San Miguel board fires district manager

September 3, 2014
SMCSD Board President Richard Harrison

SMCSD Board President Richard Harrison


Three San Miguel Community Services District Board members voted Thursday to fire their district manager. The legality of which is questionable as the meeting was not on the agenda.

On Aug. 28 at 6 p.m., four board members, Connie Jarvis was absent, met in a special meeting for a six-month evaluation of District Manager Dan Gilmore. Without taking any action, the special meeting concluded so that the regular board meeting, also on the agenda, could begin.

After the regular meeting ended, board members Gib Buckman, John Green and Anthony Kalvans agreed to reopen the special meeting, an action that an attorney from the Paso Robles firm of Carmel and Naccasha approved. (Minutes of the meeting are not yet available and staff is unsure which attorney was present.)

However, District Board President Richard Harrison objected to reconvening the special meeting because it was not on the agenda and he questioned its legality.

“It was not agendized and I said I cannot partake of this suicide,” Harrison said. “It was not right. They are three maverick musketeers.”

After Harrison left, the three board members voted to fire Gilmore without cause. Gilmore, who was paid $72,000 a year, will receive a severance equal to three months’ pay and benefits.

Harrison said the primary reason for the termination was personality conflicts between Gilmore and several board members.

Nevertheless, the district is plagued with legal issues such as grievances filed between staff and board members, allegations of theft of gas from a district tank by an employee, and arguments over the legality of changing out water meters at a board members property.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a special meeting is scheduled to discuss appointing an interim general manager and beginning the process of hiring a new general manager.

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Maybe your last sentence should read: Client control problems “because of” Carmel and Naccasha?

Obviously, they have picked up hints or were briefed by John Seitz as how to just do what you want when you want to do it and don’t worry about the serfs!

Carmel and Naccasha from Paso Robles? Thought they had office in San Luis Obispo. They are the attorneys for the Cambria CSD. The Cambria CSD Board is out of control also. Client control problems for Carmel and Naccasha?

This is how the relationship between a government entity and its attorneys works:

The folks who run the government entity (example: a board of directors or city council members) decide what they want to do and their attorneys find ways to keep them out of jail for doing it.

The attorneys don’t give a rat’s a$$ about whether what the council members or board of directors want to do harms the people the government entity is supposed to be serving because the district or the city is the one contracting with the attorneys and signing the checks paying the attorneys for their services.

The way the article reads, the special meeting WAS on the agenda. I don’t believe the Brown Act prohibits reconvening an item. But I’m certainly open to informed opinions. Off the cuff, I’d say the board did nothing wrong in reconvening.

If the Board has adjourned from the Special Closed Session with the intention of reconvening then that would be fine. What I didn’t see on the agenda was the description that would lead to termination of Mr. Gilmore (i.e “Public Employee discipline/dismissal”) which would have given the public the idea of how serious the board was taking the performance review. The public would then be able to speak directly to the immediate performance. Mr. Gilmore also had the right to ask that the item be heard in public, was he given that advice by the Carmel attorney?

I have seen Mr. Gilmore in the work environment as a GM in Los Osos, let’s just say, I didn’t think he was a good fit here and can’t imagine he’d be any better fit as GM in San Miguel or anywhere. Best of luck to you wherever you go.

Sorry, but once a meeting is concluded, the Government Code requires that the issue to be re-heard be at a NEW meeting RE-noticed at least 72 hours distant from the conclusion. There is no such thing as a “re-open”. I would love to hear C & N’s staff counsel misinterpretation of the law, in detail.

The only exception would be to convene an immediate NEW meeting where THE NEED TO ACT AROSE SINCE the original posting, and is of such an emergency nature that there is no time for the three day notice in the G code, such as if a dam has burst. Gads has everybody SLEPT through the public meeting act lectures?

Firing at an-will employee does not qualify as an emergency, unless he’s put child pornogography on the projection screen, displayed a firearm at a public meeting or some such malfeasance, and in that event the vote would have to be only to suspend the employee pending a three day noticed (albeit probably closed) meeting and hearing on his/her fitness to continue. Any reportable action would then have to be, er, reported.

Special meetings only require 24 hour notice. Ask Jamie Irons. Other than that, I agree.

Mr. Gilmore did an admirable job in San Miguel with the primary goal to better the city with new solutions. He is experienced and qualified, and was ready to make a positive difference in San Miguel. Unfortunately, his issues were due to conflict with those who wanted things to accomplish their own personal best interests, and not those in the best interest of the community of San Miguel. It is rooted in personal agendas, political connections and cronyism. Sad but true.