San Luis Obispo County government meetings this week

January 8, 2024

By CalCoastNews Staff

Government meetings in San Luis Obispo County for the week of Jan. 7 through Jan. 13:

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. on Jan. 9 at the county building.

The board is scheduled to elect Supervisor Debbie Arnold as chairperson and Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg as its vice-chairperson for the 2024 term, which is inline with the board’s Rules of Procedure, under Item 3 on the consent agenda. While Supervisor Bruce Gibson argued against overriding the rotation at a time then-Supervisor Adam Hill was passed over amid ongoing allegations of corruption and bullying, he now has a board majority and could attempt to reject the rotation.

The board is slated to set a salary range of $105,955 to $135,240 for a newly created position of sustainability manager for multiple departments, under Item 11. The county is currently operating under a more than $25 million budget deficit and nearly $1 billion in unfunded pension liability. The county has until July to balance the budget, as required by state statute.

“The Human Resources Department has identified a need to establish a sustainability manager classification for multiple county departments,” according to the staff report. “The proposed classification will enable the county to recruit and retain in-house subject matter experts to plan, organize and manage energy sustainability efforts and projects in various departments, enabling them to provide energy cost saving and containment solutions, as well as other sustainability initiatives.”

Under Item 25 in closed session, the board will discuss hiring a new county administrative officer. During 2023, the board ousted two CAOs: Wade Horton and John Nilon. Assistant County Administrative Officer Rebecca Campbell is temporarily filling the position.

Arroyo Grande City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Jan. 9 at in the council chambers.

The Arroyo Grande City Council is again seeking a sales tax increase which requires voter approval, according to item 12.a on the agenda. In 2022, the voters rejected a proposed 1% sales tax increase, with only 45.64% of the votes in favor of the measure.

The council recently paid True North Research $27,280 to run a poll to determine if the public would likely vote for an increase in 2024. On Tuesday, the council will discuss the result of the poll, which shows 65% of the voters likely approve a sales tax increase.

The poll also asked residents if they were in favor of repairing roads and infrastructure and helping the homeless. Similar weighted polls have produced inaccurate projections.

Atascadero City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Jan. 9 in the council chambers.

Since construction of the city’s wastewater treatment facility in 1980, the City of Atascadero has nearly doubled in population. As a result, the city is planning to retrofit and improve the facility.

Under Item A-2 on the agenda, the council is slated to contract with Water Systems Consulting for $2,569,361 to provide program management services for the project.

Grover Beach City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Jan. 8 in the council chambers.

Under Item 4 on the consent agenda, the council is slated to approve the hiring of attorney Lozano Smith, as city attorney. The city’s current attorney David Hale is retiring.

A citizens group, Grover H2O, is filing an initiative to stop Central Coast Blue, a proposed recycled water project. Grover H2O members argue Smith has a conflict of interest because he is currently the attorney for Central Coast Blue.

City engineers and consultants want the board to discuss changing the scope of a sewer line replacement project after the bids came back $1.2 million higher than anticipated. Under agenda Item 12, the board will discuss scaling back the project and costs.

Morro Bay City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 at the Veterans Memorial Hall.

As part of the city’s homeless plan, Wendy Blackert is scheduled to unveil a new program to provide showers for the unhoused, listed as Item 5.b. on the agenda. On the first and third Mondays of the month from noon to 3 p.m., showers will be provided at the library, which is closed on Mondays.

Under Item 9.a, the council will review its Short-Term Rental Ordinance. Staff is asking the council to select one of the following:

  • Continue to monitor its overall effectiveness and bring back for future review.
  • Clarify certain weakness of current process and direct improvements accordingly, which may or may not result in ordinance change.
  • Revamp the entire process. This is not recommended.

Oceano Community Services District Board meets at 6 p.m. on Jan. 10 in the CSD boardroom.

During an Oct. 25 Oceano Community Services District meeting, General Manager Will Clemens announced plans to retire because a change in the makeup of the board had made his job untenable.

However, under closed session agenda Item 14-D-4 regarding pending litigation, Clemens is now asking for $206,700 in severance pay because he left under constructive termination of his contract by the district Board of Directors.

The Oceano board plans to hire Jeffrey Minnery, through his recently created The JAM Law Group, as special District Legal Counsel. If hired, Minnery will be tasked with water issues, primarily representing the district in the ongoing Santa Maria Valley Groundwater litigation.

Minnery, formerly of Adamski, Moroski, Madden, Cumberland & Green, LLP, left his former employer after several lengthy stays in medical facilities.

The district hired Attorney Rob Shultz at its Dec. 20 special meeting as primary counsel, on an interim bases. Shultz is the former city attorney for Morro Bay and more recently Los Gatos.

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The Board of Sups can elect any member as Chair and can annually change the process as many counties do. SLO rotates Chairs in the following district order 5, 3, 4, 2, 1. As you can see this is a political not numerical approach. Arnold will be the next Chair because a deal was done to cancel the Gibson recall if he votes for his arch enemy Arnold, or so the word on the street has it.