Caren Ray’s rose colored view of the past

October 23, 2018

Councilwoman Caren Ray


During a recent interview on the Dave Congalton Show, Arroyo Grande city council woman and former San Luis Obispo County supervisor, Caren Ray, who served on the Integrated Waste Management Authority board said, the IWMA “went sideways after I left.”

Ms. Ray served as supervisor, and as such, on the IWMA board, from October of 2013 until the end of 2014. From all indications the IWMA was “sideways” before, during and after she left.

On Nov. 13, 2013, an audit report was brought forward at the scheduled IWMA meeting, which Ms Ray attended. In the audit review of the previous year, the auditors provided this statement: “In planning and performing our audit, we considered the Authority’s internal control over financial reporting to determine the audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances for the purpose of expressing our opinion on the financial statements, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Authority’s internal control. Accordingly, we do not express an opinion on the effectiveness of the Authority’s internal control.”

There was no public comment and the audit was accepted by the board with a unanimous vote. Three members were absent.

On May 14, 2014, Ms. Ray attended the meeting where the budget was to be reviewed. There was no public comment and apparently the vote occurred without any questions. The vote passed without any objections.

Questionable expenses during her tenure include some made with foreign currency in October of 2014. A night at a posh hotel in Prague in the Czech Republic, purchases made at Mitre Linen Co., a hotel bedding and linen supply store in the United Kingdom, Laura Ashely in London, Custom Curtain Co. and Just Sew Interiors (both window covering stores, also in the UK) and movie tickets.

Did Ms Ray hold staff accountable for the hundreds of dollars in meals at local restaurants; Thairiffic, Gennaro’s and Firestone grills, Natural Cafe and Bon Temps? Perhaps she inquired about the $200 charge to Reseda Flowers?

Ms. Ray corrected Congalton when he called her a “watchdog” she said, “I don’t call myself a watchdog, I’m a public representative.”

With Ms. Ray’s type of representation, we the taxpayer, get fleeced.

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I CANNOT support Caren Ray!

Caren Ray’s conduct is detrimental to good government, and her record of public service leaves a lot to be desired.  Ms. Ray has covered up for her friends and fellow progressives, and her attempt to whitewash her short tenure on the SLO County board of supervisors was so short because taxpayers could tell she lacked even the basic leadership skills to do the job.

As Ms. Julie Tacker succinctly points out, Caren Ray is attempting to sweep into the AG mayors office by offering spurious criticism of the outstanding Jim Hill.  As mayor, Jim Hill has returned fiscally responsible government to our beloved Arroyo Grande, and he has not tolerated the corrupt politics of Tony Ferrara, Caren Ray, and Kristine Barneich.  Our town is better for his public service, and he deserves our support in his bid for reelection.

The bottom line is that elections have consequences, and the taxpaying public deserves the trusted incumbent leadership of Jim Hill.  Electing Caren Ray will result in tax hikes, high-density development, and more traffic congestion.  Her positions on so many important issues are out-of-step with working families, and it would be a mistake to elect her and Jimmy Paulding to the AG city council.

Lastly, Caren Ray has a history of questionable personal conduct, and, taken with her out-of-touch socialist policies, voters cannot afford to elect a person like Caren Ray to serve us.

On Tuesday, November 6, vote mayor Jim Hill as AG Mayor.

Don’t you live in Los Osos? I truly don’t understand why you so ingrained in Arroyo Grande politics.

Ahhh, that old “You don’t live within this border so you’re not allowed to have facts or opinions about the area” boondoggle retort.

We ALL live in SLO county. In fact, we are ALL affected by what happens within the county, the state, the country, the continent and the world so stop using that sad ad hominem attack when you don’t like facts getting in the way of your misguided loyalty.

Some folks are more on top of local issues and government errors than the actual residents in the affected area, so trying to shut them up instead of helping to shine the light says so much about where your true interest lies. Not with what is best for the area and residents, clearly.

It’s a legitimate response AJ. She pays no taxes in AG yet inserts herself in everything. I have absolutely no loyalty to any politicians in AG but I truly don’t understand why Ms. Tacker cares so much about AG (and not the other cities in the County). There has to be a reason. No one is trying to shut her up – I just am an observer that is wondering WHY there is a loyalty to her opinion when she doesn’t live or pay taxes here. It seems odd and fishy to me.


First of all, many people have tried to “shut me up”. The more they try, the less I will. The question then becomes, what are they hiding that when I shine a light they have to cover?

I don’t know where you got the idea that I am only following AG. I read the County Board of Supervisors and all the CSD and City agenda’s and attend several other agency meetings. When I have a question or concern, I ask. As for Caren Ray’s statement that the IWMA “went sideways after I left”, having read those agenda’s and minutes, I knew there was trouble during her tenure that she didn’t care to research or repair. It took watchdog citizens (like me, but not me in this case) to call for an investigation which is now under investigation by the DA. Similar to the Wallace matter, that she also shrugged off. Ray does not listen to her constituents, she’s listening to the developer/consultant/staff who tell her what she want’s to hear.

Julie – no one is trying to shut you up. That’s being a bit overdramatic. All I asked was a simple question. As I said, I have no tie to any of the candidates. I live in AG and wondering why you care so much about our City’s politics. Just a simple search through this site ties you to two things: the CSD (and water issues in general – which I get. It’s a big deal all over the Central Coast) and the City of AG (particularly Jim Hill). It’s cool if you are friends with him and that’s your motivation. There is nothing wrong with that. But I don’t see you getting into any other City’s politics other than AG (and Osos but you live there).

Whomever is mayor etc of any city in the county matters to everyone because they serve on boards that service the whole county, IWMA, San districts etc.

So your concept that only locals should have an opinion on the AG mayors race is BS of the first order. If it really mattered to you , why are you not working to get out of AG the non local campaign contributions? Then there is that whole pesky Free Speech thing “No one is trying to shut her up” yet here you are casting aspersions in a attempt to do just that.


Lots of people HAVE tried to shut me up. I have been investigated by people in the South County and have been harassed by individuals who would like to see me stay out of your issues. I guess I have been more vocal on Arroyo Grande verses other cities because of my interest in the Sanitation District. When the politics in the member agencies impacts the san dist that’s when my hackles go up; so that includes the Jim Hill and the Caren Ray race. Hill has been very effective at san dist and I would hate to see him out of office, for that reason. By way of background, my first tour of the san dist was in 2003 when I was “shopping” for sewers for Los Osos. It’s funny you haven’t seen my involvement in other cities or csd’s than Los Osos, perhaps you didn’t do what the chumps of the south county did a few years ago. They engage Natalie Bocanegra, a Sacramento attorney to request all the public records that I had requested from every city and csd in the county. If you had, you would find, as she did, that I have dabbled in pretty much every agency at some point (not the cemetery or health districts — yet). My interest in Caren Ray is only that she needs to be exposed as a liar. Just as I point out in this piece, IWMA was sideways under her “representation”, perhaps because she is not a watchdog — which is a quality that is necessary when one is an elected official. As for being a friend of Jim Hill, I hope I can consider myself one, even though we disagree deeply on some issues related to the san dist and its role in future water.

Regardless of those matters, I consider him to have more integrity than most elected officials I have ever met.

Our money is funding her international vacation? How is she not in jail??? Taxes are high enough as it is, that’s money that working families could be improving their lives with or circulating within the local economy. This is insane.

To be fair, the expenses were made on her watch, but the were made by someone with access to the IWMA credit card — not Caren Ray.

Yeah, representing herself and her cronies! Funny how she turns a blind eye when pressing issues involved her friends in politics, yet she is all ready to jump on Jim Hill, whose only crime is representing the people of Arroyo Grande and wanting to clean up the criminal actions going on there and on the Sanitation District! She’s a smooth talker, and wanted to shove that issue under the table since she WAS on the Board of Supervisors during the rampant, illegal spending going on at the IWMA. This report clearly shows her lack of judgement and unwillingness to investigate. In this case Caren Ray went along with the crowd.

This report clearly shows her lack of judgement and unwillingness to investigate.

She learned from her master, Tony Ferrara, and she still practices his teachings to this day – dismiss, discount and discourage those that stand up and seek accountability and action against the blatant corruption throughout the various government agencies here in SLO county, and especially the south county.

Thwarting cronyism? Not her interest, not her motivation. Period.