An audit of the Los Osos Community Service District turned up several troubling irregularities that occurred over the past fiscal year, including hard-to-follow accounting; inaccurate reporting of vacation and sick pay; and payouts of overtime for work done during normal business hours.
CSD board member Chuck Cesena told The Tribune that he doesn’t think it was malfeasance, “just sloppiness,” and board President Mike Wright said problems have been addressed and “everything’s on the up and up.”
“I expect our audit next year to be very clean,” he said. We look forward to that. In the meantime, though, we doubt that rosy assurances are going to be enough to convince Los Osos residents that all is well.
While all sorts of explanations for the accounting problems — high staff turnover, mistakes made by past employees, heavy workload — were offered and may indeed be valid, giving the district a pass on its poor performance would be a bit like asking a college professor to ignore an “F” on the midterm because the grade on the final is sure to be an “A.”
Sorry, Los Osos CSD, but we’re not going to do that, and we suspect many of your customers aren’t prepared to do so either. Your “sloppiness” earns you an out-of-balance brickbat.
Best-of-luck to Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Hard as it is to believe that anyone would actually desire to be speaker of the embattled House of Representatives, if California Republican Kevin McCarthy — who at one time represented parts of SLO County — wants the job, the least we can do is offer him a best-of-luck bouquet.
We’ll make it a double if McCarthy follows the excellent advice offered by the Washington Post: That he pledge to his Republican colleagues that he will fight for their causes, but will also promise not to risk a government shutdown or default.
Water lily for city keeping water safe
We don’t want to make a habit of giving public agencies bouquets for keeping bad things out of our drinking water. That’s something they should be doing anyway.
Still, it’s worth noting that San Luis Obispo’s water no longer violates standards for trihalomethanes, a compound that has been linked to cancer when ingested over a long period of time and at high levels.
In July, city officials warned that water from one sample site at Johnson Avenue and Southwood Drive had exceeded allowable standards for trihalomethanes, though it did not pose an immediate health threat. The compound was detected at a level of 82.1 parts per billion, when the maximum is set at 80 parts per billion.
The city made some changes — among other steps, it reduced the amount of time that water remains in the distribution system -— and in the latest round of testing, water throughout the city met federal and state standards for trihalomethanes.
No full-fledged bouquet, but we will toss the city a single water lily.
A bouquet for San Gabriel response
We toss a big welcome back bouquet to students and staff at San Gabriel Elementary School in Atascadero, who returned to their home campus this week following a prolonged shutdown of the school.
The campus was closed on Sept. 11, after a suspicious object and threatening letters were discovered there. Authorities later said the object contained a dangerous liquid. Along with other evidence, it has been sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., for testing.
Students spent two weeks attending classes held at other district campuses. They were able to return to San Gabriel on Monday, after a certified environmental monitoring service hired by the district gave the campus a clean bill of health.
The district deserves an extra-credit bouquet for leaving nothing to chance. When students’ health and safety is at stake, it’s far better to proceed with care and caution.