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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Nothing says Incest like little governments…

And we have plenty of it here in SLO county.

This is where my ears/eyes perk up in reading Paavo’s scope of advisory work; “inter-agency projects”. What “inter-agencies”? Knowing that San Simeon, along with the support of Bruce Gibson, was before the Coastal Commission in October trying to weasel out of their code violating unpermitted seawall that is protecting their antiquated sewer plant, it was there, and only there, that they pitched a regional solution. A new sewer for Cambria, Hearst Castle/State Park, and themselves, because they can not afford to build a new one alone. This was as a diversion from the real issue at hand — they are in violation of the coastal act and have been for decades. The CCC enforcement division didn’t seem amused and will still pursue the violation.

In the meantime, as I see it, Paavo is being hired by Cambria CSD to help San Simeon on this front.

San Simeon Service District board meeting tonight at 6 –

What Oceano should realize is their CSD GM position should be a permanent part time job!

W T F is wrong with this picture?

Positively, idiotic.

Cambria just passed a rate increase here we go again lining the pockets of administrators. Hopefully the new board will say NO he’s not worth the money and set their sites on hiring a new GM. We don’t need a part-timer .

$257,224 in salary and benefits for a job managing 6 employees…..outrageous. If the rank in file want raises cutting salaries, like Ogren’s, in at least half would be the first place to start.

Moonlighting at $132,976 for a part time job for 6 months? Well that put my mind at ease because it just answered everything.

It’s no wonder these entities are claiming to have no money with salaries like this. Again not a revenue problem they have an expense problem but those in charge refuse to address that and instead cry about needing more money.

Great, so the sexual escapades will continue and the taxpayers will pay. Remember his track record at the County of SLO before he left. It took only 4 years for the dead bodies and sexual harassment charges to mount up. Lets see how long it takes this time….. Time and your money!

I have followed Paavo’s career since 1999-2000 when he was Interim General Manager for the Los Osos CSD (working for Cannon as their consultant to the district). I have heard a lot of things about him, but NEVER sexual harassment associated with him. We heard about an affair with Maria Kelly (now divorced) a former LOCSD director; but who cares? Did that effect his work at the county? Probably not. Did it affect decisions at the LOCSD? Probably, but they were messed up anyway – and still are. Maria and Paavo are planning a wedding of their own next year — good luck to them.

To be fair, I think measuring Paavo on his professional career is all that matters here. He IS very expensive. He is not an engineer, he is an accountant. He knows that if your financial house is not in order, you can not improve infrastructure or tackle your priorities.

What are Cambria’s priorities? Getting the EWP/SWP into compliance should be first and foremost. Scrap it or permit it (good luck with that) — what does the board want? What makes sense? Is it an emergency project or a sustainability (including new development) project? The CCSD board needs to hear from the public and needs to decide. How much will they spend to force fit a square peg into a round hole?

Paavo can shuffle a lot of paper. What is interesting to me is within the scope of work where he will advise on “inter-agency” prospects. To me that means, San Simeon needs him and can’t afford him, while Cambria can afford him, but doesn’t — necessarily — need him.

Good luck to Cambria and Oceano ratepayers as you share Paavo’s $250K+ salary and benefits.

Good move by Cambria CSD. Ogren will get them pointed in the right direction.

Paavo’s worth the money. Obviously he’s fixed Oceano with one hand tied behind him and now he’s off to help out Cambria that has huge problems. Atta boy, Paavo! SLO County needs more good brains like yours!