Biz Buzz: Weyrich property auction may be today

A public auction of key properties owned by David Weyrich — one of the most prominent businessmen in the county — was postponed from Tuesday to today, according to a Chicago Title foreclosure bid information phone recording.

The reason for the delay was “at beneficiary’s request,” the recording said. The voice recording also warned that the information could change at any time.

It’s the second time the auction has been postponed. It was originally supposed to take place last Friday.

Sources close to Weyrich say he is negotiating for more time to put together a buy-out of his lender’s interest, although no one would go on the record, and The Tribune could not otherwise confirm what negotiations, if any, are in progress. Attempts to reach Weyrich have been unsuccessful.

The Weyrich holdings at risk of being foreclosed upon include the Martin and Weyrich Winery, with more than 250 acres of vineyards; Villa Toscana, the luxury bed-and-breakfast inn nestled in the Martin and Weyrich vineyards in Paso Robles’ eastside; two tasting rooms; the York Mountain Winery and vineyards in Templeton; and the 280-acre Jack Ranch Vineyard in Edna Valley, according to notices of trustee sales filed with the county.

The properties were put up as collateral for an estimated $20 million that Weyrich has borrowed from Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Aegon, documents show.

— Melanie Cleveland

Longtime county director honored

Bill Statler, San Luis Obispo’s longtime finance and information technology director who is stepping down next spring, was recognized Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting for his 22 years of service.

He told the gathering how he had recently been described by a local news weekly as “bald, robust and with a barrel chest.” Holding up a copy of the paper, Statler stepped out from behind the microphone and stood on stage, smiling, as the crowd laughed at the accurate description. He then jokingly tossed the paper behind him, pages flying across the stage.

Such humor has endeared Statler to fellow city staff and local business people alike. But, turning serious, Statler noted several projects he has helped work on as achievements he will remember.

Topping the list was the creation of the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly. Statler noted how the venue allows local residents to see not only top-notch performers on stage but also their children and grandchildren in certain shows.

He also listed the creation of the Damon Garcia sports fields on the city’s southern end and the town’s water reclamation system that uses reclaimed wastewater for park irrigation.

The main point of city government is “the business of democracy,” said Statler. He said he was proud to have worked in a city where differences of opinion can be discussed. “We have a long-standing tradition of civil discourse in this community — where reasonable people can reasonably disagree,” he said, adding that point is lost in other communities.

Statler, a drama buff, wrote in his resignation letter that he considered the move “the beginning of (his) third act.” He anticipates his future to include consulting, teaching and writing.

Wrapping up his address, Statler received a standing ovation from the several hundred business people at the Good Morning San Luis Obispo event.

— Tad Weber