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Tax opponents target Gibson appointment 

Taxpayers angered by Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s vote to endorse last November’s Proposition 30 on behalf of San Luis Obispo County converged on the Jan. 29 board of supervisors meeting to oppose his reappointment to the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). The commission’s resolutions carry significant weight on the legislative floor and among voters.

Voters approved the proposed tax increase by a 10-point margin on Nov. 6, 2012.

Many county residents at the meeting repeatedly referenced Gibson’s defense of the endorsement that he “voted his conscience” on Proposition 30. Several mentioned the supervisor’s recent admission of infidelity, his pending divorce, and the board’s handling of the matter.

“Mr. Gibson’s actions have demonstrated that he is not the person we want to represent us,” Templeton resident Gwen Pelfrey said.

In light of the vocal opposition, Supervisor Debbie Arnold suggested that the board table the appointment to allow for further discussion. When the board decided that it had enough information, members voted 4-1, with Arnold dissenting, to send Gibson back to Sacramento.

Gibson defended his actions by citing widespread support for Proposition 30 among local school districts and law enforcement departments, and pointed out that 53.9 percent of SLO County voters ultimately approved the measure. Other supervisors spoke up in support of their colleague.

“The Prop. 30 issue has become a red herring for those wishing to make personal attacks on Supervisor Gibson,” Supervisor Adam Hill commented above a din of grumbling in the back of the hearing room. “He has represented the county well at CSAC.”

Chairman Frank Mecham responded to some attendees who suggested the board was whisking through the appointment process with inadequate discussion: “It’s not taken lightly,” he said.

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