Playing the racist card

April 10, 2015
Julie Tacker

Julie Tacker

OPINION By JULIE TACKER

Are two members of the Oceano Community Services District Board trying to stop the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District from performing a managerial audit by attempting to connect citizen volunteers to dozens of racist emails?

On February 18, the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District embarked on the hiring process in which a consultant will perform the long awaited audit of management practices for the period of 2004 through February 2013, this was the time frame in which the district’s reserves were dramatically depleted. At the following meeting, March 4, the board appointed a nine member citizen committee to review the proposals from qualified consultants that are expected to be returned by April 13.

These citizen volunteers were not required to fill out an application form, provide any biographical background or meet any specific criteria, including whether or not the members reside in the district since the committee’s work will only take a few weeks, there really is no need for strict criteria or qualifications. Most of the volunteer citizens chosen have simply been involved participants in district meetings for many months. But, if calculated, their collective brainpower and experience is impossible to quantify, the sanitation district is very fortunate to have dedicated community members willing to step up at this time to help out.

Over the past several months, the districts highly regarded Plant Superintendent, John Clemons, has been sent many harassing emails peppered with raciest comments from an email account that shares an IP address (a unique string of numbers that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol network) with the former sanitation district superintendent, Jeff Appleton and his group, the “South County Oversight Group.” It appears the South County Oversight Group has a membership of one or two, Appleton and/or his wife Casandra.

The plot thickened at the sanitation district’s last meeting when Oceano Community Services District Board President Mary Lucey and board member Matt Guerrero tag-teamed a disturbing line of discussion suggesting members of the sanitation district citizen committee may be part of the Appleton’s oversight group. The two alluded to a brief South County Oversight Group Facebook page devoted to sanitation district matters and speculated that some of the district RFP committee members may have “liked” the page. “Liking” a page on Facebook does not make one part of a group; it merely allows their content to enter your Facebook feed.

Guerrero represents OCSD on the SSLOCSD board of directors and stated from the dais, “ it has become a concern with what’s happened with the email that was sent or emails that were sent by the South County Oversight Group and whether or not there are members in this committee that are part of that group.”

Later, Lucey went to the podium and stated, “Due to some of the information that’s been, um, starting to come to the surface regarding, uh, oh a private group you know that’s not public, that’s closed to the public, and has no transparency, known as the South County Oversight Committee and some of the crimes that have occurred under the name of Trinity Neo, um, several different government entities that have been receiving these correspondences for a number of years are now, uh, starting their own investigations and so since this body tried in the interests of the people to put together a community advisory body that would you know make it little bit more transparent, a little more inclusive and try to move our district forward. It’s kind of been slapped in the face and it’s been extremely counterproductive and I’m sure that there are some good people that have been involved but the reality is there are a lot of bad people that have caused a lot of damage and destruction particularly to the san district to the OCSD to Los Osos, you know the farmers market and I could go down the line to projects we’ve lost behind this cover for basically hate crimes. Several of the participants in this oversight committee are belonging to this community advisory board that you have. I would suggest you put this topic on your agenda for closed session because there will be litigation attached to it and um that way you can maybe get ahead of the curve and try to undermine damage and try to put out there what the intent of the inclusion of the community was to begin with and it certainly wasn’t this. So thank you.”

Presiding officer, Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill, responded to Lucey saying, “Thank you. I’m a bit confused by your comment in that I reported to the Arroyo Grande Police the issue with the inappropriate emails that you may characterize that is potentially a hate crime and I’m not aware of any individual within the group that we’ve asked to review. Is that what you’re talking about?”

Lucey responded, “I’m saying that you have this anonymous, you know, private group over here that is integrated into your advisory body. Many of the members are the same.”

Hill, “I’m not aware that that is the case.”

Lucey, “Until that can be proven… Until that can be proven I would ask that you take into consideration your involvement with the community oversight committee because. I know that from our district we’re looking at IP numbers and the numerous correspondences we have gotten and I know that several other departments are also looking and there is, you know, there are two protected classes in the emails that I have read that it’s a criminal, you know, crime and so I would ask that you stay ahead of the curve, not get caught up in it. Remove yourself as far as you can from it and if you have members who are in both groups then sever those ties or maybe clear that there is no association but at this point it looks like guilt by association.”

Hill, “I don’t really know how to respond to that. There’s been some very…”

Lucey, “This has been going on for years and years (unintelligible).”

Hill, “There has been some thorough investigation too by the police department.”

Lucey, “On just a set of emails. Just a set. There are several government entities that also have gotten aggressive, you know, I’m not going to characterize what each correspondence said, but I know that, I know that we have hundreds over at the OCSD. There are other agencies that have 50 to 100 in those entities. I’m saying we’re all looking and looking back on how these were sent and distancing ourselves, and if there’s litigation, so be it, there’s litigation. I’m saying, ‘as a district protect yourself’. Make sure you’re as far away from the situation as possible. That’s all I’m trying to say and that would be discussed in closed session.”

Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach Police Chiefs, City Clerks and the OCSD General Manager have been asked if Lucey’s assertion that there is an investigation ongoing has been denied by all parties. The assertion that anyone associated with the citizen committee is a member of South County Oversight Group and “guilty by association” is beyond absurd and not one minute of ratepayer time and money should be spent on “investigating” it.

Lucey owes these fine volunteers a formal apology and it should be done in public for all to hear.

Let the committee do its work, hire an auditor, investigate into why the 16-year trend of funding reserves every year stopped in 2004 and the plant lost $500,000 to $2,000,000 a year until 2013. Get to the bottom of what went wrong, and hold those responsible accountable, so history will not be allowed to repeat itself.


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24 Comments

  1. cathy says:

    The room is empty at district meetings.

    There is more interest in personal attacks that actually conducting business to benefit the people and the district. If a person tries to become involved and expresses an idea or opinion different than another there is no tolerance or respect for someone else’s ideas or views. I know I gave up the battle long ago of trying to be an involved citizen. My husband has a saying I have found to be true. “You can’t beat the goofy bastards.”

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
    • Julie says:

      You’re right Cathy, it doesn’t matter if you’re a resident of Oceano or somewhere else,
      if you buck anything the board does, they’ll find some reason to cast off your views.

      (-18) 24 Total Votes - 3 up - 21 down
      • Mudslide says:

        My intrepatation of cathy’s post is that the folks from Los Oses are the ones who demean the folks who express opposing positions to theirs. I have witnessed the Tacker gang demeaning people who may not be as adept at articulating their concerns as the “professional” podium speakers. It’s the Tacker/Edwards who humiliate other commenters from the podium. Just because YOU don’t understand someone’s testimony: it doesn’t make the person speaking “stupid” it makes the person who doesn’t understand, the ignorant one. Yet they are ridiculed & snickered at by the outside agitators. This is what discourages our real ratepayers from participating. Oceano residents don’t want to be in the same room as Tacker/Edwards. They ARE THE REASON our ratepayers do not want to attend. NOT because of the Board. We support our board!

        (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
        • Julie says:

          Who said anyone was “stupid” or “ignorant”? Nor do I “ridicule” anyone.

          I do criticize the Board and/or some members and staff — fair game when playing with the people’s money.
          Or in the case of Mary Lucey, and the OpEd, her attack on the citizen committee at the San Dist.
          Oh dear Mudslide, there’s no one participating but Tacker & Edwards. Those that are local get lost in the the meeting format that is so screwed up it
          immediately disenfranchises anyone who tries.

          As I recall, the last time Cathy was at a OCSD meeting she asked about the 2010
          $250,000 software purchase and all the buzz about ‘getting out of the contract.’
          No such attempt was made; her question went unanswered. The Tyler 5-year contact is up and the software is now paid for.
          Joslyn learned to like it and as far as I can tell, Paavo is using it. They are faced with ongoing expenses associated with it,
          but just like so many other decisions OCSD has made,
          they have to pay and pay and pay to save face on their bad financial decisions.

          The most glaring is and continues to be the jetter/new truck/Class A licenses debacle.

          If you “support” your board, I encourage you to try to participate.
          See how you are forced, like I am, to read everything before the staff report
          is given and know when it’s the “right” time to speak and you can only speak for 6 minutes total during the whole meeting.
          I’m pretty sure, this is much of what Cathy is referring to. But, hey, Cathy, please clarify.

          (-16) 18 Total Votes - 1 up - 17 down
          • cathy says:

            It’s actually both Julie.

            I think the board has failed in some aspects and did well in others. My biggest disappoint was actually when a backroom agreement between board members was made to appoint Rick Searcy.

            I do think too much money is spent in such a small district where the people paying are mostly those who are in very low income brackets.

            Regardless, it is thankless job.

            Meetings became intolerable for me after listening to the same pitch for the airport over and over again. Using our time to make personal attacks. There can be attacks against policies without the mud slinging that takes up time. About the time Jeff cruelly called an elderly sick woman Jabba the Hut I knew I didn’t want to be there anymore.

            (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
            • Julie says:

              Fair statements.
              I appreciate the clarification.

              I can not and wont defend how others behave. I’m only responsible for myself.

              My frustration level went off the charts when I learned
              that our backgrounds had been checked with your ratepayer dollars.
              Ridiculous!

              (-12) 14 Total Votes - 1 up - 13 down
  2. Pelican1 says:

    And the hypocrisy hits just keep on coming. It’s got a good beat, and it’s easy to dance to…..I give it a 10.

    (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
  3. Mudslide says:

    “The Race Card”
    What exactly is “the race card”? I’ll get to that later, (as the author never did). but first – I’d like to point out that Tacker ends her “opinion” piece by saying in effect: Don’t look into this any further … It’s just these two individuals … It would be a waste of money, etc. This seems quite suspicious to me. It’s like saying: don’t look AT ME ! Look over there at the APPLETON’s – don’t look here!

    Why not, what are you afraid we will find when we do look? Someone is trying to hide something. This is a matter that your own J. Hill took to the police! Of course, it should be investigated to the fullest extent. BTW – “investigate” means “to carry out an inquiry to discover and examine the facts of an incident or allegation so as to establish the truth”. It doesn’t necessarily imply costly litigation or expensive forensics. I, for one, would very much like to know the whole truth behind these despicable covert acts of blatant racism. If that’s “playing the race card” or racist card, as Tacker calls it, then so be it.

    Incidentally this term: “the race card” – generally pops out when non-white persons (which includes Guerrero {Latino} & Lucey {Native American} as well as, the individual who was attacked) is accused of playing this card. The accuser is usually a white person who uses the term to express doubt about the validity of the non-white person’s claims. In my opinion, an event of this nature and magnitude is well worth investigating in order to find the whole truth. And I am NOT going to take Julie Tacker at her word, that what she says is EVER the whole truth or anything close to it.

    Furthermore, “the race card” has little or nothing to do with finding out the truth in this particularly ugly situation. White folks have been quick to accuse blacks & other people of color of playing the race card, as if their conclusions have been reached not because of careful consideration of the facts as they see them, but rather, because of some irrational tendency to see racism everywhere.

    Derogatory charges of “playing the race card” is actually racist in and of itself. A term white people use to deny the validity of the way a non-white person sees the world. “You should see the world the way I do, that is, as a world in which race no longer matters.” Which is an especially white way of seeing the world. So the person ends up insisting that non-white people should see the world the way white people do. Which is pretty ironic, because what they’re insisting is true about the world, is that race no longer matters.

    IT MATTERS! #blacklivesmatter

    I want to add that this is NOT the first time Tacker has shown her bigotry disguised as her opinion in her op.ed. writings – she has referred to Director Lucey’s “sexual preference” – when, in fact it is her sexual orientation! “Preference” is a term used by anti-gay bigots to imply that homosexuality is not a valid birth right, but an inferior condition that can be rectified.

    I get it, that we are ALL supposed to see the issues, our local elected officials, and indeed, the world in the same way that Ms. Tacker sees it. However, the way I see it is that Tacker’s “truths” are manufactured delusional lies, expressed as opinion and intended to spread through our towns as fact. I’m not buying it! And neither is the rest of Oceano. We elected OUR Board. They represent Oceano rate-payers. Tacker is not elected and represents NOBODY.

    (19) 27 Total Votes - 23 up - 4 down
    • kettle says:

      Why are you afraid to use your own name when attacking someone? She put her name with her words, whats your excuse?

      You make all this noise about Julie attacking people yet that’s what you are doing with your anonymous comment.

      Step up or go home. #realnamesmatter

      (-19) 25 Total Votes - 3 up - 22 down
      • Mudslide says:

        So, your “real” name is kettle? And then there’s Pelican 1 and Snooky, and C.V. – no one seems to have issue with “real” names when attacking Mr. Guerrero or Ms. Lucey? BTW: I am stepping up and I am home. In OCEANO. OceanoMatters# thank you for your well crafted response to my post.

        (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
      • Pelican1 says:

        kettle…have you met pot?

        (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • C.V. says:

      Au contraire mon fraire….
      Julie Tacker and her minions including this online Op Ed have nothing to gain but have found themselves with their tin cup out for their gain…..
      She has tried to postulate and define what is best. Elected officials try to put up with the quackery only to shoo the flies away after she and the minions blurt out and hemorrhage mouths full of excrement.
      Full disclosure – Julie Tacker is the worst of it. Ah, but hide behind the private curtain like the great OZ (and she does this well.)
      Let Julie Tacker AND Jeff Edwards define nothing. As public officials know all too well … “Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do” (Luke/23-34) and you politely sit there when they’re trying to put the rope around your neck. There is NO purpose for their ilk and character within the confines of public discourse. So give them their three minutes of fame and move on. Oh yes, bring your own roll of toilet paper to clean up.

      (18) 22 Total Votes - 20 up - 2 down
      • Julie says:

        C.V. said: 04/10/2015 at 3:49 pm

        Lucey is a bafoon, fool, idiot, one who pretends to know something but does not.
        She knows not what she speaks!
        She is now driving the OCSD clown car that BOZO Guerrero led onto Despair Avenue.
        Mary and Matt …… Believe in yourself… Because the rest of us think you’re idiots.

        So which is it you don’t agree with? Tacker/Edwards or Lucey/Guerrero?

        (-12) 16 Total Votes - 2 up - 14 down
        • C.V. says:

          Neither the “supposed Public watchdogs (Tacker, Edwards, McGlothlin…. Et,al;))
          NOR public servants (Lucey or Guerrero) are served by the “Public discourse
          being served. Crawl back to your hole and just shut the FU€K up.

          (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • Julie says:

      Let me just educate you Mudslide.
      Editors of newspapers write the headlines to stories, OpEd’s, and letters to the editor.
      So, I never said anyone was “using the race card.”
      What I have said in my OpEd is that Mary Lucey suggests that community volunteers are “Guilty by association” with the Appletons.
      Most of my piece quotes Ms. Lucey.
      Pretty much my opinion is that she needs to apologize. To “investigate” any of the nine people chosen to serve on the RFP
      committee would be a complete waste of time.
      Forgive my ignorance on the use of the terms “orientation” vs. “preference”… the point is neither is relevant at a Sanitation district meeting.

      (-19) 21 Total Votes - 1 up - 20 down
      • Pelican1 says:

        You’re attempt to “educate” is priceless. You have yet to learn from all of your shameless attempt at governing of the community of Los Osos….shame on you.

        (19) 21 Total Votes - 20 up - 1 down
        • Julie says:

          Pelican1,
          I wish I knew what exactly your beef is with me.
          You must realize I’ve been out of public office for nearly twice as long as I was in public office, don’t you?
          Like I have offered before, I’m in the phone book.
          Feel free to call and discuss whatever topics you wish.
          julie

          (-15) 19 Total Votes - 2 up - 17 down
    • Willow says:

      Let’s talk about the race card.

      First, racism goes both ways. There’s lots of blacks who are racist bigots against whites. It’s just that like you, the media is myopic and isn’t sensationalizing black on white crimes – some of them very brutal and gruesome. Look it up online.

      I’ve known many black people, and befriended a few. My last attempt was to give a black man $200. he said he needed to fix the brakes on his vehicle. I gave it to him just to help a fellow human being with a need, not asking for anything back. To make a long story short …. the money was wasted. After 6 months of dealing with the man, I gave up trying to help him or encourage him. His “victim” mind always came up with an excuse to not step up and be responsible. He’s living off government handouts and doesn’t do a thing to improve his lot in life. His victim story is that the white man has screwed his people since ancient times (a distortion of some facts), and the Illuminati control everything and he’s waiting for armageddon to make things right and the black man will take their place as rightful rulers next to Jesus. He’s living in the past, and in fear of things he’s exaggerated in his mind … and life is leaving him behind. That’s what the “victim” mentality does – it looks for excuses to not grow up and be responsible, live in the present, make the most of it.

      As for Lucy’s sexual preference …. that’s exactly what it is. Ask her if she’s been abused in her past. People often cover up their choices with the excuse that they can’t help themselves. Lucy’s no dummy. She plays the role and more often than not, gets away with it because like you, too many people are worried about being politically correct and join in the victim party.

      And as we all know, it’s definitely politically incorrect to challenge anyone, any group, or any notion, that says people “born” whatever way, for whatever it is they’re doing. We’re all just supposed to cater to the “victim”.

      It sounds like you’re keen on the “victim” mentality that’s taking over the nation as well. It’s hard to escape ’cause they teach it in schools nowadays, and the media promotes it so well. So here’s a clue: no one will ever be content if they decide to play the victim. That goes for a household, too. No household will ever be content if there’s victim players in it. And the same goes for a nation. No nation will ever be content if the masses are running around being victims of whatever.

      “Victim” is a mental and spiritual escape.
      It does no one any good.
      And all you have to do is look at the path of the players. Are they happy? What’s the legacy they’re leaving behind?
      I can tell you this – nothing’s improved for the people of Oceano since Lucey’s been on the board. Rates have gone up, public involvement is low, projects are a bust, and the bickering and in-fighting continues. So maybe she isn’t quite as smart as she wants others to think she is after all.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. snooky156 says:

    Thanks, Julie. I don’t understand the goal of Mary Lucey’s statements. Obviously, she has some access to effecting the process that others don’t have. If she doesn’t have coherent statement to convey her concerns, she should utilize her access elsewhere until she can express them coherently.

    As the investigation nears, I urge concerned citizens to send written letters as public comment to the SSLOCSD. These communications will be much more effective for the auditor, who can read your concerns instead of listening to the crappy audio record or the loosely-interpreted representation of your comments from Staff that shows up in the meeting’s minutes.

    (-2) 34 Total Votes - 16 up - 18 down
    • Julie says:

      Thanks for your insight.

      What is most important is that the district doesn’t fall for the antics of Lucey, aided by Guerrero, and leave the RFP committee as it is.

      This weeks agenda suggests that two of the RFP committee members may be axed due to their residency — outside district boundaries.

      The District failed to place parameters on the committee; such as residency,
      to change it now gives the appearance that the board agrees with Lucey, that there are ties to the Appleton Oversight Group. This is outrageous!

      All of these appointees have stepped up to help the district, out of the goodness of their hearts. These individuals bring a tremendous knowledge base to the table.

      Let the committee do its work, hire an auditor, investigate into why the 16-year trend of
      funding reserves every year stopped in 2004 and the plant lost $500,000 to $2,000,000
      a year until 2013. Get to the bottom of what went wrong, and hold those responsible
      accountable, so history will not be allowed to repeat itself.

      (-13) 35 Total Votes - 11 up - 24 down
  5. Slowerfaster says:

    Whenever I read or hear of someone claiming that someone else is ‘playing the race card’, it usually means that a racist has been caught and is trying to deflect and reverse the blame.

    (-4) 42 Total Votes - 19 up - 23 down
    • shelworth says:

      Because you know the only reason someone could possibly disagree with say, our President, is that they hate black people?

      (4) 28 Total Votes - 16 up - 12 down
  6. C.V. says:

    Lucey is a bafoon, fool, idiot, one who pretends to know something but does not.
    She knows not what she speaks!
    She is now driving the OCSD clown car that BOZO Guerrero led onto Despair Avenue.
    Mary and Matt …… Believe in yourself… Because the rest of us think you’re idiots.

    (21) 57 Total Votes - 39 up - 18 down

Comments are closed.