For some time now, many people in Paso Robles have sensed that there is something “not right” at City Hall. That there is something ailing in the functionality of the city.
Over time (I have been here for 66 years), we have seen city government change from a public entity that provides reasonable services at reasonable costs to a governmental power that now dictates to the citizenry the conditions they will have to adhere to if they wish to remain in Paso Robles.
The attitude that city government is going to do what it wants was very apparent with the water issue. Against the city government’s dictates, when it was put to a ballot vote of the people in 2009, government lost. Yet recently, our city officials went ahead and did what they had always intended to do: raise rates.
We used to have city managers who were responsive to the wishes of the public. Now we have a manager who appears isolated from the public and just plans and runs his own kingdom.
Now more than ever the public is being misled by city officials. Remember when we were being reassured that there was plenty of water for all the developments they wanted? Then, all of a sudden, we hear there is a water crisis and we’re told that we have no choice but to pay to get additional water.
The bigger lie was that growth would be good for us and that development was going to pay its own way. The truth is that the city government was so growth crazy that they wanted to subsidize growth by having existing residents pay for it. Sadly, these extra costs to the existing residents show up in increased property taxes (two current bonds), increased water rates (just passed), and increased sewer rates (still to come).
The prevailing attitude of the council seems to be: City officials know what is best for the residents, so if they have to “play with” or “disguise” the truth from the residents to get their way, that’s
The citizens in our community have observed this turnabout in how our city officials treat the people, and the people I talk to are not sure the city is functioning well—or on their behalf.