I watched with dismay on Dec. 12 as the SLO County Board of Supervisors decided to take no action on the SLO County Title 29 Affordable Housing Fund. In the face of an ever-worsening shortage of affordable housing, the board, by a 3-2 vote, chose to do nothing. This, despite overwhelming public comments that favored increased funding for affordable housing. Once again, the board majority of Lynn Compton, Debbie Arnold, and John Peschong rejected the advice of their own Homeless Services Oversight Council, rejected the advice of nonprofit housing leaders, rejected the sound and well-thought-out advice of an independent nexus study, and rejected public comments that ran in a ratio of 3-1, to increase the in-lieu fees that help to fund the construction of affordable housing in SLO County.
Time and again, the majority, led by Compton, talks the talk but refuses to actually do the right thing to get more affordable housing built. They clearly side with wealthy developers over the people who work here and struggle to pay for and even find decent housing. So, I'm calling out the conservative majority on the board: Why is it that time after time, they choose the interests of the few and the wealthy over the interests of the many working people, the poor, and the homeless?
I'm guessing I won't get an answer from any of the conservatives on the board, so let me surmise the answer. It's because their decisions aren't based on good policy. They're based on ideology, an ideology that says, "What's mine is mine, and I won't share it. Because if you are poor, homeless, or a working stiff, that's your fault and your problem, not mine." These three make bad policy decisions based on ideology, not facts. They then chicken walk their way back to a rationalization and justification of their bad decisions that have no factual basis, and benefit primarily the special interests that fund their campaigns for election.
I applaud the voices of Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson. These are the two supervisors who speak to the facts. They speak truth to the power. These two battle every day on behalf of the people of SLO County, both for those who "have" but care about a more equitable society, and those who "have not," and need champions like supervisors Hill and Gibson to represent their very real needs.
William Alexander - Atascadero