History Center allowing SLO County archives to rot

July 8, 2017

Kevin Rice


The History Center of San Luis Obispo County is treating our county history like trash.

Each year, the History Center receives a large public subvention to archive and store historic county documents dating back to the 1800s. This year, the county gave $150,000.

There are hundreds of old leather-bound hand-written journals documenting our county’s roots.

Instead of archiving our county history with the care and dignity it deserves, the History Center tosses these old journals around, stacking them up like trash. The History Center rents an old hovel behind Cuesta College where records are piled like refuse. Weeds and dirt infiltrate the shanty structure exposed to coastal fog and moisture, insects and vermin.

Only a few hundred dollars out of the $150,000 subvention are being used to protect these irreplaceable records.

I contacted the History Center regarding this matter and was immediately met with hostility and anger from board member Bill McCarthy. Instead of concern, McCarthy twice demanded, “Who gave you my name and email address?” No other board member bothered to reply.

It seems Mr. McCarthy and the History Center are concerned with operating without bothersome oversight from the public they are tasked to serve. Protecting history is not a concern.

Clearly, the History Center is misusing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

I have asked our county clerk-recorder and supervisors to look into this matter. I would like proof that our county’s history is being protected and that taxpayer monies are being properly spent.

Please join me in contacting County Clerk Tommy Gong and our board of supervisors. Ask them to ensure this matter is thoroughly investigated and that subvention dollars are reconsidered. Alternatively, another entity should be found that can properly protect our records.

If you donate to the History Center or know a board member, maybe you can get farther than I. Contact board members at: sandy@microgarage.com, sanctusbells@yahoo.com, pedrokelley@gmail.com, kellymarshall805@gmail.com, billmccarthy1099@gmail.com, zdmckiernan@gmail.com, mcquilkinbill@gmail.com, jordansanfilippo@yahoo.com, slojohn90@hotmail.com, rjsoules@charter.net, phil@hazardcanyon.com.

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There are hundreds of non-profits in SLO County. I’d guess that at least 90% of them have operational budgets less then that $150,000. That’s a great deal of money for these orgs.

Not that I care one iota for preserving bureaucracy, but I do care about spending $150,000 every year and getting nothing but a couple of paid bureaucrats at an (essentially) no-show job. No thanks.

Digitally scan whatever you feel is worth it and let the stuff naturally recycle. I get that Kevin Rice is polarizing for those who pay taxes and those who depend upon government, but polarization aside, I am curious what we (tax payers) are getting for our tax dollars in ANY agency or endeavor. To not be frustrated is a reveal. To be angry at “the messenger” is pretty small and petty, totally expected from the non-producing, government faithful.

He is a state worker as a former firefighter with a pension!! Holy shoot NIMBY status.

I’m curious how much time and money Kevin Rice has spent to save all these so-called precious, irreplaceable documents, depicting how European invaders politely raped and pillaged SLO County and gracefully replaced a native culture of “Savages” with their superior “European Whiteness.” While he’s busy blowing hot air out his ass, the rest of us grown ups will look into this matter. Thank you Mr. Rice. If you are interested in establishing a charitable trust to save your precious documents, look into the link below to set up an account to fund your chapstick-sissy-concerns. Grow up Mr. Rice.


Whether or not your interpretation of history is accurate, it does not satisfy the concern that tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being misappropriated. If the documents are worthless, why is tax money being spent? If tax money is being spent, why are the records not protected?

Honestly Kevin Rice…if you are so concerned about your version of our local history, stop asking why and blaming everyone else for your petty concerns. All history is valuable regardless of the cultural perspective. So roll up your goddam sleeves and start raising money for this noble cause…be a Jedi, or continue to remain petulant. Good luck bro.

Complaining without thoughtful examination of the issue, lack of respect for others, lack of EVIDENCE, lack of real concern about finding a solution, is called bitching my friend. My job is done here. – Mayor D’Souza

clarkdsouza. Hmmm….. Mr. Souza. Are you referring to the Spanish and Portuguese Souzas who “politely raped and pillaged” throughout all of South America and then established a presence in California? Is that the “European Whiteness” you’re talking about?

Yes, I am along with the Germans, Dutch, Italians, etc., etc…but I only raped and pillaged Iraq for you for your family’s oil Ms. Slosum. Hope you appreciate my efforts to provide energy resources for your family from the end of the barrel of an M-4 carbine rifle. Takes one to know one. My hands are bloody, Mr Rices hands remain unsullied. He is a bitch. I am a man. If that scares you, move back to Europe. Thank you. Mayor D’Souza

The History Center in manned mostly by volunteers (as are most historical society). I wonder if this asshole has ever volunteered to try to fix the problem or does he just piss and moan and leave it up to other people. I think I know the answer.

The executive director receives a substantial salary, and it is her job to ensure taxpayer subventions are utilized for their stated purpose. I did offer a donation. But you seem to know everything already.

Cite some sources dude! cite some sources!

One might want to inform the FBI of this as well our county supervisors.

In reading his article, it sounds like Mr. Rice HAS been inside the storage unit and inspected it. If one goes in there, they will immediately find that it is not up to archival standards. The Historical Society has a long history of being (mis)managed by good historians who lack business sense which translates into their history of a series of financial messes. An inability to afford adequate storage is the net result allowing disasters to happen such as when the basement flooded a few years ago. This caused losses of priceless and irreplaceable documents and objects. That is on top of theft that has happened in the past. The issue here is not Kevin Rice, but the History Center and its management. In this case, don’t “kill the messenger.”

Have they heard of scanners?

More of the same County incompetence. Before you know it they will be using the same techniques on things like managing the Cayucos Fire Department and managing groundwater. Oh, wait…Kevin supports that!