SLO County supervisor blocks appointment, campaign donor seeks position

May 24, 2023

Supervisor Jimmy Paulding


Division, secretive deals and back stabbing continues in Oceano.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Jimmy Paulding recently curtailed a candidate’s appointment to the Oceano-Nipomo Tourism Board at the request of one of his campaign donors. The donor then applied for the position, though her appointment was also derailed.

The tourism board’s primary mission is to promote the economic well-being of its constituents: hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals. For example, the board recently voted to commission a sign promoting the Nipomo Native Gardens and another promoting whale watching.

State Parks permitted the group to place the signs on state property.

With several vacancies on the South County tourism board, the three remaining members voted unanimously to appoint Roger Jacobs, a new State Parks employee working as the district planning chief, to their board. Historically, the board has included an employee of State Parks.

The SLO County Business Improvement District Board also voted unanimously to appoint Jacobs. The approval was then placed on a SLO County Board of Supervisors consent agenda. However, the supervisors were not able to vote on the proposed appointment.

Bonnie Ernst, a supporter and donor to Paulding’s successful run for office, sent Paulding a letter asking him to pull Jacobs’ appointment to the tourism board. The request was under the letterhead of a three-person group, dubbed the Oceano Beach Community Association, all of whom supported Paulding’s run for office.

The three members: Ernst, Lucia Casalinuovo and Allene Villa, were previously members of the Oceano Advisory Council, a group the county voted to no longer recognize because its members had overstepped their bounds and harassed others. Though tasked with providing recommendations on issues in front of the SLO County Board of Supervisors, the advisory council focused on shuttering both the Oceano Airport and off-highway vehicle recreation at the Oceano Dunes.

In their letter to Paulding, Ernst, Casalinuovo and Villa criticize State Parks, claiming the agency is violating the rules. The three women want Jacobs to meet with them to discuss the Oceano Dunes, but he did not respond to their requests, according to the letter.

Even though Jacobs is in charge of public relations regarding state parks’ facilities in the area, he is a low-level, new employee who is not tasked with discussing contractual issues regarding the dunes, some of which are currently under litigation.

Based on his supporters’ request, Paulding pulled the item from the agenda, an action that typically requires the approval of the SLO County Board of Supervisors’ chair or three of its members.

In a May 16 email, Paulding asks Jacobs to agree to meet with Ernst, Casalinuovo and Villa to discuss their concerns with operations at the Oceano State Parks Vehicle Recreation Area. After that, Paulding wants to have an in-person meeting with him.

Paulding did not respond to CalCoastNews questions regarding his requirement that Jacobs meet with Ernst, Casalinuovo and Villa to discuss their concerns with his employer.

Ernst then applied for a seat on the Oceano-Nipomo Tourism Board. During a May 23 meeting, the tourism board voted to table consideration of Ernst until they resolve the issue of Jacobs’ proposed appointment.

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How can Jimmy think he should be telling a state employee who to talk to and what to talk about. That has nothing to do with being on the tourism board.

I am an Oceano property owner. Paulding is a courageous and wise leader who has always been a huge supporter of Oceano and its residents. He is by far the best Supervisor his district has had this century. There are plenty of good reasons he triumphed over the incumbent office holder. Paulding is doing a good job. Obviously.

You do this “left wing troll” thing on purpose, don’t you? Nobody, but nobody, could be this droolingly supportive about anything done by the left, or Jimmy Paulding.

Just imagine what he can do after he serves for a few months and gets his much deserved pay raise! (sarcasm)

I am not surprised at all! Jimmy Paulding does not have the experience or maturity to handle this job. He’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing, trying to pretend that he knows what he is doing. Just goes to show that those with the most signs should NOT be elected!

Those of us who dealt with Jimmy Paulding when he was on the AG city coucil are not surprised by this, he was the same way all the time in Arroyo Grande.

Jimmy Paulding is fast showing his immaturity and bias at every turn. I would hate to live in Oceano right now. I feel bad for the residents who are subjected to his disregard for them and is focusing all his efforts on progressive loyalties and pleasing his big donors. He’s being called “one term Jimmy” . Can’t end soon enough. I had high hopes too. Sad.

The concerning part is Adam Hill was the same way his first term, and “One Term Adam” was being stated, but Adam was able to work things right, $$$$$$, and was able to continue to get re-elected.