San Simeon board fails to appoint new director: What’s next?

May 8, 2022

By KAREN VELIE

The San Simeon Community Services District missed the window to appoint a board member to fill a vacancy, after it wrongfully withheld the names of those running for the seat from the public.

After just two months on the board, former director Roberta Reinstein submitted a letter of resignation on March 8, effective immediately. California’s Government Code requires the board appoint a replacement within 60 days of the resignation, which in this case was May 7, or lose their right to appoint.

Two people applied for the vacant board seat: Henry Krzciuk and Jacqueline Diamond. Krzciuk is a whistleblower and activist who has been very critical of the current board. Diamond, a retired teacher with an accounting background, has also questioned the board’s actions.

Following the district’s April 28 deadline to apply for the position, CalCoastNews requested the names of the candidates, which is public information, according to the Public Records Act. District Office Manager Cortney Murguia argued that the Brown Act forbids the district from informing the public who the candidates are before publishing the agenda, and then hung up on the reporter who asked for the specific rule.

The San Simeon district board plans to consider the candidates at a May 10 board meeting, according to the agenda.

However, Government Code 1780 does not allow community service district boards to appoint a director after missing the 60 day deadline. As a result, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has 30 days past May 7, the missed deadline, to appoint a director or call for an election to fill the vacancy.


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kayaknut

It seems interesting that according to the San Simeon Community District’s website that two employees of Charlie Grace’s company are listed on the staff and board members page, and why do some of the listed Directors have @gmail accounts instead of @sansimeoncsd.org accounts, wouldn’t this make transparency more difficult?


Julie

This district had plenty of time to appoint someone to replace Director Reinsten at their April 12th meeting, but not knowing who the candidates might be, they may have been left with choosing someone who wouldn’t agree with paying Charlie Grace’s $50,000 legal bill that was on that agenda.


Consequently, the bill was paid by the current board majority.


The $50,000 (redacted so much the board and public couldn’t even see what work they were paying for) was for Grace’s admitted violation of Government Code Section 1090 which prohibits an officer or employee from entering into or participating in making contracts in which they have a financial interest:

(a) Members of the Legislature, state, county, district, judicial district,

and city officers or employees shall not be financially interested in

any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body

or board of which they are members. Nor shall state, county, district,

judicial district, and city officers or employees be purchasers at any

sale or vendors at any purchase made by them in their official

capacity.

(Gov. Code, § 1090, subd. (a).


Grace should have been fired. Not rewarded.


Jorge Estrada

Paavo to the rescue??


Julie

No thank you.


George Garrigues

Keep up the good work. Best wishes.


Hank Photo

Is what has happened here intentional, negligent, and/or incompetency?


Is it possible that the San Simeon “management” team has the same problem with math that they do with reading maps? Remember they still have an unresolved illegal Hearst encroachment and the illegal construction of the RO/Desalination facility way into a public road right-of-way resulting in the threat of another lawsuit.


It is not likely that the San Simeon District Counsel who provides legal services to nearly 10 other special districts in the County would not know the law for filling vacancies.


Whatever the reason they spin, they have interfered with the community’s local governance and democratic processes. What they have done is wrong and costly. Legal and other costs are going to be incurred including a further loss of trust.