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The Oceano Community Services District needs change on its board 

I don't know if you've been to the Oceano Community Services District (OCSD) meetings lately, but I must warn you if you haven't been.

There has been a consistent pattern of negativity during these meetings, and as we all know, negativity can become cancerous. This negative energy I'm talking about has been present since Charles Varni became a director on the OCSD board last December.

At his first meeting, he grilled Utility Manager Tony Marraccino regarding OSCD purchasing a much-needed vehicle for the utility department. He went through the process of asking Marraccino if we could purchase a smaller, less productive vehicle only to, a few weeks later, backpedal and give kudos to Marraccino for his desire to improve services within the OCSD.

He fought ferociously to become president as soon as he began on the board. You'll notice a demanding Varni pressing to turn over every leaf of what he hopes is impropriety, only to find what he is looking for doesn't exist. It's one thing to be fiscally concerned, but Varni goes over the top trying to over-scrutinize current, productive, and, yes, even legal practices only to come up empty handed.

The consequences of this, of course, are legal fees exploited at the cost of hard-working Oceanoans like you and me who will have to pay for this. We will see our very little savings disappear before our eyes as the wasteful wantonness of Varni and his supporters continues.

First I would like to opine on appointed director Beverly Joyce-Suneson, who terms out in 2026. It would be productive if Joyce-Suneson showed that she has a mind of her own. She follows exactly what Varni says and does. When she was appointed as a director, perhaps she forgot or does not understand that as a representative of a district in Oceano, she should represent the needs of her district and not just follow what another director suggests. Here is another idea: Try doing some studying and ask questions outside of a meeting.

She receives a stipend. Ask OCSD staff members for assistance. Do you spend any time at home researching and learning about issues you don't understand? My point isn't that you ask, it's that you ask these simple questions that you could have answered before the meeting begins. This is wasting the district's time, and again, continued wasteful spending!

Varni and his cronies continue this unreasonable badgering for one purpose: to oust the current general manager and certain board members. Don't forget, late last year, ex-SLO County 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton and the majority of the Board of Supervisors at that time voted to no longer recognize the OAC, Oceano Advisory Council (on which Varni served), as an active body in SLO County.

Julie Tacker is someone that is present at these meetings as well. I commend her involvement during public comment at these meetings. But she's a resident of Los Osos, just so the public knows, and we need more public at these meetings, and at one time she suggested that because Cal Fire provides fire services for Los Osos, so should Oceano. Oceano's needs are much different than Los Osos'. Oceano is clearly not Los Osos!

The other crony is April Dury. When she comes to the mic every time she gets a chance for public comment, she tries to make her point by raising her voice, thinking it will make her sound more intelligent. It doesn't. It is the same April Dury who has created a reputation for herself: a person without manners, a person who speaks to others without respect, and a person who gave the OAC a poor reputation with her venomous remarks about others.

These busybodies do nothing but stir up trouble. For example, during the Sept. 27 meeting, Tacker took a jab at another board member challenging her about her statements of being fiscally responsible.

Here is my point, Oceano. Voting time will be here before we know it. Varni's term expires in November 2024. His "promises" of "sidewalks for Oceano" have not come to pass. His desire of tyrant control over the board is painfully obvious. Do you really think we should continue having someone on the board that not only does not have your best interests at heart, but has not done anything he has promised?

But don't take my word for it. Log on to SLO Span ( and play the Sept. 27 meeting for yourself. You will see exactly what I'm talking about. Change is certainly overdue! Δ

Steve Montes served on the OCSD in 2022. Write a response for publication by emailing it to [email protected].

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