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Sunday, June 25, 2006

It’s Them Old Devilish Details

The Blakeslee special legislation is posted at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab%202701-2750ab%202701_bill_20060621_amended . There’s also an “analysis” written by Peter Detwiler, staff consultant to the Senate Committee on Local Government making the rounds. The report was prepared for the hearing on Wednesday, June 28th.

There are so many questions and unknowns about this legislation at this point that it will take some time for everyone to read and digest what it all means and to carefully scrutinize the Intended & Unintended Consequences of it all. Not known is whether the bill, as written, will now go to committee for more input and change, and if so whose input and who does the changing?

Another critical Unknown is whether the CSD has any say in this matter or if the community is left sitting outside the closed backroom door, like the proverbial Red Haired Stepchild, while the Big Boys decide this community’s fate in the smoke-filled room. And so forth.

If I understood the Board of Supervisors’ vote last week, a subcommittee composed of Supervisor Bianchi (oh, Irony!) and Lenthall will review the legislation and give a thumbs up or down by Wednesday. I have no clue if anyone else will be waggling their thumbs in any direction as well.

If the legislation gets passed it won’t take effect until Jan 07, which means a whole lot may change before this can even get out of the gate. According to Blakeslee’s various public statements of intent, he wanted to get all the stakeholders to the table. This legislation doesn’t make it clear just who’s at the table or whether the table’s long gone and only one party – the county – was invited to sit down.

Like everything else in this long, strange trip, it’s important that everyone remain cool, get as much accurate information as possible and stay tuned as things may change moment to moment, so jumping to conclusions may result in someone landing on hard ground as the target zips out from under their feet every ten seconds.

Mucho caveats to all.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The legislation might work if there is an MOU attached between the county, water board and the CSD that reflects the details beyond defining financial responsibility and liability and control.

The county is quite capable of ceding some of its control in some areas in the interest of achieving a successful prop 218 vote. The water board is quite capable of accepting those criteria. In fact they have already done so in the 1978 MOU between the county and the water board.

I would like to know how Barry Tole fits into all of this ...
We have seen public works, gail wilcox, et al weigh in. But he is the real waste water expert. Where is his analysis?

Spectator said...

Ann,

I have heard that the Locsd board has taken swimming pool trust money and transferred it to be used as operating funds. Can you check with your friends on the board and see if this is true?

Churadogs said...

Spectator sez"Ann,I have heard that the Locsd board has taken swimming pool trust money and transferred it to be used as operating funds. Can you check with your friends on the board and see if this is true?"

I got an email from the Pool Committee yesterday. It's not clear from the email if this will be an agenda item for the next meeting or what. If you want to know what the Board is planning on doing, vis a vis agendizing it, I suggest you email them and ask. If memory serves, they each have "business cards" with email address on it at the front desk of the CSD office.

Not clear from the Pool Committee's email was whether, IF the Pool money, which is now "designated," i.e. earmarked specifically, is returned to The County Parks Dept, would it also be "designated" or would it simply go into the county's general park fund to be used on ready-now projects and someday may (or may not) come back to the community. Traditionally, Los Osos has been terribly underserved with it's "share" of parks and park funds. Does Spectator have any "friends" on the Pool Committee, or better yet, on the Parks Board who can guarantee that pool money would be kept and returned intact when asked? Then check with the CSD attorneys to see if left in the CSD's accounts as "designated" it would also be returnable intact, and etc.

Anonymoose sez"The legislation might work if there is an MOU attached between the county, water board and the CSD that reflects the details beyond defining financial responsibility and liability and control.

The county is quite capable of ceding some of its control in some areas in the interest of achieving a successful prop 218 vote. The water board is quite capable of accepting those criteria. In fact they have already done so in the 1978 MOU between the county and the water board.

I would like to know how Barry Tole fits into all of this ...
We have seen public works, gail wilcox, et al weigh in. But he is the real waste water expert. Where is his analysis? "

Excellent questions: One BIG question I have at this point is this: Does the county want whatever project rises to the top via the "transparent" "process" as sustainable, water smart, environmentally prefered, blah-blah-blah etc.etc.etc. to actually succeed? Or do they want to try to jam something -- oh, hell just do ANYTHING -- into place only to see it fail when the Community votes not to "buy" whatever they're just jamming into place and the whole thing goes ker-flooey and they eat another $2 mil and WWIII breaks out and a gazillion lawyers show up and start suing the County this time instead of the CSD and the whole crazy shebang starts all over again?

In short, Does the County & the RWQCB & SWB & CSD & Citizens all want this to succeed?

Anonymous said...

Yes the swimming pool money moved, but it was not the board th. It was the Dan Blesky and the staff making what they consider prudent financial decisions. The CD matured associated with the swimming pool money. That money was moved by the new financial / budget officer into the higher yield fund associated with the ILIF I think it is? This was not done with board authorization but as a matter of daily, routine due diligence. That is what I heard from Julie Tacker.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY way the country will succeed is with a consensus between the community, the county and water board, brokered by Sam Blakeslee and his office since he is sponsoring the legislation and in the future could sponsor more. It pays to be civil with the honorable Mr. Blakeslee and his young apprentice Christine Robertson. The county knows they must pass many hurdles not the least of which is the prop. 218 vote.

Now with section 301h (and its sunset clause of 1997 passed by many years ago for towns and cities of population under 50,000) it now becomes a very, very serious matter for Morro Bay, Cayucos, and Los Osos.
All along it has been the county and the above listed towns that have flagrantly violated a FEDERAL prohibition many times over. NOT the CSD and not Los Osos.

Now CALEPA is pushing sustainability very, very hard by making grants inaccessible unless your project falls in that category. That is the precursor to making it mandatory by law. If, like Morro Bay, you build a project which will be illegal in 3 or 4 years you have thrown good money after bad.

The county MUST follow the law and accept that it is the steward of many miles of sensitive, protected coast line with associated habitats and ecosystems.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon (POOL FUNDS MOVED),

Yes, Dan Belesky moved the $264,833.00 in pool funds from the Pool Trust Fund into the LAIF account 1011; his reasoning being that the pool fund CD had matured and he wanted to put the money in a high interest bearing account. His actions sound credible, right? Wrong.

1. The CSD board passed a resolution in 1999 to set aside all pools funds into a dedicated and restricted trust fund. This way the money could be tracked and kept seperate from daily operating accounts.

2. The pool money was invested in high interest bearing CD's. The current CD matured on June 13. The money should have been invested into a high rate CD (currently yielding 6% on a 24 month CD). The LAIF account yields 4.5%. In short, the HIGHER rate of interst would have been in a CD.

3. In order for Dan Blesky to close the Pool Trust fund and transfer the mone, he should have
a. Get CSD board approval of a resolution to reverse the 1999 board resolution.
b. Get CSD board approval of a resolution to authorize him to close the pool account and transfer the funds into the unrestricted accounts.
c. Allowed the public to voice their opinions at the CSD board meetings about a and b above.
d. Resoutions a and b above should have been reviewed by the Finance Committee and the Park and Rec Committee.

3. The CSD board had no idea that Blesky was acting as he did. This reflects badly on the board as being out of touch with the decisions being made by their GM; and that the GM has taken powers unto himself that belong exclusively to the CSD board. In short, the CSD is out of control.

In closing, this entire issue could have been avoided if the old CSD board had transfered the money to the SLO County Parks Department (as requested by the Pool Association) back in August, 2005. The resolution to transfer the money was on the August CSD board consent calendar; that meetings minutes show that Julie Tacker pulled that item off of the calendar. If the consent item had
not been pulled, and the resolution voted upon, the money would now be within County control.

Anonymous said...

In other words Los Osos would have never seen one thin dime of it!

Sewertoons said...

Oh, like we will see even a cup full of water for the "pool" by the time Bleskey is done spending?

Spectator said...

Thanks for the reply Ann, I got the notice from the pool committee also.

When do you think the bankruptcy will occur? Before LAFCO?