there speaking in support of Hillfor Chair! Isn’t it interesting that Harmon and the SLO Progressives have expressed opposition to corrupt politicians, especially those who take campaign dollars from developers and bully contributors for more dollars. And they pack the board chamber to support Supervisor Adam Hill.

As Alice in Wonderland stated so well…”It gets curiouser and curiouser.”


Maybe Harmon is just trying to heal the wounds she inflicted on the County Democrat machine by beating out their candidate for SLO Mayor. I am not saying that is a good thing, just that it may not be some sort of underhanded conspiracy.


Adam….Next time run for dog catcher…you`re chances of winning are mush greater.


I don’t know about that. Dogs are often better judges of character than humans and they might be a formidable lobby against him if he ran.

just the facts

Go Supervisor Lynn Compton! Great to see her take on both Supervisors Gibson and Hill at the recent board meeting. It’s about time that the women on the board push back on the attacks of both Gibson and Hill.

It is absolutely hilarious to hear Supervisor Gibson blame Supervisor Arnold for the lack of collegiality on the board. Are you kidding me? She is the most congenial on the board!!!!

It was also great to see Supervisor Arnold push back on those comments. Go Supervisor Arnold.

It’s about time you both push back on these bullies!

curiouser and curiouser

Will be interesting to see if Supervisors Hill and Gibson will constantly go after issues that affect the three members of the new majority on the board. Is it revenge time?

It was very obvious at the board meeting that Hill and Gibson went after Supervisor Compton and the Nipomo sheriff’s substation agreement due to her not supporting Hill for Chair.

And then to accuse Compton of lobbying and appearing to be in the pocket of the developer!!!

It’s amazing how Hill can say these things with a straight face! This is the guy who had multiple fundraising events at a developer’s home.

Kaiser Bill

“It’s amazing how Hill can say these things with a straight face! This is the guy who had multiple fundraising events at a developer’s home.”

It’s genetic with Adam Hill.


I am not sure that it is genetic. Hill is from New Jersey where this sort of politics is common. He should go back there where his behavior is at least acceptable if not welcome.


“Hill argued that the board should follow the traditional rotation. Hill then joined Gibson and BLAMED ARNOLD [my emphasis] for the lack of civility among board members.”

Thank you, again, illustrious District 3 registered voters, for gracing San Luis Obispo County with another four years of Supervisor Adam Hill. We are so eager to experience more of his childish, petty attacks now on not two, but three, supervisors – Districts 1, 4, and 5. January 10 is just a snapshot of what’s coming in 2017 and beyond. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Kaiser Bill

Thank the District 3 voters in SLO City, they are the reason Hill has been elected 3 times. If it was up to the voters of Pismo, Grover, and Avila, I have a feeling Hill wouldn’t have won once.


District 3 is a liberal stronghold. A conservative (with or without the GOP label) is not going to get elected. Had Dan Carpenter not run for the seat, an honest and moderate Democrat like Debbie Peterson would have had a good chance to beat out Hill. I can’t imagine any of his supporters voting for Adam Hill and the majority would probably have voted for Peterson just to keep him out.


Thanks Lynn,

Thanks for stepping up to finely get some help up here on the Mesa,

Nipomo pays for a Lot of what everyone else gets beneifits for,

Let me know if you need anything for your reelection,


Your constituents