Civility, transparency, or hypocrisy?

August 9, 2019

OPINION by T. KEITH GURNEE

San Luis Obispo’s city government has to feel that it’s under siege these days. Recent revelations by CCN about the city’s police chief losing her firearm, her day-long scramble to find it, breaking into a house where it wasn’t, tearing that family that lived in the house apart, and the apparent ongoing cover-up of this matter is a flat-out public embarrassment.

Chief Deanna Cantrell

Add to that the as yet unresolved scandal over a city building inspector who was filmed in a bar cold-cocking a woman, only to be placed on paid administrative leave back in May is yet another embarrassment. Does paying someone who would do that to a woman his full salary not to work for the last four months make any sense? It looks like the city is buying time, hoping that the controversy will die down enough for him to come back to his job. What’s that about?

Mind you that this mayor and City Council have claimed to be the champions of “civility” and “transparency”, but how do these two episodes equate with those principles?

Civility

Remember when the City Council adopted the highly touted “Civility Resolution” with great fanfare? The mayor brings it up at the beginning of every City Council meeting in her plea to people to be civil with each other.

Is it “civil” not to act to discipline if not terminate a city employee who would do that to a woman? Is it “civil” to keep paying him not to work indefinitely? After all, it’s doubtful that the film clip of that city employee knocking out that young lady for no apparent reason will win the city any awards as its “civility” training film.

Transparency

As CCN continues to peel back the layers of the onion in the police chief controversy, the city seems blithely ignorant of the old adage “if you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” Every day the obfuscation and the cover-up seem to get worse.

I’ve met Police Chief Deanna Cantrell and she impressed me. Unfortunately, she made a bad mistake. Had she have been completely truthful in her apology will, all could have been forgiven. But the conflicting timelines, the mistaken raid on the wrong house without a search warrant, and doubling down on prosecuting its occupants while tearing their family apart has gone way too far.

With City Attorney Christine Dietrick stonewalling CCN’s Public Records Act requests, the cover-up appears to be in full bloom.

That the four women on our City Council, some of whom marched to protest taking children away from their parents at the border, would tolerate this defies understanding.

Meanwhile, this does not come at a good time for the rank and file of law enforcement personnel who protect and serve us. Across our nation, our police are under fire, and the disrespect being shown to police officers is off the charts. Just look at New York City where officers are being doused with water while their mayor does nothing about it.

Our police deserve our respect and support. But episodes like San Luis Obispo is experiencing right now only serve to erode that much-needed support when they needed the most

We need to know the truth

Were it not for CCN, we wouldn’t know what we know now. We deserve the truth and the whole truth about these troubling issues, but we’re just not getting it from City Hall. It’s time that the city come clean.

The public responses to CCN’s articles on the police chief controversy reveal a deep resentment and distrust of how the city is handling this issue. In fact, some commenters were proposing to attend the next City Council meetings to demand answers. And what does the city do? Cancel the first City Council meeting and most other public meetings for the first two weeks of August. Is that just a coincidence or more stonewalling?

There is ample evidence that “civility” and “transparency” are now missing in action in today’s City Hall. There is another term that is far more accurate to describe the situation. It’s called hypocrisy and it’s becoming the tragic legacy of today’s city government.

Just nine short years ago, San Luis Obispo was named “The happiest city in North America.” Who would dare call our city that today?


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Myself

Just as TKG put in his piece, the women that made noise about illegals being seperated now being quiet about this happening in their own back yard, then the outspoken fruit loop for a mayor not saying a word really makes one wonder about this whole crooked thing, what I don’t understand is why haven’t the kids been returned home to their parents and the dog brought back and everyone from the mayor on down kissing these peoples ass, I would have had Funky Blu on this already and been turning up the heat on these loosers.

But first and formost don’t ever let the cops into your house for any reason with out a search warrant, they are not there to help you.


Murse

The case of the violent Building Inspector, Chris Olcott, should have been settled long ago. It took the City Manager, Derek Johnson, only a few days to “investigate” the Police Chief, Deanna Cantrell, and impose the punishment of two days without pay. The City knew about Olcott’s violent tendencies at least 1 1/2 years ago and have been paying him while he’s suspended for four months. C’mon! The guy isn’t fit to go into people’s homes. Why is your “investigation” taking so long? Fire him!


The case of Cheyne Orndoff and his wife, Vanessa Bedroni, is a disgrace. Illegal search of their home, clearly in violation of the 4th Amendment, taking their children and placing them in Foster Care then not even allowing them to speak with their parents on the phone, taking their dog and placing it at Woods Humane Society so another person can adopt it… It’s beyond human decency.


The people of San Luis Obispo need to wake up because you could be next. Hold your representatives accountable by writing, calling, reporting… whatever it takes to right these wrongs. Let’s take care of each other and turn this ship around.


MysticOne

The amount of BS the city is putting those unfortunate people through is beyond ridiculous. If I had a house/yard I would adopt it immediately just to foster it until I could return it to its true owners. Hopefully someone that does have the ability to foster will do exactly that.


obispan

My yard is not fenced and my cat would not be happy but I will pay all costs associated with adoption and care for this dog if someone will keep him for his family.


Julie

Look for the Congalton podcast from today!

Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/children-and-dog-taken-during-warentless-search


Humperdinck

Congalton podcast is right. All evidence must be thrown.out without a warrant.. https://www.920kvec.com/show/dave-congalton-hometown-radio/


Starting my own digital and hardcopy files, as surely someone will be convening a private citizens meeting (whether they get their kids back in the next day or two or not).


obispan

Retired SLO Police Chief Jim Gardiner would be great in the interim. Great guy, compassionate but competent and knew he had to run a tight ship. Oh, that’s right, SLO doesn’t want competence anymore, only politically correct symbolism. When he ran for Sheriff with the support of ALL of the Police Chiefs in the county he scared the Sheriff’s Deputy’s Association so much they put up their own Tim Hedges who ended up being, by far, the worst Sheriff in SLO County history.


obispan

Correction, Pat Hedges, Tim was his brother, an SLOPD officer.


TKG

Completely agree with Jim Gardiner!


obispan

Where is he? And how much does he want? Can we fire Christine Dietrick, who makes more than the Attorney General of the State of California and whose non-political work is done entirely by multiple assistants, and use that money to right the ship?


George Garrigues

I had to look this author up on the internet to find out he is a defeated mayoral candidate, so he is hardly a disinterested observer.


LOVESLO

WTHeck does that have to do with anything? He has lived in this town for decades and certainly has the right to offer up his opinion on the demise of this town.


rjakelian

Where have you been? Clearly your not from SLO or you would be familiar with Gurnee ( he posting editorials regularly ( some I agree some not), and what does pointing out some legitimate issues have to do with it? The building inspector mess is a shame, and Cantrell sure doesn’t look good. I had no opinion of her before this, but its way down now.


Hazmateer

One shouldn’t be “disinterested” in the face of blatant corruption. He likely ran for mayor in order to address issues such as this, which SLO has a habit of mishandling. Too many people let the mayor, city manager, police chief, and other incompetent city bureaucrats get away with far too much. I’d prefer many more interested and involved citizens, like the author.


aye-caramba

Unfortunately, San Luis Obispo is suffering because of it’s leadership. Weird things happen, and SLO has become a laughing stock. Attack straws, styrofoam, plastic bottles, ignore the homeless, trash piling up like a third world country on Prado Lane, folks urinating and defecating publically on Foothill, while they destroy neighborhoods for bike paths, overbuild and tear down trees, change our electric providers to cost us more and try to revoke natural gas options. These guys are worshipping ideology which is destructive and vile. Harmon and ilk must go.


obispan

Harmon’s idiocy increases greenhouse gas emissions and your utility bills. Why? So she and her ilk can have high-paying do-nothing jobs.


slocalgal

The more information that comes out, the more troubling it is. I am disgusted with the City of SLO. The public should rally around this family: email the District Attorney, Dan Dow, and ask him to drop the charges; attend the court hearing to show support for the couple; form a group to clean the family’s house. We, as a community, can show that we are better than this.


P.S. Return the dog to her family!


LOVESLO

Impeach her.


George Garrigues

You don’t “impeach” municipal elected officials. You “recall” them. (Wait a minute; didn’t I write this same message a few weeks ago?)


MrYan

Are we talking about the mayor? Then yes you recall. If the city charter allows it.


Chiefs can be fired.


Chefs cook with fire.


Fire is hot.


It can burn.


Hazmateer
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