Yes, Los Ososians, It’s Time to write your Assemblyman & State Senator. It’s fun! It’s easy! Grab your crayons.
O.K. so here’s my letters to State Senator Maldonado and State Assemblyman Blakeslee:
I know some members of our Los Osos CSD Board have contacted you about the State Revolving Fund’s refusal to [continue to] fund the Los Osos Wastewater project so the project can stay on track to get quickly re-sited [part of all that HUGE nice money the previous CSD board majority tacked onto the original loan when the construction bids went into the stratosphere]
I will presume the district’s attorneys are working on the legality of that refusal, but something even more disturbing is clearly at work here, and that is a staff member (Roger Briggs, in his October 6, 05 letter to the CSD) of the Regional Water Quality Control Board threatening this community with fines if the CSD refuses to violate the law (Measure B which is now law) and threatening fines if the community refuses to build a specific project in a specific place.
It is my understanding that the RWQCB cannot dictate where or how or what is built, only what the discharge numbers must be. And it’s hard to even begin to explain a staff officer resorting to extortion by demanding a duly elected Board break the law . . . or else.
This community has been lied to, misled, “spun” and bamboozled from day one on this project (See the RWQCB & CC’s staff report of 1998 – issued before the November 1998 CSD’s formation election. That information and those numbers were NEVER discussed or that report disclosed by the three “Solutions Group” members running for office, until well after the election, that is. And consider Coastal Commissioner Potter’s “bait and switch” comment. He was dead on the mark, even though he didn’t follow up on any of it, thereby failing the community and his responsibility as a commissioner.
In short, the people of this community have been faced with both false information and strong-arm tactics to force them to buy an unaffordable and unsustainable sewer plant whose site was driven by a hidden agenda (site it in the center of town to control its size and hence use that limit to control growth) , a plant with all kids of deferred costs, still hidden O&M costs, a plant that won’t cure salt-water intrusion, nor prevent importing state water – in short, the wrong type of plant in the wrong place for all the wrong reasons, strong-armed into place with false and misleading “bait & switch” information and incessant terror tactics – FINES!FINES!FINES!WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE IN THE STREETS LIKE DAWGS!!
(By way of one small example: The former CSD majority repeatedly and officially told the community that all alternatives had been examined and discarded as not working or being unaffordable. A few months ago, when I specifically asked former General Manager Bruce Buel during the presentation of the Cleath & Associates water report, if Ag Exchange had been examined and costed out, his answer was . . . No, it had not. That begs a question: If the CSD has clearly been lying about something that simple, what else have they been lying about? And can a community – a democracy – be served when those in power lie and mislead? And how valid is a vote – which is a form of a “contract” with the elected to tax themselves for a specific item – when the terms have been falsified?)
This community wants a sustainable wastewater project – no hidden deferred costs, no undisclosed O&M costs, no lies, no strong-armed extortion tactics – and we’re willing to move ahead to design such a project, put it before the community for a vote, then move ahead with all due speed.
But right now, egos, lies, bad management, personal vendettas, spite, anger and other human failings are just getting in the way. Right now, everyone involved needs to take a deep breath and remember, This project is not personal. Instead, it’s all about sound economics, sound land use planning, sound water management and sound engineering.
And so, we need your help in taking that deep breath and taking a look at the bigger picture.