Time to tie the knot?
San Luis Obispo County Administrator Jim Grant has thoroughly dismissed the allegations of conflict of interest between Public Works Director Paavo Ogren and former Los Osos Community Services District director Maria Kelly as having “no factual basis” during the morning portion of Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Grant listed each facet of the investigation that he focused on, and stated unequivocally that Ogren was cleared of conflict of interest on all allegations raised by the local media.
Continue reading Ogren Investigation Falls Short →
Though she had no power or authority over the Los Osos wastewater project during her tenure on the board, former Los Osos Community Services Director Maria Kelly may have promoted the Los Osos wastewater project on her boyfriend’s — County Public Works’ Paavo Ogren — behalf through election campaigning, word-of-mouth at various community events, and progressive board action that allowed a controversial contractor to participate in the wastewater project. Given the seemingly lopsided results of the Proposition 218 assessment and the community survey, the County of San Luis Obispo benefited from her free marketing.
Continue reading The County’s Manchurian Sewer Candidate →
Now playing at LOCSD funhouse
CORRECTION (11:47 PM): Marshall Ochylski spoke to Razor Online and has denied that Wright is his insurance agent, and has also denied that Wright is campaign manager. Proper corrections have been made to make the article as accurate as possible.
On July 7 Michael Wright was appointed to the Los Osos Community Services District board, assuming a seat that was vacated by former Vice President Maria Kelly, who recently resigned under pressure. Board President Marshall Ochylski, the leading supporter for Wright, openly admitted to reaching out to Wright and convincing him to submit an application for the position. Later it was rumored that not only is Wright the board president’s insurance agent, he was also his campaign manager during his most recent bid for the District 2 seat on the SLO County Board of Supervisors. Ochylski has denied the rumors.
Continue reading When Wright is Wrong →
The County of San Luis Obispo is unlike most counties in California — and across the nation — because of its distinct preference for silence as a general response to public inquiry. Many inquiries and concerns are raised and have been raised by citizens who demand transparency and accountability. However, many of those inquiries and concerns are swept under the rug without recourse. This is the culture of silence, and it’s rudely counter-intuitive to making progress and uncovering the truth about highly questionable governmental practices that have become standard operating procedure in the County.
Continue reading The Culture of Silence →
Don't cry Maria... we're moving in with Paavo!
Former LOCSD director Maria Kelly and current Public Works Director Paavo Ogren have been dating for six months. Some allege that their relationship has lasted for two to three years, and the political circumstances surrounding their relationship are extensive. It’s too early to tell whether a conflict of interest between Ogren and Kelly can be proven. However, there is information that illustrates the appearance of conflict of interest. Razor Online investigates the allegations.
Continue reading The Kelly/Ogren Influence →
UPDATE (6/22 10:30 PM): The Tribune is now reporting that Kelly has been dating Ogren for six months, but she “does not base my relationship” on the sewer.
UPDATE (6/22 7:30 PM): The podcast is back online. Click on the link below to access it.
UPDATE (6/22 12:15 PM): KVEC 92.0, the radio station hosting the Dave Congalton show, has pulled the June 17 podcast, which had Velie discussing the article.
UPDATE (6/21 10:25 AM): The County Administrator will investigate the allegations made by CalCoastNews, and Razor Online will report to you the results when that information is available.
We didn’t vote for Maria Kelly. Paavo Ogren is not on our Christmas card list. CalCoastNews has a solid readership for their”gotcha!” formula. Love ‘em or not, something is wrong with the CalCoast formula, and it’s in danger of turning toxic when they go after the kids.
Continue reading CalCoastNews’ Teenage Hostages →
The County says, "Take my card!"
The County is tired of hearing from Los Osos residents about the County’s handling, or mangling, of the sewer project, for which Los Osos is paying, not the County.
How tired are they? So tired that Supervisor Bruce Gibson, at a recent after-hours session in Los Osos, narrowed his usual lava flow of caustic, inflammatory comments to two words: “Sue me.”
Continue reading ‘Sue Me… and Shut Up!’ →
UPDATE (4:36 PM): Dave Duggan posted some great quotes that give a lot of insight into what Celebrate Los Osos is all about.
On May 22, Celebrate Los Osos (CLO) is sponsoring the Back Bay Music Festival, which will have BBQ, beer, wine and free music — all for supposedly a good cause. Proceeds from the event will go toward beautification projects in Los Osos and Baywood Park. Months ago, I wrote an article about this volunteer organization and how the people involved have done more harm than good for people living in the Prohibition Zone. I’ve personally asked the founders of this volunteer organization to set up a fund for residents who would be unable to afford the upcoming sewer. There was no response. However, there was a response by founder Pandora Nash-Karner, which included public relations-inspired expressions like “spirit of volunteerism” and lines like, “Volunteering is the most fundamental act of citizenship and philanthropy in our society.”
Continue reading Let’s Celebrate Accountability →
2009 was the year that included the removal of STEP/STEG and other alternatives from the County Los Osos Wastewater Project’s design-build process, a formal complaint against Public Works director Paavo Ogren and hours of tedious — but sometimes heated — debate at the Planning Commission meetings. Along the way, mistakes were made on both sides of the debate while everyone hopelessly expected some of the bigger problems to be mitigated. Contrary to what the County of San Luis Obispo has said, the County has unanimously sided with County staff recommendations with each and every turn involving the LOWWP. With hope fading in their eyes, a small group of Los Osos residents pleaded with the board to reconsider their decisions, but the board moved ahead. Those with the loudest objections to the County were silenced with Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s wave of the hand, a chuckle out of pity and a quick tug of the microphone plug — and the microphone was off. On a few occasions, Gibson asserted that most of the people of Los Osos approved of their handling of the process, but do they?
Whether you like it or not, it’s unarguable the County made an incredible amount of what they would call “progress.” The Planning Commission moved forward with the project, changing many of the project conditions, most of which remained uncontested by the Board of Supervisors. The BOS successfully paved a clear path for the project to be considered by the California Coastal Commission, which will discuss the LOWWP and the appeals in January of next year. The County also managed to secure consideration for USDA grant money (through a population waiver) thanks to the provision on Los Osos added to the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which President Obama signed into law. Let’s not forget the $35 million dollar authorization in the Water Resources Development Act, which is available for federal appropriation. The only problem is that after lingering fees and changes relevant to the sewer, which include paying off the interest of the USDA’s $64 million loan, Los Osos residents may not actually see the savings.
For now, let’s take a look at what’s happened in 2009 and check out the highlights.
Appearing as the last speaker of BOS Los Osos public comment, CSD director Maria Kelly seemed anxious, but defiant.
“I’m happy to be here and I’m happy to be here in support of the County — and I’m happy to be in support of County staff. I’ve been a broken record on that they’ve been extremely professional, helpful, diligent and very responsive to the community,” said Kelly.
Would it have resonated more if she dressed up in a high school cheerleader outfit and brought pom-poms to the podium?
Continue reading Maria Kelly: Los Osos Water Witch Bitches Again →