San Simeon official resigns, claims racism

April 23, 2023

Daniel de la Rosa


San Simeon Community Services District (CSD) Director Daniel de la Rosa resigned last week alleging racism. De la Rosa is the second director to quit in less than two weeks.

Shortly after the CSD board voted to pay more than $140,000 in legal bills related to alleged conflicts of interest and illegal business practices by the general manager, in 2022 the voters rejected the former board majority. Two newly elected board members had run in opposition to the majority’s support of the controversial general manager.

This left then Director Gwen Kellas, who resigned last week, and de la Rosa in the minority.

After almost three years on the board, de la Rosa resigned effective immediately on April 16 in a letter in which he claims the district is racist against Latinos. As evidence, he refers to an email string that he claims he was excluded from because he is not white.

A week earlier, de la Rosa resigned from the district’s water and budget committees, also alleging racism. He listed three incidents of the alleged racism.

First, he argues that an email string between two San Simeon directors and a committee member is racist because the email was not also sent to him.

Another member of the water and budget committees, Henry Krzciuk, sent an email to CSD Chair Jacqueline Diamond and Director Michael Donahue about his plan to contact a staffer to ask information about the budget. In an attempt to comply with the Brown Act, Krzciuk said he was careful not to email a CSD board majority.

The Brown Act prohibits a majority of board members from discussing the public’s business outside a board meeting.

De la Rosa also alleges CSD Chair Diamond removed him from the budget committee without proper notice. However, according to district records, de la Rosa was not a member of the budget committee in 2021 or 2022.

“The inclusion and respect of all committee members in all committee business is a fundamental expectation and courtesy to the community that we are sworn to serve,” de la Rosa wrote in his resignation from the committees. “The entire purpose of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) was to assure minorities are not being disenfranchised. Your acts of discrimination and exclusion circumvent the spirit of the CVRA.”

In his letter resigning from the CSD board, de la Rosa alleges his letter quitting the committees should have been provided in the CSD board packet because the CSD included the resignation of a white person, Kellas, from the CSD board.

De la Rosa points out that this is not a personnel issue because he is not an employee and that it is not a confidential matter, and as such should have been included with the agenda.

However, district officials are not required to place documents related to potential litigation in the board packet.

The San Simeon CSD currently has only three board members. The board is expected to discuss replacing Kellas and de la Rosa at their April 25 board meeting.

With approximately 195 voters, who are divided into five districts with about 45 voters each, district officials have voiced concerns with finding eligible candidates.

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Lawsuit and settlement to follow?

Another crybaby in over his head, board members are elected not not always qualified.

Being a sore loser (no longer part of the Board majority) doesn’t make you a protected class.

It’s a sad state of affairs when this person represents the disadvantaged hardworking residents of San Simeon. A good representative would have continued to fight on and not quit.

Come on now, fire Charlie Grace and his company.

They will do everything to extend the waste and corruption. Just dissolve the district already. The County Public Works department can easily take over the necessary functions at far less cost with far more public accountability.