Just hours before Steve Wieneke was scheduled to over take the unenviable task of heading up the Los Osos Community Service District as its new general manager, he called and notified them that he could not accept the position.
His reason: to take care of his ill mother.
Contrary to news reports that he had accepted a position in Pasadena, Wieneke said he is currently unemployed and staying close to his hospital-ridden mother in San Dimas.
Though Wieneke previously knew of his mother's illness, and even though he said it was a major factor in his decision to move to the Central Coast from Washington state, he felt her health was deteriorating so rapidly he had to relocate.
"It became very serious, very fast," Wieneke said of his mother's sickness. "I needed to be closer."
Wieneke would have replaced interim General Manager Annajane Hugh becoming the district's first permanent general manager since 2005.
Hugh said she was disappointed but didn't feel betrayed by Wieneke's actions.
"I think he was completely truthful. He was fully committed and I never felt otherwise," Hugh said. "He was a really good fit for the district and the community but I do respect what he is doing for his family. Family comes first."
Though Hugh's contract as interim general manager ends June 30, she's committed to helping the district as it continues its search.
At their June 14 annual budget meeting, the district will discuss strategies of evaluating remaining applicants.
"I'm sorry. I feel so bad about this," Wieneke said about bailing on the district at the last minute. "I was looking forward to a real challenge and I looked at every opportunity to work in the area, maybe in the future, but just not now."