Incumbent Adam Hill is facing challenger Ed Waage — aPismo Beach City Council member — in the race for the 3rd District supervisor’s seat.
Waage is smart, he takes an analytical approach to issues and he has the political experience needed to step up to the Board of Supervisors. In 2008, we gave him our enthusiastic endorsement for the Pismo Beach City Council.
In this race, however, we believe that Adam Hill is the stronger candidate and deserving of asecond term on the board.
We also believe that some of the positions that Waage has taken over the past four years — he opposes many of the county’s efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, for example — are too extreme and not in the best interests of the county or, for that matter, the state or the nation.
As for Hill, we did not endorse him four years ago — we were concerned about his lack of political experience — but since then, we’ve followed his career closely and we’ve been impressed by his hard work and dedication to his constituents; his commitment to attracting jobs and reducing public spending; and his compassionate, yet at the same time practical, approach to social challenges such as homelessness, drug addiction and incarceration.
Hill has been a leader in attracting business and industry both on the Board of Super visors and through involvement with other local organizations, such as the Economic Vitality Corp. While opponents have downplayed these efforts to grow the economy — they point out, for example, that the solar farms on the Carrisa Plains will generate mostly temporary jobs — when unemployment is so high, we believe each and every job is significant.
He’s been especially effective in marshaling support for programs and services to aid the homeless. He led the effort to dedicate countyowned land at South Higuera Street and Prado Road for a future homeless services center, and he pushed to ensure funding for overnight “warming stations,” so they can open in a timely manner. But Hill doesn’t just advocate for short-term fixes; he’s a big proponent of the need for case management and drug detox facilities to help homeless people permanently improve their situations.
Before signing of f on plans for anew women’s jail, Hill made it clear that he would not support “a standard lock’em up,” but rather, wanted to make sure there would be space for counseling, educational and vocational programs — ef for ts that have been proven to reduce recidivism and lessen the burden on taxpayers.
While credit doesn’t rest solely with Hill, we’ve been impressed by the ability of the entire Board of Supervisors — along with county staff — to bring spending under control by adopting a two-tier pension plan that gives new employees less generous benefits.
In dealing with outside agencies, Hill has been a strong voice for county residents. He led the board in urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay relicensing hearings for Diablo Canyon Power Plant until more seismic studies are completed. And when the state Fish and Game Commission proposed opening the county to bear hunting, he blasted the agency for failing to conduct a hearing here.
That said, Hill did have some missteps during his first term.
There were times when he came on too strong and indignant, especially in dealing with political adversaries.
Case in point: After Hill accused members of COLAB — Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business — of racism, he wound up apologizing for what he later described as “admittedly strident generalizations about racism.”
In short, diplomacy has not been Hill’s strength, and that is something he should work to improve.
We believe, however, that his commitment, his compassion and his leadership are outstanding, and we look forward to what he can accomplish in a second term. We strongly urge 3rd District voters to re-elect Adam Hill.