Who’s paying for all those Arroyo Grande mailers anyway?

November 4, 2018

Opinion by Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill

By now we’re getting used to the false statements and spin from Arroyo Grande mayor candidate Caren Ray- like the one accusing me of “misconduct.”

Let’s see- Ray’s confederate Patty Welch falsely accused me of publicizing a confidential personnel matter –actually a contract that was obviously a public record- and Ray then made a motion to have me investigated. That was the investigation that went through 4,000 pages of documents and found nothing, but cost city and district taxpayers $100,000.

Wait a minute- Patty Welch- isn’t she the Ray campaign worker who vandalized campaign signs and personal property nearby?

Ray claims that I was censured for misconduct at the Sanitation District. What I did was stand up for an employee who was receiving racially motivated attacks. Ray asked her supporters, John Shoals and Linda Austin -both currently under investigation for conflicts of interest by the FPPC- to set up the censure. They did, but of course wouldn’t even show up to vote for it.

Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill

Shoals sent Barbara Nicolls, wife of Bill Nicolls who helped Tony Ferrara enable John Wallace’s criminal conflict of interest, to vote for it instead.

Ray has said she isn’t a “watchdog.” That part may be true. More like a dog watching a bank robbery -observing but not comprehending.

While a director of the Integrated Waste Management Agency, Ray merely observed as the administrator there misappropriated large sums of public money; apparently seeing but never questioning. It took AG City Council member Tim Brown to realize something was seriously wrong there and take action to stop it.

Ray has claimed to be a visionary leader, but when questioned about it by Dave Congalton, she stated her vision was for plaques and public art in the city parks. Really? Ray has major financial backing from big land developers who have a vastly different vision and expect Ray to facilitate that. Stack packing residential development projects that are out of character in our city and for which we don’t have the water resources is not the vision we share.

Arroyo Grande Councilwoman Caren Ray

Ray thinks I’ve spent too much time focusing on the Sanitation District. While I’m proud of my record there, I’m reminded that the wastewater recycling project that we’re working on there in partnership with the City of Pismo Beach is the key to long term water sustainability in the Five Cities. I do understand those issues. Ray- not so much.

As the only representative who doesn’t live in the Village, my focus is on the entire city. I’m working on financial sustainability, including restructuring the Five Cities Fire Authority so Arroyo Grande residents don’t have to pay an additional $1 million a year for that service– a sum that would leave us with no parks to worry about putting plaques and artwork in, and no maintained streets to enable a fire department response. The Fire Authority wants your million dollars a year and they’re supporting Ray.

But on November 6, the choice is yours.

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I could never vote for Caren Ray, behavior and ethics matter.

Ray’s spin on this is now that she’s the victim! 

It’s impossible to believe her campaign didn’t know Welsh was well known to local police and prone to violence. Why allow her to participate in your campaign in the first place?  Was the goal to have Welsh do the dirty deeds but not get caught?  

Thank you Jim and also Julie for pointing out what is REALLY going on! She’s really digging deep on this one. She must have lots of extra time on her hands since she was ousted from her Dept Chair status at her school it’s been said.

I voted Jim Hill / Kubel / Mack

Surely Ray signed the pledge that all candidates do; ARTICLE 3. Code of Fair Campaign Practices [20440. – 20444.] / Section 20440. The “CODE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES” section (6) “I SHALL IMMEDIATELY AND PUBLICLY REPUDIATE support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics that I condemn. I shall accept responsibility to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections.”

Ray only recently posted on her Facebook page denouncing the vandalism, she has not called the mayor to apologize, she has said nothing about the victims nor has she condemned the perpetrator. Ray and all other candidates in Arroyo Grande should be calling for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

Ray’s weeks of silence implies consent.

It is not surprising Ray supports this behavior by Patty Welsh, just as she did when she reveled in the false allegations Welsh levied at the mayor that Ray then sunk her hooks into. It was Ray that called for the investigation that didn’t include an interview of the mayor — it cost the citizens of the south county nearly $100,000!!!

It is important for people to know that Patty Welsh once supported Jim Hill, but in 2016 when Hill learned that Welsh had stolen campaign signs from other campaigns — he banned her from his campaign.. Scorned, she went to work for the opponent and has made herself part of the progressive team ever since. Caren Ray welcomed Welsh into her lair and allowed her to badger businesses to put up Ray signs and FAILED to condone Welsh’s acts of vandalism that took place on October 9th until just yesterday. Too little, too late, I’d say.

Jim Hill is looking out for the residents of Arroyo Grande. Caren Ray is looking out for herself.

Why would anyone want to go back to the way it was with all the fraud and deceit?

Glad to see you stand up to Ray’s self-aggrandizing grand-standing. Sure hope you win, for the sake of Arroyo Grande residents.

Thank you Mr Mayor Jim Hill for your service