As Sewerville Spins and Other Ongoing Sillies
Been loving some of the letters to the editor lately. They qualify as “Astroturf,” i.e. letters supposedly from the “grassroots,” that are actually generated in an organized way around talking points from some group or other. The theme they’re taking comes from the recent Tribune “Viewpoint” written by the recalled and former CSD members, with the theme of “Woe Is Los Osos, Poor, Poor Tormented Los Osos, Oh, Oh.”
My favorite matching-themes letter is headlined by the Tribune, “Osos is going under,” with the author’s “pleading to anyone who will listen. Please help us, we are drowning in our own septic systems.”
Gosh, I’ve got to find out where those folks live and row over them in my small boat with a pail. Since the streets are filled with raw sewage and Los Osos is sinking into a slough of despond, it’ll be tough going, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Over at New Times, Patrick Klemz had a news update on “De-assessing the situation,” that included the note that Taxpayer’s Watch still owes LAFCO some $27,000 for costs involved with their attempt to dissolve the Los Osos CSD. It states, “LAFCO executive officer Paul Hood confirmed the delinquent status and said the commission is contemplating a lawsuit.” This qualifies as irony. Also note that the dissolution hearings, dragging on as they did, cost the CSD a pretty penny too. But so far as I know, the CSD isn’t suing Taxpayers Watch to get their money back.
But the best is last: “The LAFCO bill is a contractual disagreement,” Taxpayer Watch [Gordon] Hensley said. “With or without Blakeslee’s bill, they said they would have recommended against dissolution.
“Why should we pay for something that could have been decided on day one?”
Gosh, when Gordon was elected to the CSD, he knew – on day one – that the original Solutions Group’s Ponds of Avalon wouldn’t fly with the RWQCB, that the reports nixed it, from day one. Yet went on to spend tax money for a plan he knew from day one wouldn’t fly? He also knew that the “strongly held community values” of wanting Tot-Lots next to an in-town sewer plant listed on the SOC wasn’t backed up by any evidence. Yet he continued to vote for a project he knew from day one was operating under a phony SOC. And he knew from the de novo hearing exactly what the Coastal Commissioner meant by the words “bait and switchy,” yet he continued to vote to spend money when he could have stopped right then. And from day one of the recall, he knew he didn’t have to vote to start pounding money into the ground weeks before that election, he also knew he could vote to set the election date earlier than he did, but he voted to set it as late as possible, not to mention he also voted to increase the SRF loan some $40 million without any 218 vote, etc. etc. all things that cost the community dearly.
So, I say, “Why should WE pay for something that HE could have decided to nix from day one?”
The Tribune weighed in with an interesting headline: “County will try to block Tri-W sale.” Appears the County has filed a suit to have the bankruptcy judge block any sale of Tri-W. This story’s interesting because it makes me wonder exactly what hidden agenda is at work here.
At the final LAFCO hearing, several LAFCO members were jumping up and down in their seats over the idea that Tri W might be sold. Paavo Ogren, the sewer project manager went to the microphone, utterly sanguine about it all, to state that as far as he was concerned, the sale or non sale of Tri W would have no impact on his department’s evaluation of any project, no problema. And since the law says that the county must receive a first-offer, heads-up of any notice of sale, there wasn’t any way the site could be sold in the dead of night to some guy name Joe who arrived with $3.5 mil in a sack.
Now, the county’s heading into court, another version of jumping up and down in their seats, and the question is, Why? Especially since, to my knowledge, there are no buyers of Tri W, (not even the county) and the CSD board has not voted to sell it, indeed, there may even be a board majority consensus not to do anything until the county’s full site evaluations are in – in other words, everybody get their fingers off the scales. So, why the county’s suit? What’s really up? More hidden agendas?
Proof positive of just how hard this project’s gonna be, when there are so many agendas, so many hidden agendas, so little trust (alas, often with good historic reason) and so many sappers scuttling around with their little shovels.
Meantime, the Tribune printed another “Viewpoint,” this one by newly elected CSD Board member, Joe Sparks. He closes his essay with this: “The election reflected the eclectic and diverse community that makes Los Osos a great place to live. In contrast to previous elections, I will be a director elected to our Los Osos Community Services District who did not advocate or oppose a specific wastewater project in the election. That in itself is a remarkable statement by the voters that our community can indeed compromise and move ahead.”
Compromise and move ahead? Quel novel suggestion.
And finally over at Sewerwatch (http://www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com/) Ron Crawford’s having fun. Kneecapping, indeed.
His blog entry raises a question about the recalled directors, Gordon Hensley, Taxpayers Watch, the “Dreamers,” et al. What is the driving force behind their relentless kneecapping of the CSD and the citizens (remember the wonderful secret email to Roger Briggs of the RWQCB to “fine the CSD out of existence,” apparently forgetting that the sender was really asking that her friends and neighbors be “fined out of existence.”) And, for Heaven’s sake, didn’t recalled Director Gustafson move to Iowa or something? Yet there he is a co-signer on the recent, “O Woe” Viewpoint? What’s that all about?
After the election I wrote a column suggesting a Medean fury at work, not to mention a battle between the Dauphins and the sans culottes.
You would think that after the recall, after the recent dissolution failure, after the Blakeslee bill took the sewer project out of the CSD’s hands, after the failure to elect a TP majority “slate,” these folks would say, “Well, O.K, we gave it the old College Try and failed so maybe the majority of citizens are looking for another way, so maybe we need to stop knee-capping and sit down and figure out some solutions that will work for the whole community.”
But that doesn’t seem to be happening, so I’m beginning to wonder if these folks aren’t stuck in one of those Grade B movies wherein the ruling junta gets ousted from Clopkovnia by the irate citizens making ugly crowd noises and carrying pikestaffs and brooms, whereupon our little deposed band settles in nearby Plotznovia where they spend years in grubby penury holed up in a dismal shack somewhere filing endless lawsuits and scribbling tracts and dreaming of the day when they can gather a glittering army of millions to invade Clopkovnia, build their centrally located, magnificent crenellated and be-jeweled Tri-W Sewer plant, -- Avalon, at last! –“take our town back,” and thereby restore the rightful kings!
Meanwhile, Clopkovnia is trying to move ahead in a Joe Sparkian spirit of cooperation and compromise and mutual problem solving, but there sit our knee-cappers, expending all this energy and money and time. Why? What’s the point? What the hell is it really all about anyway?