Guadalupe council angered by disincorporation pitch

April 16, 2015
Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter

Guadalupe City Council members are not happy with the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury’s recommendation to disband their city.

The Guadalupe City Council met Tuesday, shortly after the release of a grand jury report that describes city finances as a shell game and calls for the disincorporation of Guadalupe. Some council members called the grand jury report a “witch-hunt.”

Members of the council alleged the grand jury report was motivated by South Santa Barbara County interests. It also lacked substance, they said.

“They don’t know Guadalupe,” Councilman Ariston Julian said of the grand jury.

The grand jury report says Guadalupe has a history of unsustainable deficit spending and mismanagement by council members and staff who are uninterested, overworked or unqualified. The report also takes aim at the city’s longstanding practice of improper inter-fund transfers.

Last year, city administrator and former San Luis Obispo councilman, Andrew Carter, informed the Guadalupe council that city officials had been using illegal accounting tactics to cover up a structural deficit in the city’s general fund. For more than a decade, the city had been transferring money from special tax-based funds and enterprise funds, like water and sewer, to back fill general fund expenses.

Carter’s discovery revealed that the city had an ongoing deficit of about $725,000.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Carter said the grand jury report reveals nothing city officials do not already know and are working to fix. Everything talked about in the report was information city officials gave them, he said.

Carter also said Gaudalupe is back on solid ground. He plans to deliver a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Gaudalupe voters passed three tax measures last November after Carter announced the city was running out of cash. The grand jury report says the increased revenue from the tax measures allows Guadalupe to limp along but does not provide enough money to fund essential changes to city operations.

The Grand Jury gave the Guadalupe City Council 90 days to respond to its report. The council decided Tuesday that Carter will work with the city attorney and two council members to write an official response to the grand jury report.

Don’t miss links to breaking news stories, like CCN on Facebook.



  1. hijinks2 says:

    When Andy Pandy says he has it under control it simply means that the spin factor is at work. The report clearly defines illegal accounting practices and procedures and andy claims he is a financial wiz. Maybe some distant relative will pass away and bail andy out again financially.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Gordo says:

    isn’t Guadalupe the city that hired former Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gary Hoving as their Public Safety Director? How much did that cost them? I can’t imagine a man of Hoving’s stature going to work at Guadalupe for anything less than a six figure salary..*cough..*cough..

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. falconbh says:

    Oceano Community Services District time is coming when this house of cards, built by Guerrero, Lucey, Paavo, is going to come crumbling down on top of them. Just like in Bell, and other places, they think they can beat the law. The ratepayers deserve justice in Oceano.

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

    Andrew Carter came in guns a blazin’ and pointed out several very important problems with good old Guad and now pledges to come forward with a balanced budget. Black hat white hat black hat white hat.

    Climbing up the policitcal rungs!!

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  5. achillesheal says:

    Of course they are angry. If the recommendations are followed their gravy train is over.

    As Mel brooks said in blazing saddles, “we’ve got to protect our phoney baloney jobs”.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  6. taxpayer says:

    I would love to see the San Luis Obispo Grand Jury do an investigation of the City of Morro Bay’s finances for the last few years.

    (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      I’m fairly certain that ANY investigation to almost ANY public sector “enterprise” would turn up discrepancies that private sector enterprises would be in trouble over. SLO City, SLO County, MB, A-town, you name it.

      We have LONG AGO stopped electing our best and brightest. Hell, I am not even sure we have “best and brightest” anymore; rather, we just lowered the acceptable norms of best and brightest.

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
    • mbactivist1 says:

      Make that the last 10 years and I’ll definitely support the idea.

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
      • panflash says:

        Make it the last 20 years and I’m on board as well.

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • MajorityFan says:

      Of course that means unearthing some rotten eggs from previous council. Bring it on!

      (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
    • Gordo says:

      Amen! There is a city that has been playing fast and loose with the rules for years.
      They are facing a terrible budget shortfall if they don’t make some radical changes soon.
      their contracting out dispatching police servcies to the sheriff is one step in the right direction. Another would be to disband the police and fire and contract for services to the sheriff and cal-fire. the size of the city does not justify the overhaed that exists in those two departments and it could be done in a more cost effective manner.

      The other thing that should be done is an audit of how they spent their redevelopment funds.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  7. bobfromsanluis says:

    Andrew Carter probably was a bit overwhelmed at the financial situation in Guadalupe when he took over as the new City Administrator, but he has always seemed to me to be someone not afraid to do the hard work, to make the hard choices, and above all, get the job done. Sounds to me like that is exactly what he is doing now, but the Grand Jury isn’t giving him and the city enough time to finish what he has started. I do remember reading here on CCN that he identified and publicized the financial mess he took over, and again, it looks by all accounts like he is doing what needs to be done. Perhaps after he finally rights the ship of the city of Guadalupe he can take over for Katie Lichtig and whip San Luis Obispo’s finances back into shape. I would just hope when he does come back to SLO that we finally get a competent city attorney ….

    (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      I sure hope that is the case, for the folks of Guadalupe. Even if it is the case, the solution is going to be painful, and if history (especially politics) is any indicator, this will just become a can to kick down a road.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  8. TacomaRose says:

    Ill bet Carter is sweating that he will lose his gravy train

    (-13) 23 Total Votes - 5 up - 18 down
  9. Ben Daho says:

    “They don’t know Guadalupe” Um, yes, they do hence the recommendation. Everyone wants heads to roll when there is allegations of foul play, mismanagement, Etc. until the fingers apparently point to the people with the authority or responsible party.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down

Comments are closed.