Editorials

Supervisor Adam Hill needs help now — or his only choice will be to resign

Pismo resident shares message from Adam Hill telling him to 'f--- off'

Pismo Beach resident Mark Burnes asks the San Luis Obisbo County Board of Supervisors to censure or remove Supervisor Adam Hill from the Board.
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Pismo Beach resident Mark Burnes asks the San Luis Obisbo County Board of Supervisors to censure or remove Supervisor Adam Hill from the Board.

As much as we’ve supported Supervisor Adam Hill in the past, we have serious concerns following the latest revelations about his unacceptable behavior, which includes cursing out a constituent over minor criticism.

Hill’s impressive record — which includes being voted into office three times — is being overshadowed by his belligerence.

If Supervisor Hill can’t control his outbursts and refrain from threats and bullying, it’s time for him to resign.

If he chooses to stay in office, we strongly urge Hill to get whatever help and support he needs to carry out his responsibilities as a public official — one of those being basic civility.

If need be, take a leave of absence. But this can’t go on for another two years. It’s taking too much of a toll on everyone.

In case you missed it, the latest complaint against Hill came on Tuesday, when a member of the public appeared before the Board of Supervisors and read a private Facebook message he had received from the supervisor. Among other insults, Hill told the man to “f--- off.”

We shouldn’t have to say this, but it’s unacceptable for public officials acting in a professional capacity to tell anyone to “f--- off.”

It’s especially egregious that Hill would attack a constituent who expressed a slightly unfavorable opinion of Hill in a letter to the editor published in The Tribune.

What’s equally if not more concerning is the allegation that Hill threatened to withhold county funding from a nonprofit agency if it didn’t do his bidding.

That allegation also was made at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday by Julie Tizzano of SLOCO Data & Printing. She said Hill threatened the Food Bank with a loss of funds if it continued doing business with Tizzano, who was supporting one of Hill’s political opponents.

“I think something should be done about that,” Tizzano told the board. “An elected official should not be able to threaten any nonprofit agency.”

We agree completely. We would add that an elected official should not be able to threaten anyone. Not only is it ethically wrong, but depending on the circumstances, it could be criminal as well.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, with Hill absent, to have staff prepare a code of conduct for board members. That couldn’t hurt, but remember we’re talking about a “code” — not a rule or a law. The bottom line is, there’s not much board members can do to control one another’s behavior.

We believe Adam Hill is fully capable of being an effective county supervisor — we’ve seen that on multiple occasions — and he cares passionately about people in need.

But this pattern of verbal abuse followed by apologies has to end.

Again, we strongly urge Supervisor Hill to reflect on whether he wants to remain in public service and is willing to step up and meet the demands — one of which is to treat everyone with simple, common decency.

If not, he should step aside for someone who’s up to the job.

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