Controversial Morro Bay parks commissioner resigns

March 11, 2015
Aaron Ochs

Aaron Ochs


Following an organized push to oust a member of the Morro Bay parks commission because of his aggressive online antics, Aaron Ochs resigned.

A group of people demeaned by Ochs on social media for issues such as having a dirty shirt or speaking their views at public comment, planned to voice their concerns to the Morro Bay City Council on Tuesday evening. Ben DiFatta, an 81-year-old man Ochs claimed was running a criminal enterprise before Ochs taunted him for having food on his shirt, was unable to attend the meeting and instead sent a letter to the city council.

“I am Ben DiFatta from Los Osos, I am one of the people that Aaron Ochs doesn’t like what I wear to the SLO Board of Supervisor meetings and other accusations that probably may affect my reputation and my business with his accusations as reported on Facebook,” DiFatta wrote. “What he said about me and others is over the top of common sense and malice towards citizen’s of this community. I don’t want to say much more for fear that his demeanor may worsen.”

Mayor Jamie Irons said he appreciated DiFatta’s comments, but Ochs had resigned.

“I believe council was aware of his personal opinions and some public push back on his position as a Rec and Park commissioner,” Irons wrote. “Recognizing this Aaron did the honorable thing by resigning from that commission so as to remove any negative comments toward the city (implied or not) and to hold true to his beliefs and positions.”

Ochs, through Facebook and several websites, has made numerous false claims alleging specific people are felons, or diagnosed mentally ill. He has impersonated reporters. He also has frequently manipulated photos of journalists and activists on his website in order to demean them.

Ochs’ online habits led to the organized push to remove him from the city parks commission and from his seat as President of the Morro Bay Eco-Rotary.

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This will be removed, but I have to say it anyway,

I hope you all are happy, so silly, so 7th grade.

Just the start of karma. Hill, Gibson–you boneheads likely endorsed this guy for the Morro Bay post.

All I can say is that sociopaths associate with other sociopaths.

Here is a quote from the City Council minutes of the meeting where applicants for the Harbor Advisory Board were interviewed.

“The City Council interviewed the following applicants for (2) two vacant seats on the Harbor Advisory Board, one representing Waterfront Leaseholders and one representing Recreational Boaters: Rich Buquet, Jeff Eckles, Michael Fiamingo, Neal Maloney, Dana McClish and James Zuur.

Council asked for clarification on which applicants were being considered for the Waterfront Leaseholder position. Mr. Maloney confirmed he is a current Waterfront Leaseholder; Mr. Eckles recently moved his business and is no longer a Waterfront Leaseholder”

Please note that Mr. Eckles had applied for the vacant seat for a waterfront leaseholder, but he no longer met the qualifications because he held no waterfront lease.

This got posted in the wrong place – and is a response to one posted yesterday comlaining that Mr. Eckles was not reappointed to the Harbor Advisory Board; yet Ochs got a seat on another board.

Dana McClish? The tea party in A.G. McClish?

wrong, the city council strives to match the description, but not required to do so. at least one council member knew that mr. eckles still met the requirements as his shop is on the embarcadero, but she chose to play ignorant and since the new city manager couldn’t seem to make the meeting, mr. eckles was replaced….just another story of bullying. sad to see!

So here are the facts: (If you listen to the meeting, you can verify for yourself, I just did) Eckles applied for both positions, the recreational seat as well as the lease-holder seat. The bylaws of the harbor board state as follows:

“The Harbor Advisory Board shall be comprised of seven (7) voting members, four of which must be qualified electors of the City of Morro Bay. Appointments and the filling of vacancies shall be made by the City Council. Committee members shall serve at the pleasure of the City Council. The City Council will attempt to select members from the following categories:”

Please note the word ATTEMPT in the above that was copied directly from the bylaws. There have been many instances in the past where the categories were not filled if there was no one applying from that category for the seat. For instance, Bill Luffee, current chair has the category of “Marine Oriented Business”. Can you name the marine oriented business Luffee is involved with? But even then, Eckles was qualified as a recreational boater, applied as a recreational boater, yet was voted to not be appointed by a 4 to 1 vote (Headding the only one voting for him). It was council member Johnson who railroaded the initial vote through for Maloney, then voted against Eckles for the recreational seat. Eckles was well qualified and respected on the board; his colleagues on the board twice elected him Chair in 2013 and 2014 but the council majority was dead-set against him regardless of his service to the city and the board which was well acknowledged among all factions and harbor stakeholders. It just goes to show the character of this current council majority.

So Linda, or mbactivist1, please retract your sentence that “Mr. Eckles had applied for the vacant seat for a waterfront leaseholder but he no longer met the qualifications because he held no waterfront lease.” Do some fact checking before you make assumptions in an attempt to put your spin on a story. Don’t let your allegiance to the current council majority blind your objectivity and worse yet, ignore or fabricate facts.

Bottom line and FACT is this council majority gave Eckles the boot and were happy to appoint Ochs. And they were politically motivated to boot Eckles in spite of his honorable record of service to the board and the city. Now… think politics… why do you suppose the council was so anxious to boot him?

thanks mb fog for getting the specific language, should have done it myself! the whole maneuver is a pretty sad display of who is in charge of our rapidly deteriorating city!

So typical of you to not get the facts straight. Just like the Measure D opinion piece and all of your other stories you have written. For you the ends justify the means!

Still waiting for your retraction mbactivist… or is it that facts don’t matter to you- only your version of the truth? Spin at its best. You have ZERO credibility.

Once again we see the influence of Tom Jones, Adam Hill, Buce Gibson, and


Of course Ochs had to step down.

His association with the others has been exposed.

They’re not looking for any type of negative attention, and what is Aaron Ochs if not a magnet for negative attention?

I guess you never watched FOX news

One man’s lunatic is another man’s tunalic.

The citizens of Morro Bay owe Aaron Ochs and John Fennecy a debt of gratitude for bringing a splash of color and amusement to their otherwise dull, sterile lives.

Let’s hope they ARE sterile…wouldn’t want any of them to reproduce.