I cannot support pay-to-play by the Grover Beach Council

February 19, 2019

Debbie Peterson

OPINION by DEBBIE PETERSON

After much soul-searching I have decided to submit my resignation, effective this evening because I can no longer in good conscience associate myself with this council.

I want to thank the voters of Grover Beach for electing me to serve them for over ten years as their councilmember and mayor. Thanks also to our dedicated city employees who have been a delight to work with.

Much good has been accomplished by the council over the past few years. During my tenure criminals were ferreted out from public roles, pockmarked streets are being repaired, and our city has balanced its budget with greater transparency.

While I was a member of the sewer district board, facing the depletion of over $11 million of reserves, we restructured the organization. This ultimately led to the investigation and conflict-of-interest conviction of the former chief executive.

The DA is still investigating alleged extensive misappropriation of funds at the Integrated Waste Management Authority.  Yet, the council continues to appoint people to the sewer district and waste management authority boards who have supported those who been convicted or accused of fiddling, cheating, and double dealing at both public agencies.

Finally, while I support the legalization of cannabis and the benefits of bringing the industry to Grover Beach, I cannot support those on the council, who with their political consultant, crafted a pay-to-play insider game.

Many members of the community and the cannabis industry report that some dispensary applicants paid council members and their consultant to get their licenses approved. In the end, applicants with clean backgrounds were pushed out of town while those with felony convictions were granted licenses.

I cannot betray the trust of those who elected me by looking the other way to avoid rocking the boat. Doing so, just to get along, is complicit and would make me as guilty as those who commit the evil, or those who choose to wear a blindfold.  Every council member’s first duty is to the people, to take bold action when there is no other viable option.

Debbie Peterson served as mayor of Grover Beach from 2012 through 2014, as a city council member from 2008 through 2012 and from 2016 through 2019, and as a planning commissioner from 2004 through 2008. For more information, contact Debbie Peterson at 805-550-4490.


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MarkJames

Thank you Debbie and thank you Karen Velie and Daniel Blackburn. You are trying to clean up our community and you have paid the price. Dan and Karen were financially destroyed so the corruption can continue. The New Times and Tribune are so focused on the money they can make on advertisers like the pot ads that they refuse to investigate, while throwing mud at Dan and Karen. We need to get the word out to those who only listen to the Tribune of New Times. With truth there is power.


analyticone

Boldguy – easy to get last names mixed up. Debbie Arnold is the Supervisor from North County. The writer of the opinion piece is Debbie Peterson, former Grover Beach mayor and council member.


Boldguy

My bad:(


the situation

Adam Hill, John Shoals, Jeff Lee, Heidi Harmon and many others. Your days are numbered. Pray for jail time, it’s your best option


casappleton

Speak up?!?! Its been screamed about and only now is it being given sunlight.


analyticone

Yes, for 20 years people have been screaming. Unfortunately, not enough people screamed. It will take many more bold and brave individuals standing on principle to change this complicated mess.


Smith

I’ll bet the Feds are running over to interview Debbie. Thank you Debbie.


Boldguy

Debbie Arnold I commend your courage and character!!!

That whole cannabis process was rigged from the beginning, allowed to be close to a gathering place(Dance Studio) for children, those community concerns were ignored from the beginning:(

Tells the Council about the great jobs that will be brought to the area, living wage, health insurance, retirement etc, has anyone gone back to see that none of things has happened!!!

What a contrast between high and low character:(


Boldguy

Debbie Peterson!

Hadn’t had my coffee yet:)


rukidding

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Corruption. Thank you Debbie for opening the door so we can see who is there.


sharshofar

Debbie Peterson I applaud your courage and transparency Grove Beach has lost a valuable public servant. Arroyo Grande lost a great person in Jim Hill so Oceano and Arroyo Grande Grover Beach are partners. The citizens have no one watching out for the. Enter into personal politics ( What’s in it for me says the elected officials ). We get the government we vote for!


Therealtruth

Speak up people!!!