Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Speak Now, Or . . .At the Thursday's July 6th Los Osos CSD meeting (7 pm. community center) (and at other CSD sessions during July, Q&A time will be held concerning Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee's proposed "plan," the so-called "breakthrough plan" regarding the county taking over the wastewater project. There are Q&As running on Channel 20 and a FAQ website is being readied on the bill. It's critical that the community get a copy of the bill, read it, consider what it means, and make any comments concerning amending or improving the bill. There has already been an amendment added in Sacramento, (concerning enlarging the area outside the Prohibitioin Zone that can be included in any septic management/water improvement programs), and there's now a website you can log onto to read the bill, and comment. A group of citizens had a brainstorming session and came up with other additions they feel need to be included and they've already sent those recommendations to the CSD. For example, one proposed "amendment" would require an affordibility study such as those recomended under the Federal EPA rules, and such like. If you have any ideas or suggestions, go to The bill number is AB2701, author is Blakeslee, and a page will pop up allowing you to comment or you can simply click on Oppose/support & etc. Please get informed, get involved. HOW this legislation is shaped and whether it's successful or not, will have a direct affect on YOU, so you'd better get involved at the beginning. Or else, you'll simply get stuck -- again -- with the bill for something somebody else wanted. Which reminds me, on Friday, July 7th there will be a workshop at 7 pm, again in the L.O. community center, with presentations by Ripley Pacific of the work to date on the wastwater project update. Time to come, get informed, ask questions directly of the engineers. Once again, how the wastewater project is shaped will depend on informed community input.


Shark Inlet said...

Ammendments ...

Well, to get a change into the bill, one would have to find someone who is going to make the ammendment and then the ammendment would need to be approved. "Friendly" ammendments would be things that Sam likes and would be no problem. However, I suspect that any ammmendment that makes the whole package more likely to fail (either in the legislature or even later down the road during a 218 vote) would be something he would oppose. Anything that isn't "common sense" to Sam would require paying a lobbyist.

One thing I've long wondered about, an affordability study, has come up again in Ann's comments. What would such a study buy us? Not much other than the opportunity to apply for certain small (compared to the cost of the project) grants. Such grants are good, but often require matching funds. In other words, the district or County would have to cough up a million for us to get a million from the feds so we can have 2 million to help meet the needs of low income folks. Better than nothing, but even if we have $5M to help out 10% of the households in the PZ it is only $10k each, just about enough to cover half the cost of a septic tank replacement plus lower the costs by $20/month for those folks. In short, an affordability study requirement doesn't actually make the thing affordable.

This raises a question of mine from a while back. Lisa told us that we were going to do an affordability study and that no project would be unaffordable. How did she propose the LOCSD would be able to do that? If we are under a requirement to build a sewer and if the sewer is "gosh darned expensive" to say the least, how can we magically make sure that the costs are less than some desired level (say $100/month or $250/month)? To me this whole thing seems like sloppy wishful thinking at best and a manipulative way of trying to stall (and thus increase the cost of) a sewer at the worst.

So then ... does studying the affordability make it affordable? No. Does studying the "science" release us from our obligation to stop discharges? No. Does Ripley's study get us closer to actually getting the best plant location, treatment technology or collection system? Probably not. Can we spend money left and right to continue studying the situation while the cost of the solution continues to rise? Yes.

Sewertoons said...

Let's not forget that sudden influx of cash that can help pay for this - the POOL money!! (We don't want no stinkin' pool!)

Sewertoons said...

Suppose the affordability study made its way into the bill.

Would "anyone government" really think after doing one, "Gosh, this darn thing IS EXPENSIVE! I'll find the $50 million somewhere to mitigate the cost?"

So then what IS the point? Nothng right now IS going to be affordable. All the years of stalling have taken out that hope. Everything that has transpired and is still transpiring, has played right into the hands of the developers.

Mike Green said...

My feeling is that an affordability study would be more helpfull after the BBP goes through.
Our quirky form of government is prety good at reacting to disaster.
Not so hot on preventing disaster.
Thinking of disaster, My limited knowledge of bankruptcy leads me to believe that once its all said and done, It actualy may be preferable for the CSD to go broke. Everything goes on the table from what I've been told, Creditors often settle for less, credit ratings go up (a little) The whole sorry mess will go before a judge (and quite possibly a Grand Jury)
Oh well, useless speculation.

Sewertoons said...

But interesting speculation nonetheless Mike.

What you say seems to be possible. It would seem that the sooner this thing goes into receivership, the sooner the bleeding stops.