Grand Jury says Guadalupe shell game must end

April 14, 2015

GuadalupeThe Santa Barbara County Grand Jury recommended the city of Guadalupe disincorporate, in a report released Friday. The Guadalupe City Council has 90 days to respond to the Grand Jury recommendation.

In 2006, a grand jury deemed Guadalupe, which was founded in 1840, “a city in turmoil.” Since then, financial mismanagement and accounting practices have placed the city on the verge of bankruptcy.

“Clearly, Guadalupe continues to be a city in trouble, caused by over 12 years of repeated financial mismanagement, improper transfers of money from restricted funds to the general fund, years of deficit spending, uninquisitive and under trained city council members, and overworked employees, many of whom have or had little training or back ground for their positions,” the Grand Jury report says.

In Nov. 2014, the voters based three ballot measures that when fully implemented will bring in about $300,000 in annual revenue, or less than half of the city’s $630,000 spending deficit.

“The increased revenue from the three tax measures allows the city to limp along with day-to-day operations,” the Grand Jury report says. “It is not enough to provide funding for essential changes to city operations such as building up a reserve fund for emergencies, repairing or maintaining aging infrastructure, needed capital improvements, restoring salary or benefits to employees who have agreed to furloughs and salary cuts, or adding staff.”

The Santa Barbara Grand Jury recommends that the city disincorporate and become services area which will freeze the city’s debts at its current level of more than $726,100. The Guadalupe City Council has 90 days to respond to the report.


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12 Comments

  1. wineguyjc says:

    Good old Andrew carter couldn’t make it in the private sector, became a city council member, tried to become mayor and became the shitty administrator of Guadalupe. Well Guadalupe you got what you deserved – a worthless pile of *&(*().

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  2. achillesheal says:

    Government wastes, mismanages, pay themselves handsomely, raises taxes, rinse, repeat.

    There is no difference in Guadalupe than anywhere else.

    The years worth of taxes I finalized today probably paid for one day for Obama on Hawaii.

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  3. 65buick says:

    Just make it part of Santa Maria. Really, that’s what it is. Does Guadalupe have anything else going for it? No.

    (8) 24 Total Votes - 16 up - 8 down
    • achillesheal says:

      Sand Dunes and a buried sphinx.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
    • justbeware says:

      Strapping Santa Maria with Guadalupe and its’ problems would be much the same as making Grover Beach or Arroyo Grande take on the Train wreck aka Oceano.

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  4. justbeware says:

    Take note Matt Guerrero, Mary Lucey and the rest of the board at OCSD, this WILL be you before too long! How will your overpriced Paavo help you then?

    (24) 42 Total Votes - 33 up - 9 down
    • FairAndBalanced says:

      Oh good grief, look at Los Osos, and it only has a CSD. When the bankruptcy first hit, the charges were $44 million, and over the years it fell to $4 million or some such. They survived!

      (-15) 23 Total Votes - 4 up - 19 down
      • Julie says:

        Why did LOCSD survive bankruptcy?
        Because they were able to tap the $2M of SRF funds to cover legal bills, raised rates and had a valuable asset (the Garbage Franchise)
        to sell to the county who was a willing buyer.

        Will LOCSD survive on its own?
        Making decisions without the public will hurt their chances.
        Moving the meeting location. Moving the office. Making a cell tower deal. Reducing committee’s to quarterly isn’t helping.

        Distracted on things have that have nothing to do with their core mission; i.e WATER, costs us all.

        (0) 20 Total Votes - 10 up - 10 down
        • FairAndBalanced says:

          Does Guadalupe have 15 lawsuits against it? Maybe it doesn’t need the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyers to defend its actions from lawsuits from the angry Water Board, the angry State (SRF loan default) and the angry citizens that now pay on two wastewater projects but get only one? The article didn’t say anything about lawsuits, AND, this is just a Grand Jury Report.

          We can see how the SLO County Grand Jury report charging the LOCSD Board in 2006 for lack of transparency amounted to no change whatsoever in Board Behavior. It was repeated on a later lawsuit with McPherson’s group, PZLDF, the citizens never found out what they were actually billed for.

          That Grand Jury found, “Since public funds were used to settle the five lawsuits, the Grand Jury feels that the public has a right to know what legal services were rendered and billed, and if the billings were proper.”

          The billings were so redacted the public never found out what they had actually paid for, the Board never did say. Yet, the Board continued and here we are today.

          I feel we don’t know enough from the article to see if Guadalupe can rescue itself or not.

          But it looks to me like the CSD is doing fine now that it is out of bankruptcy. Public input will come at the proper time. And it takes a lot more than a perceived lack of public input to dissolve a CSD.

          (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
      • ThomasAquinas says:

        Lynette, Los Osos is not in good shape, the LOCSD has lost everything but being over staffed, over stuffed unprepared and being subjected to incompetent representatives. Your husband being a director has only made things worse. Bad government is just that,BAD, and when people like you with a devious objective, and portray all is well, that is just wrong.
        I do find it comical that you are using the FOX News symbolism of fair and balanced. When they have brought us such poor behavior from small minded people such as _______. Just pick one. Now go settle down and enjoy that umbrella drink…..

        (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • falconbh says:

      When will the SLO grand jury or state take action in Oceano !

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  5. taxpayer says:

    This sounds very much like the current Morro Bay City Council. Maybe the San Luis Obispo Grand Jury should look into their dysfunctional procedures.

    (11) 31 Total Votes - 21 up - 10 down

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