Tom Geaslen’s new gig

February 23, 2015
Tom Geaslen

Tom Geaslen

Former Oceano CSD general manager Tom Geaslen is embarking on a business venture with the aim of becoming the king of short-term RV rentals. [Pacific Business Times]

Geaslen is one of the founders of Nipomo startup RVPlusYou, a business modeled after vacation rental giant Airbnb. Rather than offering listings of homes, though, RVPlusYou links vacationers with trailer owners.

The startup also hopes to avoid the tax and regulatory burdens that have recently plagued Airbnb. Cities across the country, including several on the Central Coast, are imposing bed taxes and strict usage regulations on Airbnb home rentals.

Geaslen’s company plans to circumvent anticipated challenges by requiring RV owners to drive their trailers to and from the locations where guests will set up camp. That way, RVPlusYou would avoid passing down the costs of large insurance premiums to its customers.

Geaslen is seeking investments in the business from venture capitalists and San Luis Obispo County residents. He said the company is currently in bootstrap mode, but it plans to scale nationwide and eventually to Europe.

In 2013, the Oceano Community Services District board fired Geaslen after an audit revealed that he paid himself more than $45,000 extra in salary. The board ordered Geaslen to pay back nearly $37,000.


Loading...
Vagabond

“That way, RVPlusYou would avoid passing down the costs of large insurance premiums to its customers.”

I wonder if any insurance broker would like to comment on what would happen to an RV owners policy if they filed a claim for damages while it was rented out?


Ben Daho

I’m a local businessman. I had tried to meet with the managers of the district for 7 years. Every single time myself or a colleague stopped in, we were told the same thing over and over and over “He’s in a meeting’ Regardless who’s was in the position. “in meeting” Same with Wallace. “in a meeting”. Who hires these people that are constantly in a meeting but whatever is happening in the meeting is secret and gets them fired?


Keep up the work Julie.


Pelican1

Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents.

No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no CSD

Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom

Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road.


Third boxcar, midnight train, destination, Bangor, Maine.

Old worn out clothes and shoes,

I don’t pay no union dues,

I smoke old stogies I have found short, but not too big around

I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road.


I know every investor and every game

All of their children, and all of their names

And every handout in every town

And every lock that ain’t locked, when no one’s around.


I sing, trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents

No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no

Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom

Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road.


Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents

No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no CSD

Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom

Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road


agriculture1

Tom was unfairly targeted in Oceano by a mostly disfunctional Board egged on by a hostile and politically motivated small group with other personal agendas. He is an honest individual not diserving of the implications that are implied at the end of this article. I have no idea whether his company will be successful, but I have no doubt that his integrity will never be an issue with RVPlusYou.


justbeware

How does one pay oneself an extra $45k in salary?


kayaknut

The question should be “How does an “honest” person pay onself an extra $45k in salary?”


agag1

That’s easy, they don’t.


Julie

agriculture1, what kind of Koolaid is Tom serving you? The same kind he served “disfunctional [sic] board”. Geaslen misrepresented himself to the Oceano CSD Board from the get-go. He was allowed into the office on Saturdays for weeks ahead of his hire, giving him a leg up over some really qualified competition. He had no public sector experience and used the district’s enterprise funds (water bills pay for water, sewer bills pay for sewer, trash bills pay for trash services, etc) as if they could be commingled — making a mess that was reconciled by a $770,000 inter-fund loan, costing the ratepayers 3.25% for the next 30 years.


He worked without a contract for over 10 months, putting the district (and himself) at risk.


Geaslen promised to “upright the ship” touting “Enrolled Agent” (the highest credential the IRS awards) and his ownership of a lending company as qualifications to get out of date audits done and make sense of the districts books. His EA status had been revoked for over two years before ever applying for the GM position and his lending company had not been in good standing with the state for nearly as long.


He hired consultants and staff without the proper public processes, sole sourcing and costing about $150,000 to do the books he said he would do. At one point improperly fired a disabled employee costing the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, investigators and a handsome settlement (fortunately covered by insurance, but driving premiums through the roof).


Geaslen’s “overpayment” was greed at its finest. When hired he said he wouldn’t take cell phone or health insurance stipends, he did. He stopped the board’s ability to see the payroll, only a few staff were privy to the amount he was paying himself, it was one with a pair of keen eyes that noticed the nearly year-long bi-weekly draw that triggered the return of $45K in district funds. Had they pressed charges, perhaps the district could have recovered the $28K in legal bills associated with the firing. No amount of money can overcome the collateral damage done by incompetence.


What “politically motivated small group” are you talking about that “egged on” the board? Perhaps it was the dozen or so hard working volunteers that embarked on a year-long quest to bring a Farmers Market to Oceano. Boy oh boy, weren’t they in for the let-down of their lives when the OCSD board awarded them $5,000 (from what Geaslen dubbed “excess taxes” (causing Howard Jarvis to roll in his grave) from the fire fund) and then took it away when informed citizens cried foul.


And if you’re speaking of me, my roll as activist is proven. I will always watch out for the public’s money, demand transparency and call it how I see it. Geaslen tripped the BS meter the day I asked for his non-existent contract. It began to peg out a month or so later when he cried “computer hacking” and filing a false police report to back up his reasons for not following board direction.


What I found most interesting about the article on RVPlusYou was the focus on finding loopholes and avoiding taxes. The sobering experience at OCSD doesn’t seem to have changed him much.


doglover

Are you saying that judge wanna – be Matthew Guerrero allowed Geaslens to work without even an interim employee contract


Sounds like the “ship was not righted” in Oceano.


agag1

Mr Guerrero will have much to explain regarding his time on the SLOCCSD as well.


agag1

Oops! SSLOCSD.


Julie

No contract from June 2011 to April 2012.


agag1

How does THAT get by Attorney Guerrero?


Julie

Guerrero is no expert in contract law, he is a public defender.


Can you say “irony”?


agag1

Ok, so defend the public.

Make sure there IS a contract.


falconbh

Paavo Ogren, will make Geaslen era look tame.

Lucey,Guerrero,Ogren, are running this small, poor district,into the red with reckless spending and 250,000 salary-benefits for King Ogren.


Jorge Estrada

It’s great to read the good news, especially when it creates opportunity for others. What is the writer trying to accomplish with the black eye at the end of a great news story? Could it be a watch out investors or just a break wind comment in keeping with a bad news reminder?


Mike Byrd

I can’t say for certain what happened at Oceano but I can say that I find Tom to be a bright, engaging and honest man whom I respect. I believe his new business plan will be a winner and if I had spare money laying around I would feel privileged to invest in it.


justbeware

With all due respect Mike, perhaps if you knew what happened in Oceano you would feel differently.


Has he filed a wrongful termination suit to suggest he was unfairly terminated?.


MaryMalone

If you do a search at CCN’s website, you’ll get an eye-full.


MaryMalone

@ Mike:


Here’s a URL for a CCN search with “Tom Geaslen” and “Oceano”


Mike Byrd

I understood there would be few in this audience who would agree when I posted. I’m very pleased by the civility of the disagreement, though.


I had never met Tom Geaslen. I was very much aware of the accusations and certainly not impressed by what was going on at OCSD. But then again, OCSD was dysfunctional long before he arrived and continued as such long after his departure. Their history of churning through managers like a teenager through pizza led me to believe there was more to the story.


I’m now convinced there was more to the story. I’ve since had the opportunity to meet Tom and to personally observe his character and his untold contributions to Nipomo and other areas.


As I said initially, I cant speak to what did or didn’t occur during his tenure at OCSD. All I can comment on is the man I know today.


OnTheOtherHand

I haven’t seen anything to convince me yet but I am open to listen as I have found some CCN articles either poorly researched or reported with an unjustifiable bias.


Mr. Holly

Will this deal include the 101 Santa Maria Bridge to link the 2 counties?


jonhartz

Run. Like hell.


T-Bone

In my humble opinion anybody who invests money with this fool is looking to lose that money. If he’s willing to bilk the good folks of Oceano out of that money by trying to pay himself money that he didn’t deserve, then he sure as hell is going to try and grab somebody else’s money that invests with his company. Buyer Beware. What a CREEP!


justbeware

Sign me up!


NOT!!!