Camelot Comes to Los Osos
“What do the simple folk dooooo /
to help them escape when they’re bloooooo . . . “
Ah, the noblesse obligeness of it all. In the Sept 10th Tribune is a touching story about the Los Osos Low Income Assistance Fund, $136,000 of private donated funds that will be made available to the deserving poor to help them pay for the $1,400 - $4,500 needed to decommission their septic tanks and hook up laterals to the $150-plus million Hideous Los Osos Sewer.
The story doesn’t say whether the over 700 households that may qualify would be expected to repay the money or whether it would be a gift. But let’s say the assistance would come in the form of a super low-cost loan and they’d be able to pay it back at the rate of $5 -$10 a month. A modest, affordable sum, wouldn’t you say, for someone who’s poor enough to qualify?
Ten dollars a month may be doable for really poor folks, so doesn’t this sound like a wonderful program? So considerate to help our community’s needy – the elderly or disabled folks on fixed incomes, the hard working “working-poor,” and so forth -- face this crushing financial burden, maybe even making it possible that they wouldn’t have to sell everything and move away. A sort of sweet noblesse oblige at work here. The sort of story intended to bring a tear to the eye, a story that one might think had been spun out right before a recall election to help the reader think that the CSD members being recalled actually cared a foodle about the estimated 30% of the town that would qualify as “bereft serf,” people facing financial ruin by this project, people who may be forced out of town. Downright tearjerking, if you ask me.
What's that? Ah, yes, I knew you had spotted it. No getting things past you, now is there?
If you are so poor you cannot possibly afford, let’s say, $10 a month to repay your sewer hook-up loan, what on earth are you going to do when the next month – and every month after that until the end of time – you get an additional $120 to $140 PLUS $40-plus bill from the CSD water office to repay the sewer construction loan and operating and maintenance expenses? And after a few months of not paying up, a lien is placed on your house and it's sold out from under you to pay off the rapidly accumulated debt, so you’re left to wonder why did you bother getting a hook-up loan since you had no way to possibly pay the far higher real sewer bill?
Yet there it is. Our CSD and the kind folks who set up this assistance fund, and Mike, our "No Spin” Public Information Officer, actually want the public to believe that people who are too poor to afford the $10 a month hook-up costs, will have no trouble paying the $160 to $180 monthly sewer bill.
Why, IT’S A MIRACLE!
“Oh what do simple folk dooooooo. . . .? They dance, Arthur. THEY DANCE!