Oceano to consider lowering director stipends

Will Clemens


Shortly after Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo city councils granted themselves considerable raises in compensation, Oceano Community Services District General Manager Will Clemens is asking district board members to consider cutting their compensation.

For years, Oceano has struggled financially, keeping it from conducing timely repairs on its leaky sewer and water pipes. In addition, the district is currently asking residents to pass a special $180 per year fire tax to fund its contribution to the Five Cities Fire Authority.

As cost saving measures, Clemens is suggesting both capping committee compensation for board members, and cutting the number of regular board meetings from two to one per month.

In addition to saving on staff time spent preparing for regular meetings, Clemens estimates changing to one meeting a month “would result in cost savings of $27,000 annually,” according to the staff report.

“Your board would still have the ability to call for special meetings if needed,” Clemens says in his report.

Clemens is also recommending cutting costs by capping director committee compensation to $100 for all committee meetings each month. Currently, board members are paid $50 each for specific committee meetings, which they generally battle to attend.

In December, the board majority: Linda Austin, Karen White and Shirley Gibson banned Director Cynthia Replogle from serving on all committees, and assigned Director Alene Villa to a non-compensated committee. Following community outrage, the board agreed to revisit committee assignments at its Feb. 26 meeting.