In New Times' article "AG Mayor can't vote on Brisco," (June 28) Mayor Jim Hill dismissed his previous votes and actions on the Brisco project as "temporary." Actually, there were and are permanent results from his votes and extensive participation in this issue. Early on, the Brisco subcommittee and ultimately the council agreed to delete (permanently) the traffic signal option for the Brisco on/off ramp that was significantly less expensive and used less land. Cal Trans indicated that doing so would speed up the environmental review and move the project forward; actually, it took another 2.5 years.
This reduced our choices to: improving the on/off ramps at Grande and Camino Mercado or going with the controversial and more expensive off-ramps with roundabouts. In fact, Mayor Hill advocated for eliminating even the roundabouts option at the subcommittee level. Fortunately, he was unsuccessful, otherwise we would have only one choice, the one favored in his neighborhood. That's why after one of these council discussions I suggested that he get advice directly from the FPPC on any conflict of interest. Previous mayors have done so successfully in the past when similar concerns were raised, but the rules have changed, and Mayor Hill lives much closer to the project.
Mayor Hill's votes and actions inserted yet another level of doubt into the middle of a long and expensive process on a key decision about the future of the city of Arroyo Grande.
former City Council member