Ah-Ha! Mystery solved. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why the Tribune was so utterly clueless when it came to anything regarding the Hideous Los Osos Sewer. They have never really examined the issues here, except to simply report on a He Said, She Said basis all sorts of nonsense then simply toe the party line.
At first I just put it down to sheer laziness or lack of experienced reporters with an institutional memory long enough to know what the issues were. Of course, Editorial Page Editor, Bill Morem, lives out here and should have known better and should have been able to convey some of the complexities to the full editorial board, but apparently either he didn’t do that, or they just didn’t get it.
Now, with the October 23 editorial, I understand what the real problem has been: The Tribune is Rip Van Winkle and has been sleeping since 1984.
In an editorial that reeks with absolutely phony credulity and utterly transparent faux, naïf-like surprise they observe (gasp!) that Los Osos wants a sewer (WHAT????) but people out here just didn’t want that particular sewer plant in the middle of their town, (Holy Cow! when did that happen?), and wanted a sewer that possibly cost less (Gee, ya think?) and hopefully solved sludge problems, had lower operation and maintenance costs (Imagine that?) and could be sited where it had more flexibility for adding treatment as more of the community has to come on line (Looking at the future, how novel!), was better able to deal with critical water issues (Water? Los Osos is out of water? Huh?), and that that’s what the recall, Proposition B and a good part of these years-long sewer wars have always been about (My God, we’re the county’s newspaper of record! Why didn’t somebody tell us?)
Able was I ere I saw Elba
The next day, the paper did give a Bouquet to State Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee for stepping in to help mediate between the new CSD Board and the State Water Board concerning the bazillion dollar loan, and lob a brickbat at Abel Maldonado, our State Senator, for being elsewhere when asked to help. Able’s spokesman said Able would “...let the process play itself out” before he’d show up.
And, let me guess, when the process is successful and a cameraman appears on the scene for a photo-opportunity, THEN you’ll see Able doing his Zelig-like schmoozing photo-op best to zip into the picture in time for the smiling hand-shake and to garner congratulations all ‘round for a job well done, yes, yes.
Well, why not? There are two types of politicians: Those who go into public service to, well, actually serve the public. And those who go into public service to serve themselves by cultivating the powerful, connecting themselves only to the “right” issues that can advance their careers, garnering the feathers in the caps while avoiding the black eyes, punching the required tickets, stroking the required backs, and making sure they appear Zelig-like and Forrest Gump-like everywhere there’s a Important Personage & a Camera for some photo-opping. It’s a unique skill and requires a constant finger to the wind ability to ferret out The Main Chance in order to Move On Up.
Of course, the public can be forgiven for feeling like a plain woman who’s been asked out on a date with the handsome man of her dreams only to find that he then spends the entire evening looking over her shoulder until he spots a cuter, richer blond bombshell across the room, then it’s Hasta La Vista Baby, and she has to take a cab home without dinner.
Well, Sam’s a money-guy, so let’s hope he can bring some financial sanity to the train-wreck the previous recalled-3 CSD Board members deliberately created. And, with luck, the New Board can present to the voters, a sewer system(s) that they can live with and vote on, one that may not cost a heck of a lot less than the old system, but will save them long term O&M costs and solve some other critical problems. That’ll be something.
Then, if that comes to pass, the community will have to ask some very, very tough questions of the previous CSD Boards, starting with, “Why wasn’t this ‘alternative’ plan presented to us years ago. You told us there were no alternatives, that all other options were way more expensive, that your plan was the only way. Were you lying to us? If so, why?”
The Tribune should be the one leading the way on asking and answering those questions, but I won’t hold my breath. I figure they’ve already fallen back asleep again.