By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Tuesday to select Bruce Gibson as board chairman for 2022 after multiple members of the public asked the board to deny Gibson the position because of issues with his demeanor.
In 2019, the board established a rotation for the chair position. In line with the rotation, it is currently Gibson’s turn to serve as chair.
Previously, certain board members had objected to selecting now-deceased Supervisor Adam Hill as chair because of concerns over his demeaning treatment of county residents who disagreed with him. On Tuesday, members of the public, along with Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who cast the lone dissenting vote, opposed the appointment of Gibson to the chair’s position.
In explaining her position, Arnold said Gibson disrespects members of the public.
“I, myself, have been disappointed by the treatment of some of the public commenters and the disruption of our board process,” Arnold said. “I would prefer allowing discussion on this item to ensure election of a chair who would be respectful of the public, respectful of each other and someone who would foster civil discourse at our board meetings.”
Arnold called for the board to consider selecting Supervisor John Peschong as its chair for this year. Peschong, who is in line to become the chair in 2023, will serve as vice-chair this year.