The sanitation district should finish what it started

August 28, 2015

sanatation districtOPINION by MARK LONDON and PATRICIA PRICE

We served on the nine member citizen committee selected by the board of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District to select a contractor to review past management practices and develop a report for the district.

We chose an independent firm that we considered to be one of the best in the country. Our choice was unanimously supported by the board.

At the Aug. 19 meeting, the board was provided with a progress report and was asked for funding to allow for additional hours to complete the investigation, $22,500. The investigation is spanning over a decade, and has proved to be more complex and involved than anticipated.

The extension would allow the contractor to complete interviews with The Wallace Group and the Regional Water Quality Control Board and review plant reports and findings. It was understood when the contractor was retained that an extension of the review might be necessary.

We were disappointed at the board’s two to one vote to table the decision until the Sept. 2 meeting.

The contractor’s progress report indicates they are proceeding in a diligent manner and are doing an excellent job on the work assigned by the board. They should be allowed to complete the task they began.

We respectfully request that the board approve and fund the completion of the investigation at their Sept. 2nd meeting. We fear that to fail to do so will lead to further public concern and result in difficulty raising critical funds for the update of the facility.



  1. LeAnn says:

    Well, the alternates certainly need a lesson in upholding their role and their duty to the district.

    The audit needs to continue. If you need more information in order to make that determination Ms. Lucey, then you have been asleep—either that, or it is stalling tactic because some of damning evidence could stick to you…hmmmmm…interesting idea.

    Mr, Knutson has done a phenomenal job conducting the audit up to this point and he deserves the opportunity to complete what he started. The rate payers deserve answers. The rate payers and the district deserves restitution from Wallace and his firm directly as well as from all vendors or board participants who profited at the expense of our district.

    For those who were Ferrara supports in this last election—I guess your “boy” isn’t such a great leader afterall—it will be interesting to see how deep his coffers became as a result of this debacle at the South San District. I am sure though, that his ethics prohibited that from happening—yeah—right…

    Lastly, all who read the opinion written by Mark and Patricia need to attend the meeting this Wednesday—we need to send the same message to the San board that AG voters delivered this past November. Change for the better is going to happen on the Central Coast—

    Yes, connections in politics benefits the people with the connections, but numbers matter too, the more people speak out, and the more people who attend these meetings the better. I apologize for my absence from these meetings—I will be changing that pattern this week! See you all there!

    (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
  2. CentralcoastRN says:

    How about taxpayers not pay that sanitation bill until they reach a decision? We The People can start following the example of our leaders….

    (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
  3. ApathyWillKillYou says:

    Nichols and Lucey need to pay the District out of their own pocket monies lost on the meeting as they came unprepared or unwilling to vote.

    If alternates are attending South San meetings then the meeting needs to be cancelled and not waste everyone’s time and money!

    (18) 26 Total Votes - 22 up - 4 down
  4. Julie says:

    This Wallace thing needs to be put to bed, as was said by every board member on that board. My personal discovery last year,, is enough of a reason to press on.

    $22,500 is not the issue; the San District is $1M in the black over last year, they can well afford the completion of the report.

    The Knutson report is ‘at least’ piece of mind and ‘at most’ an avenue to restitution. Wallace was making as much as $500K annually from just one client.

    (23) 57 Total Votes - 40 up - 17 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Just as long as it doesn’t stop Mary Lucey’s crazy antics, they are always good for a laugh.

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

        Unless you live in the Oceano Community Services District.

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

    Couldn’t agree more, well said.

    (21) 39 Total Votes - 30 up - 9 down
  6. dogeatdog says:

    I think that who ever sits on that board whether board member or alternate, you should be up on the facts enough to vote on that night.

    If you can’t or won’t do that then step down, please. As someone who lives in this district and has followed this on tape and now on t.v. I want closure.

    My fear is Barbara Nichols is just protecting her husband, and that is not what you are on this board to do. You are there for the district which includes Arroyo Grande, and Oceano as well as Grover Beach.

    Mr. Shoals was behind the Knudsen investigation and you should be up to date with the issues.It seems as though you don’t follow what you are a back up for, and that is not serving your district Mrs. Nichols.

    It seems as though some forget the district and want to cya the spouse or town, that is not what this is about. We are a district and I hope all board members and alternates remember that as they sit on this board.

    (32) 42 Total Votes - 37 up - 5 down
    • SLOBodan says:

      Agreed. Three come to a meeting, two are alternates. One says she can’t make the decision, it has to defer to the board member she is representing. The other says she “wants more information”…what???

      Even the public had enough information by reading the confidential report that was posted. What else did Ms. Lucey want? Don’t bother coming if you are not ready to vote on issues on the agenda. Do us all a favor.

      This must NOT drag on any longer. Please, be ready to make a final decision on Sept. 2. And put your personal agendas aside, and vote to represent what is best for the people you are representing.

      (30) 36 Total Votes - 33 up - 3 down

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