Larry Allen receives contract extension amid Forbes dispute

January 26, 2014
Larry Allen

Larry Allen


Two days after Forbes Magazine published a commentary highlighting the high pay of San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) head Larry Allen, the APCD board approved a contract extension for the district chief.

On Wednesday, the APCD board approved a two-year contract extension for Allen that appears to show no increase in salary. Nevertheless, Allen’s salary and benefits could increase in a few weeks.

Allen’s contract states that he shall receive any cost of living salary adjustments or benefit increases granted to other APCD employees.

At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, the board met in closed session to discuss a cost of living increase for APCD staff. Even though the pending pay increase would raise Allen’s salary as well, Allen negotiated the raise on behalf of the district.

In the Forbes commentary published Monday, columnist Steven Hayward noted that Allen receives close to $250,000 annually. Allen disputed the claim in a written response to Hayward Tuesday.

During Wednesday’s board meeting, Allen stated that the Forbes commentary had absolutely no basis in fact.

“It was a factually incorrect article — very biased,” Allen said. “I’m not sure what the motivation was behind it.”

Allen’s contract calls for a yearly salary of $153,096 and $82,916 in benefits for total compensation of $236,012, according to a district staff report.

Allen also receives a $5,400 annual vehicle allowance paid in cash. When asked Friday, district finance manager Kevin Kaizuka did not state whether the vehicle allowance is included in Allen’s projected $82,916 benefit total.

In previous district budgets, Allen’s benefits were listed according to type, such as retirement contributions, paid leave, medical, dental and vision coverage and disability and life insurance. Nevertheless, the breakdown was omitted from the 2013-2014 budget.

Allen’s paid leave includes a total of 51 days annually, or more than 10 working weeks off. His contract grants him 20 vacation days, 12 holidays, one day of personal leave, 12 days of sick leave and six days of administrative leave, all with pay.

Allen can cash out 80 hours of unused vacation time annually. He can also accrue unused vacation and administrative leave and half of his unused sick leave up to 1,440 hours.

As of Dec. 20, 2013, Allen had accrued 279 hours of vacation leave, 919 hours of sick leave and 42 hours of administrative leave, according to Kaizuka.

Allen makes approximately $75 per hour, which means he has accrued nearly $60,000 in unused leave pay. Accrued pay is calculated based upon Allen’s salary at the conclusion of his employment with the district. If Allen’s salary increases, his accrued pay will, too.

When the district hired Allen as its air pollution control officer in 2002, he received an annual salary of $85,320. His salary has nearly doubled since.

The APCD board approved Allen’s contract by a 9-2 vote Wednesday, with San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold and Pismo Beach Councilman Ed Waage voting against the contract extension.

Arnold said she disagreed with fee and salary increases that Allen had recommended during times of economic distress.

Waage said he opposed a clause of the contract that would extend Allen’s employment with the district beyond two years without board approval. The clause allows Allen to keep the same terms of employment beyond the life of the contract until the board either approves a new agreement or gives 14 days of notice prior to termination.

“It basically becomes an evergreen contract and never expires,” Waage said.

District counsel Ray Biering said the provision is merely in place to reflect existing law and is no different than the terms agreed to by other public employees.

“It is not an evergreen provision,” Biering said. “Evergreen provisions are no longer permitted in public contracts.”



The saddest part to this most recent problem is that ” We the People have Lost Control of the Democratic Process”.

Elected leaders have stopped listening to the Citizen Voters.


Lost? No! We gave it up! And now that we have an opportunity to take it back at the most basic level (and most important IMHO) , the local level, how much do you want to bet nothin’ happens? NOTHING!

They stop listening only because we’ve given in too many times to be taken seriously by these shysters; our words have no substance, no power, no real influence over anything any more! We’ll moan, groan and bitch for a time then complacency sets right back in and they just hit the mute button on us, once again!

Adam Hill took advantage of his position by using it to post his “:dark humor”! Do you actually think if you or I would have submitted that piece of bullshit to the NT it would have been published? Not! His position of Supervisor got it published!

This wasn’t “dark humor” on display, it was the clear definition of who this man is; a narcissistic, apathetic power monger who feels he can say or do whatever he wants.

In every thing I’ve read coming from this man’s mouth the one thing missing has been an apology to those he marginalized in his little foray into “dark humor”, or for that matter, to all of us who saw it as something more! No, he did what we’ve given him and every other politician the license to do; bluster and threaten!

Just Sayin’….


Like and Join our FaceBook page “Team Adam Hill Watch.”


Ms. Caren Ray will create a separation as much as possible until the June election is over on minor issue to fool the public. When you are “one” with Gibson and Hill you can play this game to “low information voters” and pretend. The many that are aware of the tight relationship with Hill will not be fooled. The day that the APCD this past summer did not meet, Hill was spotted publicly with Ms. Ray. Hill and Gibson were unable to meet, ill? or just manipulating the APCD vote?

That is correct, manipulating the vote because of Larry Allen’s contract these two wanted to get Mayor Peterson off the APCD and they did in a dramatic way. Remember they eat their own, Peterson is a Democrat just like Ray, Hill and Gibson. Oh yeah! That is another item that joins them at the hip and Caren is no Peterson.

Gibson, Hill and Ray must go. In June those of us that can vote against Gibson and Ray must do so.


Not sure how this has any bearing on the story. Apparently you consider yourself a high information voter as you spread your Compton/Byrd talking points of trying to brand Ray with Hill and Gibson. You clearly have some inside knowledge of this tight relationship. Please share.

From words and votes, this does not appear to be the case. Everyone thought APCD vice chair Hill would be chair. As a high information voter, I am surprised that you did not note that Hill was passed over by his buddies.

Rhetoric is not reality.


I tend to agree with you on Ms. Ray. The only information I received so far was a small card dropped off by a young volunteer for Ms. Compton, it has some good information but more information would be nice and the young worker was nice but had little additional information on Lynn Compton. I hope to read more on her and any other’s running. I will be looking very closely at Ms. Ray and I too am worried about and her coffee partners during APCD meetings, and real explanation about this is needed before I can seriously consider voting for her, not some weak “I didn’t know anything about this” or such for her.



An open mind to consider all the candidates actions, experience and positions is what this county needs to get the best leadership.

From what I can tell Compton nor Byrd have any legislative experience with local issues nor present any paso room or platform.

I doubt we will ever someone tell what was the subject of a coffee meeting half a year ago. I do know she was not a Supervisor at that time and many were encouraging her to submit her name. It would not surprise me if he was doing that to. It is Adams way to think he can control and influence everything. I have not seen reality to be that way. Why he skipped APCD we can all reasonably guess as to the answer.


I do have to think if she is such a knowledgeable and experienced person in the world of politics she would have known her coffee partner should have been at his meeting instead of trying to talk her into submitting her name. So either she wasn’t aware of it, so her knowledge is limited or was and didn’t have a problem with him missing the meeting, I would enjoy a straight answer from her on this issue and if she decides not to answer that says plenty to me.


Also given what some of those who have had “legislative experience” have done once elected, maybe we have had enough political people and what we need is real work experience and to know what is like to work in the private sector and not a “well versed” political person. Those types have created enough problems for us.

Kevin Rice

The “experience” line is used when your guy had it and the other guy doesn’t. Hill had no experience when he was elected. Now everyone on that side changes their tune. It’s a canard.


No, it is an example of what you get when you make decisions without regard to experience and a visible record. You get Hill and you get Obama and now for nor other reason than the letter next to the name you think the county needs another partisan hack.

That’s the difference here, I’m arguing for good government for all the district and you are working on a vendetta and a limited focus issues that are important to you

Kevin Rice

It ain’t the letter. It’s the person.

I support both Compton (R) and Byrd (D). Those inclined towards letters should consider either one, but not Ray who is a vote for empowering Hill/Gibson.

I’m working on good government in SLO County. The limited focus of this issue is a red flag of a much larger problem. Dismissing single issues is ignorance of red flags (i.e., Hill’s fraudulent impersonating phone call.)


Please expand. I see you are against the person and that seems to be the basis of your position. You are not for someone, you are against someone, destructive, not productive.

So how does Ray empower Hill/Gibson?

Byrd is not a D he is decline to state so it would make sense that he will lack party support.

Watching Red Flags is great. You have a sharp focus on the APCD because it impacts your personal off roading agenda. That’s great, I would not even begin to enter a discussion there because would be far outmatched.

The role is broader than that.

Kevin Rice

Byrd is, in fact, a Dem. Who’s telling you otherwise? You are misinformed.


Kevin, the candidate says otherwise as well as his web site. You are misinformed.

Kevin Rice

I say again, it is your error. Mike Byrd is a Democrat and he has made no contrary statement.

This debate is easily settled by consulting recent and historical voter registration data, which I posses. You may inquire with the County Registrar of Voters to assuage your misinformation. You may also contact Mike Byrd directly as I just did to inform him of your mistaken impression.


Not really, often elections come down to voting for a lessor of two evils of at least known evil vs hopefully not, and sometimes that doesn’t work out, such as in Mr. Hill’s case. And in such cases the only option is at the next election remove the now known bigger evil. And hopefully the voters become wiser and ask the right questions so “Mr. Hill’s” never happen again.


I can certainly agree with that.

That’s all I’m advocating. Look at the reality not the rhetoric. There will be a lot of it I’m sure.

I have seen nothing from Ray but a hard working person who does her homework, listens to people, challenges staff, and works for consensus not party politics. That is what I expect no matter what the party.

Kevin Rice

The “lesser evil” problem stems from parties not forwarding the best candidates. Those with party affiliations should attend their County Central Committee meetings and demand the best person, not the most electable.

Party candidates tend to be extremely partisan, which is the opposite of good governance for all, and the source of much rancor. Parties are only concerned with “taking back the majority”.

In this election, Dems should be endorsing Mike Byrd. He has far better leadership qualities and more ethical motivations than Ray. Just watch, though, as the Dems and the entrenched power structure will repudiate and ignore him. Opportunity lost.

Go to those Central Committee Meetings and write letters and demand better. You should get to know Byrd and I know he’d speak to anyone.


To start with the BOS is intended to be non partisan. That being said certain view points tend towards certain parties. Properly an individual on the BOS is beholden to there constituents and not a special interest group or powerful supporter.

With regard to Byrd, he is not a Dem, he chose decline to state, so it would make sense he is getting no traction with the party.

As one can discern nothing about him from anything published maybe you can clarify the difference in position. I would be curious about the differing ethical motivations that you have assigned to each candidate and how you arrived at this view.

Kevin Rice


You are ignorant of the facts. Byrd is, and has been, a Dem. You need to learn a lot more about the candidates before backing Ray.



Careful with the name calling.

Show me where he says he is a dem. He has presented himself as no party affiliation. He has said this. His web site shows no party connection and states he is an independent.

Kevin Rice

There is no name calling here. Where did you get that from?

Mr. Byrd knows the office of supervisor is a non-partisan election, and if he is posturing as independently-minded that is no refutation of his party affiliation. Katcho is known as a very independent Republican and I think it would be good to elect an independent-minded person in that district. Caren Ray is highly partisan and a bad fit for the 4th District.

You can easily check with the County Registrar of Voters for party affiliations. I possess very recent and historical data and know beyond a doubt what I speak of. Call Mike Byrd yourself and become informed.


Well then, I guess Byrd is misrepresenting himself. Past voter registration does not speak to current claims. I’m sure he respond to you and you will hopefully post the response.

Then this may be a guy trying to distance himself from who he is. I think that is suspect indeed.


Again, where is the evidence of this highly partisan nature of Ray?


Oh, and your right. I misread. No name calling. Sorry


Well that is pretty limited basis to make a decision. Hill claimed publicly he had family issues to deal with, maybe a sick kid, something like that. If he told her the same thing why would she think otherwise. Remember, she was a full time teacher and on the city council. If you are looking for someone to moderate the board, I think she has shown that ability. If you want someone who will control Hill’s day to day behavior then I think you will never find a candidate

Kevin Rice

Limited basis, yes. Nevertheless, a factor.

As to appearances of moderating the board, this is election time and she is doing everything she can to appear independent and a moderator. And she should! But is it real?

There is significant indication to believe she is “hiding the marble” as to her true character, political disposition, and association with Hill. Primarily, her voting record which is no different than Hill. Also, allowing Hill to host a megabucks fundraiser at her behest.

Pulling the vote to select the APCD chair off the agenda instead of taking a public vote is another indicator. Meeting privately with Hill prior to the governor’s appointment is another.

There also exists demonstrable past ethical issues (

I don’t see ACTUAL separation between Hill and Ray beyond the contrived and postured. Though Ray isn’t responsible for Hill, Ray will bolster and empower Hill.


We let’s look at each statements.

I will accept the meeting can be a factor, although a trivial one by itself. I am not aware of any supervisor discussing details of any of there meetings. I’m sure they are many I would like to know about too if someone was able to get a photograph, that would apply to all the board.

So, you are attempting to suggest that since her appointment and up until the election she will waste over of a term so that she can jump out and be like hill. That is pretty far fetched especially if you consider her work on city council. There is no indication there. So the idea is dismiss all practical evidence for conjecture.

Speaking on conjecture, what is the significant evidence you speak of. Her voting record is no different than Frank Mecham either. Actually it’s very close to Arnold’s also, as much as she matches Gibson. The reality is that Hill will swing more to the middle when he sees things got going the way he wants. That is exactly the role you want a moderate to accomplish.

Hill was not the host, the person whose house the event was at was the host and there were a wide variety of supporters from both parties as I understand it. I realize it’s all people like Byrd have is to promote the Ray / hill association, but really?

I was not at the APCD meeting nor do I know if that was a closed session item. Are you claiming that on this 12 member board, Ray was the one who pulled the vote? How do you know this?

A meeting in broad daylight outside a coffee shop on a busy street is hardly a private meeting. In fact, it was so not private that you were able to stumble upon it and take pictures.

Fabricated news intended to serve as a political hit that you were the primary instigator of hardly serves as evidence of anything. That piece is for full of fabrication and manipulation it boarders on laughable.

I don’t see any connection other than sharing a political party and a job. I’m sure Ray has meetings with all the supervisors.

As far as empowering goes, I have seen a couple cases of Hill coming to the middle because he saw he was not going to get things his way.

Mike Byrd

Though I usually don’t participate in these kinds of discussions someone pointed out that I had been mentioned here. For the record, I have been a registered Democrat for more than four decades. Since I was 18 years old I have never been registered as anything else, including decline to state, and anyone who suggests otherwise is mistaking.

As 1inthemiddle states, this is supposed to be a non-partisan office and I’m committed to making it so. I believe God gave us brains so we could evaluate things and form our own opinions which is why I have been fiercely independent my entire life.

Some may or may not like that and some may or may not support me for that or other reasons. So be it and no hard feelings. As Popeye said, I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam. As for this discussion, I am a registered Democrat.


I stand corrected. Thank you for contributing. I hate being wrong :)


vote republican only republican help restore the permanent republican majority

Kevin Rice

This is what BOTH parties pursue, and well-describes the Dem/Ray alliance. See my post above on party candidates.

Kevin Rice

@zaphod, It seems reasonable to interpret your post which is critical of Republicans as, “Vote Democrat, only Democrat, help restore the permanent Democrat majority.”

That’s the sort of partisanship we should be avoiding. Discussing actual issues such as APCD, the reprehensible behavior of Hill, and the individual candidates’ qualities is the far more productive and honest direction we should be traveling.


I agree


The best thing we can do to correct this huge problem with Mr. Allen is top make sure Mr. Hill and Mr. Gibson’s “contacts are not extended” after their next election and possibly Ms. Ray is she doesn’t separate herself from Mr. Hill.


If the ACPD employees get a raise Allen gets the raise too and he is the one negotiating the raise?

I will have to do a little research but I seem to remember there being something in the California Government Code that prohibits that from occurring. The sheriff and district attorney can not do it because they represent the “County” as department heads. This is why negotiators independant of department heads are hired to negotiate employee contracts. Of course with these “special” boards maybe the rules don’t apply.

I do remember several years ago hearing that the LAFCO Executive Director David Church got a raise for his staff (none of whom earn six figures) but he declined a pay raise for himself citing the poor state of the economy; that is responsible leadership.

Let’s watch what Larry does shall we?


He’ll most likely take the raise as he thinks he is doing so much for the little people.


Typical government decision….reinforce failure. It’s the only way the bureaucracy has a chance to survive and possibly grow….all at our expense.

Kevin Rice


The disputed clause reads: “In the event a new contract is not entered into between the parties prior to the expiration date, the terms and conditions of this contract shall continue in effect until termination upon sixty (60) days written notice in the manner provided herein.”

“…shall continue in effect until termination…”

Sure sounds “evergreen” to me!

District Counsel Ray Biering simply blusters a lot of baloney knowing if he says it, it’s the final say. No one on the Board is going to challenge him as he is the only attorney in the room.

Biering serves Larry Allen, not the board, not the public. It’s disgusting. Oh, and he got a raise too. And his firm contributed to Adam Hill’s election. SURPRISE! Not really.


So, I take it Adam “ant” Hill voted in favor of this? You know what that was really all about don’t ya?!!!

NA, NA, NA-NA-NA! YOU CAN”T STOP ME!!!! (while thumbin’ his nose at the entire community of San Luis Obispo, don’t ya know!)

Just sayin’….


On a side note, Did anyone notice that Hill did not move I to the Chair as anticipated by the Hayward article of by Rice.

Kevin Rice

Yes, it was anticipated there would be a discussion about bumping Hill up to Chair. Each January, the first item of business is to elect new board officers.

The board decided to remove the item from the agenda and keep the current board officers (Roberta Fonzi, Chair; and, Adam Hill, Vice Chair).

Obviously because of Hill’s reckless letter to the editor, it was untenable for Caren Ray and others to cast any sort of vote which appointed Hill to anything. So by not having a vote, the Hill fanatics (Gibson/Marx/Costello/Ray/Bright) at least kept him as Vice-Chair without having to cast any vote of approval. Hill definitely shot himself in the foot with his letter.

I concede that “Hill fanatics” is strong language, but I also challenge you to find any occasion where the above five have voted differently than Hill—on this board or any other.


Let’s just hope that this “shot in the foot” translates into more back peddling away from this nincompoop.

My next question would be.. why not step down now, Adam? You can’t possibly think you are an effective part of the board anymore, can you? Don’t you think you can best serve this community by stepping aside as not to divert any more attention away from what the board is there for “…the implementation of such policies and the provision of such services that will enhance the economic, environmental and social quality of life in San Luis Obispo County.” – SLO Board of Supervisors Mission Statement

The only thing you can possibly bring from this point forward is more doubt and contempt for anything you do, represent or support.

Really, Just Sayin’…


Despite your conspiracy theory (I guess hard right-wing Roberta Fonzi was in on it too?), the reason for the continuation of Fonzi as the Chairman and Hill as Vice-Chair was exactly the same as why Bruce Gibson, who took over in mid-2013 as Chairman for Texiera on the Board of Supervisors, was nominated to continue for another year through 2014 too. Neither served a full year in the seat after replacing Texiera, and nobody on either Board felt it was fair for that to preclude them from serving an actual full year as the official Chairman. Plain and simple.

The video shows you giving public comment, so I assume you listened to the open discussion. Why misrepresent it or conveniently leave the actual facts out? Typical.

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