SLO County supervisors to interview final administrator candidates

March 13, 2024


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a special meeting on Thursday to interview the final candidates for the empty county administrator position, according to an agenda posted Wednesday. The supervisors plan to discuss the appointment in closed session.

The candidates include Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson, and two other male candidates. It is likely the board will select a new administrator on Thursday.

In Nov. 2023 , the SLO County Board of Supervisors voted to fire then Administrative Officer John Nilon because of allegations of sexual misconduct. During his short tenure, multiple county employees and others accused Nilon of inappropriate touching.

Nilon, whose first day was May 1, 2023, was appointed on a 3-2 vote, with supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong opposed. Arnold felt the county had not properly vetted Nilon, while Peschong felt his salary was too high.


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Benson has always been Ortiz-Legg’s CAO in waiting. It was a factor in the tension that led to Horton’s demise and was a major factor in the kerfuffle with Nilon. Ortiz-Legg even said as much in the Tribune when she said the allegations against Nilon didn’t seem like much. Clearing the path for Benson is what Ortiz-Legg did.

It’s interesting that Benson even made the list to be interviewed. His resume is light for this position. The manager of a tiny city with a smattering of prior county experience wouldn’t make the cut in a national search by a reputable talent acquisition company. A national search by a reputable talent acquisition company is exactly what the Board promised us, the tax payers, would happened.

What did we get? A recruitment led by county staff. Why? So cronyism would rule the day again.

Bronson not Benson, my apologies

Just make sure that whomever is picked for this “at will” professional position is required to provide their own insurance so that the public is protected from any and all malpractice for behavior and all decisions made.

Within nine months, the county has had these resignations: 2 CAOs, 1 Homeless Services Director, 1 Economic Development Director, and 1 HR Director (or so it’s rumored). In this toxic environment, perhaps we the taxpayers need indemnification from the dysfunction that is the Board of Supervisors.

I doubt the integrity of the Assistant Administrator. It appears all alllegations against Nikon began and ended with her. From my reading of what was reported, she was upset that Nikon got the top job instead of her and thereafter the allocations began.

Still not too late to just appoint the assistance administrator to the position at a reasonable compensation, do not fill the assisatant position and save some money and start addressing the ballooning pension debt.

Re: the Assistant, the Board doesn’t like Backstabbing Becky. Ortiz-Legg wants her fired.

As I stated months ago, Bronson is Ortiz-Legg’s darling and will be the next CAO.

Please note in a separate CCN story, Bronson is being required to pay back taxpayers for being over charged. That’s exactly what our Tax and Spend Board os Supervisor’s values highly, screwing the taxpayer.

Buckle up and hide your money…it’s going to be a wild ride.

Bronson runs a 2 sq mile city with an $18 million budget…Seems woefully under qualified to run a $1 billion dollar, 3,300 sq mile county. Perhaps that’s the best the county can attract given the Board of Supervisors’ reputation for inept and unethical governance.