SLO hires controversial financial planner

January 16, 2015
Jan Marx

Jan Marx

San Luis Obispo has hired a former Carmel city administrator who left under allegations of misconduct as its interim director of information technology.

San Luis Obispo is paying Jason Stilwell $11,888 per month for leading the 2015-17 financial plan development, according to Stilwell’s contract with San Luis Obispo. The contract was signed on Dec. 18.

In Oct., Stilwell resigned after a three-year stint as Carmel’s city administrator. During that time, Stilwell fired several longtime Carmel city employees, hired former friends and colleagues and awarded lucrative contracts to former cronies. The city of Carmel recently reached settlement agreements with three of the employees terminated by Stilwell that include both cash payouts and the offer of new jobs.

As part of Stilwell’s six-month contract with San Luis Obispo, Stilwell will receive $1,255 per month for family health coverage and paid holidays.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Howell Marx told the Carmel Pine Cone that the city’s finance director had given Stilwell’s hiring his blessing.

“We’re heading into a two-year budget cycle, so the IT area needs more hands-on attention, and the financial planning is something that we really need help in right now,” Marx told the Carmel Pine Cone. “This is an administrative position — this is not something that came to city council at all. I just know about it because I’ve been informed that it happened.”


Competent mayors would be embarrassed to say they didn’t know anything about the “hire” until after the fact, but community organizers like Jan Marx take their lead from President Obama who “doesn’t know anything until he reads it in the newspaper”. Maybe Jan will get a local folk singer to perform at the next City council with an “I didn’t know” song.


I think you make a mistake in assuming Obama “doesn’t know anything until he reads it in the newspaper.” That is almost always a public relations BS answer. Except for the low-level scandals, he knows. PR people are good at gauging how to manipulate public opinion with spin and also at knowing that the public is going to quickly forget about many topics once something newer and bigger comes to their attention.

I suspect that the same is true of Marx.


That is after the show in Morro Bay, with our USELESS mayor and council majority.


should fit right in.


Aside from the obvious absurdity of this hire, there’s something fundamentally wrong with the very idea of it, and this indicates how totally mismanaged and mis-led this city has become. The city is in the midst of drawing up a budget for the next 2 years. So they go to an outsider, somebody who knows nothing about SLO, who knows nothing about the city’s needs, knows nothing about its residents and their aspirations, and gives that outsider ignoramus the duty to pull together a budget? Does this make any sense at all? This city has gone off the deep end.

As for Marx’s inane comments, this is what you get when you’ve got a city council and mayor who allow themselves to be led around by the nose by the city manager. They have no clue who’s supposed to be in charge. Katie Lichtig can do whatever asinine thing she wants, and they do NOTHING about it. She can ignore their directives, and they do NOTHING about it. We need a new council. We need a new city government. One that works and one that looks out for residents. And Katie Lichtig must go!

PS. And they pay this jerk $150K to come from Carmel, where they rode him out of town on a rail. That’s the crowning obscenity.


To add: The city has a finance director, whose job it is to draw up the budget. So, what’s going on here? Is the finance director incapable of doing his job? Or is Lichtig just pulling something? There have been numerous finance directors since she came on board. Something’s rotten in Lichtig Town.

mb business owner

monica irons oversees hiring in slo, maybe she gave her husband mayor jeremy irons similar advice in morro bay for hiring practices. in morro bay the most recent move is to consolidate departments with no forethought or analysis, at the same time you have paid a profession firm 85K to “assess” the city structure, hire the mayors friend to teach staff how to use facebook (yes, and stop laughing), dump the city clerk for a favored employee and verbally abuse a neighboring governmental entity, all within 3 months, can’t wait to see what is next.


Here we go again – more sour grapes from the people booted out of City government in 2012 – and soundly rejected again in the 2014 election. The old guard seems to be getting pretty desperate in its attempts to find excuses to attack the people who replaced them.

To suggest that Morro Bay city departments were consolidated with no forethought or analysis is utter nonsense. The analysis has been going on since we finally got competent City managers – starting with the work of former interim City Manager Ed Kreins, and continuing with Dave Buckingham. Clearly, the City has decided to bring in a professional to help them find even more opportunities to increase efficiency and productivity. Nobody under the old (pre-2012) administration ever seemed to care how much taxpayer money was being wasted. The people in charge now actually care about spending our money wisely. What a concept!

It’s hard to understand how anyone could be unaware that use of Facebook by City Governments to communicate with residents is commonplace. Welcome to the 21st century. Here are a few examples of other cities using Facebook:

To maintain such communication channels, Morro Bay City staff obviously have to know how to USE this communication channel.

Dump the City Clerk for a favored employee? Guys, the City Clerk is retiring – no secret there. The person taking over is the former Assistant City Clerk – and no more favored than any other hardworking employee, including the person who’s retiring.

Verbally abusing neighboring governments? I assume you refer to the characters who have been responsible for the wasting of a huge amount of Morro Bay taxpayer money through their insistence on a full investigation of a crazy scheme to send Morro Bay sewage to the CMC for proecessing, and have otherwise cost Morro Bay taxpayers a fortune over the years. Verbal abuse? I’d say our Council and staff have been incredibly tolerant and kind.


Wow, Lots of questions about what is going on in MB? Anybody taking a look at that?


CORRUPTION=Mayor Jamie Irons of Morro Bay, Monica Irons, Katie Lictig, Christine Johnson and Noah Smuckler. PERIOD. Of course they all happened to be huge fans of the recently ousted mayor of Arroyo Grande as well as Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill. Nuff said.


Many years ago, wasn’t there a slo city administrator Don Stilwell? Is this guy related? I heard Don Stilwell was later (well after leaving slo) accused of some sort of real estate fraud in FL. I do not know if he was convicted or not.


County, not city.


This is Derek Johnson’s buddy from Santa Barbara. They were all dismissed from Santa Barbara for being abusive managers according to various lawsuits filed against Santa Barbara. However, this is exactly what heir marx and heir litchig want working for her.

Absolute bullshit. Cronies hiring their cronies,


Can you refer us to the lawsuits or the news accounts of them?


These lawsuits don’t exist. I looked. Come on people, stop making stuff up.


The lunatics have taken over the asylum….Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results….here we go again!


Gee this guy’s history in Carmel sounds a lot like the history of SLO since Katie Lichtig came to power – senior staff are all gone and replaced by her friends/colleagues with huge salaries, JAN MARX OUR MAYOR DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT? “This is not something that came to city council at all. I just know about it because I’ve been informed that it happened.”

Could it be Katie didn’t want to tell you?

Who’s da boss?

Um, I thought there had to be a review/hiring process for personnel at the city, ie the city posts the job, people apply, resumes are reviewed and the best ones are interviewed and someone is hired. I thought that was why we have civil service laws to prevent cronyism and favoritism.

Has Katie Lichtig overstepped her authority here? I know she can spend up to a certain amount of money on things without anyone’s approval, but I think just hiring someone out of the blue without going through the posting/vetting/hiring process is over the top.

Does her contract allow her to do this? Is it in violation of our city charter, to say nothing of the aforementioned civil service laws?

We have so many qualified local people who could do this job but obviously they don’t have friends in high places.


It’s apparent that Stilwell has former friends and colleagues right here in SLO.

Jesus is the Way, Truth, Life.