In the first San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting since the death of District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill, fellow District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson spoke about Hill's impact.
"I was his friend," Gibson said. "I was deeply saddened. And so many of us, deeply saddened by his loss. He was an exceptional supervisor. And what set him apart was how deeply he cared about the constituency he served, especially those most vulnerable, those who had little in the way of material possession. Those who lived in difficult circumstances. What struck me about Adam is that he always believed their government should work for them. Work hard and diligently for them and not simply serve the interests of those who have more privilege."
Hill was found dead Aug. 6 at his home in Shell Beach. A cause of death was not released. In early July, Hill announced that he was seeking specialized treatment for depression and encouraged others who were struggling to reach out for help.
In March, Hill was hospitalized and later stated that he had attempted suicide.
"In the weeks leading up to Election Day, I fell into a bad episode of depression, culminating in an attempt to end my life," Hill said.
Hill won the March 3 race against Stacy Korsgaden by just 587 votes following a heated campaign.
On the same day that Hill was hospitalized, the FBI served a search warrant at the San Luis Obispo County Government Center. Hill said at the time that he could not comment on the pending and confidential investigation but that "we are cooperating fully with their inquiries." The FBI also would not comment on the investigation.
In April, Hill resigned his position as Chair of the Board of Supervisors but resumed his duties as District 3 Supervisor.
On Tuesday during the meeting, Gibson said he was one of the most well-read individuals he had come in contact with, calling him "widely curious about the world."
Hill was known for his "sharp elbows" in debate, as Gibson described, but did not fault him because it came from a place of care for constituents, Gibson said.
Gibson went on to commend Hill for his courage to openly discuss his struggles with depression.
"Attitudes toward mental illness of all sorts are changing, but it's through the personal action of people like Adam to be able to bring those issues into the public conversation and to motivate all of us to do better for those who suffer from mental illness and other afflictions."
The County of San Luis Obispo released the following statement about Hill's death:
It is with sadness that we have been informed that Supervisor Adam Hill has passed away. This is shocking and tremendously painful news. While we are unaware of the details at this time, we ask everyone to let the proper authorities do their jobs and investigate. Please respect his family's privacy at this time.
If you or anyone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text "HOME" to 741741.