Are Seitz’s days numbered in Los Osos?

April 10, 2016
Michael Seitz

Michael Seitz


The Los Osos Community Services District is considering parting ways with longtime district legal counsel Shipsey & Seitz. In 1998, Shipsey & Seitz was first hired to represent the district during its formation.

However, in the past six months, several issues have created concerns about the firm’s performance.

For example, on Nov 6, Sacramento-based attorney Natalie Bocanegra submitted a records request for copies of all of the Los Osos district’s responses to activist Julie Tacker’s public records requests, dating back to Jan. 1, 2012. California rules are clear, once a record is released in response to a public records request, it must be released without content changes to additional applicants.

Nevertheless, even though Michael Seitz had already billed the Los Osos district for reviewing records the district sent to Tacker, Seitz billed the district approximately $1,600 to again review each of the records before sending the same packet on to Bocanegra.

Concerns have also been raised about Seitz’s performance during the investigation and severance of former district general manager Kathy Kivley.

On Dec. 4, the Los Osos district board put Kively on paid administrative leave, after she allegedly misappropriated funds. On Jan. 31, Kivley retired.

In total, Seitz’s invoices related to Kivley’s personal matter totaled nearly $30,000.

On April 7, the Los Osos district board met in closed session to discuss Seitz’s performance. Following the closed session discussion, the board directed staff to circulate a request for qualifications for new legal counsel.

If removed from his position, this would be the second district to sever ties with Shipsey & Seitz in about a year.

In May, 2015, Seitz announced plans to resign as legal counsel for the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District, shortly after an outside investigator began an audit of the sanitation district’s management practices. Before this, Shipsey & Seitz had served as legal counsel for the sanitation district for approximately 50 years. Nevertheless, Seitz said he resigned because of conflict of interest.



  1. ThomasAquinas says:

    Actually there is one person, Julie Tacker. So much corruption is exposed because of her…..

    (-2) 28 Total Votes - 13 up - 15 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      Yet anytime she says anything, she’s shouted down. Unfortunately, when good people aren’t willing to speak out, the truth is easy to shout down. It’s no wonder good people don’t have any interest in running for office; in the end, we’re endlessly stuck with corrupt leaders.

      (6) 28 Total Votes - 17 up - 11 down
  2. jimmy_me says:

    Ongoing Los Osos mantra: if you can’t flush it, hire it.

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

      Slight modification, “If someone else flushed it, then we hire it”, it often seems the $hit just keeps being passed around and each government agency is trying to not be the one without a chair when the music stops.

      (10) 20 Total Votes - 15 up - 5 down
      • jimmy_me says:

        Another modification: “if someone else flushed it, then we hire it, then we fire it after giving it a giant severance package”.

        Corrupt people are blind to their corruption and the corruption of others. I’m sure the people who continue to keep this guy employed don’t see any problems with him. Welcome to SLO county government.

        (5) 15 Total Votes - 10 up - 5 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    Flush the LOCSD and get rid of the stench that’s been so prevalent since the recall board was elected.

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
    • Vagabond says:

      I wouldn’t give the previous board a pass, They formed the CSD on a bald faced lie (cheaper better faster)

      (19) 25 Total Votes - 22 up - 3 down
  4. ThomasAquinas says:

    It is said “evil triumphs when good men do nothing”, so if my neighbors agree I will run for a seat on LOCSD with the intent of eliminating this governmental boondoggle. For 16 years, Los Osos has wasted tens of millions of dollars on bad government, what was slated as local control, was really giving money to our cronies. This must stop!!!!!!
    Give the water company back to the county and move on, look to appreciate our beautiful little town. Share the gifts of nature and where we wave again at our neighbors. There are no benefits in keeping the LOCSD! and forcefully removing Sietz is just the first step……

    (33) 43 Total Votes - 38 up - 5 down
  5. ThomasAquinas says:

    Sietz, Sietz, Sietz a name written in the debacle of the LOCSD. From the beginning this parasite has absconded with millions of my neighbors funds, misled and with the the participation of Rob Miller, of Wallace employment, help destroy the fiber of Los Osos. I so wish there would be a good “tar and feather” party, I would bring the champagne. Now the next step, is the eliminating of the LOCSD, and the “monkey” will finally be off our backs…..

    (43) 59 Total Votes - 51 up - 8 down
  6. justbeware says:

    If so, this is good news.

    (44) 50 Total Votes - 47 up - 3 down
  7. horse_soldier says:

    Another chinc in the armor of longtime strongholds of corruption?
    Remember, uSeitz’ relationship with Tony Ferrara and Bill Nicholls, John Shoals, and Matt Guerrero allowed Wallace to run amok at the Sanitation District in Oceano for too long. Last year, as chairman, Jim Hill played a key role in Seitz discovering his “conflict”.
    Bust up the good ‘ol boy network Los Osos. Seitz is serving himself, not you.

    (39) 45 Total Votes - 42 up - 3 down
  8. achillesheal says:

    Government contact = license to steal.

    All aboard the gravy train. That train is never on time and it costs 5x more than the normal fair, but everyone wants to ride it. In some cases for 50 years!

    (33) 45 Total Votes - 39 up - 6 down
  9. Casinogal says:

    Finally! It took them long enough. When he acted on Kively’s behalf and got her the extra time and money plus allowing her to ‘retire’, it should have been the final straw!
    Is this board in a vacuum where they didn’t know what was going on with him in the South County Sanitation District? Good Grief! Didn’t realize that their heads were stuck that far down in the sand…….Los Osos sand, of course.

    (38) 46 Total Votes - 42 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      You are being generous to call it “sand” where their heads are stuck…

      (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
    • Mitch C says:

      Your point is well taken … no counsel can act in any manner without the complicity of the Board they serve. Who was watching the store? Who was watching for the citizens that pay the bills? It may be time to place responsibility where it belongs, with the elected officials.

      (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
      • justbeware says:

        Wouldn’t it be nice for SSLOCSD ratepayers if the elected officials from Grover Beach and Oceano, joined Jim Hill is getting the district out of the litigation masterminded by Seitz, John Wallace and Tony Ferrara???
        What say you, John Shoals and Mary Lucey, had enough of this BS yet???

        (14) 20 Total Votes - 17 up - 3 down

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