Paavo Ogren to moonlight as advisor to Cambria

December 11, 2018

Paavo Ogren


Oceano Community Services District General Manager Paavo Ogren is slated to move to part-time at his current position and begin moonlighting as an advisor to the Cambria Community Services District, according to the districts’ websites. [Cal Coast Times]

The Oceano board agreed to reduce Ogren’s hours from 40 per week to 20, in order to free him up to work at the Cambria district in the newly created position of “strategic and organizational advisor.” Ogren will be assisting Monique Madrid, the Cambria district’s acting general manager, while the board looks for a new general manager.

Ogren is contracted to work 24-hours per week in Cambria at $99.00 per hour over the next six months, according to Ogren’s Employment Agreement. His duties include giving advice on strategic planning, organizational analysis, capital project management, coordination with other agencies on inter-agency projects, and attendance at Cambria Community Services District Board meetings.

In his present position in Oceano, Ogren supervises six employees, three of whom work in the office and three of whom work in the utility yard. In 2017, Oceano paid Ogren $257,224 in salary and benefits.

Oceano has agreed to reduce Ogren’s hours to 20 a week at a savings to the district of approximately $127,500 annually while he moonlights in Cambria.

Before taking the helm at Oceano, Ogren was the Public Works Director for the County of San Luis Obispo for seven years where he supervised 180 people at a salary of $191,000 annually.

In September, the Cambria district board voted to sever its ties with then General Manager Jerry Gruber. Over his tenure with the district, Gruber had come under fire over a variety of issues, including an expensive water project and multiple water and sewer rate hikes; discrepancies in CSD accounting; and Gruber’s high pay. In 2016, Gruber received $237,843 in total pay and benefits, according to Transparent California.

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Let’s never forget that he’s an administrator. Take it from someone who lives in Los Osos, never have this guy act in any capacity as an engineer.

Smart move by both districts, they each get a high powered individual for half the cost, a win win for both districts. You can say what you wan,t but in my experience Paavo is a very sharp operator, very good a finding and writing grants a securing low interest loans for these smaller districts.

Years ago the County put him in charge getting a Water Treatment Plant built in Cayucos. He got it done found the money to do so and made it a very painless ordeal.

Don’t know him, but I do respect his abilities after watching him up close and personnel in Cayucos as well when he was the Public Works Director for the County.

Agree. Ogren initiated a plan to expand Cayucos CSA boundaries so that the two areas of town that were served by private water companies could be financed by State low interest loans, minimizing each water customers’ cost for the State’s mandatory water treatment plant upgrade. He also planned and implemented smart bond financing to minimize the cost of the mandated Lopez Dam state mandated retrofit. His hourly rate should not be compared to standard local government employee positions; he functions more as a high level consultant, who often cost more than what he will be paid. Relax, and let him work.