Paso Robles City Council rejects Bruce Gibson’s equity plan

June 22, 2023

Supervisor Bruce Gibson


Paso Robles City Council members on Tuesday rejected a change to the Paso Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan proposed and penned by San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson.

In compliance with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, four local agencies working together formed an association. The state recently approved the group’s groundwater sustainability plan, which Gibson would now like to amend.

In order to make a change, Gibson needs to get all four agencies to agree to his proposed changes.

While Paso Robles City staff agreed that fairness should be part of the groundwater plan, they had concerns with Gibson’s use of the word equity.

Gibson argued fair and equity mean the same thing. He claimed he was working to make sure everyone was provided equal access to water.

Multiple public speakers and city officials said they were suspicious of Gibson’s equity plan. They questioned why Gibson had removed two county supervisors, Debbie Arnold and John Peschong, from the groundwater association.

Speakers reminded Gibson how he had punished the smaller farmers who agreed voluntarily not to grow during the water moratorium, by refusing to allow them to regain their water rights.

City Councilman Steve Gregory said he found it suspicious that two months after Gibson replaced the supervisors who represent people who live over the basin, he wants to make changes to the approved plan.

“We did an incredible job with the leadership of supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong,” Gregory said. “We created a document that has been approved by the state.”

Recently elected Councilman Chris Bausch found “no reason to tweak the plan at this point.”

“I am very suspisious of the word equity, it smacks of socialism to me,” Bausch said. “It takes away something that belongs to somebody else and hands it off to another person.”

Councilman John Hamon, an official who generally votes lockstep with Gibson, argued they should consider bringing an amended proposal back in the future, after the other three councilmen voiced plans to vote against Gibson’s proposal.

The board then agreed to table the item.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Equity is another way of saying, ” what is mine is mine but what is yours is negotiable”. Then again the term FAIR doesn’t hold much water in the courtroom, where water rights are perfected. When it is about water, one lawyer can spend a career protecting the rights of owners, while the taxpayers/ratepayers fund their government which want their water too.

Bruce Gibson is a self-serving, corrupt man. FAIR and EQUITY do not mean the same thing. He is either ignorant, or arrogant to think no one can figure that out; or both. Good for Paso to stand up to him and John Hammon.

Any leader who blames something on “Socialism” is someone to be very concerned about. Blaming something on “Socialism”generally means a person has nothing rational to support their extremist views. If they truly were against Socialism and not hypocritical, they would be in opposition to police departments, fire departments, and the government organizations that build roads , etc.