Oceano under fire for Brown Act violations

April 25, 2013
Terry Franke

Terry Franke

By KAREN VELIE

One of the leading open government attorneys in California served the Oceano Community Services District with an order last week to cease and desist violating the Brown Act or face litigation.

The Ralph M. Brown Act, passed in 1953, guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies whose actions are to be conducted openly.

In the letter, Californians Aware attorney Terry Francke asks the district to stop curtailing public comment when its board does not like what is being said, provide records to the public as required by law, and to have district staff introduce an item before requiring public comment.

On three separate occasions, two of which the speaker was commenting on recently terminated for cause District Manager Tom Geaslen’s performance, the board shut down public comment.

On June 27, OCSD Board President Matt Guerrero shut down comments from Los Osos resident Jeff Edwards by stopping the meeting and calling the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office for assistance. Three deputies detained Edwards for about 10 minutes and prohibited him from speaking during the public comment period.

Edwards was attempting to address his concerns about Geaslen’s management of the district and a supervisor who was on paid administrative leave after firing a disabled employee, an item slated to be discussed by the board in closed session.

“These interruptions lead little doubt that there are instances of viewpoint discrimination prohibited by the First Amendment even in non-public forums where, “the government may restrict expression only if the regulation is reasonable and the viewpoint neutral,” Leventhal v. Vista Unified School District.

The Brown Act requires that public records produced by a government entity and distributed to board members are made available to the public during the meeting.

Under Geaslen, records distributed to board members during meetings had to either be requested through a public records request, or found later on line or obtained through a trip to the district. The district’s attorney Molly Thurmond argued that the district did not have to have the documents at the meeting if they were available at the districts office even though it is closed during the meetings.

Franke has also asked the board to stop the practice of requiring public comment on agenda items with titles like “report of OCSD operations,” without any information in the board packet which “denies the public the opportunity to react to them,” he said.

Californians Aware wrote to Geaslen in Feb. 2012 that the practice of not proving sufficient information on agenda items is in violation of the law and needed to be changed. After receiving the letter, the board changed its practice but shortly thereafter resumed it.

“The board has 30 days from the receipt of this letter to provide Californians Aware with an unconditional commitment to cease, desist from, and not repeat the practices noted above,” Franke said in his April 17 letter. “Its failure to do so will entitle Californians Aware to file an action for declaratory injunction, and injunctive relief and for attorney fees and costs.”

Guerrero said the board plans to respond to the letter and its allegations within 30 days during a closed session meeting.

“As to the public comment, that is something being looked at,” Guerrero said. “As I am sure you are aware, we are in another period of transition. I expect this to be a period of growth for the organization.”

OCSD cease and desist letter


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121 Comments

  1. MaryMalone says:

    Isn’t it kind of odd that the SLOCounty supervisor whose campaign for office Geaslen ran, as well as Geaslen’s wife (the supervisor’s assistant), have been absolutely SILENT about Geaslen’s fall from grace?

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  2. WiserGuy says:

    To all the militant outside agitators:

    Oceano residents are NOT your enemies. Please stop your incessant personal attacks of Oceano residents and turning Oceano into your personal war zone and trying to rally people against our community with your continual anti-Oceano propaganda.

    When you drive into Oceano and join our community gatherings please show respect even if you don’t not always agree with us or don’t approve of the way we handle our business. If you want to join us in a spirit of cooperation and compassion and help us unite and beautify our community, we will welcome you. But as it is now, with your continual attacks and snide remarks and denigration, we are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    Leave your violent, vengeful attitudes where you came from, please! Quit your attacks and open your hearts and realize that we are your brothers and sisters of SLO County.

    I repeat: OCEANO RESIDENTS ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY.

    (-5) 19 Total Votes - 7 up - 12 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      QUOTING WISERGUY:” “Please stop your incessant personal attacks of Oceano residents…”

      Strawman argument. No one is attacking Oceano residents. Indeed, political activists’ work has saved Ocean residents at least $36,900 that Tom Geaslen had to reimburse to the district.

      Try a more ethical approach next time (i.e., one that is not a strawman argument).

      (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        Mary, read your comments about Matthew Guerrero. Those are certainly attacks on an Oceano resident, and not your only ones either.

        Get real, please.

        And please tell us why you have taken such an all-consuming interest in Oceano business, when you don’t even live near the community.

        (0) 10 Total Votes - 5 up - 5 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          You mischaracterize my opinions about Matt Guerrero’s problems running a CSD. I don’t know Guerrero, but I am aware of his performance as president of the OCSD BOD. It is upon the latter that I base my opinions.

          (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
          • WiserGuy says:

            Yes, but they were still personal attacks. Get real, please.

            And maybe if you bothered to get to know Mr. Guerrero you would not be so inclined to attack him in the way you have.

            (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • Willow says:

      “To all the militant outside agitators”

      “Militant”? Are you serious? Aren’t you exaggerating a bit, Mr. Wise Guy?

      Nothin’ like a disingenuous dip-wad to start making shit up about people so they can justify their baseless position.

      Stop whining about others, get out of the closet, and DO something for Oceano yourself, instead of making up shit about others who at least are acting as watch dogs for the community.

      Tell us, what have YOU DONE for Oceano lately?

      If you have nothing to say about YOUR “GOOD” DEEDS for the community, I suggest you keep your mouth shut about others, lest you come off like a petty, useless blabbermouth gossiper.

      Put up or shut up.

      (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        Willow, what, exactly, do you consider “baseless” regarding my “position”? Or “disingenuous”?

        And why do you feel I need to brag about doing “good” deeds? I don’t need or want the publicity.

        Does it bother you that some young man from outside Oceano drove into Oceano not long ago and shot and killed an innocent young man for no good reason whatsoever? And now you and others come to Oceano and talk “shit” about the community and its residents, and one of you even goes so far as to literally talk about war strategies. Yes, I consider those things violent and militant. You can call that petty, but that is part of the problem. That stuff is NOT petty. It leads to no good.

        (-7) 7 Total Votes - 0 up - 7 down
  3. WiserGuy says:

    To put some of this into perspective, here’s a dirty little secret well-known among some long-time real estate agents in SLO County:

    There is a long history of real estate agents and land speculators who reside outside of the area who speak ill of Oceano and denigrate its citizens and community, actively steering potential home buyers away from the area and then scooping up bargain priced real estate for rentals or building new multi-unit developments they profit mightily from.

    This despicable activity used to be conducted mostly “behind closed doors”. But now with public meetings being televised and the internet and forums like this one. the situation has been ramped up.

    Any outsiders who show up at Oceano community meetings claiming they are trying to “help” the community would gain respect and credibility if they publicly denounced their fellow outsiders who continually and spitefully and publicly denigrate the Oceano community and its citizens across the county and the World Wide Web.

    People who truly care about the best interests of Oceano would not continually crap and vomit all over the community and spitefully and in the most ugly way attack well-meaning public representatives or condone those who do.

    If people, including those living miles away,

    (-7) 21 Total Votes - 7 up - 14 down
    • DemandTransparency says:

      Anyone with a modicum of internet savvy can access the SLO county property tax website and find property owners, as well as property values, on the web.

      A search as basic as ‘Edwards’ or ‘Tacker’ will show the result of one Jeffrey Edwards owning a timeshare in Avila Beach (not the same Jeff Edwards, by the way) and one Juliana Tacker owning property with her ex-husband Thomas, valued at $150K. One, it’s public record and two, not the great ‘smoking gun’ of ‘outside-the-area land speculators’ you keep trying to paint J & J as.

      Conversely, if you do a search as basic as “93445”, you get to see, alphabetically, who owns land in Oceano. My, my, my. There are a LOT of “Angello” and “Guiton” and “Rapp” properties listed, as well as the expected farming/produce names such as “Ikeda” “Okui” “Phelan & Taylor” and “Taylor”.

      So, which rabid ‘out of the area speculators scooping up bargain priced real estate” did I list, based on the county’s own property owner listing?

      Come with facts or don’t come at all. I think you would be more truthful if you renamed yourself “none-the-WiserGuy”.

      (1) 23 Total Votes - 12 up - 11 down
      • StatusQuoJoe says:

        Edwards and Tacker have been attending and participating in Oceano CSD and OAC meetings for at least 4 years now. They bridge the history of the old with the new, and do it better than senior board member Lucey can, she’s too busy pontificating and praising her “loose cannon” (remember that one?) The speculation that they are “speculators” is spectacularly hilarious.

        The egg on Lucey’s face is more than you can get in a breakfast burrito at Chacho’s. Remember her quotes over the last few meetings, “Thanks for the numbers” “We finally see real numbers” “Don’t think I have a crush on you, but I’m thrilled to have the numbers”…yeah the numbers shoved in Tom’s pocket and hanging out of a mattress in Nipomo.

        Geaslen took advantage of the “white noise” (he really said that about Edwards) from J&J and played the Great and Powerful Oz, using J&J as scapegoats, all the while it turns out HE was the scamming opportunist.

        Where is the criminal investigation?

        (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        I didn’t mention Tacker or Edwards and I don’t count them as Oceano’s biggest detractors by any means.

        But now that you mention them, it’s fair and accurate to say, they have made it clear they have interests that have to do with land speculation in Oceano.

        What I AM saying is there is a long history of people outside the area unfairly denigrating the Oceano community for various self-serving reasons and/or simple ignorance and/or prejudice.
        But my purpose is not to name names and follow the lynch-mob mentality that so many people seem to savor. Nor do I even claim to know specifically who said what and when and who and how they may have profited and what specific properties are linked to what people.

        But as far as bad-mouthing Oceano and steering people away from properties in order to buy them up cheap, I am telling you I have heard this from more than one real estate professional. To what extent that is happening currently, I can’t say.

        But what I can say, and anyone who reads this forum can see plainly enough, there are a number of people who have made it either their hobby or part of their career to publicly bad mouth Oceano. Exactly what their individual motives are for that reprehensible behavior must be analyzed on a case by case basis.

        (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
        • DemandTransparency says:

          So, translated, you are saying “I don’t know anything about anything but I am going to perpetuate this myth that SOMEBODY is doing SOMETHING about SOMETHING against Oceano.”

          I too have heard things. Things like: there are aliens, UFOs, Bigfoots, Yetis, Sasquatches and honest politicians.

          Doesn’t make it true.

          (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
          • WiserGuy says:

            You mistranslated what I wrote. And what I wrote is plain enough to need no translation.
            Being smarmy and snide and insulting and sarcastic does not help Oceano or yourself.
            So, I will ask it again, to you and others:

            Why are you, who doesn’t even live in Oceano, feel compelled to continually bad mouth the community, its leaders and its residents, broadcasting your hatred and ill will ,character assassinations and general community denigration throughout the world? Do you claim this is helping Oceano and its residents?

            And if you have legitimate constructive criticism, why are you not willing or able to offer it diplomatically and politely?

            (-4) 12 Total Votes - 4 up - 8 down
            • kettle says:

              Your wrestling with pigs as they say and it’s not helping.

              Anonymous person arguing opinions with anonymous person about free speech in America.

              The never ending story.

              (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          What you don’t get is that, for the activities allowed participation by nonresidents of the OCSD area, there is nothing wrong with people living outside OCSD’s boundaries participating in OCSD’s politics.

          You keep trying to take something that is completely within the boundaries of appropriate behavior (political activists being active in politics) and try to bend it into some heinous plot to do…whatever.

          (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
          • WiserGuy says:

            Mary, you speak of “political activists” is if that designation is synonymous with “God-like” or “those who can do no wrong.”

            Being politically active does not make one above being selfish, wrong-headed, divisive and corrosive to a community.

            Adolph Hitler was “politically active” so by your “standards”, are you saying he acted within the “boundaries of appropriate behavior”?

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • StatusQuoJoe says:

      WiserGuy, have you Googled Oceano lately? No one has to “speak ill” of Oceano. Our crime statistics and unemployment rate speak for us, and now even our GM is an unemployed criminal.

      (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        What “crime statistics” are you referring to? As far as I can tell, there are no “statistics” that show Oceano to have more crime than average throughout SLO County.

        As far as unemployment goes, you are again misleading the public. Oceano is an affordable and comfortable bedroom community so naturally there will be a large percentage of retired people along with those looking for work who need an affordable place to live. Few people would expect this bedroom and ag community to be an industrial hub that fuels SLO County’s economy.

        You act like you live in Oceano, but it seems you have little concept of the community and perceive it to be vastly different than what it is. But if you or someone else truly wishes to invest in Oceano, there are plenty of places and ways to do it without having to destroy the best aspects of its character. There are quite a few vacant parcels of land adjacent to Highway One and other places that are currently zones and suited for business development. What is it about that that you and the folks from the north don’t get?.

        Why do you feel compelled to continually publicly denigrate Oceano. Are you claiming that is helping the community?

        (0) 14 Total Votes - 7 up - 7 down
        • StatusQuoJoe says:

          You can’t make this s*it up!!! Go Shredder!

          http://www.newtimesslo.com/shredder/9431/cinco-de-doh/

          OCSD just gifted $1442.00 of public funds to the Sunday event at this past Monday’s Special Meeting. This was illegal! Maybe Board members should divvy this up and pay the public back?

          Hold their stipends for the rest of the year!

          (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
          • WiserGuy says:

            On what basis are you claiming this was illegal?

            (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
          • MaryMalone says:

            I understand one of the board members saying, to the effect, that what was important was that the community wanted it and if there are any problems from doing something wrong that the board will just deal with it later.

            It is exactly that kind of “screw-the-law-we’ll-do-what-we-want” mindset of the different versions of the OCSD BOD that has brought OCSD to where it is now.

            This is sloppy and lazy governing. It is also using the power of being an OCSD director to do something which is probably wrong but just relying on the hope that no one will dare stand up to the BOD when they are wrong.

            (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      One “out-of-the-area” OCSD politicians who profited from their interactions with the OCSD and its BOD is Tom Geaslen. Now THERE is someone who caused harm to OCSD. I wonder why his name doesn’t come up?

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  4. WiserGuy says:

    One problem is that some of the very people who criticize Oceano leadership pepper their public comments with such a snide, mean, vengeful tone and attitude that it discourages public participation in governing Oceano. And those same critics are either in no position to step up and be leaders themselves, or if they are residents (as at least one suggests he is) don’t bother, finding it much easier to simply be Monday morning quarterbacks with particularly spiteful, “kick ’em when they are down” approaches.

    There is no doubt in my mind that members of the OCSD board are trying their best and are sincere in wanting to do what is best for their community. And yet the snide critics have become so mean, full of themselves that they have no qualms about wrongly suggesting that those same board members are being selfish and have ulterior motives, when it is obvious those “holier than thou” critics are the ones with the ulterior motives based on plain ol’ monetary greed and self-aggrandizement.

    Constructive criticism is one thing, but nasty attitudes and relentless, misdirected and snide character assassination of well-meaning people is quite another. And yes, as much as I don’t want to promote a “locals only” attitude in Oceano, the fact that the loudest, meanest critics don’t even live anywhere near Oceano, and have obvious and admitted interests in exploiting the resources of Oceano, just makes it worse and more troubling.

    (-6) 26 Total Votes - 10 up - 16 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      QUOTING WISERGUY: “One problem is that some of the very people who criticize Oceano leadership pepper their public comments with such a snide, mean, vengeful tone and attitude that it discourages public participation in governing Oceano.”

      OMG, Geaslen ripped off OCSD for at least $36,900 (the amount they recovered), and the BOD, by their negligence, allowed him to do it, and you actually blame those criticizing Geaslen and the BOD for their complaints?

      Don’t blame the messenger. Take your concerns to the OCSD BOD.

      (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        No Mary, you’ve got it perversely backwards.

        I say YOU take YOUR complaints to the OCSD BOD and present them in a polite, diplomatic way, instead of being nasty and sleazy and disingenuous and anonymous on the internet and publicly denigrating Oceano, its leaders and its citizens to the entire world, making our community the butt of YOUR joke.

        It is disgusting and reprehensible how some people from outside Oceano have made it part of their business strategy and/or hobby to denigrate Oceano across the world wide web so as to try to badger our local government, slander its citizens and attempt to depress real estate values so they can personally profit on land speculation deals.

        If those people truly cared about the interests of Oceano and its citizens they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing in the way they are doing it.

        You keep repeating your worn cliche of “don’t blame the messenger”. Oh, yeah? Well, why in hell ot when the messenger keeps crapping and vomiting all over our community every time they deliver their “message.”

        Get real, please!

        (-5) 21 Total Votes - 8 up - 13 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Are you at all able to address the issues at OCSD, other than excuses on the level of “the board members are just children and were fooled by a Machiavellian scheme-master”?

          These board members were not forced to be on the BOD, but chose to be candidates for the position. Yes, being a board member is hard work. It requires learning a great deal about CSD administration, the roles played by different people in the organization, AND the important legal issues with which they must comply. It also involves both selection and oversight of the GM.

          If the board members are not able, or not willing, to extend the efforts needed to do the job they presented themselves as being able to do, then they should resign.

          I happen to believe all of the current members are able to grasp the laws and regulations regarding CSDs, and are able to extend the efforts to contract with a professional, experienced interim GM/GM, AND are able to provide oversight for their IGM/GM.

          I also believe they are capable of TERMINATING inappropriate contracted services, such as the conflict-of-interest-laden contract with CC&A. I also believe they are perfectly able to terminate the contract with their current legal consulting firm, and this should be done because OCSD’s legal counsel has not been able, or willing, to adequately advise the OCSD BOD so that they could avoid repeatedly violating the Brown Act and other laws and regulations that apply to CSDs.

          Everyone expresses their opinions in different ways. If you don’t like the way I express my opinions, use the power you have as an adult and simply skip my posts.

          You will not be able to discredit me or my opinions, just like Geaslen and the OCSD BOD were ultimately unable to discredit Tacker & Edwards who were absolutely correct all along. Had they listened to T&E, OCSD BOD and staff would not, yet again, be distracted when the BOD should have known better, had T&E informing them exactly where violations were occuring, yet allowed OCSD to get into problems that could have, and should have, been avoided.

          (2) 18 Total Votes - 10 up - 8 down
    • Willow says:

      “There is no doubt in my mind that members of the OCSD board are trying their best and are sincere in wanting to do what is best for their community.”

      Oh, please. Give me a break. You (and the OCSD BoD) must think people are really stupid out here – especially Oceano residents.

      Tell me:
      How is limiting public comment to one minute “best” for the community?
      That stunt proved once and for all who the arrogant, self-serving (oh, yeah, there’s some self-servers on OCSD’s BoD) incompetent tyrants are thinking of – and no, it’s NOT the residents of Oceano. You want to get down to it, “Wise-Guy”? How does punishing an entire community by further restricting freedom of speech (from 3 minutes down to 1 minute), because they don’t want to hear “it” (“It”, being the red flags that they, as the BoD, are supposed to be looking for, but obviously, are too immature to handle looking at when people are telling them to their faces they should look at them) serve the community?
      That stunt was all for themselves and no one else. They were uncomfortable having to listen to the evidence of their big screw-up – trying to set up their own “good ol’ boy” network by hiring an old school buddy of a OCSD BoD member, and a County Supe. The guy was obviously lying about much and depending on WHO he knows, now WHAT he knows, to skate through as he was lining his pockets.
      How is telling the community they need to raise water rates for sorely needed infrastructure maintenance, and then once they get it, they spend it on outlandish salaries, Cinco de Mayo events, and who knows what else they’re going to come up with, “best” for the community?
      Hey, if people want to jazz up a town, that usually falls upon the merchants doing business in the town, and well as community organizations because events spell increased revenue for them, which is why they’re the ones who fund such things and put them on. I’ve NEVER heard of a water district acting like a chamber of commerce, or a visitor’s center bureau.
      But leave it to the incompetent OCSD BoD, that can’t handle doing the job they’re supposed to do, nooooo, forget that, now they want to put on events, and pay for it with FIRE monies – while the Fire Dept. wants to raise rates!!!
      So in case you haven’t figured it out yet, when I pay a utility bill, I expect the money to go towards the utility – NOT a dog and pony show!
      And when I’m told I’ve got to pay higher rates to replace outdated pipes, etc., I expect that increase to go towards infrastructure – NOT OUTLANDISH SALARIES.
      I have no idea of who you are, Mr. “Wise Guy”, but obviously, you’re brain dead if you think people are to be commended for doing anything and everything but what they’re supposed to be doing.
      And no, I don’t have to be polite about it.
      If some jack lies to me, takes money from me under false pretenses, misuses MY money, you bet they lost all respect and “polite” behavior afforded others who aren’t screwing people over. THEY DON’T DESERVE IT.
      As far as I can tell, every one on the OCSD BoD owes the entire community a BIG APOLOGY, and should remove themselves from office ASAP. They’re either incompetent or corrupt. The FACTS speak for themselves. Period. End of story.

      (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    How is it, that persons living OUTSIDE the OCSD are allowed to continually disrupt the governance of Oceano? Is not the purpose of a local CSD, to govern that specific community?
    GET RID OF THE OUTSIDERS.

    (-1) 23 Total Votes - 11 up - 12 down
    • StatusQuoJoe says:

      Yep, bye bye Geaslen.

      (1) 13 Total Votes - 7 up - 6 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        What makes it worse is the snide, mean attitude.

        (-4) 18 Total Votes - 7 up - 11 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Words are just that: words. Any power you give them over yourself is up to you.

          On a positive note for OCSD, they indicate they are going outside of OCSD to recruit for new IGM/GM. At a prior committee meeting they said they would consider the illegally hired accountant, Jocyln Hodgson, as interim general manager.

          However, when the OCSD BOD was reminded of the massive conflicts of interest in even having Hodson as an accountant, let alone as an IGM, they apparently reconsidered.

          It will take awhile to deal with the fall out from Geaslen, and I am glad to see OCSD is taking an important step by avoiding compounding the already bad situation with the existing conflict of interest.

          (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
          • WiserGuy says:

            Oh my gosh, Mary, that is your lamest, most non-sensical excuse for bullying people I have ever heard. You are basically saying a bully can insult and slander people all he wants to and it will have no effect unless the victim “gives power” to them.

            The problem with that theory is that it is completely wrong and tends to perpetuate the kind of harassment that, as we see among school children, has all to often lead to suicides and other mayhem and tragedy.

            Words are just words? Compare the “words” of Adolph Hitler with those of Abraham Lincoln. You’re trying to tell us their “words are just words”? Get real, please, and while you are at it, kindly curtail all your incessant, obsessive and destructive bullying, thank you very much.

            (-1) 15 Total Votes - 7 up - 8 down
            • MaryMalone says:

              “lamest, most non-sensical excuse”? Not quite. The concept of taking responsibility for your own reactions to someone else’s words is something most children start learning at least by the time of elementary school.

              Everything I have written about OCSD has been true. If you don’t like the manner in which I voice my opinions, then be an adult, take responsibility for what you read, and simply skip my posts.

              Where were you when all of these OCSD violations of the Brown Act and other regulations were occurring? You stood by silently and did NOTHING and then, when others started voicing objections, you have sought to quiet those voices. If it was up to you, Geaslen would still be GM, and the $36,900 Geaslen was required to reimburse would be a figure that continued to grow, at the expense of the OCSD rate-payers. In addition, the OCSD BOD would have, most likely, simply chosen Jocyln Hodson as interim GM. While she is certainly a nice person, she has no experience as a GM and, obviously, is clueless about the laws and regulations CSDs must follow. In addition, she is heavily burdened with conflicts of interest, which would have been a disaster for OCSD. Hodson was the ONLY candidate the BOD was considering, according to their discussions at a committee and board meeting, up until last weekend.

              The meek little “mother-may-I” type of opinions seldom sway politicians to abandon their inappropriate and/or illegal actions. It takes a strong, persistent voice to do the job.

              Sun Tzu wrote “It takes many types of warriors win a war.” It takes the strategists, the foot soldiers, the generals, the stealth fighters, the ambassadors, the peacemakers, and others whose “warrior” roles are diverse but all are important.

              How foolish would it be for the generals to criticize the peacemakers for not taking legions of foot soldiers and ammunition to negotiate with the opposition? For the ambassador to criticize the general for ordering lethal force against the enemy?

              Focus on making your own opinion, in your own style, and cease your attacks on the style in which I post. It is a distraction to me and to the board.

              (-2) 12 Total Votes - 5 up - 7 down
              • WiserGuy says:

                Mary, all your WAR analogies show us where you’ve gone so wrong with all of this, as you and others try to bring your war-like, scorched-earth attitude to our community.

                Oceano is a COMMUNITY that, like all communities, needs residents to work together, not continually attack each other and try to decimate those who don’t agree or who have differing visions..

                We don’t want people turning Oceano into a war zone any longer. It is especially galling that it is people who don’t live in Oceano who are bringing their vicious and totally inappropriate militant attitude to the community, attacking the leaders and other residents and showing no sympathy or compassion or even the barest level of diplomacy.

                Please, for God’s sake, don’t continue to try to make Oceano your personal war zone. Oceano residents are NOT your enemies!

                (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
                • MaryMalone says:

                  I would suggest that spending your time helping Geaslen coverup his wrongs is not in the best interests of ANYBODY, especially the Oceano rate-payers.

                  BTW, has anybody heard anything From Supervisor Teixiera about Geaslen’s fall from grace and public humiliation? Maybe Teixiera is too busy running an audit on his campaign books….

                  (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      If it wasn’t for “outsiders,” Geaslen would still be doing NOTHING as GM except for ripping off OCSD (for at least $36,900) while the BOD’s lack of oversight allowed him to do it.

      (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        It was the OCSD BOARD MEMBERS who made the decision to terminate Geaslen and appear to have followed proper procedures for doing so, wisely, and legally, stepping past the obsessive and ugly lynch-mob mentality promoted by the outsiders/land speculators who have the nerve to try to take credit for something completely outside of their power to do.

        And why do these spiteful outsiders feel the need to go on the internet and pound their chests and pat themselves on the back, especially when their ugly, disrespectful and obviously undiplomatic public behavior does NOTHING to benefit Oceano and clearly does more harm than good? Why?

        Ego? Selfishness? Or because they are such noble, well-meaning, self-sacrificing individuals who don’t live anywhere near Oceano but spend vast portions of their lives on Oceano business and claiming to help the Oceano citizens? You decide!

        (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
        • DemandTransparency says:

          All I can say is the ONLY person who pounded the desk and railed that he “was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” had to pay back his employer almost FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS and was fired . . . WITH cause I might add . . . at the same time.

          We can certainly figure out WHY he was so ‘mad as hell’ at the folks chiseling away at his every misstep. He felt the fire licking at his heels. I’m so glad those evil ‘outside agitators’ kept the flames lit. The Board sure wasn’t doing it!

          (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  6. ajdury says:

    Based on the Board’s actions this morning, it seems there really is a fire behind the smoke of Joslyn Hodson’s current employment at OCSD.

    At their April 19th Personnel meeting her name was mentioned for Interim General Manager, with seemingly overwhelming support from the committee members and the attending community members.

    In fact, on their subsequent April 24th regular Board meeting agenda, Item 10(D)(1), she’s the ONLY name listed for consideration as the Interim General Manager.

    http://oceanocsd.org/agendas/BOD%2004%2024%202013%20PART%201.pdf

    Until Julie Tacker informed the Board at that meeting, why did the Board never know that Mrs. Hodson came from Caliber Audit & Attest – their own auditing firm? Why was Tom Geaslen allowed to hire people without going through the proper process?

    The Board is making changes, but it seems like they have to be spoon fed every single bit of information in order to continually self-correct. When are they going to operate correctly already, without the need for constant vigilance and oversight by the public?

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • StatusQuoJoe says:

      How did legal counsel not know before Tacker?

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
      • DemandTransparency says:

        Apparently no one thought to ask one tiny little question when she came on board:

        “Hi Joslyn, nice to meet you and welcome to the OCSD. Oh, hey, where did you work before this place? CALIBER AUDIT AND ATTEST????”

        **Cue the scary piano & violin music***

        **Cue the sound of squealing brakes**

        Smashcut to the Board of Directors having a closed-session meeting back in JANUARY, when this SHOULD have been known and dealt with.

        Another victim of Geaslen collateral damage.

        (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Either the BOD did not review her resume themselves or they did and didn’t realize the problems with conflicts of interest, or didn’t CARE about the problems with conflicts of interest.

          Either way, Hodson is collateral damage. Her employment needs to be terminated, or the new contract with CC&A needs to be terminated for cause since CC&A certainly knew about the conflict of interest when they contracted with OCSD.

          Then OCSD can–AFTER the BOD actually considers and votes in favor of creating a new position similar to the one Hodson now has, which is not a BOD-approved employment position–and then the BOD needs to follow fair employment hiring practices and at least do what the BOD states in the policy and procedures manual needs to be done: publish it on the website and on the front door of the OCSD. Then Hodson can submit her resume and fill out an employment application, as can other candidates for the position.

          OCSD needs to stop cutting corners and get a tad more aggressive about correcting the potential liability-causing problems that they inherited and that they allowed to occur on their watch because of their lack of oversight of their latest ex-GM, Tom Geaslen.

          Joslyn Hodson seems like a very, very nice person, and it is a shame she has become part of the collateral Geaslen damage. I am sure there were be other people who will be part of that collateral damage, as well.

          However, hopefully, if and when the BOD gets this particular Geaslen disaster fixed, there won’t be any more big headaches.

          (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
          • StatusQuoJoe says:

            Other collateral damage: Langstaff (disabled man wrongfully terminated), Schimandel (bullied into quitting), Silveira (disgraced into quitting), all OCSD staff demoted to “At Will”, Farmers’ Market, Cinco de Mayo, all Oceano taxpayers…cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching.

            (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
    • StatusQuoJoe says:

      Too bad for Hodson, it certainly isn’t her job to know the conflict of interest laws. It was Geaslen’s, behind him would be District Legal Counsel, and then the Board (including Guerrero Esq.). No one asked where she came from, or if they did, they don’t think the rules apply to them…classic Oceano.

      (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        I honestly think their legal counsel must have slept through the meetings. It was legal counsel’s job to provide legal advice so that the OCSD BOD didn’t have, themselves, try to be CSD law specialists.

        In fact, it is a requirement that government agencies provide training on ethics, from a certified provider, on a regular schedule. Did this occur with OCSD? If so, then the OCSD BOD members must have been asleep during the training.

        In the courses I attended, there was strong emphasis on post-employment requirements (such as the revolving-door situation). I would think there would be some standard of education a certified provider has to provide to become certified.

        (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
  7. DemandTransparency says:

    What a difference a year+ does not make.

    http://calcoastnews.com/2012/03/oceano-battles-against-transparency/

    The only thing ‘special’ about this district seems to be the need for it to wear a helmet and ride the short bus.

    (5) 19 Total Votes - 12 up - 7 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      That’s an incredibly ignorant, insensitive comment.

      (-2) 16 Total Votes - 7 up - 9 down

Comments are closed.