Paso Robles City Council betrays its citizens

November 29, 2023


Last week, the Paso Robles City Council heard from dozens of citizens and business owners about how the downtown Parking Program has negatively impacted them, their business and the community as a whole.

People spoke with clarity and passion about their personal experiences. One of the downtown volunteers spoke about spending most of her time trying to help people understand how the program works, helping with the kiosks and warding off the ticket monster.

Two councilmen, Fred Strong and Chris Bausch gave good arguments for terminating the program. Both of them citing the enormous amounts of emails and comments from their constituents, asking for the program to go away.

New Councilwoman Sharon Roden came up with lame-ass reasons for the financial failure of the program and offered up solutions that included getting rid of the free hours. She came off as haughty. Not a good beginning.

It seems as though she has determined that it’s her responsibility to make money for the city rather than consider what’s in the best interest of the people.

Steve Gregory, entrenched and entitled politician that he is, vowed to keep the program no matter what the people wanted.

John Hamon also took the same politician’s way out because, as the leader of this band of do-nothings, he could not see his way clear to guide the council to a Plan B or get rid of the program in its entirety.

Oh whoops! My bad. They did come up with Plan B.

Here it is:

●  Get rid of the free hours and start charging from minute one.

●  Have new signs made at a cost of $36,000 – again.

●  Work on the kiosks to make sure they work properly, because they don’t.

●  Raise the number of senior permits available. That was easy…it’s revenue!

The vote was 2-3, Strong and Bausch against, and Hamon, Gregory and Roden for not only keeping the program but making it even more distasteful than it already is. If that’s possible!

So what have we learned from this latest council smack-down?

●  We’ve learned that what the citizens of this community want – does not mean squat!

●  We’ve learned that what the downtown businesses want – does not mean squat!

●  We’ve learned that we have members of the City Council who don’t give a rat’s patootie about the people, the businesses or the future of our downtown.

●  We’ve learned that no matter what we present as proof of a failed program, this council has its own agenda and they will do what they want, when they want and we can all go pound sand.

In five years, I have never advocated for boycotting the downtown. And I won’t do that now. Our friends and neighbors own those businesses.

Everyone who was there last week understood by the demeanor of Gregory, Hamon and Roden, that listening to the speakers was a waste of their time. Their decision was already made.

I will personally never step foot in any business Steve Gregory has an interest in, retail or commercial.

I will recommend that those who need a new garage door or an adjustment on theirs, call another company other than Hamon Overhead.

Not much I can do against Ms. Roden as she’s a farmer/pistachio grower. But I will call her out when I can and refuse to ever eat another pistachio.

Next year, when Gregory and Roden come up for reelection, I will do all that I can to make sure they never serve another term on this council.

Hamon is on until 2026. Can’t get rid of him as quickly.

I will forever remind council that when this program was presented, it was not to be used as a source of revenue. It was to solve a problem. They threw that out the window last week.

So there you have it folks. Last week they confirmed what so many of us know and have been battling against for years.

Your Paso Robles City Council has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The only cure is to make sure next November that they seek treatment in a land far, far away.

Jan Albin is a Paso Robles resident and a strong advocate for the community.

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Ms. Albin is spot on. Although she labors under the impression that at some point the civic leaders will do something other than promote their own selfish self-interest. There are two rules they follow: do nothing and once something is done, never back away despite its utter foolishness.

For tax and spend politicians, fees are the golden ring to grasp as raising “taxes” is politically verboten (Prop 13). To me fees and taxes are a difference without a distinction.

Keep writing Ms. Albin! It makes a difference.

Jan’s right. My issue with the parking problem is that it has never been addressed. The City Council had a problem with not enough parking downtown. We needed more parking. The City of Paso decided that would be a great way to create another problem and make money while doing. However, they’ve done a bangup job of losing money on paid parking instead of solving the original issue which was not enough parking.Purely insane.

“City Council Betrays its Citizens” So what’s new?

Spending 36k on more new parking signs is insane. A wiser investment would be to spend 2 or 3 grand on a 3d printer and have the council members in favor of the paid parking make the signs theirselves.