Oceano and San Miguel facing state penalties

February 27, 2013

Following the failure to report employee compensation to the California State Controller’s Office as required by law, the communities of Oceano and San Miguel are facing fines of $5,000 each.

In both cases, the district managers were warned repeatedly by the state that failure to disclose employee compensation for 2011 would result in a $5,000 fine. Nevertheless, both Oceano Community Services District Manage Tom Geaslen and San Miguel Community Services District Manager Rene Salas did not provide the information as required by Government Code Section 53895.

moneyIn light of the city of Bell scandal, the State Controller’s Office began posting the additional payroll data online so that government watchdogs could compare compensation.

Officials from the districts were required to submit the information to the state by Oct. 18. In letters dated Nov. 9, the district managers received their first warnings.

“This letter serves as a written notice of your failure to provide the Government Compensation in California report,” The letters say. “You must provide your GCC to the State Controller’s Office within 20 days of receipt of this letter. Failure to provide the report within 20 days of receiving this letter will result in a forfeiture… . These penalties range from $1,000 to $5,000 and are based on the costs to obtain the information to compile your GCC.”

The law also allows the state to bill the districts for any additional costs that are incurred if the state elects to hire certified public accountants to perform audits.



The even bigger question is where are the ” Audits” for all the past years.

Where is the Grand Jury ? Where are our Elected Directors? Where is the State Attorney General?

Where is State Government Audit ?

How do you implement a Big Rate Increase, when you do not even know how much you have in the budget or reserves ?

How much have we spent on outside contractors who are trying to do the past audits?

What happened to the payments made for the other Audits?

How can Geaslen who lives in Nipomo, be cutting a deal with Nipomo for water. Clearly a conflict of interest.

How did he operate a business with out a updated license? [ do you see the pattern]

Why is Geaslen trying to work around “The Will of the People” on selling water to other districts? [the pattern]

We passed a clear resolution on the ballot to require a vote of the people in a democratic election to sell water.[who is

Then look at all the taxpayers funds we have spent on lawyers for meeting violations, employee lawsuits, and additional suoort to help one inexperienced highly paid manager with no previous experience.

We have a clear pattern of mismangement and a failure to follow the law on so many different levels.

At the next meeting, it will be all about Julie T. as the all try to blame her for all the problems in the district. Nice to have someone to blame when things go wrong.

Next time I get a high water bill, I think I will blame Julie and Jeff and see if ‘good old boy tom’ will waive my bill for the month and just let it slide………….


QUOTE: “At the next meeting, it will be all about Julie T. as the all try to blame her for all the problems in the district. Nice to have someone to blame when things go wrong.”

Geaslen is demonizing Tacker in an attempt to distract attention from the source of the problems: Geaslen and his hand-puppet board of directors.

Fortunately, ad hominem attacks are easily recognized and discarded by educated people. The only people who fall for it are the Stupids, who are too ignorant to recognize Gleasen for what he is…a slick, BS-talking blowhard who is completely unsuitable for the position of general manager of a CSD.


Is it true the Geaslen made t-shirts saying, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” and had his “supporters” wear them at the meeting last night?

I heard it on the Congalton show last night.

Who paid for t-shirts? Who was wearing them? Who’s bright idea was that?

What fools.


Time and time again we see the seemingly, inherent incompetence found in the CSD concept of self governance.Pseudo professionals attempting to tackle real time issues, only to get caught up in self indulgent, self serving politics.


You know, Oceano was fined $5,000 at least once before for failure to file something. As I recall, it was 2005-06, during the Cooney/Davis years. I distinctly remember Mary Lucy blowing a gasket at the podium (before she was elected) over that one. The short lived Arnie Doty tried to get the State to reconsider, to no avail. Wonder what Lucy will do to her boy Geaslen — white glove?

I’m scratching my head over Geaslen, he’s all over the place looking for “extra revenue” i.e. OHV fees, increased fees to San. Dist. and selling water to Nipomo…but he fails to file an important report preventing a forfeiture? DUH!

Doesn’t look like any of those increased revenue avenue’s have panned out yet, so how will he/we pay the fine? I’d like to see the Board fire him, they can without paying his severance if they find “cause”… this constitutes “cause’ in my book.

How hard is it to compile all the payroll for one little district of six or seven employees? (The firefighters left for the JPA in 2010). Is he hiding something? You know, the payroll sheets used to be approved in public with the warrants, why don’t they do it that way anymore?

Maybe Geaslen doesn’t want to show the State Controller/public how much he’s paid? Maybe he doesn’t want us to see how much he’s paid by comparison to other GM’s of similar sized districts across the state?

I’m so embarrassed for my community…once again.


” Wonder what Lucy will do to her boy Geaslen…”

I’m guessing a hand-job (metaphorically speaking, of course). The more he fails, the faster her loyalty to him grows.

Can the OCSD residents afford Lucy’s doofus-crush on Geaslen? Probably not. Does Lucy care? Not one bit.


My guess is that what he has actually been paid is so much beyond what he should have been paid, based on what he agreed to at the time of his contracting with OCSD, that he is trying to avoid questions from the public about what the extra money was for.

At any rate, OCSD is heading for a State audit. After the mega$$$ the State had to spend to investigate and take the City of Bell city manager and board of directors to court, I doubt the State wants to look soft on frauds and scofflaws.


All the OCSD board members always seem to be goo-goo and gaga over their district manager

Geaslen! let’s see how he charms his way out of this latest fiasco! I think he’s pulling the

wool over all these board members eyes by talking the B.S!!!!!! let’s see which board member

will be the bigger person and call him out on it!!!!! The soap opera continues!


Why should he care? It’s not his money!


this will be interesting to watch to see who else is tangled up.


What is interesting is that OCSD’s General Manager, Tom Geaslen, in 2011, filed the report of employee compensation to the California State Controller’s Office for the year2010, as required.

However, Mr. Geaslen would not have been on the 2010 report to the Controller’s Office because he did not start working for OCSD until 2011. Therefore, he had nothing to hide.

The question needs to be asked: Why is he now–despite warnings from the State Controller’s Office and now a $5000 fine for his negligence–still not in compliance with the State’s requirements for reporting?

It wasn’t because Geaslen didn’t know about it. The OCSD received the first warning in the first part of November 2012, nearly four months ago.

It looks to me like Geaslen is trying to keep the OCSD residents in the dark about how much money he is pulling from residents’ funding of OCSD.

This is not the first time Geaslen has tried to pull a fast one on the OCSD’s residents. Recently Geaslen appeared at a Nipomo CSD public committee meeting (speaking for a half-our as a “public comment,” choosing not to present as an agenda item), during which he offered to sell NCSD some of OCSD’s water–at bargain-basement prices. He did this without OCSD’s BOD’s official approval. The offer was termed such that the water sales would not have to be agreed, by vote, by the OCSD residents. Since water is a vital resource in California, and in short supply, selling water on the cheap would not benefit OCSD’s ratepayers, but would benefit the NCSD developers just waiting to start another building boom in Nipomo.

In addition, last year information surfaced about Geaslen failing to file corporate documents for his business.

This problem with filing required government documents on time is not only costly to OCSD’s residents, but it flies in direct contrast to the kind of business savvy one should be able to expect from a Community Services District’s general manager.

What other state and federal requirements is Geaslen failing to meet? What other financial documents is he negligently failing to file on time?

If this approach to local area government is worrisome to you, there is an OCSD board of directors meeting tonight at 6:30, in the OCSD conference room.

The board packet is on the web:



P.S. Where is the Oceano CSD board of directors oversight? While it is Geaslen’s responsibility, it is the responsibility of the BOD–which contracted with Geaslen to be general manager–to ensure he does his job.

Instead, thanks to Geaslen’s failure to perform in filing the required documents, and the Oceano CSD board of director’s failure to perform in their job of oversight of Geaslen’s performance, the Oceano CSD residents are the ones who will get stuck paying a $5000 fine.


they should have oversite, but they can hide behind their D&O insurance claiming they were unaware. stoopid or dishonest?


D&O does not cover intentional acts. If they failed to provide the info intentionally (and how could this have been accidental?) then there is no D&O to fall back on.


right, hen they are stoopid


If only the letter read, “Failure to comply will result in immediate termination of employment and all benefits…” instead of “we’re gonna soak your ratepayers, too!”

Mr. Holly

Just another tax/fee or whatever to get additional monies into the State’s coffer. Just like the additional fire tax, $84 million, and other taxes/fees that we will be getting penalized for in the future. Eventually we may surpass double taxation and move on to triple taxation.


This isn’t a “tax” or “fee.” It is a “fine”—a $5000 fine.

Geaslen is responsible for filing on time, and he has failed to do so.

If you are concerned about the OCSD residents having to pay for Geaslen’s failure to perform, you might want to attend the OCSD board meeting tonight, 6:30 pm, in the OCSD conference room. Let them know what you think of the people having to pay for the failures of the big shots.

Perhaps the OCSD BOD can be convinced to deduct the $5000 from Geaslen’s pay. If he has a failure to perform, HE should be the one to pay for it.


Somewhere these paid government workers need to be held liable for thei blantant behavior. An error is, you forgot to do it but got the letter and immediately complied with the letter. The employee should have to pay this or be fired.


Government workers pay for it when the State gets ticked off enough that they do what they are doing to the City of Bell offenders…drag them into court and keep them there for years, eventually bankrupting them, and–if we are lucky–convicting them to prison time.

Mr. Holly

Call it whatever you want. The taxpayers are PAYING additional funds to the State Coffers to cover this.


So failure to report where rate/tax payer money is going results in a fine of additional rate/tax payer money, does this make sense??, how about the firing of managers/administrators that failed?, this makes more sense


Unfortunately, state and federal regulators cannot depend on boards of directors doing their job and firing someone who fails to perform on a regular basis, as does Geaslen.

In most communities, if these fines for failure to perform become public knowledge, sometimes the public reacts very angrily and demonstrates their anger in the polling booth, voting out the board members who voted to hire a limp general manager like Geaslen, then didn’t make sure he did his job.

The state and feds don’t have the right to come in and yank out of office the board members or the general manager, but the public does. Hit them in the pocketbook often enough, and they will react and retaliate in the voting booth…as we saw when board members in Paso Robles and Nipomo were voted out of office.