A longtime San Miguel Community Services District board director resigned Tuesday, citing “a few” unnamed board members threatening department cutbacks to pay themselves stipends.
In his resignation letter, Richard Harrison, who has served as a district board member for 15 years, also accused board members of meeting privately prior to official meetings to strategize votes, engaging in personal attacks, and threatening district staff.
“I regretfully take this action due to not being able to work with a few board members abusing their use of power over the San Miguel CSD,” Harrison wrote. “I cannot and will not be part of these violations of the law.”
Two board members widely believed to be the “few” targeted in Harrison’s criticism, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
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Harrison was the longest-serving member of the board, having been elected to the position when the district was formed by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors in February 2000.
In recent years, board members have steadily resisted spending district funds for vital infrastructure projects and have threatened to cut department budgets, Harrison said Tuesday. Those board members have been the driving force behind a proposed monthly stipend for board members scheduled for discussion at the board meeting Thursday.
District General Manager Darrell Gentry said the district’s bylaws allow board members $100 per meeting, but no one currently receives a stipend.
The district serves about 2,000 residents and operates on a roughly $1.1 million budget.
The board meets Thursday night, and Gentry said he anticipates it will take action to fill the vacant director seat within the 60 days as required by state law. Should the board fail to do so, the county Board of Supervisors could take action.