It is too late for Supervisor Adam Hill

February 13, 2018
T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee


The Tribune’s coverage of San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill’s recent obscene outburst against a constituent, and Hill’s reaction that he will be getting help for depression, were both welcome news. For the Tribune—Hill’s primary public enabler—to ask him to get help or resign was remarkable.

Hill’s admission that “I am responsible for my own actions” was spot on. Has he finally looked in the mirror? As a frequent critic of Hill, I actually feel bad for him if he is really suffering from depression. If he is, we should all be glad that he’s seeking help. He needs it.

But for his political career, regardless of the outcome of his treatment, it’s too late for him to return to the board. Resignation is the best option, not only for him, but for the rest of us.

Which begs the question: is he being honest with us? Knowing some people who have suffered from clinical depression, their personalities have been quiet and withdrawn. By contrast, Hill’s demeanor has consistently been aggressive, caustic, and hostile. Now I’m no shrink, but there are some who feel he’s hiding out behind a contrived affliction, laying low only to rise again when things die down and the moment is right. We can only hope that’s not the case.

But let’s clear the air on one thing. As he prepares to take his leave, let’s consider one of Hill’s lingering legacies. He has created the mythical perception that it’s the board majority– not himself—that is responsible for the discord on the board. Nothing could be further from the truth!

It has been Hill’s antics and his alone that have been the source of the board’s divisiveness. By contrast, the board majority has consistently turned its diplomatic cheek in the face of his daily rants against them on Facebook and his weekly theatrical fulminations at board meetings.

In closing, Adam, please get the help you appear to need. But also do the decent thing for this County and your constituents: resign your position on the board and let Governor Jerry Brown appoint a more suitable replacement.

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Adam Hill needs to improve his diet and start an exercise program. Being depressed is a manifestation of an unbalanced lifestyle. If he is placed on antidepressants any firearms present in his home should be removed and held until his is well enough to make proper decisions. This should be the policy for anyone on antidepressants. Too bad this did not happen in Florida.

I’m curious where your M.D. is from?

“Unbalanced lifestyle”…. well, let me use myself as an example. I exercise 1-1.5 hour per day. I eat almost exclusively rice, chicken, and veggies, and I take vitamins. That addresses your only two suggestions, so it would lead me to believe I shouldn’t have depression. But I do! So let’s move on to other areas of life, because it must be SOMETHING that’s “manifesting”. I have a job I love. I have a partner I love. I’m living the dream traveling the world, but also own a house in LA that I love. Maybe I don’t get enough sun? Well, except that I’m on the beach almost every day. Hmm… how about being abused as a child? Nope. Maybe as an adult, a break-in or a rape or something? Again, no. You can keep going through the litany of trying to find where my lifestyle is “unbalanced”, but it’s simply not.

I suggest you refrain from making sweeping generalizations about ANY health condition, particularly the root causes, until you receive your medical license with that area as a specialty.

I actually wrote an article recently for people just like you.

Statistically, you likely have friends or family who have depression (and may *gasp* even be on antidepressants) and your illogical opinion, which is also contrary to science, probably makes it hard for those people to trust you.

I don’t know much about this guy, his political career, or his behavior up until now. But I do know a lot about depression. My depression also expresses itself in fits of anger, passive-aggressive arguments, blowing small incidents way out of proportion, vehemently blaming others for discord while taking no responsibility, and so on. My doctor (who *is* a shrink) told me that irritability and a short temper can be and are often signs of mental illness rather than personality traits. I have been physically attacked by strangers after being snarky. I could have been killed because my illness caused me to not just let a small issue go.

Again, I don’t know much about this political situation, but I’d ask you to consider that the typical view of depression we see in movies (withdrawn, quiet, pensive, mopey) is not the only way it manifests itself. What he describes also fits into the spectrum of clinical symptoms.

I think it’s commendable for someone in a position of authority to publicly announce mental health concerns, seek treatment, and take responsibility for his actions that resulted from being too obstinate to seek treatment earlier. The ADA allows him to keep his job while he deals with the depression (provided he is diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and I don’t know his diagnosis). I know that may not be popular, but it does help those of us who have our work affected by our illnesses. I, for one, am glad that he shared about his depression, rather than just resigning and dealing with it privately.

Just asking, as an outsider in relation to your community, that you widen your understanding of mental illness. SLO is a beautiful place where I hope people like me would still be welcomed even if people there know about my condition.

San Luis obispos most prominent and attractive power couple. What a disgrace and embarrassment!

With my experiences with Dee Torres-Hill my opinion is that he, Adam, is living with an enabler, one that in many ways is no better than Adam. This should be a seen as an opportunity for both of them to get some help and see about couple counseling.

He should be kicked off of the BOS why should he get full pay and benefits for doing nothing. Take his insurance and let him see how it feels.

A bully in San Luis Obispo? What are the chances?