Sanitation district calls special meeting for Wallace review
February 11, 2013
Amid a $1.1 million fine levied against the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District due to mismanagement by the Wallace Group, the district board has set a special meeting for Monday to reevaluate its relationship with the district’s chief administrator John Wallace.
Wallace is also the owner and president of the Wallace Group, a private engineering consulting firm located in San Luis Obispo, which the district pays between $50,000 and $80,000 a month for engineering, consulting and administrative work.
The district is facing additional fines for three releases of improperly treated sewage into the Pacific Ocean during the second half of 2012, with each release larger than its predecessor.
In November, Matt Guerrero asked his fellow Oceano board members for advice on how he should vote on an upcoming sanitation district board review of Wallace’s administration of the district and the Wallace Group’s contract. In the end, it was determined by the Oceano board that a bottom up review of Wallace should be asked for before a vote is made of whether to terminate both or one of Wallace’s contracts with the sanitation district.
At that time, the sanitation district, which serves the residents of the Oceano Community Service District, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach, was governed by a three person board consisting of Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara, Grover Beach Councilman Bill Nichols and Guerrero. Guerrero was the lone voice requesting a review of Wallace and the Wallace Group.
In January, Grover Beach’s new mayor Debbie Peterson replaced Nichols on the sanitation district board, a change that will likely result in the Wallace Group’s termination as the district engineering contractor and Wallace’s termination as district administrator.