Threats and altercations mar SLO County’s redistricting process

November 20, 2021

Richard Patten

By KAREN VELIE

Amid taunts and threats of lawsuits and riots, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors whittled down the number of redistricting maps on Friday. Two maps remain, one likely to get liberal support and the other promoted by conservatives.

In the weeks before Friday’s meeting, former police chiefs Jim Gardiner and Rick Terborch warned that dramatically changing district boundaries could lead to rage and violence. Others accused those who lived in Paso Robles, or who want change, of being white supremacists.

On the Facebook page of Tom Fulks, a consultant working on Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s reelection campaign, a commenter asks if they can stall redistricting through a lawsuit, and Fulks tells them to “stay tuned.”

Of the more than 100 people who spoke during public comment, approximately half promoted redistricting the entire county to further follow current laws while arguing the previous map was gerrymandered. Many of those speakers supported the Patten Map, drawn by Richard Patten of Arroyo Grande.

Richard Patten map

Gibson countered saying the previous redistricting map won both a court challenge and an appeal, showing it complies with state law. Gibson then claimed the supervisors promoting change also believe there was voter fraud in the presidential election, a comment Supervisor Peschong challenged.

“On the big lie, I do believe Joe Biden won San Luis Obispo County, and the county clerk ran a fair election,” Peschong said. “The Jan. 6 incident in Washington, D.C. I was not in Washington, D.C., and I do not support what happen in the U.S. Capital. I just want this out there so we can end a lot of these rumors.”

In support of not making any changes, noting if it’s not broke why fix it, speakers accused those supporting the Patten map of attempting to steal the board. Others commented that they did not want to be in the same district as the racist people who live in Paso Robles.

Supervisor John Peschong passionately objected, calling out those who claim people who live in the North County are white supremacists.

“That’s what really, really upsets me, is that people in other parts of the county can believe these types of things,” Peschong said. “This is not acceptable behavior. Take it down a notch.”

He also condemned the former police chief’s for saying there would be violence if major changes to the districts are made.

Gibson found Peschong’s outrage “interesting,” and agreed the anger had “ratcheted up,” before accusing Peschong of attempting to justify a “radically drawn map.” Gibson then made a motion to bring back a map that makes no changes to the current district boundaries. The motion failed 2-3, with supervisors Peschong, Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton opposing Gibson’s selection.

Peschong then made a motion to bring back two maps, the Patten map and a map created by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. The motion also ended the public’s ability to submit new maps unless they made only minor changes to the two approved maps. The motion passed 4-1, with Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg dissenting.

SLO Chamber map

Gibson said he was voting for the motion under protest, because it brought a map forward “that is compliant.”

As speakers walked up and down the isle, several people grumbled angry comments at Patten, who was sitting next to Greg Grewal. When Patten and Grewal were leaving to go to lunch, one of those people walked up and said, “I am a Latino and you are just two old men with white privileged.” Grewal then explained that he was Indian, but the woman continued berating him, Grewal said.

“What does that have to do with redistricting,” Grewal added. “Why are we diminished for having another point of view?”

During the final redistricting hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 30, the supervisors will determine which of the final two maps to adopt.


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Jorge Estrada

The Las Padre National Forest drainage must be a boundary, the ridge road would make sense not the Town of Santa Margarita, Pozo is in the Atascadero School District and that consideration should also remain, I say there votes should stay on their side of the hill.


SloShortBusser

The race card, 60% of the time it works every time.


commonsenseguy

This should be a simple process. But as usual, it is driven by the greed for power and control with threats of violence by the left leaning citizens and their current representative’s. Sound familiar?


The goal of Gibson, Ortiz-Leg, *Ellen Beruad, *Susan Funk, and *Michael Latner, is to change the lines enough to flip the 5th district. Anything in addition to that is a plus in their narrow view of fair representation. There is no fair representation of the constituents if they get their way. Again, it’s about control and power to push the far-left agenda. Beraud, Funk, and Latner are part of Progressive Political Action Group pushing this.


It makes no sense for Cal Poly to be included with any part of the north county. Keep them align with SLO City and Dawn “Code Pink” Ortiz-Legg. It’s a perfect Progressive fit. Debbie Arnold or any fair-minded Conservative is a perfect fit for the 5th district.


As for John Peschong, Lynn Compton, and Gibson, I feel they are a good fit for their constituents at this time. The problem with Gibson is his constituents have to be growing tired of his unethical, and at times strange behavior, not mention his complete failure to the residents of Los Osos. Maybe the next election cycle they can rid themselves and the rest of the county of this problem.


Rambunctious

“Others accused those who lived in Paso Robles, or who want change, of being white supremacists”


White supremacists? Really? Anytime you here this from your opposition…know that you are dealing with very low IQ racists no different than the democrat racists from the old south in pointy white hats…today they are referred to as social justice warriors and progressives….


SLO Friend

So by now, we know how this works. The Friends of Adam Hill and the Friends of Bruce Gibson send out their “call to action” to the typical speakers, giving them talking points. This group then jumps in line and recites the points, most of them not even taking the opportunity to determine whether the points are factual or not. They pout and complain and threaten litigation and talk of dire circumstances, all in an attempt to intimidate to get their way.


Move foward with the Patton Map.


MBvoter

This is what the left does they harass and browbeat everybody who thinks differently than their opinions. Threats of rage, violence and lawsuits. Really. Extremely disappointed if the majority BOS falls to these extremists threats. The lines from last redistricting we’re done by a 3-2 BOS that leaned left. It’s time to right the wrong and adjust the boundaries the way they should be. Some much for tolerance. Adopt the Patton map and those who don’t like it have 10 years to elect new representatives to change it . Also who gives a S*** what Tom Fulks thinks. Bruce should be more focused on taking care of his district issues like San Simeon CSD board or Cambria water.


kayaknut

Make the city of San Luis Obispo, including Cal Poly one district, and divide up the remaining county with the other four, keeping cities whole in whichever district they land in. If populations need adjusting I’d expect that can be done without dividing common areas.