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Our right and duty 

The public did speak out, and it was against Adam Hill's lack of civility

In the Jan. 18 New Times, Robert C. Cuddy wrote a lengthy opinion piece defending Adam Hill ("Time to speak out") and castigating the public that spoke at the Jan. 9 San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting. From the tone of Mr. Cuddy's opinion piece, one would think that the people who spoke against Mr. Hill's becoming head of the Board of Supervisors did so because they were against "the powerless people being manhandled" and that only Mr. Hill cares for the homeless, and that he has "a short temper" when it comes to this and other issues Mr. Hill is passionate about.

Mr. Cuddy further stated that: "Hill's opponents took time and taxpayer dollars last week to conduct their annual Hill Roast, mobilizing their 'goons' from around the county to insult the supervisor and those who elected him." He further blamed Mike Brown and COLAB for orchestrating "a visceral personal attack on Hill, thus the nastiness toward his family, who should be off limits."

Where Mr. Cuddy obtained his information that those who spoke against Mr. Hill want to manhandle powerless people, he did not disclose in his piece. I attended that meeting and was one of the "goons" who spoke against Mr. Hill's becoming the chair of the Board of Supervisors. Neither I nor any of the other 20 or so speakers mentioned anything about or made any "attacks" on Mr. Hill's positions regarding the homeless or the affordability of housing in this county.

All comments were made regarding his suitability to head the Board of Supervisors in an adult, civil, and respectful manner. Those comments covered specifically how he treats the other supervisors with whom he does not agree and the taxpaying public for whom he shows great disdain. No comments were made regarding Mr. Hill's family. While it is true that Mr. Hill holds a small majority in the 3rd District, he does not speak for all residents in his district and certainly does not speak for the entire population of the county.

If Mr. Hill thinks he has a right to act in a manner that is disrespectful to those who live in the county simply because he is passionate and that he should be excused for his "short temper," he is wrong. If Mr. Hill worked for any government agency as an employee or in private industry and treated co-workers and stakeholders in the same manner, he would be terminated.

Mr. Cuddy seems to think that the taxpayers of this county have no right to use their public forum at the supervisors' meetings and express their opinion. I suggest he needs a lesson in civics. It is our right and our duty to come forward, to make our opinions known, and to not be considered "goons" by Mr. Cuddy and not be publicly shown disrespect by an elected official who obtains his very livelihood from us: those same taxpayers.

Mr. Cuddy was also critical of the way supervisors John Peschong, Lynn Compton, and Debbie Arnold are handling the marijuana issue. As he stated, marijuana is a major national, state, and local problem. It is also a dangerous drug that the federal government treats as an illegal drug. Mr. Hill and Supervisor Bruce Gibson would have this county become the marijuana headquarters of the state. Supervisors Peschong, Compton, and Arnold want to take a cautious approach to issuing permits to grow this product. By doing so, they are not "putting some people out of business and throwing their families' lives into chaos."

Has Mr. Cuddy forgotten that until Jan. 1, 2018, it was illegal to grow this product in California? If controlling the growth of this product puts some people out of business, it is because they were in an illegal business to start with and did not qualify to grow it legally.

Mr. Cuddy also asks, "... isn't it about time the real majority in this county showed up at a Board of Supervisors meeting and demanded that this bought-and-paid-for trio do right by us."

Mr. Cuddy, the real majority did show up on Jan. 9 and exercised their rights and duties as taxpayers. No one from "the other side" stepped forward and spoke in favor of Mr. Hill becoming chair of the board. Mr. Cuddy, where were his supporters, and where were you, sir? You did not speak at that meeting either. Your hypocrisy is showing. ∆

Joseph R. Rouleau resides in San Luis Obispo County's 3rd District. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com or write a letter to the editor and send it to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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