Roblan of the Month controversy blooms



Former San Luis Obispo police officer and Paso Robles city councilman Gary Nemeth was named Paso Roblan of the Month on Feb. 2.

Then, he said he lost the title.

Nemeth, an outspoken former city official who’s written multiple opinion pieces to local media outlets, says his honorary title was effectively stripped by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce because of his criticism of Paso Robles city government, specifically City Manager Jim App and the Paso Robles Police Department.

At a Feb. 2 meeting of the Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador Committee, of which Nemeth is a member, he was announced to be the March Roblan of the Month. However, in an e-mail to local media, Nemeth said, “On Feb. 21, 2012, I received a voice message from Mike Gibson, the President of the Chamber of Commerce stating that because of my views on the Council and City Manager App I would NOT be the Roblan of the Month for March.”

Nemeth told New Times he received a voicemail from Gibson, who said he would have to wait until December to be given the honor “because of the controversy between you and the City Council.”

According to a Chamber of Commerce representative, Nemeth was, in fact, named Roblan of the Month, but the Chamber put off the award while it settles into a new venue for its monthly mixer. According to the representative, other events have been postponed, as well.

Gibson did not return New Times’ calls seeking comment, but told the Tribune he never made such a call to Nemeth. Asked about this response, Nemeth replied, “There’d be no other way that I’d know about it unless Mike had called me.”

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