Oceano votes against freedom of speech

December 12, 2019

Cynthia Replogle


In an attempt to control a director’s speech, the Oceano Community Services District Board voted 3-2 on Wednesday to bar Director Cynthia Replogle from any committee, liaison or subject matter assignments for one year. [Cal Coast Times]

The board originally attempted to muzzle Replogle in early 2019, after she spoke as a member of the public at a Pismo Beach City Council meeting. Because of environmental concerns, Replogle opposed plans to build a regional recycling water project in Oceano, which the majority of the Oceano board supported.

At that time, outraged members of the public accused the board of attempting to keep them in the dark by restricting opposing views, and the board majority dropped plans to punish Replogle.

At Wednesday’s poorly attended meeting, Director Karen White made a motion to bar Replogle from representing the board in any manner, noting that Replogle’s opposing views were confusing to Oceano residents.

“I get really tired of the destructive actions she takes in public,” White said.

Director Allene Villa disagreed, noting that Replogle explains that she is not speaking on behalf of the board when she voices a non-board majority opinion.

“It is a little bit obscene for a public body to say that everybody has to fall in line and agree with us when we make a decision,” Replogle said.

Even though Jeff Minnery, Oceano’s legal counsel, said Replogle had a legal right to voice her opinions, White and Director Shirley Gibson disagreed.

Shirley Gibson

“Her behavior undermines our board and is destructive to our community,” Gibson said. “We do expect that after a vote, if you disagree with it, you should be mute.”

Replogle then questioned Gibson’s understanding of freedom of speech.

“That is not what the First Amendment is all about,” Replogle said. “Maybe you should read the Constitution.”

Directors White, Gibson and Linda Austin then voted to bar Replogle from committee assignments for one year. Villa and Replogle dissented.


So Ms. Replogle goes on Congalton (4 to 5 pm Mon 12/16/2019) and slams the SLO County Board of Supervisors, saying the current board majority is doing something similar by limiting the ability of the minority to serve on committees/receive appointments. Wtf?


Karen White used to be a reporter for the Santa Maria Times, so the idea of a former reporter squashing the First Amendment rights of anyone is both laughable and chilling.


What team is Gibson’s hockey jersey from? Definitely an enforcer.


The brightest star to sit on the Oceano CSD in the many years I have paid attention to the District, is being denied her rights to the First Amendment by three directors, who have proven to be both ignorant and disrespectful. Their decision to bar her from OCSD Board liasion appointments, has reached a level of absurdity, that to this reader, is incomprehensible.

Ms. Replogle has the absolute right to speak as a private citizen outfside of Oceano Board-related meetings. Two, of the five female directors who make up the Board, are from the tiny unincorporated area of Halcyon–which consists of 125 acres and a population of between 100 and 125, and yet director, Shirley Gibson, had the following to say, according to the account in the CCN article above: “Her behavior undermines our board and is destructive to our community,” Really, Ms. Gibson? Ms. Replogle lives in the much larger community of Oceano which is made up of 960 acres and a population of approx. 7,286.

Director Gibson also said: “We do expect that after a vote, if you disagree with it, you should be mute.” May I remind director Gibson, that we live in a democracy; not a dictatorship!

I recently learned that Halycon is included in Oceano’s Cencus. It would appear that Oceano is unfairly and hugely under represented when comparing the above-mentioned demographics. I would highly recommend that Oceano residents speak up, find new candidates and get yourselves a Board that is not whining and petty. You are fortunate to have Ms. Replogle on your Board–try to improve upon what you have by eliminating directors who have proven they are not fairly representing your community. The majority’s actions are shameful and they should be held responsible–to put it bluntly, get rid of them!



I SUPPORT Director Cynthia Replogle!

Let’s recall directors Karen White, Linda Austin and Shirley Gibson. Clearly these three poorly educated public officials misunderstand the concepts of civil discourse and the first amendment, and THEY are the danger to good government and responsible conduct.

I call on ALL Central Coast residents to attend the Oceano Community Services District Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 8th, public comment is at 7:00 p.m. Let these three foolish directors know exactly what you think of their attempt to muzzle Director Cynthia Replogle.

Remember, it was these same directors who unfairly attacked and maligned former A.G. Mayor Jim Hill, and their foolishness in that matter alone cost taxpayers over $100,000. Directors White, Austin and Gibson are closely aligned with Caren Ray Rossum and Adam Hill, and they coordinate their lowball politics.

Speak truth to power.