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Letter: Paso Robles City Council needs to hold advisors accountable 

letter to the editor

– In light of the recent decision by the Paso Robles City Council to stop work on raising rates to the pay-for-parking system the council must hold their advisors accountable. The city manager and city attorney led them astray.

The pay-for-parking system was put in place in 2019 and has been collecting parking fees and enjoying additional revenue from parking tickets. It appears the action the council took in 2019 to implement a pay-for-parking program was illegal. If fees and penalties were collected illegally for the last five years, they should be refunded to the people who paid them.

The law firm that represents the city has errors and omissions insurance, it is they who should bear the burden of their bad advice and reimburse the city for any costs for the bad legal advice. The funds they have accrued should be paid back to the parking patrons. The city council should consider severing ties with the law firm.

Additionally, the city council should look seriously at the performance of its City Manager in this context. The city’s website says, “The City Manager directs the activities of all city departments.” Mr. Lewis should have done his research and not relied solely on the advice of counsel. In this light, the city should consider terminating its relationship with the city manager.

The city council has the right and responsibility to recover all expenses associated with pursuing this pay-for-parking program path and defending the city from the challenges it has incurred from informed citizens.

Congratulations to local resident, Gary Lehrer for taking the city to task with his cease-and-desist letter, and to all those community members who have been questioning the action.

The city council should immediately engage new objective legal counsel to advise them on how to get out of the quagmire the current City Attorney and law firm have created. For the city attorney/firm to investigate their missteps is a conflict of interest.

To be paid to walk the city into trouble and then turn around and get paid to navigate the city’s way out of that trouble is a form of double billing. That double billing is paid for by the ratepayers of the city. As the fiduciaries of the people’s money, the city council should stop all work by their advisors on this matter and seek immediate guidance from an objective law firm.

Julie Tacker
San Luis Obispo County

Editor’s note: Opinion pieces and letters to the editor are the personal opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paso Robles Daily News or its staff. We welcome letters from local residents regarding relevant local topics. To submit one, click here.

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