Legislative assistants cost increase $500,000 under Gibson

March 23, 2013
Julie Tacker

Julie Tacker


In 2004, when Supervisor Debbie Arnold served as the legislative assistant to then District 5 Supervisor Mike Ryan, her salary was a respectable $3,905 a month.

Supervisor Bruce Gibson was elected in 2006 and hired Mrs. Cherie Aispuro as his legislative assistant (LA) away from the county clerk’s office. The duo took an office on the 4th floor of the new county government center in January 2007. Aispuro’s starting salary was the same as the other four LA’s — $4,113 per month, slightly over $200 a month above the LA’s of 2004.

After only six months on the job, when the fiscal year 2007/2008 budget was adopted in June, the LA position received a $796.00 monthly increase, or 19 percent. This was a collective $47,760 annual increase realized by all five of the supervisor’s assistants, including Aispuro, at taxpayers’ expense.

A year later, when the fiscal year 2008/2009 budget was adopted the LA position again received a sizable increase, this time for $832 per month, another 18 percent. Multiplied by five assistants, the county taxpayers incurred another $49,920 annually.

The two-year cumulative increase cost to the taxpayer is just under $100,000 per year. These sizable increases came in 2007 and 2008 when the economy was tanking and budget cutbacks were the norm. Only Gibson remains on the board since those hefty increases and the LA’s salary remains at $5,741 per month; the total cost is over $500,000 since Gibson and Aispuro took office.

To compound the problem, the “at will” legislative assistant has no job description on file. Nice work if you can get it. It is unclear what each LA does. One would think they field phone calls, book the supervisor’s calendar with meetings, dinner engagements, ribbon cuttings, photo op’s and occasionally government business, but apparently, like a private sector corporate secretary, these assistants also run personal errands. Taking the supervisor’s car to be serviced, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, and in another supervisor’s case, walking dogs and using county resources to run his re-election campaign in 2012.

Contrary to what County Administrator Dan Buckshi and County Counsel Rita Neal have repeatedly said, “No county resources (i.e. public funds) were used,” the Gibson Aispuro affair has cost the taxpayers plenty to date and it is likely to escalate.

Some would have you believe the long-term Gibson and Aispuro affair is “much ado about nothing.” County staff, hired by and performance reviewed by the supervisors, have washed their hands of the matter suggesting we the public, who pay their salaries, “move along — nothing to see here.”

Note: Only fifteen years ago, there was just one assistant for all five of the supervisors to share.

Julie Tacker is a local activist who lives in Los Osos.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

LA is a government job, paid by the taxpayers and therefore should have guidelines, standards and a defined job description. Why we would not think these positions should be accountable to the taxpayers. If the BOS members want personal “assistants” to walk the dog, get the laundry, pick up lunch, etc. these not to pay for these services.

I do not understand the mentality that these aides are the personal aides to the BOS and in no way should be involved in election functions, personal needs, and not be held to the same standard and rules of employment as other County employees.

These aides are paid for by the Taxpayers not by BOS members. I don’t think they are overpaid but they do need to be working 40 hours a week and know remember they are at will employees and are not entitled to long term employment or benefits. They should NOT received preferred treatment!

Oh, but they do receive benefits and pensions.

Yeah, isn’t that great. Aisporo is going to continue to benefit from her sexual relationship with Gibson long after she’s moved on to another “benefactor” and Gibson has moved on to another “legal assistant.”

A while ago someone clued me in to the fact that Julie Tacker’s concerns with government were linked to the fact that the contracts weren’t going to her. Nor has her plan to close the Oceano Airport gone her way. Hard to get excited about squabbling over the pie.

So what your sayin is unless we have a dog in the fight we should ignore government corruption and cronyism? Fair enough, now tell me how to escape paying any taxes so my dollars aren’t wasted by people doing things I don’t approve of.

What is at issue here is the hypocrisy. Nothing more, nothing less.

I see it more as a man voting to increase his mistresses salary. Gibson, like Hill, should have recused himself from voting on anything that directly effected the income of his lover.

I would venture to guess that a whole year of Tacker’s term on the Los Osos board paid less than one of Cherie’s monthly paychecks.

takemeout2theballgame, what exactly is your point? If it means what I think you mean, then what percentage of Tacker’s participation resulted in bankrupting the CSD (remember, she was a ringleader)? We still don’t know the total cost for what that will be, but the CSD has paid out hundreds of thousands for bankruptcy attorneys.

Bingo. Gibson seems to be bereft of even minimal ethics.

Why doesn’t he do the ethical thing and resign? Is he afraid his legal assistant would stay at her position, ready to service the new supervisor?


Are you able to reveal your source? That’s a pretty strong accusation.

See comments below. Like I said, squabbling over the pie. No Woodward and Bernstein here, just me, me, me, I’ll make the decisions. http://friendsofoceanoairport.com/

Is there a point to your link?

The op-ed stands on its own, regardless of the author.

If all you can do is attack the messenger, then you really do not have a point at all.

We here in So. Co. know that Tacken and Edwards, as part of their consulting firm, offered to be the Interim GM at OCSD until a new one, more qualified than the Clown we got, was hired. Their proposal was for $60K for the whole year, a far cry from the A$$ we pay $126K annually, and the J&J proposal was ONLY until the new (2013) board took over (only, verses the FAKE proposal by Gease, he paved the way for himself to take the full time job. What we got was a POS, he hired a bunch of accounting consultants (at about $110K) to do HIS job. I’m certainly NOT impressed.

Funny that his name comes up, his wife is one of the Leg. Assistant’s for Tex.

@ Obispan, how does the J&J proposal in Oceano equate to Tacken wanting the Leg. Asst. Job?

Close the airport, no biggie, doesn’t effect me…but Bruce, who owns a plane, might hate that.

Wonder if he and Cherie belong to the ‘Mile High Club’? — Sorry husband, didn’t know you were still part of the pic. Sadly, you were and now your heart is broken.

Do you think ANY Supe would hire Tack?

I can’t imagine, her veracity, holding Gov’t officials feet to the fire is at all about trying to get a job with the very agency she reams.

Try again Obispan, her motives are very different from what you are speculating.

So you support her and her partner running the CSD and their development plans for the airport?

So Tacken and Edwards magnanimously offered to serve the citizens of Oceano out of the goodness of their hearts. Yeah, right.

The OCSD customers might think it was a good idea. They might be tired of paying the bloated salary of the current doofus-in-charge at OCSD, and would appreciate some experienced leadership at a reasonable cost.

I tell you one thing…I highly doubt Tacker and Edwards would have tolerated, for a nanosecond, OCSD’s utilities supervisor’s using an OCSD computer to do nothing but surf for pornography, WHICH HE WOULD THEN SHARE WITH THOSE WHO WORKED FOR HIM.

Gleason allowed that behavior to continue for MONTHS. That opened up OCSD to liability for sexual harassment charges.

“Funny that his name comes up, his wife is one of the Leg. Assistant’s for Tex.”

Woah, dude. Is she a “legal assistant” in the Biblical sense? If so, he better invest in Trojan stock.

Mary, do you have any idea how creepy you seem with 90% of your statements always being crudely about sex?

The article is about sex between Bruce Gibson and his “legal assistant” or whatever, Cherie Aisporo. While this sexual relationship has been going on, Gibson championed raises for the county position of legal assistant…which has greatly benefited his illicit sexual partner, as well as involved Gibson in major conflicts of interests.

But that’s not all. His sexual relationship with Aisporo, especially using his power to ensure they can have a little coochy love nest in Gibson’s private county office.

There has been no mention ever about what it is that Aisporo does so well that she deserves these raises. It could be her job duties, but none of those duties (which are basically whatever Gibson wants her to do) are given as a reason for the pay increases, or it could be the sex, which makes more sense since Gibson seems to have entered the Adam Hill doofus level when it comes to his willingness to crippled the county taxpayers for the costs of supporting Gibson’s mistress, Aisporo.

So, in reality, this issue is largely about Gibson’s lack of ability to control his carnal urges, his willingness to destroy two families and two marriages in order to have sexual access to Aisporo, his willingness to blatantly abuse his power as a supervisor to champion pay raises for the county employment position that his sexual partner has, and his obsession with Aisporo to the point that he insists on having her work in his private office, even though it puts the county and its taxpayers at considerable risk for future liability.

So, in reality, Lynette, the fact that you are obsessed with Tacker and now me is a little creepy.

Discussing a major aspect of this issue–Gibson’s obsession and stupidity over his sexual partner, Aisporo–is not.

If you are uncomfortable discussing the sexual issues associated with this scandal, then there two things you can do:

1. Go talk to Gibson about it, as he is the source of the scandal. If he was not acting like an Adam-Hill doofus over Aisporo, there would not be a scandal to talk about.

2. Simply skip my posts. I am sure others who post here regularly skip my posts, and I respect them for it.

Dear Ms. Tacker,

There are MANY elderly people in our community that do not have or use a computer. We all know The Fibune (otherwise known as The Tribune) would never print such a letter filled with so much TRUTH. Am hoping you will send your letter on to other local papers to print.

If the point of your opinion piece is that the adopted SLO County LA salary policy should be reviewed as they are a cost to the taxpayers, then I agree as the point is reasonable.

If the point of your opinion piece is that the SLO County LA salaries are excessive, then to back up that point I suggest comparing the SLO LA salaries to those of adjacent counties. Until then, this point is debatable.

If the point of your opinion piece is that the current adopted SLO County LA policy which permits the hiring of a LA for each BOS member should be revisited in light of the current financial climate, then again I agree as that point is reasonable too.

If the point of your opinion piece is that Gibson is somehow nefariously the cause of the County’s LA policies (or the driver of the upward salary costs), then we do not agree as the adopted LA policies are set by majority vote of the Supervisors over a period of many years.

Further, to opine that Supervisor Gibson’s ‘affair’ is somehow costing us more money does not make sense. Why? Because regardless of whom he hired, the salary cost is the same to the taxpayer. No more, no less.

MrM, fair to say the policies surround Leg Asst. should be revisited and compared to other counties.

With regard to your last point, had Gibson hired my grandmother instead of Randy’s pretty wife Cherie, I doubt grandma would have “inspired” $800 a month raises — to then be realized by all LA’s.

For as long as there have been LA’s hired for the Supervisors, the BOS majority has directed County Administrative Staff to formulate policies and salary guidelines regarding County LA’s. The County staff, as part of their reports, have compared (and most likely based) SLO LA Policies with other governmental agencies. Those reports included analysis of what the hiring market expects as be a fair salary for the position.

The Staff has presented their reports to the BOS.

The BOS went through a public review process to review these reports.

Only after extensive public input and debate amongst the BOS were these policies adopted.

To speculate that Supervisor Gibson somehow manipulated public process and staff recommendations (because you claim he was ‘inspired’) is careless as there is no record of such behavior occurring.

Have you ever seen how many people attend those budget hearings? Not many. Reading the reports is equally boring.

Of course, I will keep a closer eye now that Tacker has shed some light on this issue.

The fact remains, there have been a heck of a lot of “raises” inspired by the BOS’s legal assistants since Aisporo started “working” for Gibson.

Does picking up dry cleaning justify such large “raises”? Or is it something else that these LAs are now being paid for, thanks to the replationship between Gibson and Aisporo?

The Leg. Asst. positions, as with other county positions, should be compared to other comparable counties. I agree that if gibson hired grannie, he would not have provided such a hefty increase in pay during a time when the county was having financial difficulty. I do not agree that gibson’s girlfriend is pretty.

Cherie was a lovely; she looks a bit harried now. Perhaps she should have kept coloring her hair?

Now she looks as old as Bruce, but that’s probably the stress of leading a double life.

One mans mistress by day, another mans wife (of 29 years) by night — except when hubby was “safely” out of town with the kids.

It was only a matter of time before Grace figured it out. Actually, didn’t Karen Velie say she’d tried to reach the Good Doc a couple of years ago, when rumors were swirling around about Bruce’s infidelity then?

Governments need to stop comparing themselves to other governments. I could care less what Watts pays it’s people, SLO can only afford so much and should match the prevailing wages/salary of the non-government people (i.e. the ones squeezed to allow the gov’s largess).

If the average person in SLO makes $2000/month, use that as a baseline – including benefits, etc.

Just saying some other over-paid agency is doing it, so we should to will result in being “Katie Lichtig’ed” again…

I would be interested to see the county provide a comparison of the raises granted all positions during the time period that LAs have received such large and continuous pay raises.

I would also like to see justification, as well, for the pay raises. Cost of living is one thing. Gratuitous increases in pay for your girlfriend are something else entirely.

The only way any such comparison would be valid is if the duties of the legal assistants were similar.

I don’t think picking up dry cleaning and sleeping with the supervisor are part of most other county’s legal assistant’s duties.

Why do we have to pay according to what adjacent counties are paying? Shouldn’t the amount of workload have something to do with the pay? It seems that everyone around here wants to get paid equal to what people in other counties are being paid. With our populartion count I would question whether the high pay is actually deserved. Example being that of our local firemen who may actually respond to as many real fires in a year as say a fireman in Los Angeles or SanFrancisco do in a month. Is that justification for equal pay. Thanks to Oprah some credit should be given for the opportunity to live in the “nicest place”. I for one am getting fed up paying out all of this money for these bureaucrats who continue to benefit themselves with pay raises and benefits while at the same time creating new regulations, fees and taxes to support their addiction with getting something for very little.


Hi Mr Holly,

I agree that the rising cost of government (pay, raises and benefits in particular), coupled with the growing heavy cost to pay for new governmental rules, regulations, fees, and taxes is a serious, irritating problem.

IMO the way government operates has to change; and the way we think of, and relate to, the government has to change too. It will boil down to voters realizing that their vote really does have impact; and use it forcefully to transform current politics. Take comfort knowing that the American Revolution never ended as it has been raging for 237 years. I am confident our government will change as our County’s history is a living testimony of change.

I understand your point about setting salary rates based upon the amount of work expended. In essence, what you are advocating is that a persons pay would be related to the amount of calories/energy they metabolize to produce the personal energy to do the work.

Makes sense to me as such a system would be definitive, measurable, and fair compensation regarding the quantity of life energy needed to perform work. The ‘gold standard’ would be replaced with the ‘value of human life standard’ (I should copyright that).

Unfortunately, government pay levels are not determined that way. Again, another issue of government that needs to be overhauled and resolved.

As for COLAB, I am respectfully not a fan.

Refreshing to see a commenter who can think.

My theory on the point of this opinion piece is to have yet another stage for Ms. Tacker to vent her anger at Mr. Gibson’s ability to facilitate getting Los Osos a sewer when the board she was on couldn’t find it’s a** with both hands, let alone build anything.

Los Osos is not the topic of this folder. Your attempts to shanghai every folder in which Tacker participates or initiates are transparent, and getting old.

It is impossible to separate Tacker from Los Osos and the sewer mess since she rags on Gibson weekly at the BOS for the sewer and the affair. I hope I am transparent and I really don’t care if you think it’s getting old. Your foul language is old too, but my objections haven’t slowed you down, have they?

This is not a BOS meeting. This is not even remotely similar to a BOS meeting.

You are obsessed with Tacker. Get over it and move on.

“If the point of your opinion piece is that the SLO County LA salaries are excessive, then to back up that point I suggest comparing the SLO LA salaries to those of adjacent counties. Until then, this point is debatable.”

Comparing GOVT salaries is the equivalent of ” Suzie’s mom lets her do that, why can’t I?”

This technique has been used by GOVT employees and unions for decades to leap-frog salaries to the budget breaking levels that we have today.

Hi sloweb,


Government and unions go hand in hand; and are self-serving.

Unions fund and vote for sympathetic politicians; politicians who in turn dole out the perks to the unions for their vote. This has been the system for the last 60 years. It can be argued that what we are witnessing politically today is the needed erosion and destruction of that arrangement.

Hi Lyn..,

Ms. Tackers current and past MO is not too difficult to figure out.

I suggest letting the woman be as she is carrying a lot of Karmic Debt.

Hi MrM,

Really it is the hypocrisy and complete lack of self reflection of her continually harping on Gibson that gets to me. If she was worried about her own Karmic Debt, she would leave this and the sewer subject alone. The CSD still hasn’t been able to settle the bankruptcy but at least the sewer project is coming along fine without her “help.” An “I’m sorry,” would go a long way toward mending fences, but that hasn’t happened. All I see is continual criticism and anger. Enough already.

I think Gibson has accrued quite a bit of “Karmic Debt,” in the form of breaking up a 29-year marriage that included children, as well as breaking up his own marriage and family.

In addition, he has saddled SLOCo taxpayers with the tail payments for his relationship with Aisporo, as well as the possibility of considerable future liability.

Since Gibson is the topic of this folder, perhaps you might want to focus on him.

Actually Mary, “Legislative Assistants” is the topic of this “folder.” (Who uses the term folder? Sounds like someone on the inside.)

Tacker’s continual barrage against Gibson says more about her than it does him. And her “observations” are getting thinner and thinner. A commenter up the stream here pointed out the flaws in Tacker’s argument, especially that fact that if there was no affair, the salary would still be same as it is for ALL LAs.

Marriages don’t always last forever, or have you not heard the not-so-recent fact that 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce.

Using the term “folder” sounds like someone who used to work as a moderator on the AOL boards….which I did. Other message board systems also use the term “folder.”

When you base your opinions based on your limited knowledge, you are bound to embarrass yourself.

When it comes to leap-frogging salaries to the budget-breaking levels that we have today, the most efficient way to do that, at least in SLO County, is for a legal assistant to sleep with a county supervisor, breaking up two marriages and destroying two families, while putting county taxpayers at considerable possible future liability.

MrM, I was able to understand the points of the op-ed. Do you really need help?

Hi MaryM,

Ms. Tacker’s op-ed is an interesting blend of reasonable and not-so-reasonable opinions which I

explored in the form of questions; so to answer your comment, no, I do not need help.

Your long list of questions as to the points of the article indicate that you need someone’s help. Others have been able to easily understand the op-ed’s points and the message it imparted.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for our concern, but I completely understood Ms. Tacker’s op-ed piece.

The use of questions is a time-honored and valid technique used to highlight a point of discussion. As you understood the nuances of my post, it succeeded.

QUOTING MRM: “Further, to opine that Supervisor Gibson’s ‘affair’ is somehow costing us more money does not make sense. Why? Because regardless of whom he hired, the salary cost is the same to the taxpayer. No more, no less.”

Except that Gibson abused his power to get pay raises for the position held by his floozy, Aisporo. It was a conflict of interest for him to even vote on it, let alone initiate it.

I think it is pretty pathetic when someone in Gibson’s position has to pay to keep his floozy. I just wish he would use his own money to do it. As a taxpayer, I resent having my tax dollars used to support his floozy.

Mary, could you please point us to the BOS meeting where your claim, “Except that Gibson abused his power to get pay raises for the position held by his floozy, Aisporo” actually happened? He alone did not vote for the raises, so you are making some pretty negative accusations against the other Supes.

He should not have voted for it at all, yet he did.

If you don’t like hearing about that, then go talk to Gibson about it. Maybe your loyalty will give you extra powers to talk some sense into him.

$500,000.00 does not $6.2 million make.

For the record: The “affair of the heart” had been going on while the pay increases occurred. Cherie was still married and was living with her husband until this past November, when the news of the affair broke…why does no one ever talk about that? Why didn’t the press talk to him?

Poor guy. Out spent by Mr. Money-Bags.

Thanks JT for doing the research, numbers don’t lie. Liars do.

No wonder Bruce got so uncomfortable with the words spoken at the podium…coward.

Well, at lest Aisporo’s husband has the satisfaction that he didn’t have to pay for his wife to have sex with him.

Too bad Bruce Gibson can’t say the same thing.

QUOTING THE OP-ED: “Taking the supervisor’s car to be serviced, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, and in another supervisor’s case, walking dogs and using county resources to run his re-election campaign in 2012.

County resources are not legally used for personal services. If the supervisors can use their legal assistants for personal services, that could, obviously, also include the provision of sexual services…which would, as noted previously all over the CCN message boards, create a huge potential time-bomb just ticking away, just waiting for the supervisor and his LA to get into a spat to trigger the explosion.

I think it would far cheaper to simply contract out for “escort services” for the county supervisors. Yes, it would be illegal, but at least we would know the level of *ell we would have to pay in the future, instead of waiting for Gibson’s little taxpayer-paid-for love-nest to explode, not knowing how many other taxpayer-paid-for liability time-bombs it would create for the taxpayers in the future..


QUOTING THE OP-ED: compound the problem, the “at will” legislative assistant has no job description on file. Nice work if you can get it. It is unclear what each LA does.

Apparently, at least one of the duties can be illegally eavesdropping on county supervisors’ calls with constituents.

Another duty can be creating a hostile environment for the rest of the people working there, as they watch a LA **** her way to the top, on the taxpayers’ dime, of the county secretarial food chain.

Always good to see some specific numbers., Everywhere we look in the public sector there is more of this waste going on. Meanwhile in the private sector, where managers used to have their own secretary, five managers share one assistant. Even most parasites are smart enough not kill their hosts, but that’s what’s eventually going to happen here.