Oceano Community Services District's (CSD) general manager will also serve as a part-time advisor to the Cambria CSD for six months.
The Cambria CSD board of directors unanimously approved Paavo Ogren as a part-time strategic and organizational advisor on Dec. 13.
Ogren will provide support services based on requests and direction from the CSD's acting general manager, Monique Madrid. According to a district staff report, those could include strategic planning services, organizational analysis, capital project management, and support on the implementation of district business and accounting software.
During public comment at the board meeting, Cambria resident Christine Heinrichs expressed her concern about the process to hire Ogren.
"I am a bit disappointed that this has been done behind closed doors," Heinrichs said. "I hope that Ogren will help Cambria to find the next permanent general manager in an open and enthusiastic way."
With CalPERS and Social Security benefits included, Ogren will be paid approximately $115 per hour. According to a staff report, his six-month advisory period will cost the district $71,218.
The report further states that based on the cost of the salary and benefits of the prior general manager, the CSD will see an overall net-savings of approximately $23,655 during the transitional period.
At a Nov. 28 Oceano CSD meeting, its board amended Ogren's contract to authorize up to 20 hours per week of unpaid leave with a proportional reduction of benefits. According to a staff report, a reduction in Ogren's hours could save the district up to $127,500 a year.
Ogren's past experience includes serving as a public works director for San Luis Obispo County and four years as the chief financial officer for two local engineering firms.
"It's really working with your board, staff, and the community in identifying priorities—what are the topics that are highest on the list to address for Cambria?" Ogren said to Cambria board members. Δ