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New Times / Shredder

The following article was posted on May 1st, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 40

Cinco de d'oh!

Does anyone have a lead on where I can buy plus-sized sombreros in bulk? I need extra space in front to accommodate my Neanderthal brow. I’m thinking a robin’s egg blue would help deflect attention from the herpes outbreak on my elbows. Also, I’ll be needing some worms—your standard garden variety are totally fine, if you have some to spare. And a couple bottles of tequila bronze. That gold and silver stuff is just too expensive, and frankly, who can taste the difference with all those fat little worms soaking up the alcohol?

I guess a sober driver wouldn’t hurt. Anyone willing to drive one, vitriolic newspaper columnist to Oceano for the long-awaited Cinco de Mayo? I promise to burp a little before vomiting in your car. And frankly, I’ll probably pass out before I do too much damage anyway.

No? It’s your loss. I wasn’t really convinced they were gonna pull it off anyway, even though everyone is saying it’s gonna happen this time. They’ve been talking about a community Cinco de Mayo celebration in Oceano for years, but between the Latino Outreach Council, the Oceano Community Services District, and District Four Supervisor Paul Teixiera, they’ve somehow always managed to bungle it so that it never winds up happening. Which requires a special brand of fumbling given that fraternities and sororities have managed to appropriate the holiday and bastardize it as yet another excuse to obliterate their brain cells and perpetuate racial stereotypes—as well as the dumb frorority stereotype, of course. And yet still, somehow, the Greeks manage to pull off a Cinco de Mayo party. Which is more than we’ve been able to say for two government-funded agencies, one of which boasts a county supervisor as chair. Read on, amigo.

So, here’s what went down: Last year, the Latino Outreach Council (and their unwanted chair, Teixeira) agreed that the Oceano Community Services District, led by general manager Tom Geaslen, would take the lead planning this year’s Cinco de Mayo festivities. Geaslen—who also happens to be Teixiera’s buddy—pretty much twiddled his thumbs and insisted everything was going just great for 2013, until he suddenly decided to throw in the towel and attempt to cancel the event less than a month before the date. Which happens to be the fifth of May, for those of you who really actually believe it’s called Cinco de Drinko. To nobody’s dismay—except perhaps, Teixeira’s—Geaslen was then fired and ordered to return $36,000 to the district, which didn’t have much to do with the Cinco de Mayo snafu, but did serve to illustrate that Geaslen was an ineffectual, shady dude.

Meanwhile, the Latino Outreach Council’s hands were tied by the fact that they’d designated the OCSD as the lead agency for planning. When Latino Outreach Council board member Matt Guerrero went to Teixeira’s to obtain a signature on an agreement with the Lucia Mar School District to use the Oceano Community Center and a nearby school for event parking, Teixeira refused to sign. The reason? The OCSD, not the Latino Outreach Council, was supposed to be in charge. This resulted in accusations that Teixeira is trying to punish Oceano because the OCSD ousted his buddy Geaslen, who hadn’t accomplished diddly before being fired anyway. I’m starting to understand why the Latino Outreach Council has been painting Teixeira as a petty tyrant since he became chair of the board during a special meeting last year. And secured a sweet gig as secretary for his assistant, Deb Geaslen, who is—you guessed it—the ousted general manager’s wife. Incestuous much?

Of course, the Latino Outreach Council isn’t exactly blameless in all this, considering the fact that before Teixeira commandeered their organization they were fighting over Facebook photos like—well, I don’t really need a simile to convey the pettiness of arguing about Facebook photos.

At an April 25 meeting, Teixeira actually had the gall to lecture the Latino Outreach Council over its last-minute scramble to throw together an event, which is a surprisingly ballsy move from a guy so bland he makes Kenny G look like Gene Simmons. Whether he delivered his “Paul knows best” talk to Geaslen—who did completely drop the ball on the event—seems doubtful. Of course, Latino Outreach Council board member Andrea Naremi-Vergne looking to book excessive frivolities like dancing horses—which the event had neither the budget nor the insurance to support—certainly didn’t help the situation.

Kinda sad when the worms in your tequila bottle—not to mention the perpetually inebriated college students—start to look better organized than the county’s “best and brightest.” It’s also a little alarming when the inter-agency drama coordinating a Cinco de Mayo party is more riveting than the sloppy Cinco de Drinko sidewalk theater. I can only imagine how frustrating this display of childishness must be for the people who joined the Latino Outreach Council with the intention of actually making a positive impact on their communities, the people who ultimately ensured that the Cinco de Mayo event would happen despite all the nonsense.

Fortunately, none of the involved parties had the good sense to learn anything from the white collar hissy. I’m sure Teixeira and the Latino Outreach Council still hate each other, Teixeira and Naremi-Vergne hate each other, the Latino Outreach Council and the OCSD don’t trust one another, and nobody trusts Geaslen. No word yet on what the dancing horses think of all this. And this isn’t the first time Teixeira has gotten into it with the Latino Outreach Council. Maybe instead of dancing horses, we should just arm the planning committee and send them out into the streets of Oceano to reenact the Battle of Puebla.

Send shots of tequila to shredder@newtimesslo.com.