Paavo Ogren quits waste management agency, again

June 5, 2022

Paavo Ogren

By KAREN VELIE

The head of San Luis Obispo County’s regional waste management agency quit last month after leading the agency for five months. This is the second time Paavo Ogren has quit the controversial organization in less than a year.

On July 14, 2021, the SLO County Integrated Waste Management (IWMA) board approved Ogren’s hire as proposed by the executive committee, which was not in line with the agency’s hiring guidelines. During the July meeting, the board’s only option was Ogren, with a salary of $186,120 a year, even though the position has a cap of $150,000 a year.

Two weeks later, prosecutors charged a former IWMA board secretary with 10 felonies — nine for embezzlement of IWMA funds and one for destruction of public records, providing fuel to members already considering leaving the IWMA.

During an Aug. 10, 2021 SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting, members of the public accused Supervisor Bruce Gibson of having a conflict of interest in the hiring of Ogren, his friend. After discussing the criminal charges and allegations of mismanagement, the supervisors voted 3-2 for the county to exit the IWMA and to have county staff comply with state waste mandates. Ogren quit the next day.

On Jan. 12, the IWMA board again appointed Ogren to the interim executive director position at a salary of $186,120 a year, a position he vacated in May.

The county’s seven cities remain in the IWMA. Last month, the board selected former IWMA employee Peter Cron to lead the agency.


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obispan

If you elect Paulding, Ortiz-Legg, and Gibson he will be back. And his pension is already insane. He set a new bar for corruption in this county.


kayaknut

Everyone should know Paavo was collecting his pension and a salary at the same time.


mazin

Compton, Arnold and Peschong are fiscally responsible? I don’t see it. Nobody wants to make the hard decisions. The ‘conservatives’ talk but don’t enact administrative and management salary reductions. Nobody does it.

I give Ortiz-Legg a break since she was appointed in November 2020.

Everyone is all talk with no real change. These salary and benefit packages need to be capped countywide.


commonsenseguy

I agree with your overcompensated and fiscal irresponsibility. All department heads must be held accountable to us in a public setting in complete transparency.

Sorry, but no break for the “Code Pink” Ortiz-Legg. She’s out of the same mold as the late Adam Hill, and the failing Bruce “Angry” Gibson. She’s directly tied to the corruption they started as members of the B.O.S.

There’s no free pass for her. To even suggest that she does, is a deflection and denying of the facts and her ties to the two. Sorry, that won’t fly with us that pay attention.


mazin

I am just tired of the supervisorial and department head salary and benefit heists and “management protection” staffing levels. We have runaway overspending. No one seems to be able to get it under control, laser focused on spending.

As for Ortiz-Legg, with only 16 months in office, how can anyone draw a conclusion? Ortiz-Legg has a reasonable problem solving mind.


commonsenseguy

Yep. With the help of Gibson and Ortiz-Legg.


slo-to-load

Her tag line is “Get a Legg up”, but I think Gibson was getting a “Legg over” if you catch my drift…


mazin

When is the public going to reject board and council members that pay these outrageous salary and benefit packages! Tell me how is THIS use of public monies either Progressive, Moderate, Liberal, Conservative or Alt Right! Recall every board and council voting in these employee heists. Gibson and Compton, same-o, same-o! Try Jones, Paulding … anybody to stop the run away spending!


commonsenseguy

Good. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out you………


JThomas

Good Riddance!