Recently fired manager running for Oceano board

July 22, 2014
Lonnie Curtis

Lonnie Curtis

Update: Curtis responded Tuesday morning to a CalCoastNews email asking for an explanation of his decision. The story previously said that Curtis did not respond.

Four months after losing his job as the general manager of the Oceano Community Services Distirct, Lonnie Curtis is vying to make a return to the agency that ousted him.

Curtis is running for a seat on the Oceano CSD Board of Directors, the very group that fired him earlier this year. When asked what prompted him to run, Curtis responded with a brief email explanation.

“Leadership. Long range resources planning,” Curtis wrote.

Curtis’s name is already on the November ballot, according to the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-recorder’s website.

On March 14, the Oceano board voted unanimously to terminate Curtis with cause. The board did so just five months after hiring him to lead the district.

After the March 14 meeting, Curtis blamed his firing on district critic Julie Tacker and flipped her off as he drove away.

During Curtis’s brief tenure, Tacker submitted multiple public record requests, which the general manager ignored or delayed responding to. Board members then had to instruct Curtis to follow the Public Records Act, as well as the California Brown Act.

One of the record requests ultimately a PowerPoint presentation, much of which was plagiarized, that Curtis used as a writing sample when he applied for the general manager job.

Prior to firing him, the Oceano board reviewed Curtis’s performance four times in closed session meetings. On one occasion, the board reviewed his performance three times in a six-week span.

Curtis’s firing marked the third consecutive general manager tenure in Oceano to end with a termination.

As general manager, Curtis was making a base salary of $126,000. The board since hired then-county public works director Paavo Ogren to head the district at a base salary of $196,000.

Despite awarding the lofty contract, the board had operated the district in the red in recent months.

The seats occupied by board members Lori Angello, Karen White and Jennifer Blackburn are up for election in November. Each of the three incumbents are expected to run for reelection.


5 Comments

  1. MaryMalone says:

    There is something wrong with Curtis. He has made a complete fool of himself already, shown himself to be incompetent and a fraud, in a very public way, yet he is actually running for the OCSD Board of Directors.

    For heaven’s sake, in his application for general manager he, first of all, was so clueless he submitted a power-point presentation as an example of a required “writing sample.”

    General Managers of CSDs are required to be competent in communicating, in written form, technical, legal, and public policy information. Often this comes in the form of board meeting Staff Notes which are either written by the general manager or reviewed and okayed by the general manager. So a “writing example” is something along those lines which demonstrate the applicant for GM can do the large amounts of written documentation required of GMs.

    But worse then that, the power-point presentation he submitted was plagiarized from another person’s presentation.

    He also simply refused to follow the Public Records Act and Brown Act, which forced Julie Tacker to take extraordinary steps to get records which are legally available to all of us.

    And, finally, as if to prove to us all the lack of character and maturity Curtis has, when fired he flips off Julie Tacker in the parking lot of the OCSD facilities.

    Yet here he is again, like a bad case of jungle rot, eager to distribute misery again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  2. ironyman2000 says:

    I’m with the “dogeat” guy. I know nothing of the specifics of this but I would vote for the
    fellow just for the sheer cojones of the deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  3. dogeatdog says:

    this guy has some balls. Get fired and then get your name on the ballot,and hope to get elected. It is harder to get rid of someone who is elected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  4. Pelican1 says:

    Hurry, Hurry,
    Ladies and Gentlemen!
    Boys and girls
    Step right up!
    Don’t be shy!
    You won’t believe your eyes!
    We will amaze you!
    We will astound you!
    We will baffle you with brilliance!
    We are….Your CSD!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  5. falconbh says:

    A Call To Action: I strongly encourage others to run for the Oceano Community Services Board of Directors in November.
    It is a great opportunity to do a real Civic Duty and help improve Our Community.
    Many of us are looking for New Candidates who will provide Tax/Rate Relief and Balance The Budget.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

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