The Tribune, bless them, filed a California Public Records Act after the Regional Water Quality Control Board refused to make public the 45 property owners getting nailed with this latest folly – RANDOM homes RANDOMLY selected and required to pump their septic tanks six times a year.
What used to be known as The Los Osos Fifty have been reduced to The Los Osos Forty Five because apparently, in their hast to get this ill-thought-out, mad scheme on the road, the RWQCB sent five RANDOM Cease & Desist Orders DEMANDING that they pump their septic tanks six times a year to some folks living in Bayridge Estates, a development that has no individual septics to pump. Uh, oops.
And since the notices weren’t even sent out Return Receipt Requested or Certified Mail, and nobody seems to know whether the addresses hit were simply RANDOMLY picked street address or RANDOMLY selected from property tax rolls and so hopefully the notices might stand a chance to get to the owners of the property, not merely folks renting since they might get the packet and shrug and toss it in the garbage, thereby leaving the property owner in the dark until the mighty forces of General Roger Briggs, CEO and Point Man for the RWQCB, descended with the sheriff on the hapless owner during foreclosure proceedings arising out of the fact that the CDO paperwork was mis-delivered and the poor owner remained clueless that he was on the target list until it was too late, the Tribune probably thought, What the heck, let’s find out who’s on the list.
To which the RWQCB first dragged their feet to the legally allowed deadline then, the Tribune reports, apparently claimed that “they would consider releasing only information that the targeted homeowners wouldn’t object to being made public,” and quoteed from a letter by our CEO Roger Briggs: “The water board will not provide copies of the requested information where an individual’s privacy or safety interest outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
Privacy? The RWQCB is suddenly concerned about, uh , an individual’s privacy? This is certainly interesting in light of the January 27th Target Letter, signed by Roger Briggs, that includes, among other things, that a landlord of a Target Property MUST submit a report that includes: “name(s) of all current tenant(s) over the age of 18; date the tenancy commenced; whether the lease is written or oral;’ the lease term (e.g. month-to-month, annual, etc.)” and so forth, all without a mention that perhaps SOMEBODY had better check as to whether or not a landlord has the legal right to give that information to the RWQCB, information that MUST become part of a PUBLIC record with the onset of the PUBLIC Cease & Desist Hearings on March 23, all without the tenants’ knowledge and permission?
Privacy? Once the March 23 CDO hearing begins, the word “privacy” will be a thing of the past.
And, “safety?” How does knowing the names or street addresses of people who got targeted involve “safety?” Does the RWQCB think citizens of this fair burg will go toilet paper the homes of The Los Osos Forty Five? If I know my Beloved Bangladesh By The Bay, everyone in town will bring them aspirins and chocolate cakes and sympathy cards!
And if this is all so secret, what will happen to The Los Osos Forty Five come March 23rd? Will they have to sneak into the hearings wearing paper bags over their heads?
Feh! Listen closely. That gurgling sound you hear? I think it’s the credibility of the Regional Water Quality Control Board going down the drain.