Hill, Lucey seek to censure one another at sanitation meeting

September 19, 2016
Mary Lucey and Jim Hill

Mary Lucey and Jim Hill


(Editor’s Note: Oceano CSD Director Mary Lucey’s Facebook comment attacking Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill is posted in entirety below.)

Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill and Oceano CSD Director Mary Lucey will make separate requests to censure one another at the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District board meeting on Wednesday. The district board consists only of Hill, Lucey and Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting lists Hill and Lucey’s requests as individual items. However, the district did not produce staff reports explaining the censure requests.

Hill’s request to censure Lucey reportedly came in response to a Sept. 10 Facebook comment in which the Oceano board member attacked the Arroyo Grande Mayor and called for a change in leadership in the South County city. Lucey posted the lengthy remark on the Facebook page of Arroyo Grande mayoral candidate Richard Waller, who is running against Hill in the November election.

The post, which is rife with spacing errors, criticizes the city of Arroyo Grande’s management of its water supply, while praising Oceano’s handling of water issues. Lucey then goes on to accuse Hill of creating chaos at the South County sewage plant.

“AG Mayor has created so much chaos at the sewer plant, it is polarized and continues to spend millions on poorly maintained plant,” Lucey’s Facebook post states. “With Mayor Hill’s adviser, Tacker who friend is the field supervisor is running the plant into the ground,it has only created more harm to us and polluted our ocean past repair.”

However, under former plant administrator John Wallace chemical costs ran about $600,000 a year and the plant had multiple violations for releasing contaminated water into the ocean. In 2013, Wallace stepped down amid allegation of mismanagement lodged by Hill and several others. Since then, the cost of running the plant was reduced by almost half and the plant discharges have been cleaner.

“The city of AG deserve to know what is the status of this plant? AG needs to replace your member on that board,” Lucey said in her post. “Most of the mayor’s dirty tricks are hidden at the sewer plant. This started in 2010 when he first was on the board for the San.district.When the flood hit in 2010 Mr. Hill left his post and turned his back on the south county. Everyone pays for that plant and everyone needs that water. You need a leader.”

Lucey reportedly made her request to censure Hill after being informed he was seeking to censure her. A majority vote is presumably required for the board to censure one of its members.


Thomas A

Mary Lucey is an Adam Hill supporter. She frequently likes and comments on Adam Hill’s troll Aaron Ochs’ hate pages like Cal Coast Fraud and SLO Truth. She basically fits the definition of “troll” because of her mean spirited, nasty comments. Fire Adam Hill’s posse. Fire Adam Hill.


Not anymore. She has removed all the postings she ever made on facebook. Hiding her trail? She gives the word mole a new meaning.

Thomas A

Mary Lucey liked a SLO Truth post less than 15 hours ago. Adam Hill’s troll.


Maybe Lucey meant to call for Adam Hill’s censure and mixed it up with Jim Hill. Now there’s a censure I can get behind…shut that guy up.

Josey Wales

Ladies & Gentlemen,

This story vividly shows why South County voters must rise up and remove people like Mary Lucey from public service. She joins a formidable list of political types who just fail to understand what public service is all about.

To start, Mary Lucey sets a bad example with her communications. To read her Facebook post is painful, and speaks volumes about the importance of teaching good grammar and spelling in our public skills.

Next, Mary Lucey appears overly partisan and her comments about Mayor Hill are both off-base and factually incorrect. I hope John Shoals can step back from liberal partisanship in considering the censure decision. Her reaction to Mayor Hill’s censure request shows her reactionary nature.

Lastly, we do not need leaders like this, and it is important that all South County taxpayers vote on Election Day. We cannot afford poor decision-makers, and Mary Lucey must be removed from office ASAP.

Others to Reject:

Caren Ray

Kristian Barneich

Richard Waller

Adam Hill

Caren Ray

Just saying,



Pointless insults deleted. Thoughtful comments welcome without the insults, please.


As someone who sits on the SSLOCSD Board of Directors, Mary Lucey should know the current plant (which went on line in 1966) was not designed to recycle wastewater. The representative from Oceano CSD should have NO CONCERN about how citizens in Arroyo Grande get their water or how they pay for it.

If Mary Lucey has evidence that the plant is not presently complying with the standards set in the SSLOCSD’s discharger’s permit, she should bring that evidence forward. She should also be prepared to illustrate why it is Mayor Hill’s fault, instead of the fault of the SSLOCSD’s history of documented Notices of Violation, civil lawsuits, and positively conclusive investigations of malfeasance which had NOTHING to do with Mayor Hill.


Well said, snooky156. Mary Lucey is not a credible voice. Her ethics should go down with the wastewater she presides over.

Mayor Hill has been the voice of sanity on the district’s board, and has brought profitable changes in just the 2 short years he’s represented Arroyo Grande. For YEARS the other board members (including Ms. Lucey, Tony Farrera, John Shoals and Bill Nichols) allowed Mr. Wallace to pay himself as director of the plant, and then pay his OWN business outrageous amounts for jobs performed. Were they not approving the work orders? Were they not verifying that the work was actually necessary? The results were we went from almost no reserves to being back on track with plenty of reserves, reduced expenses and a cleaner running plant.

Mary Lucey, on the other hand, has trouble following what is going on in a meeting, and continually looks at her cell phone during session, The latter sounds like a violation of the Brown Act to me!


Lucy, you are the most disgusting excuse or a politician and public servant this county has seen. You know nothing about water treatment and if it wasn’t for Ferrara and the three musketeers you would have a upgraded plant years ago capable of producing effluent, not affluent, capable of reuse. Wallace bilked the public and you community out of the funds necessary to upgrade the plant biologically, end of story. Hill, tried to stop the theft of funds long ago and after being ridiculed and shot down at every level he parted ways with the minions of destruction. For you to say Hill has screwed things up more than Ferrara, Nichols, Seitz, Wallace & which OCSD stool clearly shows your ignorance in these matters. Go away, you have done nothing for your struggling community.


Roll the video tape please.

judge Mary lucey for yourself.

the fact that caren ray condones this behavior is discouraging to say the least.

if you take time to view tapes it will be vary apparent that Ms. Lucey needs help.




Discouraging, yes. Surprising, not at all. Caren Ray enthusiastically supported Tony Ferarra in his debacle at the District, as did John Shoals and Shelly Higginbotham, all claiming there was nothing wrong; everything was just fine and those bad members of the public should stop saying awful things.

Mike Byrd

Wait a minute. Why try to bring Shelly Higginbotham into this? She’s the Mayor of Pismo Beach and Pismo is not a member of the sanitation district.


Fair question. Shelly and John and Tony were very close. Pismo Beach is also served by the sanitation district, which provides the outflow to the ocean for the Pismo sewer plant.


Forgot to mention, Pismo Beach is currently contracting with Tony Ferrara to advise on water reclamation at their sewer plant.


Shoals was quoted by the Tribune last week as saying the SSLOCSD would use $220,000 of the $550,000 of the $1.1m fine that can be used for environmental projects would be used to fund the Pismo water reclamation project.

Oh, but wait. This hasn’t gone before the SSLOCSD board has it?

Shelly, Shoals and Ferrara are still close.


is that true?


TimB, the only thing that I have not been able to verify is whether or not SSLOCSD has approved the use of $220,000 for the Pismo sewer reclamation project. Is that what you were referring to with your ‘is that true’ remark?


Please provide further details or company names related to your allegation Ferrara is involved with Pismo’s future reclamation projects.


Tony did have a consulting *company* and he used it while the mayor of AG.

At that time it was a sole-proprietor and on his personal tax return – not a corporation or LLC.

Time to review the Pismo warrants, to see what’s to be seen.

Thanks for the heads-up!

Mike Byrd

Really!?! In what capacity? His background is in law enforcement. What on earth could he possibly contribute to what is, essentially, an engineering project?


the term “served” is a bit of a stretch.


So it was another Saturday night….all alone….sippin’ cheap ripple and pounding the keyboard huh Mary?


I guess results don’t matter to this bureaucrat. I am so sick and tired of these self serving “public servants” .


In fairness, I don’t think Ms. Lucey is profiting financially in any way from this. She is just unable to admit that she and other previous members of the SSLOCSD screwed up so badly and she is straining credulity in trying to justify her beliefs.


I think she is trying to draw attention away from the mess at the OCSD – where there’s drama people stay distracted and don’t perceive clearly what’s really going on.


OMG ! Lucey ! Will u not let this mayor handle his responsibilities to the community of Arroyo Grande without your ridiculous meritless baseless interference ? Like really ! You think you are above everyone. Go mayor hill ! I feel you are on the correct track to regaining trust,reliability and most important “transparent stability that is greatly needed””. Keep up the fine work,Sir