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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c.d.cox

How many versions of how she lost her weapon? I read one where the weapon fell out of the clip on her pants another it was on a paper towel dispenser. If it fell out of pants sounds like a shadow holster. Also when was the last time she was to the range and qualified? All Leo’s are reguired to qualify two times a year.


c.d.cox

Don’t trust CPS I had problems with them in the seventies and they have gotten worse. Remember not too long ago they took two teen age girls for no reason and put them with a known molester how much did that cost the county insurance carrier ?


Rambunctious

San Luis has its own swamp now…it will take a Trumpian to drain it….


panflash

Well, clearly a lot of local folks are deeply upset by these events. As of now we do not know whether the District Attorney, the FBI and/or the U.S. Department of Justice are examining the matter. But the intensive local sentiment shows that a lot of people want someone to do something, and soon.


One thing that any citizen of SLO County can do, and right now, is to petition the SLO County civil grand jury to investigate this. Yes, I realize that civil grand juries have limited powers, but at the very least, the local grand jury can give the San Luis city officials, and any other complicit parties, a copious amount of headaches by swearing them in to testify and, therefore, putting them in the position of having to possibly lie under oath. Plus, the grand jury can demand that those officials dig out and produce significant amounts of documentation on the matter. Yes, this would be more along the lines of just giving these officials a healthy portion of grief and burning up a lot of their time. But it’s the least that we, the people- any of us- can do to make sure that those officials understand the magnitude of their abuse of power.


The 2019-2020 SLO County civil grand jury should be impaneled by now and at this point should be considering what investigations to undertake during their year of service expiring June 30, 2020. Any citizen of SLO County can file a citizen complaint with the grand jury. This link will provide the necessary information, including the grand jury website and e-mail address and link to the official citizen complaint form:


https://www.slo.courts.ca.gov/gi/jury-grandjury.htm


How about it folks? This is the least that we can do to hold these officials accountable for their egregious behavior in this matter. If we compel the grand jury to investigate, at least we’ll know that SOMEONE will be investigating this matter. And if the District Attorney, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, or any other applicable agency also takes this on, well then, all the better.


Let’s do it. Now.


oldtimer

Thank you.


kayaknut

And yet the voters keep supporting Mayor Harmon and the city council, who clearly approve of what Chief Cantrell and her cops are doing and a city administration that keeps employees with anger issues on the payroll, by continuing to vote them into office. So they must not have an issue with it.


oldtimer

A chief governed by Dow and Parkinson with different “political ideology”, starting to see the picture? It’s called commerce. No one is safe. Who cares if Heidi is progressive or Cantrell is a gay Lesbian. Dow and Parkinson don’t; they’re Republicans!, and they keep making a quarter of a million a year. Sheeple, wake up, stop letting them divide us!


AmericaTheFree

Where is Dan Dow in all of this Keith? He has a hand in this, why not mention him? Just like you to call out only those you have a “political” axe to grind with but not the one who could put a stop to this shit right now!

He, Dan Dow, is the communities first protection against crap like this; it’s up to him to evaluate the “evidence” to see if it warrants prosecution, it was up to him to decide if there was probable cause for the search warrant and it’s up to him to continue this baseless prosecution.

You think a Republican led city government would do any better? Yea, right! Keep havin’ that age old nightmare…


oldtimer

Most likely voted for him. It’s odd how people won’t buck a political base even with murder and high crimes. Politics over life and free market I guess.


TKG

Good question. Dan Dow has turned out to be a great disappointment. Dan Dow should be called “Dan Don’t”. Don’t investigate the IWMA. Don’t investigate Adam Hill’s pay-to-play schemes. Don’t do anything but occupy the office. It would be great if he would wake up and do something about this, but I’m not holding my breath…


oldtimer

Appreciate the response Keith, sincerely. Hill, Heidi, Debbie, Lynn, Dow, Peschong, Gibson are all in this together. We claim slo is homestead friendly yet progressive through our corrupt propogandists leaders, yet hurt the weak, innocent and in this case, Educated decent humans and a dog. Keith, thank you for your comment, it was needed, I’m grateful and blessed you talk openly that all Politics in slo, Republican And Democratic, is corrupt. Divide us is what they want, to subdue us. This is normal propoganda tactics used for the last 100 years.


Why do we leave out Parkinson and his 250k yearly salary as the HEAD of slo county PD, sitting on his a** filling out paper work with only an associates degree, ie, an idiot? Who gives a rats a** how he votes. Kids are being stolen illegally from parents, resulting in me paying for it, minus trauma and human empathy. This isn’t about Cantrell being gay or heidi being progressive, or Peschong being conservative. This is about money and cover ups. We people have differences, but we are humans at the end of the day, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. I’m a father, a son, a grandchild etc, a neighbor, a medical practioner, keeping an eye out on the innocent etc. And Keith, you are a politician, it’s your job and oath to help us and call out corruption on ALL sides, heaven has a gate that is mighty thick.


oldtimer

And also Keith, what about Edna Valley and York Mountain hemp growers being shunned out by local politicians; Arnold and Peschong, whom I pay for, infringing on legal business and permitting process and interfering with free market?


Pete

This commentary echoes my feelings exactly. The whole situation smells bad and reeks of special deals, blaming victims and poor city management. Both cases, the bum who beat up the couple in Avila and the Police Chief saga deserve a complete and transparent inquiry and quick resolution with full public disclosure.


The City Council should order all this via the city manager asap and get to the bottom of these dual scandals. Stop the stonewalling.


And the damn cops took their dog, and it is now up for adoption with no recourse? Are you kidding?????

Anyone who will adopt Princess and hold her for her humans will get my support, I will pay for the adoption. Post your intentions here or contact me through Karen of CCN our Dave Congalton and I will make good on my offer. Dave Congalton has even offered to help with this too.


For those of you who have any sense of justice email the DA demanding a dropping of charges, call Woods and Animal Control and ask/demand they either hold Princess for her rightful humans or only adopt her out until she can be reclaimed.


This whole mess is beyond comprehension.


shelworth

Unfortunately, we just fit in with the rest of the State’s governments. The Democrats have so much power why should they care what the people think. Hundreds of millions of dollars for illegal alien health care? Hardly a peep from anyone. Kick in a few doors to silence the public, nothing will come of it.


oldtimer

Dow and Parkinson are not Democrats, and did not run on that platform, and oversee the hyper progressive city of slo and their progressive pawns. Think of that?, or can you not read in between the lines of money and propoganda, you fell for it, pity that.


Mjd

Ladies & Gentlemen,


I AGREE with Mr. T Keith Gurnee!


Under our failed Mayor, Heidi Harmon, and her progressive ilk, SLO has become corrupt, dirty and an embarrassment to all who seek good government. The whacky progressives have brought their unusual idealogical whacky liberalism to our once-fair city, and now we have high taxes, traffic congestion, overblown development, marijauna dispencery scandals, bike highways, criminal city employees, statue restrictions, and many other embrrassing policies.


The solution is to dump the whacky progressives, and it begins with ousting Harmon, and then also ridding us of Aaron Gomez, Carlyn Christianson, Erika Stewart, and Andy Pease-they ALL have to go. Mr. Gurnee is spot on with the coverup by Deanna Cantrell and Christine Dietrich, and we must plan for a new police chief, the rank-and-file have lost confidence in her, so she must go.


The SLO TT and New Times are guilty of using the talking points of the corrupt SLO city officials in trying to defame the reputation of Cheyne Orndoff, and ALL citizens should have their civiil liberties protected. Heidi Harmon and Co. are guilty of allowing the abuse of Mr. Orndoff’s civil rights, and shame on the progressive hypocrites who remain silent in the face of scandal.


Reject Progressive Democrats/Reject Heidi Harmon.


Speak truth to power.


oldtimer

Dow and Parkinson are boss, and they are Republican. They own SLO my Comrade MJD. For mother Slo Comrade MJD. Speak truth to your Comrade! Fyi, this is America, in case you thought it was Russia, Comrade. The only whacky thing here are your segragative political posts that have nothing to do with reality or facts, Comrade MJD. Next you’ll reject human life and freedom of speech and religion and politics and race, your walking a thin line, we don’t want another national terrorist Comrade MJD, be careful. I addresses are very easy to follow Comrade, that goes for anyone here, and your kind Moderator helping you out from a Federal investigation. I went to Target today and felt worried for my safety being in a crowd with many “people”, given what happened in El Paso the other day, and I’m a father with children Comrade MJD and cherish my open minded Democracy with opinions, freedom and safety. Lay off on your Political segragative propoganda whilst people’s constitutional rights in SLO were violated. Not Republican Jim Crow Alabama, but ” progressive slo”. It’s not politics Comrade, it’s control.