Hill explains Oceano resignation
April 28, 2011
OPINION By JIM HILL
Several Oceano residents have asked my reasons for leaving the OCSD Board after 6 years. Details are in my resignation letter, available from the Oceano Community Service District as a public record. The most important is that, despite a unanimous Board vote to have staff turn the 2008-2009 financial records over to the certified public accountant for audit by March 11, that was not done.
If staff won’t cooperate with unanimous Board direction on this most critical issue, and the Board majority finds that acceptable, there is really no point in even having a Board. The current manager took issue with the chronic failure of previous staff to finish audits cleanly and timely and has meanwhile provided continuous assurances they would be completed immediately, even promising last February 9 that a draft audit would be provided by March 23.
During my tenure, we eliminated health insurance benefits and cell phones for directors paid by ratepayers, eliminated director stipends for committee meetings, got the Board meetings televised so residents could follow issues, brought the fire service to first class professional status with the Five Cities Fire Authority and raised rates sufficiently that the district will, if properly managed going forward, be able to carry on and build modest reserves.
I thank all Oceano residents for the privilege of serving and for their constructive comments and encouragement during my term. Residents should continue to develop their visions for the future and encourage dialog to bring out these ideas.
Former Oceano Service District President Jim Hill was first elected in 2004 and voted in again in 2008. On March 28, he resigned his seat citing disagreements with district manager Raffaele Montemurro over his accounting practices and failure to follow the board’s direction.