Oceano board appoints ex-official and newcomer to vacant seats
May 12, 2011
Searcy and Hurdle were appointed to fill vacancies created by the resignations of Jim Hill and Carole Henson who cited disagreements with district manager Raffaele Montemurro over his accounting practices and failure to follow the board’s direction. Both will serve until the November 2012 election when the voters will decide who will fill the seats.
Board members and the public interviewed the six candidates asking questions about the budget, selling water rights and the possible development of the Oceano County Airport.
Searcy said he was against the sale of water rights and in favor of bringing the airport, currently under the control of San Luis Obispo County’s Board of Supervisors, back to the district. He added that he was unsure if the airport should be closed and the property developed.
Several members of the public spoke either in favor of Searcy’s appointment or opposed because of his former time on the board when he voted in favor of building a community center. The district was unable to pay the mortgage and lost the building a few years ago.
Kevin Rice countered that with three appointed board members it was important to have someone with experience on the board.
Hurdle said water rights are sacred. However, she added that she would have to research the issue of selling water rights before she would feel comfortable commenting on the issue.
When asked about her view on developing the airport, Hurdle said she was not adverse to partial development.
Following the pairs’ appointments, the board voted to temporarily forgo appointing a new board president and vice president.