Bouquets and Brickbats

Let’s have filtered candor from Adam Hill

letters@thetribunenews.comMarch 28, 2014 

At a routine monthly Homeless Advisory Committee meeting on March 18, Supervisor Adam Hill asked his legislative assistant Hannah Miller to read his prepared statement criticizing the restructuring and the ability of CAPSLO to provide homeless services.

County Supervisor Adam Hill has put his foot in his mouth — again — and for that, he earns a sock full of brickbats. In case you missed it, Hill issued a public “mea culpa”this week after criticizing CAPSLO’s decision to restructure its homeless services program. That reorganization included a demotion and pay cut for Hill’s fiancee, Dee Torres.

We understand that Adam’s a passionate guy who cares deeply about homeless issues. On top of that, he sometimes has a tendency to speak rashly, rather than rationally. (Cases in point: On two previous occasions, Hill has issued public apologies for intemperate comments.)

This time, though, his tirade appears to have been premeditated, because he sent his legislative assistant Hannah Miller to a meeting to read a prepared statement. That means Hill had to actually sit down and put some thought into what he wanted to say.

And what did he say, exactly? That “recent actions taken by CAPSLO senior management have been so obnoxious and counterproductive that I must state firmly that I have lost all confidence in the leadership of Biz Steinberg, Jim Famalette and Grace McIntosh ...”.

Certainly, the decision by CAPSLO management to demote three lead employees and significantly reduce their pay raises serious concerns and questions, as does the revelation that CAPSLO’s homeless services program has been running a deficit.

But for Hill to criticize CAPSLO for personnel decisions that directly affect his fiancee reeks of conflict of interest.

At least Hill has vowed to no longer vote on any matters involving CAPSLO (he had previously abstained from voting on issues involving CAPSLO’s homeless services program).

Hill also said he’s learned that “unfiltered candor is the worst way to proceed.” Exactly. From now on, we expect only well-filtered candor.

Yee allegations boggle the mind

Next, we turn our gaze to Sacramento, where we come dangerously close to depleting our supply of brickbats, given the outrageous behavior of politicians there.

The most recent example: Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who was arrested this week for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for political favor. Yee has the dubious distinction of being the third Democratic state senator to have been indicted or convicted of crimes this calendar year.

Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello was indicted last month on charges of accepting bribes. Sen. Rod Wright of Inglewood was convicted of perjury and voter fraud in January and is currently appealing the conviction. Both Wright and Calderon are on voluntary leave, with pay provided by — guess who? — we the people.

The case against Lee is especially mind-boggling. It includes allegations of involvement in gun running — this against a senator who worked on gun control legislation. Stay tuned for more.

Golf course has a new kind of green

We’re driving a cart of well-played bouquets to the staff at Dairy Creek Golf Course — particularly to Josh Heptig, superintendent of county golf operations — for taking eco-friendliness to a whole new level.

Among other measures, operators of Dairy Creek have practically eliminated shipments to the landfill by composting all food waste, grass clippings, paper and other garbage that would ordinarily be thrown away. The course has gone from using 18 trash cans to just one — and that’s emptied every other day.

Among other uses, the compost is mixed with water that forms a nutrient-rich “tea” used to irrigate putting greens.

The zero-waste program is being expanded to Morro Bay Golf Course and Chalk Mountain Golf Course in Atascadero. That’s an excellent idea, and it’s worth exploring for other recreation areas as well.

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