Los Osos hires district manager during contentious meeting

October 5, 2013
Kathy Kivley

Kathy Kivley


Amid screams of outrage from the audience, the Los Osos Community Services District Board of Directors hired an embattled executive Saturday as its new general manager.

During the 8 a.m. special meeting, the board voted to hire former Atwater City Manager Kathy Kivley to serve as the district’s full-time general manager at an annual salary of $90,000.

After publishing a staff report Friday, district legal counsel Michael Seitz refused to disclose details of the contract or the name of the candidate. He said those details would become public during Saturday’s board meeting.

“If the board is comfortable with the contract, it will be time to approve it,” Seitz said Saturday after he gave each of the directors a copy of the contract. “Then it will become a public document where you can take public comment at that time.”

However, the California Ralph M. Brown Act requires agencies to make documents pertaining to open session meetings available to the public after a majority of the board receives a copy, according to section 54957.5 of the Brown Act.

Shortly after the meeting started, members of the public, some swearing, demanded to see the contract before public comment and before the board took action. Seitz argued against allowing the public to participate in the process until after the vote.

Seitz then recommended that the board halt its open session and approve the contract in closed session.

But, the board rejected its attorney’s advice and chose instead to allow members of the audience to read the contract and make public comment prior to the board voting in open session.

Seitz, who was dressed in flip flops, jeans and a sports jacket, then passed out copies of the contract to each member of the audience. In order to allow the public time to read the contact, the board took a 10 minute break.

Nevertheless, attendees complained that they were unable to look into the candidate’s background because they were not permitted to know the name of the applicant until minutes prior to her appointment.

In April 2011, the Atwater City Council made Kivley its city manager at a base salary of $134,000.

In September 2012, the Atwater City Council voted to fire Kivley, according to the Merced Sun-Star. At that time, the city had a projected $3.7 million negative general-fund balance for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The Los Osos board made no mention of Kivley’s termination at the meeting Saturday and approved her contract by a 4-0 vote, with Director Michael Wright absent.

“She impressed all of us with her knowledge and experience,” Director Marshall Ochylski said. “Kathy stands out in a very good pool of candidates.”

Kivley, who does not yet live in Los Osos, participated in the meeting Saturday by telephone. The board agreed to pay her $7,000 to relocate to the Central Coast.

Kivley, 65, will begin work on October 14.

“I look forward to working there and I also look forward to living there,” Kivley said.


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Give Los Osos back to the county to run. We were much better off. How many managers has L O gone through since becoming a CSD? L O has proven they can not govern themselves effectively.

If I wasn’t so displeased with how the County (and the arrogance of Bruce Gibson) has handled Los Osos (i.e. sewer saga (started with them), basin in overdraft, road conditions, lack of planning, etc.) I could get behind dissolution.

Instead, I will continue to stay involved in the process we have.

Well, I see the permanently discontent have chimed in both at the meeting this morning and over here at Cal Coast. Always crabbing about something, spouting misinformation and always mouthy about it. ALWAYS COMPLAINING. Give any one of them a new car and they’d complain about the color. No wonder they are never listened to either at the BOS or anywhere else.

Los Osos is BANKRUPT. We are luck to get anybody.

She probably got fired because she worked for a stupid and corrupt city and disagreed with the way that they did business – you know, like the LOCSD board that wouldn’t listen to reason and then bankrupted the community and gave people CDOs and NOVs attached to their houses.

The negative fund balance in Atwater referenced above was YEARS in the making according to the news articles from there.

Good luck Ms. Kivley and welcome. Give us a chance, not all of us are like the whiners.

For more info about their new General Manager, Los Osos residents can just check her Facebook page, newly updated to reflect her current position.


Favorite Quotation:

“It is what it is….”

Work and Education:

Los Osos Community Services District

General Manager · Oct 2013 to present

City of Atwater

City Manager · Atwater, California · May 2011 to Sep 2012

City of Delano

Assistant City Manager · Jul 2007 to May 2011

California State University, San Bernardino

Class of 1993 · MPA · Public Administration

Class of 1970 · Business Administration/HE · Chico, California

Enterprise High School

Class of 1966 · Enterprise, Alabama

Among Ms. Kively’s “like” are: Bruce Willis, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan…and Bon Jovi.

Am I reading her resume correctly? She is 65 years old, has had lots of education but only two jobs of which she was fired from one! Something is wrong her as we all know that in California it is rare if not unheard of for any government employee to be fired much less a City manage. Last one was City of Bell who will be doing quality time in our prison system.

Sorry, Lynette, President of Bruce Gibson’s fun club, but this does not sound good. But, I am a fair and reasonable person so we will see how long you lead her fan club!

I am not “president of Bruce Gibson’s fan club” (which he well knows, I voted for Ochylski), but he has done a yeoman’s job in shepherding this contentions project along and I absolutely praise him for that.

As to the new GM: All the board members I voted for or supported (Wright was appointed), so I am comfortable in their choice of GM. I will certainly support her, but I am not leader of a fan club here either.

With the complexities that make up Los Osos, how can anyone come in from outside the community (Atwater) and get up to speed on all things water, sewer, fire, drainage, bankruptcy, staffing, the board, the public and the politics in time to do what’s needing to be done…implementation of the basin plan and settling the bankruptcy?

Only someone who has lived it (a local) could step in and make things happen. What was this Board thing? Oh yeah, they weren’t. They hadn’t even had their first cup of firehouse coffee.

Who is that legal council? John Seitz would never have played games like “hide the contract.”

The firehouse coffee is very good. If you went to the ESAC meetings held there you could have some.

Now, who would be “that local” you think could step in and do the job?

The Basin Plan has closed the comment period. The District Engineer will be paramount to implementing the plan and the GM works at the pleasure of the Board. The Board was elected by the community.

The (hopefully final) bankruptcy hearing is set for October 9. Ms. Kivley starts work on October 14.

I am on the ESAC committe, the coffee at the fire station is very good.

QUOTING TMO2TBG: “Who is that legal council? John Seitz would never have played games like ‘hide the contract.’ ”


BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA! That’s a knee-slapper.

Hi Mary,

John Seitz was the LOCSD Counsel for many years, we saw many GM contracts come through the district and he always allowed for the public to see it and comment prior to its adoption. This change by Mike Seitz is new, but is apparently common practice at the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District.

Thats the problem in Los Osos, there’s a small vocal group that feels the town’s “complex”…that only Los Osos has issues with salt water intrusion, nitrates, fire, drainage, blah, blah, blah.

Don’t get me wrong, Los Osos has been a constant source of amusement for the past 10 years and I will truly miss the nonsense once the sewers are in, but make no mistake, your problems are no different than any other coastal town except that most other towns work together and get things accomplished. Hey wait a minute, maybe that’s whats so “complex” about Los Osos-they can’t work together!

Run Kathy, run, before you too become complex!

Seven thousand bucks to move 205 miles from Atwater to Los Osos sounds pretty extravagent.

Perhaps it is transporting the skeletons in her closet that is upping the costs of moving.

Los Osos deserves everything they get? Does that apply to Paso Robles, etc?

This whole thing is a disgrace. And to think WE are going to pay her 7K to relocate here?!

When you moved here did you get a relocation package with your new job? I doubt it. Anyone probably was so glad to have a job that they were glad to move here on their own.

This board is a laughing stock; But why should LO be any different from Cambria or Oceano?

Oh, nuts. I am so disgusted that I could spit.

The Board is not a laughing stock. Where do you get these ideas? Please finish spitting before you answer though.

They still keep Michael Seitz as district counsel. That qualifies them for both “laughingstock” and “nincompoop.”

Hiring a reject from another city? Without doubt this woman’s main qualification is her ability to follow orders from above without question. She’ll feel at home in the corrupt SLO county government.

Great, that’s the best we can do? Some other city’s reject? And at only 90K a year too.

Stupid is…as stupid does. Los Osos deserves everything they get….regardless of the fact THEY JUST DON”T GET IT.

If you refer to those sad souls who whine weekly at the BOS, you are right, they just don’t get it. Neither did the sewer obstructionists. They caused a lot of damage, but they finally lost. LO is doing better now, rebuilding itself. We are looking forward to joining the modern world, being able to flush and forget.

Yeah, LO is doing a great job rebuilding itself….if you consider massive construction corruption and polluting the bay ecosystem “rebuilding.” I consider it “tearing down.”

What you write above MaryMalone is your right to free speech but not the opinion most of us hold. You don’t supply proof to back up your statements, you just make statements.

Lynette, I’m not at all sure that a new District Manager will do any better than any past manager has done. We have all seen them come and go without any success time and time again.

It is clear that the community doesn’t get it. After decades of delay, continued septic tank pollution, project opposition project cancellation, loan defaults, regulatory enforcement actions, property devaluation, bankruptcy and divisiveness.

It’s time to end this terrible experiment in terror called self governance and dissolve the CSD…it’s been a complete failure. At this point, I believe even Rose would agree.

It’s time to QUIT reinforcing failure.

As you might know, I was onboard to dissolve the CSD starting back at the end of 2005. So you might wonder why I support keeping it now.

Your view of Los Osos is probably colored by the blather on the blogs or you watch the CSD meetings where very few positive people attend. I am very sorry about that. But being verbally abused from the back of the room, as I am almost every time I get up to speak, I think has worn out those who used to attend these meetings and who, like me, supported getting sewer. Those who did not support a sewer at all (or this sewer) will not have much to say once this is in so I am hopeful that the tenor of the meetings will change at that time. There is not much encouragement now for anyone new to the community to participate, but I believe this will turn around.

I attend most of the CSD meetings and the committee meetings. Unbelievably, the CSD has recovered to a remarkable degree from the bankruptcy and it will continue to do so once it is finally over. Local governance is really best, we want to continue to be in control of the excellent fire service that we contract for, among other local issues, and to regain a credible voice in the county. There is hope.

Lynette, I lived in Los Osos back in the day when Bill Coy was our supervisor, back when the county didn’t know where Los Osos was. Builders and contractors were just getting a foot hold and houses began to pop everywhere in the absence of paved roads, sidewalks, street lights, storm drains and NO SEWER. The county never seemed to care.

Let me give you an example. At one point in time, I had to have my leach field. The contractor came out dug up the existing field after filing for a permit. the county inspector arrived, got out of his truck (dressed in short pants and a tee shirt, and yelled at Rod, the backhoe operator and asked…”how’s it going?” Rod said…”good” the county inspector without looking at the job got back in his truck and left….at the time that cost $!00.00!

Not until the water quality came into question did anyone seem to get involved. A few very dedicated people tried their attempt at self governance, only to be recalled by a community that truly doesn’t know what it wants.Over the decades I attended dozens and dozens of meetings that only seemed further divide a once tranquil community.

Everyone knows the history, and most everyone should be ashamed of the legacy being left by those have been determined to destroy the fabric of Los Osos.

Enough is enough, self governance has been a monumental failure.

Dissolve the CSD

… had to have my leach field replaced.

Pelican 1, I did not live in LO in the Bill Coy days, but what I have heard, it was the “Wild West” and the Supes didn’t give a rat’s a** about Los Osos. I understand Coy tried to get LO Superfund money to build the sewer, but the residents didn’t want it because having one would encourage growth.

I do think the population these days has changed with the influx of new residents and the rules regarding building anything with the California Coastal Commission and the Regional Water Quality Control Board overseeing it. County rules have changed too. That plus the water shortage. This really should lay to rest any remaining fears of rampant building. Too bad the result was polluted water and a high cost to the sewer.

I agree about the recall being a watershed mark for divisiveness and a gradual diminishment of public participation. I arrived in 2005.

But I really don’t want to give up just as the wheels are getting put back on the wagon. This will take public participation however. LOCAC has made some strides in getting fresh blood as well after some pretty low point years.

I guess I just can’t let them win with their tactics of very bad behavior. What does apathy say about us (regardless of where we live and what we have been through)?

But peace. I certainly understand your point of view.

Well, while my cynicism prevails at this point, I hope this isn’t an exercise in futility. Los Osos deserves so much better.

I agree. Time will tell.