District attorney slaps sanitation district with notice of violation

April 24, 2018

Sanitation district chair Linda Austin


The South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation Board agreed to correct violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act last week after receiving a notice of violation from the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

The Ralph M. Brown Act requires legislative bodies to conduct their business within the boundaries of their jurisdiction. The sanitation district includes Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and the community of Oceano.

However, sanitation district officials planned a meeting to interview applicants for the district administrator position for April 7, at the Courtyard Marriott in San Luis Obispo.

Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill informed the district interim administrators and legal staff that holding the meeting outside the district boundaries violated the Brown Act. But the meeting remained scheduled in San Luis Obispo.

Hill boycotted the meeting citing the Brown Act violation.

On April 7, multiple members of the public, including activist Julie Tacker, asked the board to abide by the law and hold the meeting in the district. Interim Administrator Rick Sweet read an email from district legal counsel Gil Trujillo that said the out of district location was in compliance with the Brown Act.

Julie Tacker

Following the meeting, Tacker sent a demand to cure and correct letter to the district and the SLO County District Attorney’s Office that was also signed by Arroyo Grande Architectural Review Commissioner Coleen Kubel, Arroyo Grande Historical Commissioner Patricia Price, Kris Victorine, John Clemons and David Panaro and former Grover Beach mayors Ron Arnoldson and Debbie Peterson.

Tacker’s letter threatened that if sanitation district officials did not re-hold the meeting at a location within the district’s boundaries, she had the right to take the district to court.

“The main objective of the cure and correct was to force the district to redo the meeting, within the district boundaries, as to include Mayor Hill,” Tacker said.

On April 17, Deputy District Attorney Michael Frye responded with a letter warning district officials to follow the law.

“The April, 7, 2018 special meeting occurred outside your territorial jurisdiction, a violation of Government Code 54954 (b),” Frye wrote in his letter. “This section requires that, except for circumstances not present here, regular or special meetings must occur within boundaries of the territory in which the local agency exercises jurisdiction.

“This letter serves as a notice of violation and a warning that future meetings must occur within the boundaries of the sanitation district. Further violations may result in legal action by this office,” Frye wrote.

Sanitation district legal counsel Gil Trujillo suggested that the district send a letter to Tacker and others promising they would never improperly hold a meeting out of area again. He also argued that the meeting did not need to be re-held because no action had been taken.

The SLO County District Attorney’s Office did not agree.

Mary Lucey

“Government Code Section Board 54952.6 defines action taken to include a collective commitment or promise by the majority of a legislative body to make a positive or negative decision…” Frye wrote. “A decision to select the top candidates, which implies the exclusion of others, is a positive or negative decision which constitutes action.“

At an April 18 sanitation district board meeting, multiple members of the community asked the board to cure and correct the April 7 meeting by canceling all actions and re-holding the meeting.

As Tacker walked back to her seat, former sanitation district board member Mary Lucey called Tacker a “fat ass.” Tacker then confronted Lucey and alerted District Board Chair Linda Austin to the harassment. Austin banged her gavel down, but took no other action.

Lucey has regularly degraded speakers by playing mooing sounds from her phone or calling names as they walk to or from the podium during pubic comment. Even so, Austin appears to ignore the ongoing harassment.

The board then voted 3-0 to send a letter to Tacker explaining that they will no longer hold meetings outside the district and they will re-hold the illegal meeting at a future time.

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It’s a down right shame the Sanitation District continues to be such a fecal mess.

Worthless and dishonest legal counsel, a complicit administrator, two directors hellbent on continuing the disfunction and downward spiral, the termination of the best plant operator in recent history, and still there’s Mary Lucey…what else can possibly go wrong?

You didn’t hear, another rate hike is just around the corner.

Lucy is off-the-reservation. Again


Linda Austin and Mary Lucey are an embarrassment to the Central Coast, and the taxpaying public is being abused by the idiocy and disrespect of thee two morons.

Worse, the paid bureaucrats that are supposed to provide leadership to these two morons are morons themselves! Interim administrator Rick Sweet and district legal counsel Gil Trujillo are sponging off taxpayers and are literally incompetent. Notice how Trujillo was totally overruled by the SLO County district attorney, and interim administrator Rick Sweet is just a pawn for Linda Austin and Mary Lucey’s tomfoolery.

Gil Trujillo, Rick Sweet, Linda Austin and Mary Lucey all deserve to be indicted and convicted for their contempt of the taxpaying public.

Enough is enough.

Mary Lucey making mooing sounds from the audience is rather ironic. She ain’t no bag of candy.

Maybe for Lucey the sounds are a uncontrollable bodily sound and she can’t control when she makes them.

The problem is Mary Lucey is connected to Linda Austin and Matt Guerrero. Matt and Lucey used to come in and chastise speakers they did not like.

Now Matt is a judge and Mary is on her own. Instead of waiting to make nasty remarks during her three minutes to talk, Mary is verbally abusive while speakers she does not like attempt to walk to or from the dias.

Mary is dirty, unkempt and rude, but Linda Austin looks the other way while Mary disrupts the meeting. Linda needs to step down and let someone who cares about the public process take over.

Circle jerk #7. Next time Lucy pulls her belittling crap somebody from the audience needs to knock her on her ass. Damn worthless excuse for a public servant.