Clean house, oust Wallace Group and Seitz
January 14, 2015
OPINION BY TOM SALMON
The Los Osos CSD, Avila Beach CSD, and Santa Rita Hills CSD’s should keep a close eye on how the recent election and change in make-up of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District (SSLOCSD), is bringing about change in that district.
With the election of write in candidate, Jim Hill, now serving as Mayor of Arroyo Grande, a voice for change has come to the SSLOCSD. Hill has asked for a forensic audit into the practices of the district under the previous management of its district engineer, Wallace Group. A company owned by the one-in-the-same District Administrator, John Wallace.
Hill has influenced the immediate halt to litigating against the State Water Board and asked for the performance review of the district’s legal counsel, Michael Seitz.
The district’s mentioned above are also served by the duo of Wallace and Seitz in similar capacities as at SSLOCSD. It is my experience, having carefully watched the practice of these two firms in Los Osos since the CSD was formed, that the brotherhood of ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’ is alive and well and living comfortably on the public dole.
The breath of fresh air coming from Hill in the south county raises hope that one man really can make a difference. I don’t know who that man would be at the Los Osos CSD but with a recent election upsetting the status quo, I ask that each one of our board members consider taking a page from Hill’s playbook.
I have had many informative conversations in recent years with LOCSD Director Mike Wright, about this issue, and was informed the LOCSD has had this under consideration. Now, there is an incredible opportunity to use the additional information to complete a audit of Wallace and Sietz.
The citizens demand to have periodic reviews of all outside contracts, these vendors have been deeply involved with every terrible decision of wasted revenue for over 15 years.
There is $27 million gone, partially because of these contractors. Why does this LOCSD board refuse to “look” to help repair this community?
Step up, be an honest representative of the people, make the same bold moves — call for an audit, get out of the litigation business.
But instead take it one step further — oust Wallace Group and Seitz from the district.
The team has been in place for far too long here in Los Osos; years of billable hours and millions of dollars spent investigating the obvious, their inaction has bankrupted our water basin allowing pumping practices to draw in seawater and letting the county dump a hundred million gallons of “our” treatable water in the bay.