San Luis Obispo County board selects new CEO

April 16, 2024


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors selected Matthew Pontes to serve as county administrative officer, the county announced Tuesday afternoon. The board is scheduled to formally vote to approve his contract next Tuesday.

The county has not yet made public the salary and terms in Pontes’ contract.

For the past two years, Pontes worked as the director of Wildfire and Fuels Management for Sierra Pacific Industries.

From Jan. 2020 through June 2022, Pontes served as the chief administrative officer for Shasta County where he left amid turmoil in the county. Before that, he served as

Before that, Pontes worked in Santa Barbara County for seven years, the last three as assistant county administrator.

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


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These bureaucrats play a game. Start at County A and get a package worth 300K, Move on to County B and get a package worth 325K. Move on to County C, get a package worth 350K. All this abuse is secured by Board of Supervisors who make these decisions. In this person’s case, it’s all documented on It’s a great scam if you’re in on it. So citizens, pay up.

They don’t do this in the private sector as well? Please.

The private sector goes broke when it overspends. Government taxes more when it overspends. Please.

Last time I checked, taxes had to be approved by our representatives in government. Don’t like taxes, choose candidates who won’t raise taxes. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t care. We simply pay the taxes and do very little to involve ourselves in government other than vote. I suspect you are much like me, a comment on this blog and I’m done.

I suggest you get out there and try to effect change. If you don’t like that this guy gets a hefty paycheck, despite the fact that comparable jobs in the private sector pay more, then work to elect supervisors who will decrease his pay.

One quick way to do that is get out there and collect signatures to get Bruce Gibson recalled from board. He has obviously outworn his welcome. The problem is that you need to get candidates who are palatable to the rest of us, and so far, candidates like Whitlock or the doctor from Missouri do not fit that bill. More Heather Morenos might be the answer, but even there, I’m not sure she would look to lower salaries on upper echelon county employees.

Short of that, pay your taxes and quit complaining.

Personally on these pages I have been an advocate for electing BOS’s who are fiscal conservatives. As I have pointed out, this wild advance in public employee costs started in California around 1999 when the “dot com” boom was going and public employee unions started demanding huge wage increases to keep up with the private sector. As we all know the “dot com” thing went away but not the expensive public sector employees. As we all know, getting California voters to understand, or care, about any of this is nearly impossible. I like to refer to California voters as the dumbest group of voters in human history. When you add in immigrants who are given voter registration forms at the DMV AND in welfare application packets, its hard to believe that elections in California will ever be decided by regular, hard working taxpayers.

Oh, ok, you’re an election denier. I wonder if you can post evidence that any illegal immigrant has voted in federal or statewide elections in California? Yes, some undocumented folks have been allowed to vote in school and local elections but that’s because they are “hard working taxpayers” who have a stake in the decisions made by those entities.

I guess you’re just upset that Cali voters would vote for candidates who care about the climate, infrastructure, women’s rights, etc. How dare they. They must be dumb.

Excellent choice! Seriously, I think he is a great fit and will be a good leader.

I don’t know the guy. So, I am wondering why you endorse Mr. Pontes. Why do you think he is great fit and will be a good leader?

In person professional interaction.

A very common story line, served as the xxxxxxxxxx for xxxxxxxx where he/she left amid turmoil”. This seems to be a standard in the government, work somewhere and get in trouble and then leave without consequences take your problem and it becomes the new problem for the entity you move too.

Left out one part, move to a new entity for a higher compensation than the person you replaced…. Government where you are not hired at a lower compensation and you must prove yourself first and your quality of work shows higher compensation is deserved and earned.