Start Yer Engines, Part HUH?
I closed my previous Blog entry noting that the warring factions in Los Osos were starting their engines in a slogging slugfest race to the cliff. Oh, how right I was, if the various folks who add comments here on this blog site are any indication. Jihadi alert! The following is strictly for confirmed “Sewerites.” Vroom! Vroom!
Someone signing himself “Richard LeGros” (one of the recalled CSD Board members) has sent several “Open Letters” to the CSD, among other places. One letter discussed budget matters and projections concerning CSD finances and was apparently prepared and circulated before the auditor’s report had been finished and presented to the community. Another one speculated in great detail on the costs of the proposed Ripley Plan recently presented at the July 7th Community Workshop, again using numbers that were, I guess, also made up –“ for argument’s sake.” (Mr. Ripley refused to present costs at HIS workshop, even for argument’s sake, preferring instead to wait for the final project report date of July 28. The person calling himself “Richard LeGros,” apparently felt no such caution. Well, where angels fear to tread, and so forth .) Speaking of which, like discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, speculation of this sort may or may not be accurate, since the size of angels can be remarkably fluid – Well, I say 700. Nuh-huh, according to my calculations, 695 will fit providing they take off their sandals! -- But the Open Letters sure look “authentic” and certainly must have taken quite some time to compose.
In the comment section of this blog, someone also calling himself “Richard LeGros” has logged on to make statements and offer comments with other Commentors. (We have quite a dedicated band of Sewerites engaging in a computer version of the old country store’s pot bellied stove, around which various town “characters” can gather to jaw and whittle and yak and natter. As with all things posted on the comment section of this blogsite, the authenticity of each poster is entirely open to question. Total Caveats are in order. But all are welcome if they mind their manners. i.e. no spitting tobacco juice on the floor.)
But some of what the person calling himself “Richard LeGros” has to say, especially on the subject of just WHY he voted to start work on TriW weeks before the recall and Measure B election, may have gotten the attention of CSD Board President, Lisa Schicker. Clearly, she has received and read the various “open letters,” and has sent an open letter of her own.
Herewith a copy. I leave it to the reader to compare her observations with those made by the person calling himself “Richard LeGros” in the various comment sections of this site’s different blog entries. It makes for interesting reading but, as I said, is only for dedicated Sewerites.
One item does stand out in Lisa’s letter. A date. December 2005 And a name: Darrin Polhemus. They go to the heart of a question that I have puzzled over, which was, Why on earth did the recalled Board members vote 3 – 2 to start pounding millions of dollars into the ground only weeks before a recall and a Measure B election. Fiscal prudence alone should have dictated waiting so as to – above all – do no or as little [fiscal] harm as possible. The person calling himself “Richard LeGros” has claimed that he had no choice but to move ahead because to do otherwise would have violated [an uncited] law. But there it is, that date . . . December 2005. Add in the $2 million shortfall mentioned as being in the pre-recall budget, the claim that the co-chair (Mr. LeGros, the real one) of the previous Board’s Finance Committee in 2005 failed to get cash flow analyses to the full board prior to the recall, and maybe the person sending the various Open Letters could now write another one ‘splaining a whole lot of things?
As I said, start yer engines and sharpen yer pencils. Vroom! Vroom!
Schicker’s letter is dated 7/10/06
Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately for all of us, and despite my repeated pleadings, no cash analysis of any type was ever done during 2005 – before the Board that you were part of decided on a 3-2 vote to accept construction bids 46-60% above engineers’ estimate and push forward with construction of the most expensive per capital project in the country-- 20 days before a recall election that was set at the latest possible date, setting into motion almost every one of the current cash problems and legal liabilities that exist for the people of Los Osos.
You and I both know that Darrin Polhemus from SWRCB-SRF said that the project could have been amended before we went to construction and that we had until December 2005 to do it – and this evidence was presented at the ACL Hearings – on video tape – why would you have ever approved such a devastating financial scheme upon your community? it appears that you have been extremely busy now, producing, emailing and publishing an array of detailed analyses and spreadsheets without attending one CSD meeting, but as co-chair of the Finance committee in 2005, when repeatedly asked for cash flow analyses, we were all denied such reports.
I would also ask you again to please review last year’s audit which indicated a $2 million shortfall during your watch and an auditor’s management letter that pointed out numerous problems with the way your board was managing the finances of the district even prior to the wastewater fiasco and cascade of poor management decisions made in a series of 3-2 votes during that year.
I would also advise that these kind of analyses and spreadsheets are not based on any reality and do damage to your fellow citizens when you send them out and print them and then the papers publish them – I have not observed your attendance at any CSD business meeting or committee meeting and suggest that if you want to get a taste of reality, please start showing up – this working behind the scenes is not helping your community, nor does it help when you post it on the blog or send it to the agencies and Blakeslee’s office – it only muddies the waters and confuses the issues further. These analyses are also undermining any attempts that Assemblyman Blakeslee and the agencies are making on behalf of the people of Los Osos.
You are cordially invited to participate in all CSD activities and I urge you to please help the community – spreading this kind of information, which is not based in truth, but in speculation in your mind, is not helping anyone.
Hope to see you soon – at a committee or board meeting. Thank you Richard.