OPINION by OTIS PAGE
It appears Arroyo Grande Council member Caren Ray is now functionally acting as the de facto mayor of Arroyo Grande leaving Jim Hill to be mayor in name only with symbolic duties.
Led by Ray, Barbara Harmon and Kristen Barneich, the council majority displayed their vindictiveness against Mayor Jim Hill in the Arroyo Grande Council meeting of Oct. 24. They contested the legal judgment and the conclusion by investigators and the city’s attorney that Hill cannot be removed by law from his board membership on the Sanitary District.
They have no right by insisting this except for their political hate for Hill, an honest and straightforward man who stands in brilliant contrast to their narrow spitefulness.
Here in the lovely farming village of Arroyo Grande we see the cruelest of political tactics that disgrace the city. This is an outrage, a political ploy where Ray, by way of example, demonstrates her power, has ordered the city clerk, with minimum council discussion, to prepare a new manual on ethics regarding the conduct of council members.
Ray has designated that she and her political running mate Barneich will be the council’s representative in this politically instructive document to be used in the next election. Ray appears to politicize the ethics question while she, Harmon and Barneich violate ethical standards in their crude actions against Hill. Does something smell here?
There is a very real and more significant error here. Ray has ignored the outstanding contributions Hill has made today and with Debbie Peterson of Grover Beach in the past to restore financial and management stability of the sanitation district. This is an irrefutable and verified record of Hill’s accomplishments!
Caren Ray may be part of the conspiracy to instigate the out of control financially expensive Investigation of Mayor Hill. It was based on spurious charges by ex sanitation board members who could be accused for their role in ignoring their fiduciary responsibilities that has led to the indictment by the SLO County District Attorney of past sanitation district manager, John Wallace.
Why is de facto acting mayor Caren Ray acting so aggressively? It apparently is not so much the call to duty as is her obvious own political ambitions, a possible psychic recovery from her loss to Lynn Compton displacing Ray on the SLO Board of Supervisors.
Another reason may be the fact Hill whoomphed her other political running mate, Waller, in the election for mayor. Hill received by far the largest votes of all in the election for city council.
There is a quiet anger on the part of those who support Hill regarding the council majority’s actions that may have implications in the elections in 2018!