On Dec. 11, 2019, the Oceano Community Services District (OCSD) removed and barred one of its board directors, Cynthia Replogle, from all present and future voting and non-voting committees with an aggressive, hurried, and single motion. Directors Karen White and Shirley Gibson claim that Replogle spoke publicly against board policy and presented a divided board image to the community.
During the meeting, Gibson told Replogle: "If you disagree with the majority's decision, you can be mute in public."
Replogle denied the charges, called for freedom of speech, and said it is unhealthy for the community to present a unified front when there isn't one. She chooses to present the majority's position and hers so residents can make up their own minds. An annual reconsideration of assignments is lawful. However, we question the legality of removing and barring Replogle in total from all present and future assignments. Reconsiderations should have been done by each assignment with discussions of Replogle's alleged misbehavior in each committee.
Freedom of speech and opposition were crushed, and the OCSD set a dangerous precedent. When the OCSD proceeded to reassign the 10 committees, Gibson grabbed five and White two. Neither one lives in Oceano proper, but in Halcyon. Director Allene Villa, the only Latina director among a 64 percent Latino Oceano population, was relegated to a non-paying, non-voting committee. Now, 70 percent of committee work and voting power doesn't belong to Oceano residents.
This is an obvious and unfair imbalance. This action has dire consequences for Oceano. We ask the OCSD to reconsider its committee assignments.
Oceano Beach Community Association