Los Osos chooses former SLO engineer as the next chief of services district

The Los Osos Community Services District has offered its top job to a former San Luis Obispo city engineer with a background in budget management.

W. Dan Gilmore has accepted the position of general manager, district officials announced Tuesday. He is scheduled to start Nov. 16, pending board approval of his contract.

His salary information won’t be available until Friday, interim General Manager Mitch Cooney said.

Gilmore is the first permanent general manager since John Schempf, who left in February to take a job in Maine.

Gilmore, a Modesto native who moved to San Luis Obispo in 1984, received an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly in 1987. Two years later, he received a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in management.

He has a mix of local project and budget management. He was a utilities engineer for the city of San Luis Obispo from 1992 to 2009. He worked on sewer-related capital improvement projects, district officials said.

Cooney said Gilmore’s management background would help him navigate through the district’s financial situation.

“He just came across as the right mix,” Cooney said. “He seemed to have a combination of all elements to make this district move forward.”

Los Osos has been grappling with the issue of a sewer for more than 30 years. State water officials have ordered that a sewer be installed to replace septic systems and leach fields, which they say are polluting the groundwater with nitrates and bacteria.

While the district does not have control over the sewer project, Gilmore would take charge of any necessary coordination or liaison between both agencies, Cooney said.

The county recently took over design and construction of a sewer under a plan brokered by Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo.

Once a sewer is built, management will eventually be transferred back to the district.

“I’d really like to see the community become more cohesive,” Gilmore said. “Hopefully we can all come together with a common direction.”