Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill isn't the only epistolary putz penning impertinent letters poised to put him in a precarious position. Now 1st District Supervisor John Peschong is prepped for a putdown since he's been caught passing his personal opinion off as SLO County Board of Supervisors consensus.
Hill, you'll recall, was asked to step down from his position on the South County Sanitation District board of directors, in part because of a letter he wrote to Federal Trade Commission without the consent of his fellow City Council members. Now Peschong has written to the California Coastal Commission regarding dust mitigation in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, which regularly chokes local residents with dust kicked up by bitchin' sand rails, ATVs, and dirt bikes. So rad!
Peschong's letter contains phrases such as, "As County Supervisors," and, "If we are to provide solutions," and, "We urge you," which suggests he's speaking for the rest of the board, especially since he signed the letter as the board chairman. The problem is, however, none of the other supervisors signed off on the letter.
Oh, Peschong claimed, my phrasing was an oversight because 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold said she was going to sign it too. It wasn't even on the board's letterhead, Peschong claimed!
Well, Arnold didn't sign it. I'm looking right at your letter this VERY instant and at the top, it has the County of San Luis Obispo seal and its motto "Not For Ourselves Alone," as well as in all capital letters "COUNTY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS." That sure seems like you're speaking for the entire board, and how the hell is the Coastal Commission supposed to know you're not? Maybe you could doctor the seal's motto to read, "For Me Alone."
During the Sept. 19 board meeting, 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson called Peschong's letter an "egregious fabrication" and in his own letter to the Coastal Commission, a "serious breach of process." Gibson's letter, I might add, made explicit that he was speaking for himself.
Let's hope this was just a rookie mistake and not an attempt to hornswoggle the commission while hanging your fellow board members out to dry. John, look at Jim! The AG mayor's letter came back to bite him in a 102-page investigation that outlined how he overstepped his authority. I mean, there were other things that caused the investigation too, but we don't have the space.
Meanwhile, the entire board agreed to a proposal by 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill to develop a plan to close the Pirate's Cove parking lot at Cave Landing at night to try to curtail all the partying, trash, graffiti, and illegal behavior that's been occurring. It's perhaps the first step in trying to clean up the area, which has turned into a trash heap of used condoms, human excrement, hypodermic needles, and empty alcohol containers.
The California Coastal Commission takes very seriously any attempt to reduce public access to the coast, so this may be a hard sell, but Pirate's Cove is on the precipice of being abandoned to the riff-raff that's destroying its splendor. It's no longer safe for a nature-loving naturist to let it all hang out. Nudists don't want to slip on the pathway and slide down a trail of broken glass, needles, and poop. That'll leave a mark and maybe give you Hepatitis C too!
On a happier note, the SLO Chamber of Commerce is hawking local wines! Oh yeah, baby! They've got a display with 42 different labels! Visitor Center manager Dusty Colyer-Worth told The Tribune they decided to sell wine to "provide a prominent storefront to showcase Chamber member products."
Hey, that gives me a great idea! Local cannabis growers should join the chamber toot sweet! I'd totally mosey down to their Chorro Street location, pick up a bottle or two of local vino, and maybe a few grams of Edna Valley Blue Dream or Sour Diesel! It's legal now, so why not? Maybe that'll be a way to get around the no brick-and-mortar dispensaries thing.
The county's sure twisting itself into knots trying to figure out what to do about all that legal pot. Last week Judge Charles Crandall—my new hero—threw out the county's suit against local grower Megan's Organic Market for a code violation the growers (Megan Souza and Eric Powers) literally had nothing to do with. The county wanted to abate, meaning destroy, their current crop of medicinal marijuana, which serves nearly 2,000 patients, because a building on the property they lease isn't up to code. It was built years before by the property owner. Sanity prevailed, but my question is this: Will a judge have to decide every bone-headed anti-marijuana thing the county tries to pull? How about the county starts being reasonable? That'd be great.
The newest version of the county's insanely unpredictable marijuana ordinance would limit the number of outdoor cultivators to 50 permits! You know what that means? Kiss small businesses and small growers goodbye! Outdoor grows will always be as big as the legal limit allows, and only big commercial growers will be able to afford to build big greenhouses or warehouses for indoor cultivation.
Hey, man, it's just a little weed. Chill out! Δ
The Shredder plans to pen a sternly worded letter ... on hemp paper. Send ideas and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.