Oceano CSD struggling to fund fire services

June 26, 2018

Facing rolling blackouts or alternating closures of the Oceano and Grover Beach fire stations, the Oceano Community Services District Board plans to discuss how to continue to provide fire and emergency services to the community of 7,600 people. [Cal Coast Times]

On Wednesday evening, the board is slated to select one of eight alternatives which include asking Cal Fire to take over the communities fire and emergency services. Staff is recommending the board vote to put a measure on the November ballot for a special tax that would cost each household an average annual rate of $64.34 over the next five years.

Oceano could also choose other options that include reducing their personnel to just two firefighters; reestablishing their own fire station or closing their station altogether and paying the fire authority to respond.

In 2018, 10 California communities voted on tax increases for fire services in California. Of those, four passed and six failed.

Formed in 2010 under the auspices of saving money for the communities of Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano, the fire authority is struggling to exist because of funding constraints and increased costs. Funding issues include budget overruns, unfilled positions and health and safety concerns as firefighters work overtime.

In January, the Five City’s Fire Authority Board adopted a five-year plan that could result in a 70 percent increase in the annual budget. In order to implement the strategic plan, all three communities would have to agree to the plan.

In response to the proposed budget increase, Oceano hired Category Five Professional Consultants to analyze the community’s options. The consultant recommends placing the proposed tax on the November ballot. The tax would start at $29.72 and end at $87.66 five years later.

Following the recent failed ballot measure for a annual fire tax of $62.17 in the similarly sized community of Cambria, the consultant noted the challenge Oceano is facing.

Should the tax measure fail, the consultant recommends the board take no further action until the results of a study commissioned by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors into providing fire and emergency services for communities unable to continue funding their departments is available.

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Has anyone ever thought about doing away with the Community Service Districts? It seems like almost every year the Grand Jury has something to say about them. Wouldn’t it be way more cost efficient to run the unincorporated area of the county under 1 umbrella. Sorry for suggesting that there be efficiency and cost savings within the government. The taxpayers are slowly getting encircled and being robbed of their savings under the ruse of taxes to finance the inefficiency and some corrupt government in SLO.

U r kidding if you think Ogren is going to go quietly before he’s ready to retire with his pension and bennies.

The sheeple he reports to in Oceano think he’s doing a great job, and all he’s doing is making them more broke. Check out his salary!

Hey, the County is going to pay for Cayucos’ fire department, why not Oceano’s? Oh, that’s right, the Sups don’t live there…

Enjoy your screwing Oceano and 5 cities. Keep voting in morons.

Paavo Ogren | Transparent California


Regular pay: $170,060.80. Overtime pay: $0.00. Other pay: $6,570.00. Total pay: $176,630.80. Total benefits: $63,586.42. Total pay & benefits: $240,217.22.

Ogden quietly goes about collecting his paycheck, prepares to exit stage left and leave Oceano holding the bag. Oceano has been on a doomsday course for years but Ogden simply has to limp them along until he can bail into retirement.

Fire Karen White

Fire Barbara Harmon

Fire John Shoals

These three FCFA directors increased the salary of Lieberman, knowing all along the funds weren’t there. Now they’re looking for someone to come to their rescue and let them off the hook from the financial mess they’ve stupidly contributed to.

Time to let Lieberman go and do away with the FCFA.

Unincorporated Oceano can just say no!!!

Small communities all over the State are shuttering their small Fire Departments, between State mandates, Calpers pension costs, Fire Fighter salaries and on and on, small communities just have to say no, let the County provide the services, they have the deeper pockets and property tax%!!!

Fire Fighter Officials must of not ever read the fable about killing the Golden Goose, the goose being the Taxpayer being squeezed to deliver more Golden eggs:(

‘Oceano struggling to fund anything but fat salaries and pensions’

Oceano, whatever you do, keep paying Ogren his big fat salary!

So how much did this “consultant” cost. There are many retired professionals in the area that could have evaluated the situation gratis. To come up with a parcel tax is not the answer. My evaluation is that to use a consultant to recommend a parcel tax is a cop-out in that the results of the vote are blamed on the out-of-town consultant, insulating the governing body from taking responsibility as the long term results of an ever increasing tax becomes burdensome to the citizens, both homeowners and renters, as times goes on. A tax will only feed the beast for a short period, additional funds will be needed long before the five years of this ‘temporary’ tax is in effect. And after five years, then what? Anyone ever remember a ‘temporary’ tax? A much better, permanent solution needs to be developed and put into place.

Yes, CalFire. The Five Cities should have had one Fire Chief and one Police Chief.

You are right. The county has 1 Sheriff for the unincorporated county and there should be 1 Fire Chief for the county. It’s time to address the duplication of all of these high paying jobs that ultimately deplete the services to the people. Although once again the staff, remember the best. smartest and highly paid, recommended a tax increase. We all could have predicted that with non of their precious time wasted.

don’t get sucked into fear…….let the County take over or Cal Fire.