Sanitation district votes to complete audit

September 3, 2015

John WallaceThe South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board vote 3-0 Wednesday to pay an additional $22,500 to complete an audit of district finances and managerial practices under former general manager John Wallace. The cost of the audit will increase from $55,000 to $77,500.

In May, the sanitation district board hired Carl Knudson,  a former special agent who investigated city government malfeasance, to pursue a financial and managerial audit of the district under Wallace’s management.

Last month, Knudson released his initial findings in a letter to the district. In Knudson’s progress report, the investigator requested an additional 150 hours, at a cost of $22,500, to complete the audit of the past 12 years of district finances because the complexity and scope of the audit had increased.

At the previous district board meeting on Aug. 19, the board postponed the decision because both of the alternate board members, Mary Lucey from Oceano and Barbara Nicholls from Grover Beach, said they were not prepared to vote on the issue.

At Wednesday’s meeting, all three regular board members, Oceano’s representative Matt Guerrero, Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill and Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals, attended the meeting and agreed to complete the audit.

Mitch C

Sorry folks but the additional money is just a waste of your time and treasury. Instead of expending extra money to complete an audit that goes back 12 years the time frame of the audit shout have been more focused and the dollars originally appropriated should have been spent on specific accounts. Basically when all is said and done, lots will be said but nothing done. This audit is a review of what may have happened, it does not address the problems nor efficiencies that could be employed to make the operation more efficient in the future.



The operation became more efficient the day Wallace left the plant.


And even more so the day Tony Ferrara left the mayors office. Now if we can just get rid of Mayor Shoals and Matt Guerrero, and of course Lucey.


The good ‘ol boys club will have one less member when GM Rick Sweet packs his bags on 9/11.

Poor Paavo, who’s he going to have do his bidding at the San Dist now besides Guerrero?


And/or Lucey, depending who decides to show on any given night?


Oh, I’m sure he will find another toadie to do his bidding.


Sure won’t be Hill, he moved from Oceano to escape the madness.

That leaves Shoals…


Shoals always has been and likely will continue to be in his pocket


Which lunatic is running the asylum this week?????


Sloheadinthesand has it right I fear, and for the following reasons,

The part of Tony Ferrara is now being played by John Shoals

The part of Bill Nichols is now being played by Matt Guerrero

Jim Hill will be playing himself as always

So even if Knudsen come back with wrong doings the vote will be 2 to 1 to NOT proceed.

The only reason Matt was at the dias last night was because Shoals won’t vote with Mary Lucy. So in order to allow Oceano to continue to screw the rate payers, Matt had to be there last night.

There is still corruption happening, but Rick Sweet will be gone on the 11th, and MAYBE things will settle down a bit more with a decent GM. He sure tried his best to get John and Matt to let him keep his job that he quit in a hissy fit.

Public pressure is the only thing that is going to make John Shoals do the right thing. Matt is a lost cause since he runs with Mary Lucy and Paavo.

Between John, Matt and Mary Lucy they are going to try their best to make Clemmons fail as a interim GM, how sad is that. They don’t want this plant to turn around they just want to keep running their agenda’s.


Great! The investigation will continue and if there is any wrong doing those individuals will be held responsible.

WRONG… Reality check….

First of all if you think Tony Ferrara or Bill Nichols will even talk to Knudson then you are WRONG. There is no court order, nothing legal to compel them to talk or cooperate.

Remember this is the same board (but different people) that voted to approve a $15,000.00 payment to the Wallace Group to redact first and then return records that belonged to the South San District in the first place. WRONG to say the least.

Oh goody, they will continue the audit and we will finally get to the bottom of this…

WRONG… the district will spend north of $75K for the audit/investigation and if wrong doing is uncovered then what. About the only recourse is a law suit…more money, lots more money, for attorneys on both sides!

The already forgone conclusion is that ALL expenses were board approved.

Maybe (probably) funds were spent with extremely poor judgment (actually flamboyantly over inflated purchases) but all perfectly legal.

Hey don’t get me wrong as I would love to see restitution paid and heads roll but the cold hard fact is that Wallace is just too connected to the good old boys of this county!


When GB Mayor Shoals prefaces every mention of the investigation with the fact that he will “not be part of a witch hunt” it tells me he has no plans to push anything past the investigation point.

Typical politician, when things get a little too close for comfort- – -he’ll decide he’s had enough in spite of the ratepayer’s demands for Wallace, Ferrara, and Nicolls to be held accountable. Seems he has every intention of watching out for his buddies, what else is new?

If nothing else, Shoals is good at sitting on the fence until he’s forced off.


justbeware your observations are astute and telling.

When the dust settles and it is time for action Mary Lucey will resurface on the South San Board (Guerrero is only the alternate) Shoals will sit on the fence as predicted.

The dialogue will be framed as a cost saving measure to the rate payers to not endorse a long and costly legal battle thus fulfilling the prophecy of not being part of a witch hunt.

Shoals and Guerrero have higher political aspirations (Mary Lucey just wants to get high) and crossing Wallace with his money and influence would not bid well for their futures as in an elected government.official or an appointed judge respectively.


Lucey is the alternate.


Lucey is the President of the OCSD and per the bylaws the President is the one who sits on the South San Board OR their DESIGNEE.

So Lucey can take over at anytime as long as she is still President of the OCSD.


Health and Safety code designates the presiding officer of the agency (OCSD) as the representative (Mary Lucey).

The alternate is not the designee of the presiding officer, but is chosen by the agency (OCSD) board, should the presiding officer be unable or unwilling to serve.

Health and Safety code prevails over local agency bylaws.




What if people collectively just stopped paying their fees, or paid half in order to pay themselves back? Power is fleeting, it can be taken back. People just have to decide to be courageous and do so.


Tell that to the residents of Oceano.


how about people collectively show up at san dist meetings and voice their opinions?


You hold back half the amount they just hit you with more fees. Be courageous and show up and stand up like a lot of us do.

You don’t like what is going on, tell them to their faces. Nobody wants to get involved any more, but they sure as hell bitch when rates gets raised. Well then it is to late, you missed the bus

Don;t think the battle is over, we would just love more voices to be heard. We can’t and won’t fight for all of you. This last meeting we saw faces we don’t know, I loved it. I don’t care what side you are on get frigging involved.

I have heard every excuse there is, and they are all lame. You want things to change, then get in there and change them.Write letters, send emails come to every other meeting. Don’t just bitch on this site.

Sorry, I am venting. We need help but everyone is to damn busy. Well let me tell you I have better things to do, but someone has to say enough is enough and call these clowns CLOWNS


Hell hath no fury like an IRS investigator who believes he/she is being stone-walled.


Thanks to the board for approving to complete the investigation.

If Knudson finds significant wrongdoings, I wonder if there will be a unanimous vote to seek restitution from Wallace and any others involved in the ratepayer rip-off?


They better hurry up as Big Tony has sold his house and moved out!

Remember the investigation in AG over the 6 week silence of the July 3rd incident ….

Remember how well that report came out?

“Cover their Ass” is gonna be the presiding VOTE.


Guerrero votes to protect the guilty, must be a force of habit spilling over from his day job.

Shoals will vote not to rock the boat any further. He’s happy to stick his wet finger up to check the wind direction.

Hill will vote to do what the public elected him to do. He’ll be the odd man out again, a man of principle among the political wanna be’s.

Will someone please explain why Grover re-elected Shoals?