Complaints lodged over sexist SLO Chamber video

February 14, 2017

At least two complaints have been lodged against the City of San Luis Obispo after the fire chief and city manage participated in creating a video that sexually objectifies firefighters.

The video, shown at the annual SLO Chamber of Commerce dinner on Jan. 20, was created as a spoof to promote the chamber. In the video, female chamber employees ask fire Chief Garret Olson about a full monty calendars and hot, shirtless firefighters.

Both Olson and SLO City Manager Katie Lichtig are featured in the video.

On Monday, the firefighters’ union asked the city to mount an investigation into the sexual objectification of firefighters by city officials.

“Members of Local 3523 are disturbed, sad and embarrassed that the highest-ranking city officials blatantly demeaned their chosen profession and believed it appropriate to sexually objectify city firefighters both publically [sic] at the chamber’s annual dinner and to circulate the video on the internet,” according to the union.

San Louie

If Lichtig were a male (yes, I know), and this video was about hot females, he would be canned.

I don’t care much for the whining of the union, but it today’s hyper-PC world, some of the very proponents of hyper-PCism don’t get a pass…

Lichtig and Olson need to be gone…


Not offensive, just really bad acting and a waste of time and money. On a lighter note…the United States is in turmoil being run by an orange bigoted misogynistic Russian traitor con artist. This dumb video should be the least of your worries. Plus and no one should ever be allowed to use the word tremendous again


Nobody has a sense of humor anymore.

It’s all about, I’m offended, my feelings are hurt. We’ve devolved into a bunch of 4 year olds.


How about we have evolved into people and a society who care about more than just how “I” feel?


Save your indignation for a real offense. I mean they weren’t even shirtless.

And also understand how humor-irony-can be instructive in showing us the underlying truth in something.

Humor allows us to deal with subjects and situations that are hard to rationalize. Ever hear the jokes of an ER doc–gallows humor? How about a cop? I don’t and won’t begrudge them a useful coping tool. While this is not on that scale, it appeared to be funny and no one was forced to do it.

If someone was offended let them stand up, but don’t be offended for them.


Here’s an idea: try being funny without being offensive. Just because you throw a flippant “It’s just a joke!” disclaimer, does not make it alright. This is more than just casual humor. Jokes like these demean the person or group they’re directed towards, and if you stay silent and choose not to denounce them you, too, are being passively sexist.


and what if your point of view is offensive to me? What if your very existence is offensive to me. That is where this nonsense all leads.

Imagine being so mentally fragile that another person can control your feelings and emotions. What a way to live.


Really now. My point of view is to be respectful. Now where does this conversation go? You going to argue that’s not a great idea?


Agreed, except respectful is now in the eye of the beholder and the rules change daily.


Why is everything so unforgivably offensive these days? I thought there might be more important things to worry about in the world but apparently this is the worst thing to ever happen. Some commentators here actually want to destroy peoples lives just because of this misguided (arguably) video where the intention was to do something good? Maybe its time to visit some places where people have real problems and gain some perspective.


I’m not so sexually offended by this video, but I can understand why people would be. And I think that’s why those laws were created… people shouldn’t have to be afraid at work, because you can’t choose your environment at work. To me, this video is absolutely ludacris because it was created during paid time by the fire chief and city manager. The chamber of commerce is a non profit, that’s true, but they’re representing for profit business, and this video had no place being created during paid hours. Furthermore, who as a high up official would think this was a great idea and then put it online for all to see? It’s absolutely inappropriate, violates workplace laws, and was a waste of our taxpayer money. The men and women out in the streets every day wouldn’t do something like this, and yet their leaders did? And in poor taste? I’d say it’s time for the fire chief to go, I’ve seen him speak at rotary and he seems like a nice man, however, he clearly doesn’t know what’s appropriate in the work place and is a liability for the city. Sorry, move on.


Pretty goofy… but obviously no intent to hurt fragile firefighters’ feelings. Methinks there are union contract negotiations looming. BTW, how many women are in the SLO fire dept? Hmmm?

mary margaret

Ms. Lichtig needs to be terminated immediately. She has shown extremely poor judgement in participating in such a video,shot in the City’s Fire Museum. The wearing of City firefighter clothing along with the pec/nipple shirts, and the calendar sexually objectifies the firefighters. The dialog is also offensive and demeaning.. This is very disturbing and Ms. Lichtig would not hesitate to terminate a city employee who committed a far lesser infraction that reflected poorly on the city. Remember Police Chief Gessell?

In the public sector protocol is EVERYONE must view the sexual harassment educational video once per year. Chief Olson needs to be fired also. By the way the City of SLO needs to stop its annual donation $250,000 of our tax money to support the Chamber of Commerce activities and put it toward our huge city debt.

Ms. Lichtig claims to be out this week for a “medical procedure.”


All involved should be put on administrative leave until an independent investigation confirms the obvious and blatant violations of multiple laws and city policies. Independent means not some law firm handpicked by Dietrick to do damage control and minimize the exposure to management employees. What is most offensive is the continued and blatant hypocrisy of the city management employees involved. If I were a betting hound, I would bet that many management level employees were present at the dinner including City Atty Dietrick, HR Director Irons, and a few others as is typical for this type of elbow rubbing with the Chamber. This could be confirmed by a simple public records request for city expenditures to the Chamber, hint hint cal coast. Usually the city pays 100+ a plate for the management employees and council members to attend these events. I would suggest that any member of City Management and any member of City Council who was present and viewed the video be included as a subject of this investigation at a minimum for the duty to report misconduct. If they are not on record having initiated an investigation prior to the complaints of the Fire employees, they should be sent packing without a severance, once the violation is confirmed for failing to report and investigate misconduct. Watch what happens here folks, Katie’s cartel will circle around and protect her because this is no different than any other of multiple scandals and law violations under her tenure, they will use personnel rules to hide the truth and cover up the scandal. It’s happened many times including the severance payout of the former police chief, with clear evidence of theft of public funds, and other allegations to include sexual misconduct. The theft of public money by the chief was substantiated by the good investigative work of this website by use of public records requests. The solution here is simple, all involved are terminated with cause, all who saw it and did not report are subjected to the highest level of discipline short of termination, and finally stop using public money to fund the Chamber of Commerce. The single largest source of funding for the Chamber is taxpayer money from the city of Slo, if you don’t believe me submit the records request yourself and see what your tax money is being spent on with regard to the Chamber. To the Fire Fighters affected I would suggest you just file the lawsuit, it’s the only thing the city understands. I don’t need to tell any of you this if you have worked under Lichtig you know this is true. Keep your heads up and know that the majority of the public appreciates the sacrifices you all make on daily basis. If the tables were turned and you as line level employees did this you would be crucified in public. File the lawsuit boys, it’s the only way to force them to do the right thing.


Thank you for this, slosheepdog.


This is just down river from Washington, DC. A perfect time to start draining the swamp on the Central Coast.


As I understand it, you may start your own investigation and present the results to the district/city attorney for prosecution.

…..or you can just sit there and snivel. The proof is in your next move. Either a snotty reply or actually do something!


Part of me says get over it, it was a joke but then again I would expect more from SLO’s billion dollar city manager and a fire chief. Guessing we all know now how worried katie Lichtig is regarding her job with new Mayor Harmon. Expect no changes SLO and higher taxes, you voted for it.