Oceano’s non-existent general fund

May 4, 2013
Julie Tacker

Julie Tacker


In the wake of the termination of General Manager, Tom Geaslen, the Oceano Community Services District is fielding questions from ratepayers and activists for spending district funds to advance a Cinco de Mayo celebration and a farmers’ market in the seaside community.

As a longtime Geaslen critic and informed countywide activist, I have repeatedly explained to the district board that the district is not a chamber of commerce or service club; it’s a government agency formed to provide vital services to the community, contrary to Geaslen’s philosophy.

The district is primarily made up of enterprise funds, enterprise activities are financed entirely or predominantly by user fees set at a level to cover costs to provide services such as water, sewer and street lighting. The district also collects property tax, some of which is retained for administrative costs, but the majority is passed through to the Five Cities Fire Authority for Oceano’s share of cost for fire and emergency services. All funds received by the district are “designated”– leaving very little discretion as to how they are spent.

Unfortunately, the current board was misled by Geaslen’s inexperience, incompetence and unwillingness to learn the ins and outs of special districts. The district has no “general fund” for discretionary use.

Last fall the board and community became engaged in a San Luis Obispo County/Cal Trans “Revitalization” planning process for Oceano’s Highway 1 downtown corridor. The enthusiasm led to overwhelming support to start a Farmers’ Market.

A committee was formed by the OCSD under the guise of the OCSD Parks and Recreation latent power, an authority that has been dormant due to lack of funding for some time. The committee, made up of passionate volunteers, has met at least twice monthly hoping to open their market this spring. The committee’s ideas morphed to include events to be held in conjunction with the market some four times a year, the first being a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

With Geaslen at the helm, repeated assurances were made that “underwriters, grants, personal contributions, from him and Supervisor Teixeira,” were forthcoming and worries about funding were unnecessary, he had it “handled.” Asserting his political prowess, Geaslen said, “You know the network I run with and I all need to do is say, hey, I’m trying to do this. I’ve never been turned down for support before.”

Having some success Geaslen asked for and received a fee waiver for nearly $5,000 by the county planning department for the districts minor use permit for use the Oceano Community Center property for the market and events. Geaslen went to his board for $5,000 in seed money to fund insurance and incidentals including, promotional materials, legal oversight and licensing.

When asked where the $5,000 would come from Geaslen explained that since the Five Cities Fire Authority was established in 2010, saving the district money, that revenue from renting the districts old fire station for community uses was “excess taxes.”

Hearing him use the phrase “excess taxes” on several occasions, I cringed and pictured anti-tax activist Howard Jarvis is rolling in his grave. There is no such thing as “excess taxes” and if there were, any such excess must benefit the taxpayers by either reducing taxes and/or applying funds to benefit the intent from which came.

The rental revenue from the old fire station must be put towards maintaining the fire buildings, reducing costs to the taxpayer, or applied to increasing the level of fire services. Alternatively, any “excess funds” should be kept in a restricted sinking fund to accumulate for necessary improvements of the fire facilities. If these funds are not needed for building repair and maintenance, in light of the fact the fire authority is looking to impose a fire tax it would be prudent to contribute any “excess” to defray the increase as it applies to Oceano.

When the dust began to settle after Geaslen’s abrupt departure and May 5 rapidly approaching, it became abundantly clear that little, to no, work had been done on the Cinco de Mayo celebration. At which point, committee members rallied, reaching out the Latino Outreach Council, where they obtained $1,000, together have put the wheels in motion to overcome the broken promises. The celebration will take place Sunday, May 5, at the Oceano Community Center from 4:00-6:00pm, with strolling mariachis, delicious food, face painting and information on the community’s upcoming certified farmers market, all are invited.

The district was warned not use public funds this way, yet they have allocated a total of $6,442 to start up farmers’ market and the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

In an attempt to make things right, I have requested that directors forego their stipends for a time to fund Cinco de Mayo and the monies advanced to farmers’ market be restructured into a loan. Once up and running the market should do well, with the ability to repay the fund from which the money came.

Sadly, this is just one of the messes left by Geaslen; the OCSD board will spend a significant amount of time and money cleaning it and others up. Any challenge to recover these misspent funds will cost more in legal fees than the funds at issue. It is my hope the board will find it in their hearts to make things right and move swiftly on to more important things, like repairing infrastructure and find a suitable general manager with experience and expertise in special districts.




  1. falconbh says:

    Veritas and fellow residents of Oceano- I will attend the meeting on Wednesday to lend my support
    to the OCSD Board, Residents, and Democratic process.

    Past meetings have been used as a side show for outsiders who have a disruptive agenda.

    I hope the board and legal staff will give them their few minutes for comments that do NOT reflect the Oceano community.

    Then ignore them, and move on to do the people’s business.

    It is time to step up and show the carpetbaggers the road north. Stand Up and push back.
    You have the gavel, and it is time to use it and have a real Showdown in Oceano and take back our community and government.

    They have had their few minutes of distraction, and it is time to see them clearly for who they are as
    individuals who are out to make a quick buck at any cost!

    (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
    • bigdaddy says:

      Thank you Veritas and others for your posts here. It is so good to see people standing up to all the Mary M., Statusquojeffedwards, and the other CARPETBAGGERS that are trying to destroy Oceano for their personal benefit. The haters (Hills) are not going to prevail, Oceano residents UNITE and stand strong at the next meeting and run them out. Let them talk, ignore, and move on to OCEANO’S business. TAKE IT BACK, it can and will be done, show them what our little community can do. WE STICK TOGETHER, tell your neighbors, get people involved to come to the meetings. Show the CARPETBAGGERS we mean business, they are not welcome, go back north and leave us alone.

      (9) 23 Total Votes - 16 up - 7 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        Hey, buster. I’m not trying to destroy anything, and certainly not for any personal benefit. You know nothing about me, and your personal attacks are just plain stupid.

        My issue is government corruption. It should not take a rocket-scientist to figure out that, for someone whose issue is “government corruption,” OCSD would be an absolutely fascinating government agency to observe.

        You can’t fight government corruption (or mismanagement, if you are being polite) without, first, bringing it to the light of day and letting the public know what is going on.

        So you can just stop the attempts at making this an “Oceano-vs-EverybodyElse” issue. THAT is the kind of approach a carpetbagger would take. It is also the kind of approach that has nearly brought the Republican Party to its knees.

        (-10) 18 Total Votes - 4 up - 14 down
        • WiserGuy says:

          “No personal benefit”? What about ego-gratification among anything else?

          And using the word “stupid” in attacking someone’s belief’s is anything but diplomatic and does nothing to end corruption. Then you have the nerve to criticize others for attacking the “messenger” or making “personal attacks.”

          As far as I can tell, you are simply jumping on the anti-Oceano bandwagon and have accomplished nothing that benefits the community. But if you disagree, feel free to spell out specifically what great things of benefit you have done for Oceano.

          It seems to me you are like the bully who tells the little girl and the rest of the kids on the schoolyard that she dresses funny and needs to get her teeth fixed and then claims her taunting is for the girl’s own good.

          If you really cared about Oceano and its residents, you would not continually spout off in such a disrespectful manner and thereby encourage others to join you in the bullying tone. You needn’t be mean and angry to do what you are claiming to do.

          (3) 17 Total Votes - 10 up - 7 down
          • MaryMalone says:

            Don’t bother whining about “personal attacks.” Adding hypocrisy to your resume isn’t going to benefit anyone.

            And, IMO, the personal attacks ARE stupid, because all they do is demonstrate to the world that the person doing the personal attacks cannot, by honest means, refute the opinions of the person issuing the opinion.

            (-8) 14 Total Votes - 3 up - 11 down
            • WiserGuy says:

              So , now you are calling me a hypocrite and at the same time whining about “personal attacks”.

              Would you mind explaining to us all specifically what it is that I wrote that you are attacking and claiming that it is “hypocrisy”? How can I refute what seems so absurd. It’s like trying to argue with someone who claims water is unhappy.

              I just happen to think your attacks are mean, nasty, divisive and unproductive. I don’t care so much about trying to refute them at this point, I just wish, for goodness sake, that you would quit it and wise up. What is it about THAT you don’t understand?

              And, as I’ve asked you before, what specific good do you claim to have accomplished “opinions” that is of benefit to Oceano?

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

          Let’s put it another way, Mary. You have already demonstrated your ignorance and/or purposeful misleading statements regarding the historic use of and community benefits of the Oceano Airport. (See details in my comments below.) Whether that is because you want to mislead the public or because you are ignorant because you don’t live in the community that you are trying to manipulate, I’m not sure. But the fact is you literally don’t know what you are talking about in regards to the airport, for one thing.

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

      QUOTING FALCONBH: “I hope the board and legal staff will give them their few minutes for comments that do NOT reflect the Oceano community.”

      You speak for the Oceano Community? I don’t think so. Unless you have documentation that you are authorized to speak for the entire Oceano Community, you do not have the right to claim you are speaking for the communmity.

      (-9) 17 Total Votes - 4 up - 13 down
  2. veritas says:

    Just read this quote over at Sewerwatch and thought it was fitting here:

    “It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares.”
    — Napoleon Bonaparte

    As they did in Los Osos, they are attempting to do in Oceano…Delay ANYTHING from happening until no one cares anymore. Then, you move in and develop the airport.

    Stand UP, Oceano…Just because they CAN comment and participate, doesn’t mean that they get to be the only voice. Let’s start adding our voices to the public comment sections of the BOD meetings. That way, people around the County who watch on TV will know that we care and that we will not allow them to delay, delay, delay until nobody cares.

    I’ll be there on Wednesday…Will you???

    (10) 24 Total Votes - 17 up - 7 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      will you be wearing one of the Geaslen t-shirts?

      (-6) 14 Total Votes - 4 up - 10 down
      • veritas says:

        Perhaps…Will you be parking in the GM parking space???

        (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          No. I drive a Ford. I used to drive a Pontiac, but that was when I was going to CalPoly.

          (-6) 14 Total Votes - 4 up - 10 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      What do you think the rate-payers of OCSD will do if they find out what the OCSD BOD has allowed their GM, Geaslen, to do with the rate-payers’ money?

      (-7) 15 Total Votes - 4 up - 11 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      Tacker’s reasoning for delaying the decisions until the new GM is contracted by the OCSD BOD is sound.

      The new GM may have skills that would obviate having to hire a district engineer. The new GM may not agree with the OCSD BOD’s taking over the role of GM and making decisions the new GM will have to deal with. Considering some of the bozo decisions the OCSD BOD has made, and the fact that they cannot even run a BOD meeting without violating the Brown Act, this is definitely a possibility. Indeed, making decisions on important issues, made in a rushed manner right before the new GM is contracted, gives the impression that the BOD wants to fix things so the new GM will be kept from actually fixing some of the longstanding OCSD problems, starting with the decisions OCSD BOD is trying to imply MUST be done immediately.

      OCSD does not have money to burn. It also cannot afford to burden the new GM with unfortunate BOD rushed decisions.

      The BOD has indicated it will be a matter of a few weeks (or less) for the contracting with a new GM. None of these decisions address time-sensitive issues.

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

    I’ve just read the Board Packet for this week’s meeting and I recommend that any interested parties do the same.
    In this Board Packet, there are a couple of very interesting items…One being a letter from Ms. Tacker in which she requests reimbursement for being charged $0.25 per copy, when the charge should have been $0.10 per copy. If I hadn’t seen her unmitigated gall on display with every op/ed, email or public comment she graces us with, I may have thought she was joking. Alas, we all know she is as serious as a heart attack, however.
    Per Ms. Tacker – “In an attempt to make things right, I have requested that directors forego their stipends for a time to fund Cinco de Mayo and the monies advanced to farmers’ market be restructured into a loan. Once up and running the market should do well, with the ability to repay the fund from which the money came.”
    I offer the following: “You first, Jules.” Put your money where your mouth is and rescind your request for reimbursement in lieu of the same plan you suggest to the Directors. Well, Julie???
    I also find it completely gobsmacking to see her refuse to use a form (because she doesn’t HAVE to…even though it would make it much easier to process on the OCSD’s end of things) and to see her state that legally the OCSD cannot charge for Staff time to reproduce documents requested. While this is accurate to the letter of the law, I find it incredibly distasteful. Rate payers who have skin in the game may have reason to expect Staff time to be covered as part of their bill. However, since Ms. Tacker is neither a resident nor a rate payer of OCSD, what has she done to cover all of the Admin time she’s requesting? Does she expect Staff to work for FREE to meet her every whim? I don’t know about the rest of you, but this really chaps my hide.

    Lastly, Ms. Tacker requests to DELAY several items until the selection of an Interim General Manager (a process which she has also DELAYED). She wants to DELAY the contract finalization with the already advertised, interviewed and selected District Engineering firm. She wants to DELAY the repairs of Well 8 and the purchase of an EMERGENCY generator for the well. DELAY, DELAY, DELAY…Ask the people of Los Osos who are STILL digging out from the financial calamity that Julie and her DELAYS have caused. Not pretty…Not pretty at all.

    She doesn’t live here, but I do…The repairs of Well 8 and the purchase of a generator for Well 8 are matters of public safety, but what does she care??? She doesn’t drink the water. If the Lopez water line were to go down and power were lost in OCSD, we would have very limited choices for our water. I’m sure she cares more about her precious reimbursement and document requests, but we can’t DRINK THOSE!


    The other interesting item is a letter from (I think) Lin Hill…I’m not sure of this, but I think that’s how I read the signature. Ms. Hill CLEARLY has an axe to grind (as witnessed in her op/ed here and her previous shameful behavior at OCSD meetings, along with her husband and Nina Grabiel). In this letter, Lin sure does a lot of DEMANDING. I thought this was a democracy, Lin…Still upset you and Jimmy didn’t get your way before? How’d that Montemurro hiring work out for you? Is the accounting software everything you hoped for? Are you happy you backed Mary Lucey for the Board, thinking you had another puppet, only to be turned away?

    Like sands o’er the dunes…So are the Days in Oceano.

    (14) 24 Total Votes - 19 up - 5 down
    • StatusQuoJoe says:

      So veritas, in reading the Board packet, I’m sure you saw the legal bills associated with the Geaslen disaster? Nearly $17K. Thank goodness he paid the district back, just so the lawyers can gobble it up.

      (-8) 18 Total Votes - 5 up - 13 down
      • StatusQuoJoe says:

        How much money has been overcharged to all who have made records requests? Are we talking like as much as Geaslen skimmed or a little less, more on the order of what the lawyers have scalped us for? I’m guessing its less than a cup of good coffee, since most records are in electronic format and are free.
        Hey what happened with the new fire chief? I couldn’t get behind that guy at any point, always had his hand out.

        (-8) 16 Total Votes - 4 up - 12 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          I would guess the amount of money overcharged to those making public records requests is probably less than what Geaslen skimmed and less than what the lawyers scalped ratepayers for, but NOT NEARLY AS MUCH WSC will screw OCSD and the north cities technical group for.

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

        Joe –
        How much was spent on legal fees when Jim Hill championed the horrible choice of hiring Montemurro, only to have to do the same sort of termination but with a payout as well? It’s easy for folks to sit on the sidelines and point out the errors of others, but when they’ve made just as many mistakes (if not more) but quit, acted like a spoiled brat and then had their wife speak for them via Op/Ed, it’s just sad…


        (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
        • CherieMcKee says:

          As I recall, Jim Hill wanted to can Monte; Mary (and others) held on to him — then paid him to leave, even though he clearly could have fired for cause.
          Since Hill could no longer work with a Board that didn’t support the firing of Monte, he left, taking the overwhelmingly supported competent Carol Henson with him. The Board is still made up of 4 appointees and a felon who are as effective as dust. Buying the BS from Geaslen while he robbed you blind. Then he tried to get “community support” for his position, just pay the money back AND keep his $126K job. That’s all Geaslen did know how to do, start a campaign. Whether it was t-shirts supporting his “Mad as Hell” rant or his attempt to start a Farmers’ Market, using fire dept. funds…speaking of Fire Dept., what the hell happened to Aranaz?

          (-9) 15 Total Votes - 3 up - 12 down
    • CherieMcKee says:

      I have now read that letter from Tacker in the “updated” packet. She suggests that the board “delay,” because no staff reports were included at the time the letter was written. It looks like staff reports have now been added. Better late than never.

      Now, let’s talk about Well 8. If it’s broken, fix it. If it was budgeted for, then spend it, but if it was not budgeted for, then do what everyone does, make a budget adjustment publicly to tract the funds allocated to fix it. This is not rocket science. Staff does not provide a budget that shows where the funds could come from. Maybe by tonight’s meeting there will be something to read.

      If well 8 needs a back up generator, as it has for a very long time, Geaslen asked for grant for $100,000, that is a huge expense, where would that money come from? Certainly no expense like that was budgeted for this FY. Generators can be leased or rented until the details are worked out. I don’t see this as a “delay”, this is transparency and the Board must do its job vetting all the possibility’s. Tacker suggests a utility committee meeting, what’s wrong with that?

      I gotta know, how did Tacker “delay” the hiring of an IGM? How can one person have so much influence over the Board? Unless that person has the law behind ones statements, then she can’t “delay” the Board’s decisions. I have watched this Board go against Tacker’s suggestions many times? What’s different now? Oh, maybe the Board realized that she was dead on with regard to the character of both Geaslen and Monte?

      As for Lin’s letter. Mary and Lori’s letter also attached to the board packet admits Lin is correct. The district has no General Fund and the Board allocated Fire. Dept. money to a Cinco de Mayo and Farmers Market. Lin is “Demanding” (that’s the proper format for one of these letters to be taken seriously) the Board fix it for the ratepayers. Who can argue with that? Now it’s “how” will the Board fix it? In the opinion piece Tacker writes, she offers solutions. Maybe they aren’t the solutions you like, but at least someone is offering an acceptable way to get out of what was done gracefully.

      (-8) 16 Total Votes - 4 up - 12 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      1. The requested records may be delivered by electronic copy. That will obviate the need to charge for printed copies.

      2. One of the directors actually mentioned she would donate her stipend towards the costs of Cinco de Mayo, so the concept isn’t unique to Julie Tacker…it comes from a board member.

      3. Your comment that Tacker should fund the events she knows are oozing in potential liability is inappropriate. Tacker isn’t on the BOD, so did not vote for the projects to be OCSD’s. In addition, Tacker advised them of the problems they would be creating if they did it The-Gleasen-Way (which is, as usual, the wrong way).

      4. Many people refuse to follow rules that a government is not allowed to impose, and many governments get sued for attempting to impose rules they are not allowed to impose. Why should anyone fill out a special form for something the government is supposed to provide without a form? Indeed, why would the government even ask for the form?

      5. Government agencies may not charge for personnel time necessary to provide records requested by the public. Providing records to the public is what the government agency is PAID TO DO. Providing records in accordance with the Public Records Act is what the staff are PAID TO DO. I cannot see the logic of protesting a government agency’s requirement to provide records to the public. You don’t like it? Then get the regulations changed. Until that time, OCSD needs to follow the regulations.

      And OCSD, if they really want to make a break with the past loser leadership, NEEDS to follow the regulations. OCSD has a history of breaking regulations, and for you to now encourage them to start breaking even MORE regulations is only going to mire them down further in the kind of loser leadership of the past.

      In addition, the PRA request is not limited to residents or members of the government agency. It is called the PUBLIC Records Act for a reason.

      6. The “financial calamities” OCSD is experiencing are due to several versions of the OCSD BODs being unwilling to follow the regulations they swore to uphold. The reason for the delays is the OCSD BOD being unwilling to follow regulations, ending up with several problems and liabilities.

      In attempting to blame the messenger (in this case, Tacker and Edwards), you make false your opinion. It is never the fault of the messenger, as long as the message is true, and in this case, Tacker’s messages were and are true. The messenger is simply telling it like it is. If anyone is at fault, it is the person/s who are the subject of the message.

      This current OCSD BOD has repeatedly shown itself to have poor judgment in administering its duties. The hiring of the in house accountant is one big mess, and OCSD’s BOD contracting with the company the accountant just left, CA&A, is the liability-laden second installment of the first big mess.

      So, if you have problems with the steps the OCSD BOD will have to take in order to meet regulations, then go to the OCSD BOD with your gripes. Shame on them for not doing it right the first time!

      7. You continue to state that there is something wrong with a member of the public attending and commenting at public meetings. This is not true. They are called “PUBLIC” meetings for a reason. CSDs’ meetings are open to the public, no matter where the member of the public lives.

      So, NO, members of the public will continue to attend OCSD BOD meetings, if they wish. You do not have the right to tell them to not attend.

      8. Everyone knows that much in the way of what should have been priorities was left along the wayside while Geaslen was playing the big-shot with his vanity projects (Cinco de Mayo and Farmers Market). Clearly, Geaslen’s priorities were screwed up, but what I don’t understand is why the OCSD BOD allowed him to neglect priority problems so he can have something on his resume.

      9. Lin Hill’s opinion stands on its own. Who she is and her history are irrelevant to her opinion, unless she makes it “evidence” to support her opinion.

      (-9) 15 Total Votes - 3 up - 12 down
      • veritas says:

        Julie –
        1. To request reimbursement for the overcharge on copies is being incredibly petty and lessens the impact of any valid arguments you may have. My suggestion for you to apply your reimbursement to the Cinco de Mayo deficit was purely to see if you did, in fact, have Oceano’s best interests at heart.
        2. All the better…The more the merrier!
        3. As witnessed by your repeated nitpicking of fine print on all things, I can understand why you’d be concerned over liability…Given the litigious waters you swim in, I’m sure you’re always on the lookout for sharks.
        4. Many people resist doing simple tasks that have little to no impact on themselves, even though they’d help run a more efficient meeting, simply because they don’t HAVE to be courteous. Duly noted. The government asks for the form so that they can run the meeting more efficiently, have an idea ahead of time if there is a lot of demand to speak at a meeting (and plan recesses accordingly), etc. Do you ever watch the SLO City Council meetings on TV? People fill out forms prior to speaking AND they announce their name AND city of residence (sometimes even an ADDRESS)…I am aware that they don’t HAVE to, but they realize it helps things run more smoothly.
        5. Again, I understand what PUBLIC is…I also understand what COURTESY is. Just because I may have the right to do something, doesn’t mean I’m going to do it. Such is the case with your assault on OCSD…You have every right to slow any progress of the District to a crawl in the interest of whatever you want. That doesn’t make it right, appreciated or welcome…Just as you have a right to hold the OCSD to the letter of the law on the tiniest of items, I have the right to call you out on your BS. By requesting reams of documents and taking administrative staff time, you are taking away from other, more productive things that the District could accomplish. PLEASE, present a citizen of Oceano to join your side at the meeting…Just ONE! There are plenty of us that will be there for the other side, and WE PAY FOR THE DISTRICT! You have no skin in the game, Julie…NONE. Yes, it is within your rights, but it is not helpful and is purely to feed your narcissism and satiate the whims of your benefactors. It does not help Oceano.
        6. So, by playing both sides of the argument, you and Jeffy can claim to be all-knowing, faultless, 100% accurate…bravo. If I place bets on black, red and green on roulette, I can “win” every time too…So what?
        7. I do not state that there is something wrong with the member of the public attending a meeting…I have a problem with people who do not pay the rates in the District monopolizing the Staff, facility and meeting time when all of those resources could be put to better use, rather than feeding the bloated ego of a couple of self-satisfied and rude instigators.
        8. Geaslen “neglected” priority problems, in large part, because he was busy playing defense and putting out fires set by interlopers and agitators (you and jeff can pick who gets to play which role).
        9. Your repeated statements regarding a person’s history, bias, etc. having no relevance to their opinion are laughable. To quote the old adage, “Consider the source”.

        (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
  4. veritas says:

    I have an honest question for Ms. Tacker and Mr. Edwards…
    At several Board meetings that I have either attended or watched on TV, Mr. Edwards has been fist-poundingly adamant (I know…shocking) about the crime rates in Oceano and how the high unemployment rate in Oceano is the cause. He lays the blame for the high crime rate in Oceano at the feet of the OCSD, stating that it is their fault that there are not more jobs in Oceano.

    I can understand the thinking there, yet his “partner” is now blaming OCSD BOD for overstepping their boundaries and entering the job creation realm.

    Which is it, J/J??? Is the OCSD BOD supposed to create jobs or not? You are playing both sides here and I think it needs to be pointed out. This is how you can claim to be correct about every issue…You play both sides.

    I’ll await a response, but I’m not holding my breath…

    (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      They are shameless carpetbaggers trying to chase a Hoodoo.

      (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
      • veritas says:

        Now, now, Pelican1!
        Whether that’s true (definitely) or not, we cannot distract from my actual question…Now, Mary Malone (who seems to be VERY supportive of J/J…almost in perfect lockstep in fact…almost as if she were the same person) will only address the, say it with me everyone, AD HOMINEM ATTACK that was in your post.
        If only we could get a real answer from them, but alas…any question of their motives, past associations, questionable relationships, etc. are deemed IRRELEVANT, AD HOMINEM and SHOOTING THE MESSENGER…and are therefore unworthy of any response.

        It is clearly a “do as I say, not as I do or have done” mentality in the Tackwards (copywrite Veritas 2013) household. Tackwards…Tacker and Edwards…Tactless and Backwards.

        (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
        • Pelican1 says:


          (7) 19 Total Votes - 13 up - 6 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          For the record, I have never used the term “SHOOTING the messenger.”

          And, thanks again for your demonstration of an ad hominem attack.

          (-7) 15 Total Votes - 4 up - 11 down
          • veritas says:

            You are welcome! Thanks again for your demonstration of “splitting hairs”…You may not have used SHOOTING. Sorry, you said ATTACK…common synonymous phrases…Shoot, Attack, Kill the messenger. It all means the same thing…again, wasting time on trivialities. You enjoy this don’t you, Jules?

            (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
            • MaryMalone says:

              “shooting” and “attack” do not mean the same thing. For instance, you can verbally attack someone but you cannot verbally shoot someone.

              (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
              • WiserGuy says:

                You are wrong, Mary, and seem to being going way overboard, to the point of absurdity, in trying to defend yourself. Of course someone can verbally or in writing “shoot” someone down. That would be synonymous with “attacking” someone. In fact, pardon me but I just shot down your position.

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

                  No, I am NOT going “way overboard.” In today’s hysteria-prone society, any comment with what are now fear-linked words, such as “shooting,” IMO, is inappropriate.

                  Because I feel it is inappropriate, I would not use that word. So, for you to attribute to me an offensive, fear-related word (“shooting”) is something that needs to be corrected.

                  Also, I think your misquote of my statements–to my harm–shows a pattern of posting behavior where you make absurd interpretations in an effort to discredit someone whose opinions you don’t share. This “shooting” wrong quote is just another example.

                  (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        There are no restrictions, outside of being able to vote, on public participation in local politics. As long as the meetings are open to the public, anyone can participate. You have been repeatedly corrected about this mischaracterization of public participation in OCSD politics. Therefore, the term “carpetbagger” is inaccurate…

        By your use of “carpetbagger,” that would include wrongfully-terminated OCSD GM, Tom Geaslen…you know, the guy who had to reimburse OCSD $36,900 before the wrongful-termination agreement could be finalized.

        (-10) 20 Total Votes - 5 up - 15 down
        • WiserGuy says:

          Pardon me, Mary, but I don’t think you understand the meaning of “carpetbagger”. This link should help you on that:


          (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
        • Pelican1 says:

          Listen up Mary, wise men/women speak because they have something to say. Fools because they have to say something.”
          It’s obvious to all, which one you are…

          (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
          • MaryMalone says:

            You did not even attempt to make this personal attack on-topic. It is just a weak slam.

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

      By “partner,” are you referencing Julie Tacker? If not, who are you referencing.

      I can find nothing in this op-ed that indicates how she feels, one way or another, about OCSD creating jobs.

      (-7) 17 Total Votes - 5 up - 12 down
      • veritas says:

        I’m referencing Julie’s partner, Jeff Edwards…It’s the old “push me, pull you” trick.

        Edwards berates the board for not creating jobs…which increases unemployment, which increases crime. Therefore, OCSD BOD’s inaction leads to crime. (Listen back to previous meetings…He’s gone down that road several times.)

        Julie then chides the BOD for overstepping their bounds by trying to create jobs…See above.
        “As a longtime Geaslen critic and informed countywide activist, I have repeatedly explained to the district board that the district is not a chamber of commerce or service club; it’s a government agency formed to provide vital services to the community, contrary to Geaslen’s philosophy.”
        “All funds received by the district are “designated”– leaving very little discretion as to how they are spent.”

        These are two ways of saying that the BOD has neither the funds, nor the responsibility to revitalize Oceano, bring in tourism, create jobs…They’re “just” water purveyors, sewer collectors, street lighters and fireman payers.

        In other words, they’re playing both sides of the argument and, therefore, can never technically be wrong.

        Clearly, Edwards plan for creating jobs is to develop the airport…A developed airport CLEARLY means lower crime, right???

        (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
        • CherieMcKee says:

          Isn’t the OCSD creating jobs? The way I see it they hire Hodson without going out for recruitment (she’s a 29 year old girl from the Valley, now living in Santa Maria) who just recently acquired her CPA status (just googling around). I’m not saying she’s not qualified, she may be the one who found the missing funds). She may be the MOSt effective employee the district has EVER seen, too bad she
          A new utility guy… no search.
          Lawyers racking up their bills chasing FRIVOLOUS changes to the California Public Records Act. (Are they kidding?)
          Did Oceano pay for counsel to travel from her new home in Albuquerque to come here to fire Geaslen?

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

          So it wasn’t Tacker who said what you think means someone is against job creation by the OCSD.

          Please restate your argument reflecting your correct target.

          Also, I’m not going to “listen back” at meetings. Provide the location of the video and the time marker.

          The two quotes from Tacker do NOT state she is against job creation…by anybody, and it is inaccurate for you to state she did. What she states is that CSDs’ powers are limited, which is true. It is also something OCSD’s legal counsel should be advising them on.

          There are a lot of services OCSD can provide. “California Government Code, Division 3: Community Services Districts.” Scroll down the table of contents to “POWERS” (Code 61610-61626.7) URL: http://tinyurl.com/c3fmub2

          CSDs are in place to provide vital services, not Chamber of Commerce mixers. How a CSD is run can, of course, just by good leadership, create an environment that would attract businesses. Not having year after year after year of mismanagement and scandals would, of course, do much to improve the changes that viable businesses would want to open an office in the Oceano area.

          However, the kind of instability from scandals and corruption that OCSD’s BODs have allowed to thrive on their watches indicates an unstable business environment. OCSD’s BODs being unable to hire a competent GM is indicative of continued problems in the Oceano community. Heck, OCSD’s BOD being unable to identify the kinds of conflicts of interest which they, as the BOD, must not engage indicates a very unstable government agency because it will never know what kind of liability disaster is in the making.

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

      A lot of good comments about all the outside and internal disruptions at the public meetings in Oceano.

      I just do not believe our board, staff, and lawyers have the experience and resources to push back against some of the disruptive actions that have taken over the democratic process of the OCSD.
      This has proven to be costly, and wasted a lot of valuable time of staff members.

      Right now, it feels like the OCSD/Rate Payers are being held “hostage” by a few individuals.

      The County has the resources and experience to take on these types of problems and send them packing.
      We need to get back to basics, providing water and sewer services , to local residents at a resonable cost.

      (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        QUOTING FALCONBH: “I just do not believe our board, staff, and lawyers have the experience and resources to push back against some of the disruptive actions that have taken over the democratic process of the OCSD.”

        The OCSD “board, staff, and lawyers,” if they were all doing their jobs, would not be hearing from members of the public about the regulations they are breaking, would they?

        So, that the OCSD “board, staff, and lawyers” have to hear it from members of the public is actually the fault of the OCSD “board, staff, and lawyers.”

        For you to blame those commenting on the regulations being broken by the “board, staff, and lawyers,” is called “blaming the messenger.”

        In other words, if they were doing their danged jobs then there would be no problem with the kind of STUPID mistakes they make which always have the potential for future liability.

        Example: Geaslen. If it was not for Tacker and Edwards, Geaslen would still be BSing the BOD and would STILL be creating even more problems than he had created by the time he was booted out of the GM’s position.

        Finally, again, CSDs’ board-of-directors meetings (except for “closed session” meetings) are open to the public, including (but not limited to) their rate-payers. There is nothing wrong with members of the public attending, and commenting on, CSD meetings.

        If claiming something is wrong when it is, indeed, right is the best you can do to prove your point, then you really don’t have much of a point.

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

      I dont’ believe the crime rate in Oceano, on a per capita basis, is higher than average for SLO County. No one has been able to show any evidence that it is. Some people seem to assume that the crime rate is higher than average because of the mix of ethnic backgrounds of the residents. Of course, there are folks, including members of law enforcement, who stand to gain by promoting the idea of a higher than average crime rate, but I have yet to see any firm and reliable statistics to back this up. I personally believe the crime rate is higher in Grover Beach and Los Osos than in Oceano, but cannot verify that at this time.

      As far as unemployment goes, Oceano has a high percentage of retirees living there, and housing prices are more reasonable than elsewhere so it is natural that unemployment would skew higher, but that alone does not indicate some “problem” with Oceano. Oceano is a bedroom community so naturally there is not going to be a higher than average number of jobs in the community.

      (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
      • CherieMcKee says:

        Maybe Oceano’s crime rate is no higher crime rate than say, Santa Maria City. Oceano is just in the headlines more than any other community for heinous crimes.
        Oceano stabbing suspect hiding in lagoon.
        Oceano drive by shooting. Beautiful, innocent, teenage boy dies.
        Oceano domestic violence disputes,s,s,s.
        Oceano burglary.
        Oceano graffiti.
        Oceano CSD employee FORCED to watch porn.
        Oceano CSD files restraining order against citizen.
        Oceano CSD files false police report, (computers hacked — porn found).
        Oceano CSD General Manger owes district $36,962.35.
        Oceano CSD violates Brown Act..
        Oceano CSD violates Freedom of Information Act.
        Oceano CSD violates FPPC conflict of interest.
        Oceano GM violates,California FPPC, BA, Sec. of State, CPRA Fed. IRS, FOIS, NV Sec. of State, public trust.
        Oceano CSD violates State fireworks laws.
        Oceano crimes against its ratepayers…too high of salaries, no repairs of infrastructure.
        Oceano crimes against the water basin and water ratepayer, pay too much for water, fix nothing.
        Oceano CSD violates state law giving away public funds to pay $1,000 to a mariachi band.

        Just say’n! The crimes against Oceano are in the news more than anywhere else.

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

          Oceano CSD vioated the law with the way they conducted the election [sic] to raise water rates.

          Did not meet legal minimum standards for notification and process.

          Promised us it would be used for, and needed for infrastructure improvements.

          Why are the afraid to just place it on the ballot for a straight up or down vote. It is called democracy.

          Rate Payers need to realize that when they ” Do Not Return Their Mail Ballots” they are Counted As A YES Vote.

          This is just a way that Unions, Consultants,Lawyers, work around a real public vote and slip it in the backdoor. That is how the OCSD got their outrageous Rate Increase. Look at how Sanitation waited until after November Election to slide their increase pass the rate payers. Next up is the Proposed Fire Parcel Tax.

          If this Fire Parcel Tax Passes we will have more coming:

          Cuesta Building Tax
          Police Tax
          School Tax
          Library Tax
          Lighting and Landscaping Tax
          Recreation Tax
          Grover Road and Convention Tax

          (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
        • WiserGuy says:

          I venture to say you can’t prove that on a per capita basis that Oceano’s crime rate is ANY higher than that of San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach or Los Osos.

          The stabbing suspect was a transient. The innocent boy was murdered by looney youngster from outside the community.

          I could start making a list of crimes in Arroyo Grande or any of the communities in the South County that would be just as long as your list. Cross burnings and satanic murders, and city councilman beating up wife, in Arroyo Grande; Grover Beach police officer molesting children, 22 million dollar fraud case by Grover Beach business man, Fraternity hazing deaths, and serial murders of young women in San Luis Obipso…the list goes on and on

          And what about the suicide rate? I venture that it is considerably higher in other SLO County communities.

          With YOUR help and that of carpetbaggers and bigots and bullies, it has become fashionable to bully and denigrate Oceano.

          (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
        • WiserGuy says:

          Let me add that all you need to do is look at the CURRENT headlines of Cal Coast News to see a completely different picture of crime than you portray: shootings and tax evasion in San Luis Obispo; drug arrests and murder in Paso Robles, embezzling in Nipomo, beer bottle beatings in Avila….the list goes on and on.

          (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
          • MaryMalone says:

            I don’t see that the comparison is valid.

            What you are comparing has to be defined. What constitutes “Oceano”? Is it OCSD’s rate-payers? And how did the population for an unincorporated area have a definite population?

            Only when the two things being compared can be shown to be significantly similar so that something like a “crime rate” should be similar between the two can a comparison be don without doing heebie-jeebie statistic manipulations.

            (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down

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