Oceano board members’ illicit raise under fire
August 6, 2012
Oceano Community Services District Board members are slated Wednesday to revisit their approval of an illegal raise that they voted to give themselves in July.
On July 11, board president Matt Guerrero called the proposed raise hazard pay and board member Mary Lucey said she deserved $300 to attend some meetings.
During the discussion former board member Barbara Mann said from the gallery that the limit was $600 a month per director. District legal council Chase Martin then said he would check into laws about pay limits and the vote to approve the increase was placed on the July 25 agenda.
Even so, on July 25 the board voted unanimously to raise their meeting stipend from $100 to $125 after about a minute of discussion in which board member Karen White noted that at least they were making the decision in public.
Citizen activist Julie Tacker responded by sending an email to Martin saying it appeared he had not researched laws regarding director pay because California Government Code 61047 (a) says “The board of directors may provide, by ordinance or resolution, that each of its members may receive compensation in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) for each day of service. A member of the board of directors shall not receive compensation for more than six days of service in a month.”
District manager Tom Geaslen responded in a staff report attached to the Aug. 8 agenda that says, “Due to the hesitation on part of the board of directors to increase their compensation, I thought it would be worthwhile to raise this issue again before the board votes to formally adopt the new bylaws.”
Geaslen suggests that if the board decides to move ahead with their self-approved raises, they would need to pass a “separate ordinance to approve the new amount.”