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It ain't pretty 

If the last week of April and first week of May are any indication of what kind of governing is going to be happening in SLO County for the remainder of 2023—it's going to be ugly.

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In Paso Robles, a couple of rogue school board members tried and failed to scuttle an already penned contract with their district superintendent.

SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow is suddenly interested in the legality of decision-making on the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

And a Morro Bay resident requested that the Oceano Community Services District (OCSD) censure one of its board members for expressing opinions on Nextdoor.

That's just the cream off the top, folks. The future is bright with fireworks, yelling at public meetings, and a decided lack of real policy work.

We can start up north, because why not? Kenney Enney hasn't even started serving on the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District's board yet after winning back the seat district residents petitioned him out of—and there's plenty to shred!

New school board member Laurene McCoy is on a tear to speak up for "the people" (that would be anyone else in the "parents rights" movement), and seems to be using Dorian "The Chicken Lady" Baker as a measuring stick. After sticking it to the California curriculum gods alongside her new BFF by questioning the poultry water use outlined in a science textbook and an AP chemistry book's reference to the United Nations—"Can't you guys see the global cabal at work indoctrinating our youth?"—McCoy supported Baker's quest to overturn a contract-promised pay raise for Superintendent Curt Dubost.

"If this were a private corporation—which I know it's not—but if it were and only one out of four products met standards, the CEO would have been fired," McCoy said, clearly not realizing that if the Paso school district was a corporation, DuBost wouldn't be micromanaged by a board containing miscreants pretending to be education experts.

Obviously, in corporation-world, a contract is a contract—and DuBost would be making way more than he is. Dubost's pay raise—a cost of living increase—was approved last year by a previous iteration of the board, but the superintendent said he would wait until all of those under him received their raises first. Baker, who served on the board when it approved the raise in question, was miffed about a lack of documentation included in the agenda.

And that's totally understandable—the contract in question should absolutely have been included in the agenda items. However, Baker made it very clear that she didn't make the time to read all the way to the end of the agenda, anyway. So what's the point of including even more documentation she wouldn't have time to read?

"It's a long agenda, and this is the last item on it, and I didn't get to it in time to ask for [the contract]," she said.

Oh boy! Must be tough to volunteer to be elected to a position that makes decisions impacting our children's education, not prepare for the twice-a-month meetings, and then scold the people who have to abide by how you vote on the issues they present to you.

McCoy should maybe hitch her ride to someone else's wagon.

District Attorney Dow seems to have his wagon firmly in position to throw a hitch in 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson's giddyup. Dow, whose special little law enforcement PAC spent $25,000 in campaign ads against Gibson and the potential for a liberal governing majority during the 2022 election, is tutt-tutting the county over perceived Brown Act violation allegations made by everyone's favorite gadfly, Julie Tacker, and perpetual 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold supporter, Greg Grewal.

I'm all for holding our governing bodies accountable to the public. That's kind of my thing. But the Board of Supervisors' decision-making process hasn't changed since the majority switched sides, and Dow butting his extremely partisan face into things should make everyone question the validity of the accusations.

In a sparring match between Dow and SLO County Counsel Rita Neal, my money's on Neal—and I'd definitely spring for the ringside seats!

I already paid for ringside seats to the OCSD meetings, and they do not disappoint! The most recent cage match pitted new board member Charles Varni against what seemed to be the rest of Oceano over whether it should study the feasibility of being annexed by Grover Beach. But Oceano's just not that into it. Nothing personal, Grover.

Varni took his displeasure over the board's decision to Nextdoor—a spicier social media app than Facebook with more neighborhood drama than Twitter. Guess who happens to be on the local Nextdoor review team? Aaron Ochs! Who decided he absolutely needed to weigh in, of course.

He wrote a letter to the OCSD informing them that Varni is "one of the most reported individuals" in the county on Nextdoor.

"Director Charles Varni does not have the mental or emotional fortitude to serve as director for the Community Services District," wrote Ochs, who, in his capacity as a Nextdoor review board member is also apparently an expert on local governing bodies. He continued his letter by suggesting that expelling Varni from the CSD would "improve public trust and integrity."

Wow. Where are we? Tennessee? Montana? Δ

The Shredder believes in the First Amendment. Send your opinions to [email protected].

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