Nipomo man is new interim general manager of Oceano's services district

Nipomo resident Tom Geaslen has been appointed interim general manager of the Oceano Community Services District.

The district board voted unanimously Wednesday to select Geaslen. In his application for the position, Geaslen said he’s willing to work for six months to a year to “provide the turnaround your organization desperately needs.”

“My ultimate goal is I don’t want Oceano Community Services District meetings to be the greatest show on earth anymore,” he said Wednesday, calling from the district office. “I want it to run smooth as silk with accountability by everybody and restore the faith of the Oceano community.”

Geaslen has developed a two-page plan of action. It includes addressing the services district’s immediate finance and accounting issues such as reviewing the district’s current financials to determine the agency’s solvency, securing board approval of a 2011-12 budget, and completing its overdue audits.

Board members said they were impressed with Geaslen’s experience and planning. He brought “solutions that he put in print that we can hold him accountable for,” said board member Felma Hurdle.

Geaslen has more than 30 years of business management experience, according to his cover letter, and specializes in business, commercial and residential finance. Geaslen’s Nipomo company, Titan Lending Corp., offers lending options for businesses.

His wife, Debbie Geaslen, is Supervisor Paul Teixeira’s legislative assistant. Teixeira represents the 4th District, which includes Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and Oceano.

Geaslen’s contract is being discussed today. He said he will work as a consultant on a set monthly fee and does not plan to take benefits.

He was chosen from a pool of five finalists. The others included John Hollenbeck, manager of the Nacimiento Water Project for the county; Richard Koon, general manager of San Miguelito Mutual Water Co. in Avila Beach; Malcolm McEwen, a civil engineer with Garing Taylor & Associates in Arroyo Grande; and David Kulinski, director of fiscal services for the Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center.

Former Oceano General Manager Raffaele Montemurro was dismissed May 31. On June 10, the board approved a settlement agreement of $12,408. In return, Montemurro agreed not to file a lawsuit or claim against the district.