OPINION by MAYOR JIM HILL
Caren Ray is again making false statements about me in her mayoral campaign. This time it’s about Brisco Road. In April of this year, immediately after the city attorney recommended I obtain an official advice letter from the Fair Political Practices Commission regarding the Brisco interchange project because the choice of options for Brisco would soon come before the council – I did.
The Brisco project long predates my time on the council. I have no beneficial interest in any of the project consultants, contractors, subcontractors or any other participants, nor any other entity that may be affected by the project. In their June advice letter, the FPPC found that based on their new rules, even though my home is half a mile away from the project, they believe that as a homeowner I have a resultant financial conflict that prohibits me from participating in the project deliberations.
So be it. There has been no “misconduct” as alleged by my opponent. There has been no discussion or council vote since I received the FPPC opinion.
However Caren Ray supporter (now Oceano Community Services District Director) Shirley Gibson, perhaps seeking to deflect attention from Ms. Ray’s defense of John Wallace’s criminal malfeasance at the Sanitation District as reported by the Grand Jury and her failure to challenge similar malfeasance at the Integrated Waste Management Agency while she was a director there, immediately filed a complaint against me for my early involvement in the Brisco Project.
Since my election in 2014, I have participated in discussions related to the project. The subjects addressed were all preliminary or temporary in nature. The discussions and decisions included extending pre-existing contracts for the design consultants for studies, and the temporary closure and subsequent reopening of the on and off-ramps as part of a traffic study. The FPPC completed their investigation of the complaint and did issue a warning against further participation in Brisco, which is consistent with their earlier advice letter. I remain fully compliant with the FPPC advice letter, as the FPPC acknowledged in their report.
My opponent falsely characterizes my past participation in Brisco studies as “misconduct” and claims “willful disregard for the City Attorney’s advice” which is also patently false.
Why would she do that? Recall that Ray was originally appointed to the City Council by Tony Ferrara, John Wallace’s enabler at the Sanitation District. And Gibson has opposed seeking restitution from Wallace for the ill-gotten proceeds of Wallace’s criminal self-dealing. I’m confident the voters can see through their charade. I appreciate the great continued support I’ve received from Arroyo Grande residents.