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.”


Don’t be too hard on the poor guy. He loses one job, and has to settle for another that only pays 77% of what he was making before. Poor thing. No flipping burgers for Jason to make a living.


SLO City Manager Katie Lichtig hired Stilwell because he was one of only two qualified candidates with very UNIQUE background and experience for this position.

That’s right there are only 2 people in the entire state of California that can do this job.

And the other one works for the city of Bell.


Woe, if that’s the case,

SLO had better hope he brings his buddies with him,

they may well be the only ones qualified to help him.


There’s nothing wrong with widening the search and looking outside of California. It’s not that unique to be able to fire employees and hire cronies. It seems more the norm in this county. It would be amazing to hire someone from outside the area who doesn’t have a crony agenda!


I still remember one of the principal arguments by Marx and her cronies to repeal arbitration was “don’t let an out of towner decide SLO budget issues”. Now they hire this out of towner to run the whole financial show. He certainly seems like he will fit right in with the level of corruption going on at city hall. As more and more honest and dedicated employees leave employment with SLO City and go elsewhere to avoid the reign of licktig they are replaced with these crooks. I wonder who the next good employee will be that gets chased out by top management so they can give the on duty diddler from arroyo grande a job supervising people. Keep voting for these clowns each election and keep approving tax measures and the SLOw voters get what they deserve.


What SLO needs is a citizen like Carolina Digiovanni Bayne who took on Stilwell and the power brokers at city hall. And to imagine that she is an octogenarian !

From the Monterey Herald News

By: Tom Leyde

Posted 10/10/14

At a Carmel Fourth of July block party, the conversation turned to local politics. That’s when Carolina Digiovanni Bayne piped in.

“I said, ‘What we need is a petition to get (city administrator Jason) Stilwell out of office,’ ” Bayne recalls. “And someone said, ‘that’s a good idea. We’ll support you.’ ”

With that, the octogenarian became the driving force behind the petition against Stilwell and an August march on City Hall demanding that he be removed from his post. Last month, Stilwell resigned.

“I became enraged about the money going out,” Bayne said. “Things were getting dicey, I thought, and I kept waiting for someone to do something about it ? and nothing happened.”

Bayne said to herself, “All right, it’s time.”

To read the full article go to …


Stop complaining on a website and start talking to and informing your neighbors and acquaintances! Bitching and moaning about how utterly incompetent the leadership of government is does NOTHING to move the needle.

I particularly like having afternoon teas with elderly couples who still think the Tribune is a reliable and trustworthy news source. That changed quite fast over the last couple years. Others, I ask simple questions like, “Does this seem right to you?” (then insert ANY of the many, many failings of our (re)elected officials).

Pointing out the truth about our local government is preaching to the choir here (except for maybe slowerfaster/ted slanders). It’s become repetitive and boring (like slow and ted’s posts), not to mention does nothing helpful.

Get out. Share your thoughts and feelings in a constructive way. Find out WHY people still vote and support these buffoons. Try to let them see beyond their safe little fictional bubble.


The problem is no one seems to own up to voting for these fools.


Interesting reads. Here is a thought, he was fired in Santa Barbara along with his cronies, he and his cronies move north to Carmel and Capitola and hire each other on. He is then fired from Carmel for misconduct again and now he is hired by the City of SLO, hmmm. We have had cops in slotown imprisoned for importing contraband into the U.S.; for blackmail, extortion, trafficking drugs and rape; we have had idiot employees revealed on this website for embezzling city assets for personal gain; employees for intentionally dumping hazardous waste (a felony) on city property; another wacko for charging people in town for the services he was paid to do by the city; an employee going postal on another employee; rumors about a Manager in HR sleeping with numerous staff members during negotiations; theft of city time for personal gain (i.e. conducting consulting work on city time); a city attorney routinely giving piss poor legal advice that continuously costs tax payers money, and much more. I think Stillwell has found his place in life. For in SLOtown you can commit any crime on city time and management will reward you.

By the way, how much did we give these misfits in raises this year.


After thinking about this business, something occurred to me. Can Katie Lichtig just go out and create a new position with $150K salary without going to the Council? I don’t think so. As I’ve heard it, anything that costs more than $25K needs Council approval. Which would mean that Marx’s comment she knew nothing about it would be … Well, what would it be? Or, maybe Katie isn’t following the rules, and if that’s the case, why isn’t Marx expressing her shock and calling for Katie’s head on a platter instead of claiming ignorance? (It’s really hard to believe she actually knew nothing till the Pine Cone reporter called her, or that anything about this hire shocks Marx. I sure would have loved to hear that phone interview!) The whole thing makes no sense, other than that it stinks. Like just about everything at SLO city hall these days. And you know something else? NONE of the Council members even have a clue how fed up residents are with the city they run. They live in some alternative universe. City hall stink is perfume in that universe.


You are right until you get to the third sentence from the end. Unfortunately, there are far too few residents of SLO who are fed up with the city they run. The recent election results are proof. A large percentage of SLO voters either do not hear about or ignore the issues of cronyism and corruption in local government.

I speculate that part of that is due to a tendency of people to not worry about things until there is a significant effect to their personal lives. There are a lot of people in SLO who only encounter minor problems in city government and tolerate them as an unavoidable side-effect of living in an imperfect society. They do not look or think much about future consequences or long-term effects of gradual negative trends.

Equally, there is a good deal of ignorance about what is going on. Part of that is due to the transient nature of the student population which largely cares less about local politics and only votes on the basis of ideologies when they vote at all. A bigger part is the lack of critical media coverage of negative issues. It is easy to not worry about problems when they aren’t thrown in your face by honest and competent investigative reporters. The biggest written source of information in the county is still the Tribune which has a “three monkeys” reporting policy. The TV stations are an even more widespread source of “News” but are limited by both limited time to present news and a need to cover attention-grabbing and emotionally stimulating items as top priorities. Nothing but the biggest and most dramatic of scandals fits that definition when it comes to government affairs.

New Times occasionally covers such items but seems to back away if CCN beats it to the punch. Congalton’s radio show covers such topics more frequently but not exclusiveley. Only CCN actually does consistent investigative reporting locally and it has 3 big drawbacks that keep it from being a widespread source of news. First, there are still many people who do not look to the internet first for a source of news. Second, the people commenting upon CCN articles are largely composed of people with a angry, bitter style of writing and a consistently negative and simplistic view of government. That is not an attraction to those with different views and they tend to ignore/reject CCN because of it. Finally, CCN itself occasionally uses unnecessarily inflammatory rhetoric in its articles and makes substantial mistakes at times and does little or nothing to retract them. Those who are in a position to recognize those errors are less inclined to trust CCN when it is right — which is most of the time.


From the last paragraph of OTOH’s post:

“Second, the people commenting upon CCN articles are largely composed of people with a angry, bitter style of writing and a consistently negative and simplistic view of government”

OTOH, don’t pan the lot of us who consistently find fault with this challenged group of city-wide as well as county-wide leaders, and don’t CONFUSE heartfelt, reasoned DISGUST with what you call a simplistic view of government. You obviously think yourself quite the genius and commentator, OTOH. This thread is about an astounding malfeasance in hiring. Too bad you find our castigations to be “simplistic”. We find our pronouncements NECESSARY, VALID, and ACCURATE.


San Luis Obispo city/county government does seem to attract more then its share of misfits, malcontents and malingerers.

“Come for the Weather, Stay for the Money”


Wow, they don’t even pretend to care what we think anymore!