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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cut The Prisoner Down Again, We’ll Hang Him Some More In An Hour, or Maybe Next Month, Or, Like, Whatever . . .

Yep, The Los Osos 45 go on trial – again – Thursday and Friday, Dec 14 & 15 starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s office on Aerovista Place in SLO Town. Maybe.

The Regional Board, making absolutely no effort to even pretend to be protecting civil liberties or due process (Bwa-hahahahah), have – again – changed the goal posts and rules, and disallowed new evidence from the defendants at the last minute with zip time to respond. (Judge LaBarbara will be making a ruling on, Wednesday night? Maybe? as to whether all this constant rule changing and jerking around – some more – by the RWQCB so totally jeopardizes the rights of The Los Osos 45 that he’ll issue a stay on this hearing. Is it too much to hope for that somebody sane does step in?)

The following is from a cc. of an email sent to the New Grand Inquisitor, Mr. Reed Sato:


“How can Chairman Young issue on the Friday before the Thursday that the Cease and Desist Order recipients are to go on trial a letter stating that most of the evidence that citizens are planning on using to try and keep from getting a CDO against their property is not being allowed? I just got this by email tonight (I work during the day) and I am sure the same is true for the CDO defendants. So they are given until tomorrow to respond? . . . There is not even an appearance of due process or justice here. To send a letter of this magnitude at this late date and expect a response by tomorrow is frankly laughable. You now must recognize that by the Chairman issuing this order that he and you have no other choice but to postpone the hearing for at least a month so that the CDO defendants have the opportunity to clarify why this material is important to their case. To do anything else will only add to the continually growing opinion that this entire CDO process was set up in such a manner that the outcome was determined before it even started. Please forward this email to Chairman Young and the rest of the CCRWQCB members. Hopefully some of them will also see the inequity of this recent development.”

Here’s an excerpt from Bev Moylan, one of The Los Osos 45, for a glimpse of what this Board has been doing to these folks for a year. Bev had asked for a continuance of her case so she could attend a class, a critical part of her job. The request was denied and she was cavalierly dismissed with, Oh well, the PZLDF group is represented by an attorney, so send her instead (Yes, sit in a room with absolutely NO indication when your particular case ill be heard, if at all, for two days straight? Especially when you’ve put your life on hold for a whole year, were ready repeatedly go to “trial” only to have the RWQCB Chairman pull the rug out from under you again and again and again? Oh, please.)


“As far as the matter of “choice” is concerned with regard to our attendance at the hearing this week, in this case there is no choice, per se. My husband and I were prepared for the April hearing. We were prepared for the May hearing. We were prepared for the November hearing. The water board’s agendizing of the April hearing and consequent failure to anticipate the amount of time defenses would consume, along with its scheduling and rescheduling of the continuances for that hearing have made it impossible for us so far to present our own defense. On this fourth scheduled date we are unavailable and unable to change our plans once again to accommodate the RWQCB’s newest hearing dates with no guarantee that the hearings will actually occur on those dates. On the other hand, I am certain that my class in Carlsbad will occur on the appointed dates.”


Bev further concludes:

“It is hardly fair, humane, or ethical for this board to expect me to relinquish my place in a closed class for the mere possibility of attendance at a hearing that may or may not occur. To represent that I am easily able to take this class at another time is grossly erroneous and completely misrepresents the truth of the matter. To require me to alter these plans for this class poses an extreme, undue hardship, and to deny me a continuance is to abridge my due process.

My husband, William Moylan, and I have already stated that we want you to see our faces and hear our voices as we make our own cases. We have the right to a hearing, and we have the right to be present at our hearing. We two, who have lived the CDO experience for over ten months, represent ourselves. It is not a matter of choosing or not choosing to attend the December 14 and 15, 2006, hearings. We cannot attend.

I also submit that you consider dismissing this enforcement action outright. The RWQCB has many reasons not to go forward with this proceeding, and few reasons to proceed. It is obvious that something is unusual when the chairman has quashed all subpoenas and denied all requests for continuances submitted by defendants, yet appears to uphold the prosecution team at every juncture. Chairman Young made an emphatic assertion at the April 28, 2006, hearing that the prosecution team is not the RWQCB’s prosecution team in its presentation of the case for the enforcement action against forty-five randomly selected Los Osos citizens. The chairman’s actions in regard to the prosecution of the Proposed Cease and Desist Orders in Los Osos, however, would indicate otherwise.

The water board continues to operate this prosecution under the false assumption that insufficient or no progress is being made toward a goal of a WWTF. In fact substantial progress is being made toward that goal. That the citizens of this town have proven time and again that they favor a WWTF outside the center of town is substantial evidence that we are in favor of a WWTF. You are aware of the recent independent peer review of the Ripley plan. You are aware of AB 2701. Plans are moving ahead continuously for a WWTF. To assert otherwise is to ignore what has taken place in this town in the year since the RWQCB issued Proposed Cease and Desist Orders.

Many property owners in the Prohibition Zone are already in compliance with the conditions of the Proposed Cease and Desist Orders. As you are aware many citizens have had their tanks pumped, inspected, and repaired. These actions alone ought to provide sufficient evidence that it does not require a Cease and Desist Order to force compliance by citizens. We value our groundwater. To threaten citizens with the loss of their homes if they have not complied with conditions outside their own control – i.e. TSO 2011 - is an unnecessarily heavy-handed approach. To make this threat against thousands of people, many of whom are not in a position to defend themselves, is wasteful and inefficient, given the amount of litigation over innumerable years it will engender for a board with no money for a mediator or for videotaping the hearings. Our continued movement toward installation of a WWTF renders the original rationale for the issuance of Cease and Desist Orders moot.

We are on the verge of a settlement agreement which could offer the best solution for both sides, if the water board is interested in mitigation of groundwater issues. Dismissing this Cease and Desist Order action in favor of a reasonable settlement agreement would appear to meet the water board’s goals while allowing citizens to remain in their homes, recognizing that individuals have no control over the agencies charged with implementing and completing a WWTF.

In conclusion, the water board has many opportunities to act with the benefit of the waters of the state and of the community of Los Osos in mind. Granting a continuance or dismissing this action outright in favor of a more contemporaneous approach, given the circumstances in place in Los Osos today, allows the water board to meet its goals while allowing citizens to continue to live in their homes and work toward a long-term solution in partnership with the water board, instead of in the adversarial postures necessitated by the current Proposed Cease and Desist Orders.


The first obligation of government is to protect our people.
– Senator Susan Collins of Maine "



Do I hear snickering in the back of the class? Protect our people? Whatta ya, nuts?

Next question, do these hearings violate the Blakeslee amendment? I mean, really now. Remember “standing down,” and working in a spirit of cooperation, and coming together to get the project built, a project that the citizens of Los Osos now have no control over since the County has taken over? Remember the Peer Review Workshop? The RWQCB staff was there, all in a spirit of cooperation. So what’s the point of the continued public hanging of The Los Osos 45?

I’ve always thought that a perfect example of a pointless, sadistic evil act is to chain a dog to a tree and then beat the dog . . . for not running away from the tree. Is that what’s going on here? If so, I will ask again: Why? What’s the point?

37 comments:

Spectator said...

ANN:

You make very good points, about the conduction of the hearings by the CCRWQCB. VERY GOOD.
It is very clear to me that some things are happening:

1. The water board posts legal opinion about the nature of evidence allowed based upon other cases in law, and states why much of the evidence from the CDO recipients is not valid.

2. The recipients reject the opinion, findings, and the applicability of the CCRWQCB rebuttals.

3. The CCRWQCB does not give sufficient time for the CDO recipients to fully research the law quoted in the rebuttals to find the devil in the details.

4. The recipients are not and never have been experts on reading law, and are inclined to read the law as they see it, through glasses clouded by the oil of victimization. After all, what did they deliberately do to bring these CDOs upon themselves? There has never been and never was any INTENT to break the law. They simply bought a home in the PZ and wished to live in peace. The water law was foistered upon them despite the fact that their individual sewerage systems were legally permitted by the county at the time their home was built, in most cases after the fact.

5. Despite the lack of intent to polute by recipients, inability to do ANYTHING except pump to mitigate some of the polution, and because their elected officials stopped a legally permitted and funded sewer system, the recipients know that they are being singled out by lottery for a community problem. The CCRWQCB defends the lottery as just.

6. The CCRWQCB has not provided funds to the recipients for defense, and expect them to defend themselves against the almost infinite resources of the state. The recipients do not have the funds to take their cases fully through the courts or appeal any rulings to the highest courts should they be accepted by the courts.

7. The CCRWQCB feels that any defense is futile based upon THEIR rulings, with some support from case law, many of which have not gone through full federal constitutional review as applicability to individuals. They also aware that if their rulings are litigated there is a possibility that some of their rulings may be null and void, and wish to avoid very expensive litigation which they would have to pay for should the courts rule against the CCRWQCB. They have already taken it in the shorts over their rediculous and totally impractical "pump every other month ruling". They have had to change their structure for prosecution, and now there is a judge that will have to rule on their proceedures again.

It is clear to me that there is a great amount of injustice here. It is also clear that this could probably be litigated ad nausium. It is also clear that resources are not avaible to litigate ad nausium by the recipients of the CDOs. It is also clear that the CCRWQCB is violating the intent of the Blakeslee LAW to find a political solution to the polution problem by forcing CDOs upon individuals. It is also clear that the CCRWQCB has the intent to force a political solution and a YES 218 vote. It is also clear that they show vindictive intent towards the community for obstruction of the water law for many years, and the most recent stopping of construction on the sewer. This maybe prosecutorial misconduct under federal law.

I feel that murderers in the State of California get far better treatment. They are provided public defenders, funds for appeal, etc. The ACLU takes many of their cases.

I also feel Ann is correct in her opinion to accept the CCRWQCB three year pumping plan. It seems foolish to fight against the CCRWQCB by spending valuable individual resources, time, and effort just to not pump every three years and help the polution problem until a sewer, any sewer is built, wherever. I would also suggest that anything signed would be done so under duress, and could be litigated later. In the meantime, I feel, it would be best to protect the environment and our water to the best of our individual responsibility. Our actions in submitting would show "good faith" to the rule of law: water and Blakeslee Law.

It would be best to see how our situation plays out; we are beset by great financial uncertainties.

If a 218 vote fails on a sewer system, we will need all the financial resources we have to fight the CCRWQCB potential rulings of septic sealing, fines, and cost of individual discharge permits before the state comes in. Maybe better to retreat from this insignificant battle ( we have mostly won it) and regroup as all the property owners in the PZ to fight the really big one.

Can we be in agreement here?

Jon Arcuni

Shark Inlet said...

Good questions ... and I am sure that we'll discuss the answers here eventually or that the RWQCB folks will have the opportunity to explain their positions during the hearing.

I do want to point out, however, that before the recall the RWQCB staff told us that if a recall caused the board to stop TriW they would feel compelled to take action, both fines and CDOs. Some folks who promoted the recall (hell, pretty much all of them) blew off the RWQCB threats because they believed (incorrectly and in direct opposition to what the RWQCB was saying) that Measure B would protect them. The RWQCB is simply following through on consequences they told us about in advance. Heck, even the LOCSD attorney told the RWQCB that CDOs would be a reasonable approach to enforcing the prohibition.

That being said, it would seem to me that the RWQCB is both judge and jury and that the RWQCB staff are prosecuting and that while the rules on evidence are perhaps unclear to the regular guy without a hired gun (lawyer) working for them ... the RWQCB prosecution staff has been acting a bit too rashly. I can respect their desire to impose sanctions, but a bit more careful thought ... in advance ... about the exact process involved would have been good. What is this now ... four threatened trials? I would think that jeopardy would attach and eventually they would be forced to finish one of the trials.

The rules of the game are already in favor of the RWQCB and the evidence is also all in their corner. The only logic I can find in their desire to act quickly is to get Los Osos to take the situation seriously and to start work on some plant.


I want to ask you, Ann, a question about a different issue.

You told us about a week ago about the independent review of the Ripley report. I gather you went to the meeting you told us about.

Could you please summarize key information presented at that meeting ... information about the costs of the various options and about the timetable of various options?

Anonymous said...

This is insanity. Pump every three years if that's what is required, let the county give us some options, and GET A LIFE.

Anonymous said...

The RWQCB told Los Osos how to vote too. The big fix is in.

Anonymous said...

Bev. De Witt-Moylan here.

This is just to say that we HAD a life on January 29, 2006. On January 30, 2006, that life ended, and we began defending ourselves against an enforcement action that was hatched down the rabbit hole and continues to mutate and evolve.

Anyone who knows anything about this Proposed CDO situation knows that the original 45 are not opposed to a pump-inspect-repair schedule that is reasonable and scientifically validated. We are not engaged in this struggle simply because we love this fight and are against any pumping of any kind. I thought I had already made that point clear in other postings that perhaps were missed. Most of us have already complied with the pumping-order aspect of the CDO.

Initially it was an "unheard of" bimonthly pumping schedule (Matt Thompson, Feb, 2006)that we felt compelled to oppose - for the sake of the entire PZ. It was also the ridiculously unattainable 1/1/2010 drop dead date.

Now we have an equally virtually unattainable 1/1/2011 drop dead date in the newest, shiniest version of the CDO.

We tried in good faith to engage the water board in negotiations on a plan for mitigation of groundwater without the onus of a CDO on our property. Yet the hearings go forth with no continuances, even for people too ill or incapacitated to appear. And that from a board who cannot afford a mediator.

I get the sense that some of those writing here on this topic even now know very little in the way of facts about what we in the CDO group have been and are working toward. Maybe I am reading it wrong, but these posters appear to express incredulity about our struggle, as though we have nothing better to do, as though we have picked the wrong battle.

Please understand that we picked no battle. We were all busy making a living and taking care of our families on January 29, 2006. This battle picked us. We DO NOT WANT to "vacate the premises" (Matt Thompson, April 28, 2006) on January 1, 2010. We DO NOT WANT a CDO and all its "unintended consequences" attached to our property.

We strongly object to the repeated infringements on our rights to due process and have worked very hard to get all this information into the record in the almost certain event of an appeal because of the almost certain event of CDOs being placed on all 45 properties on December 15 - IF the hearings actually take place.

We are REQUIRED to "exhaust all administrative remedies" before we can appeal in a court of law. This phrase means that we must go through the show trial, endure the rubber stamped appeal to the SWRCB, and finally reach a judge who, we can only hope, will look at all the information impartially.

Believe me, we have a lot better things to do right now than prepare for yet another scheduled hearing and write objections.

We do, however, object to moving out of our homes on January 1, 2011, if what the water board considers "reasonable progress" on a WWTF does not happen.

I hope this explanation clarifies some of what appears to me to be apparent mis-understanding regarding the reasons why we continue to work toward a humane ending to this ordeal for the benefit of all.

Getting informed and staying informed is the first defense everyone else has. Donating to PZLDF is the best defense. That contribution will assist in an appeal to a court of law. The ACLU will not touch us, nor will other pro bono defenders of causes. At least not at the administrative level of this case. We have tried. We have written mountains of letters to legislators and to the governor. Arnold's wishes for a successful "event" were conveyed by an underling when we asked him to please come to our first hearing.

Donate to PZLDF. This fund is your fund.

Walk into Coast National Bank next to the Post Office and ask that your contribution be applied to the PZLDF account. Or mail your donation to:

PZLDF
P.O.Box 6095
Los Osos, CA 93412

Legal assistance is very expensive and very necessary when we appeal to a court of law. The amount of your donations will determine the quality and quantity of legal representation we are able to afford. This fight is not the fight of this little group. This fight will assuredly come to your door. Enjoy this Christmas. If you live in the PZ, for it may be your last carefree Yule for a while to come.

Bill and I between us have already donated $700 dollars, $600 in cash and $100 in unreimbursed expenses for PZLDF. He is retired, and I am a teacher. This is money we don't have. But we believe in this defense against government agency aggression, and we have sacrificed money designated for other things. We don't expect everyone to give that much, but please give what you can.

Thank you.

Shark Inlet said...

No offense Bev, but didn't the LOCSD assure the RWQCB during the ACL hearings that they would have a sewer online by 2010?

Snowy Plover said...

Sorry Shark, but you are often very offensive and inappropriate.
As actions of committees often are...

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time for the FBI to investigate the abuse of power. We have a new Attorney General coming in -- just in time.a

Sewertoons said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but the County will have the project on January 1. If we are serious about a sewer, we will vote YES on the 218. The county will control the project, not the LOCSD.

Does anyone think that the County is not capable of "reasonable progress" on building a WWTF? The County is handling the Lopez Water Treatment Plant and the Nacimiento Water Project both in a professional and timely fashion. Would the RWQCB not respect the County in its pursuit for a WWTF for Los Osos and grant an extension if needed for a reasonable cause?

Of course "reasonable progress" may come crashing to the ground if the crazies are pushing obstructionist lawuits at the County… Is that what Mrs. De Witt-Moylen is fearful of? Shame on us if that is the case and we shoot ourselves in the foot one more time… or maybe it is shooting ourselves in the heart.

Mike Green said...

Shark bubbled:
" No offense Bev, but didn't the LOCSD assure the RWQCB during the ACL hearings that they would have a sewer online by 2010?"

Go ahead shark try to explain that totaly without merit logicly flawed piece.
there is a trashcan at the bottom of your post, I suggest you use it,

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"I want to ask you, Ann, a question about a different issue.

You told us about a week ago about the independent review of the Ripley report. I gather you went to the meeting you told us about.

Could you please summarize key information presented at that meeting ... information about the costs of the various options and about the timetable of various options?

1:01 PM, December 12, 2006"

Please go to the CSD office. They should have the 16 page Report there. They also were supposed to post it on their web site so anyone can read it themselves. The CSD meeting was televised so you can watch it yourself. If you missed its replays, you can check out the tape from the CSD office and watch it yourself.


Bev sez:"Donate to PZLDF. This fund is your fund.

Walk into Coast National Bank next to the Post Office and ask that your contribution be applied to the PZLDF account. Or mail your donation to:

PZLDF
P.O.Box 6095
Los Osos, CA 93412

Legal assistance is very expensive and very necessary when we appeal to a court of law. The amount of your donations will determine the quality and quantity of legal representation we are able to afford. This fight is not the fight of this little group. This fight will assuredly come to your door. Enjoy this Christmas. If you live in the PZ, for it may be your last carefree Yule for a while to come."

AMEN. Are any of you paying attention?

Sewertoons sez:"Does anyone think that the County is not capable of "reasonable progress" on building a WWTF?"

I think the RWQCB has finally posted the "proposed settlement" on their website. Hard copies may be arriving to designated and/or interested parties. I would urge you most strongly to get a copy of what's going to be discussed at the Dec 14, 15 meeting and read that proposed settlement very, very carefully. That "drop dead" date was described by the Peer Review Committee Report as "somewhat arbitrary." Arbitrary? If you sign that agreement, you will be agreeing to turn over to the RWQCB the power to decide what THEY feel is "progress." What THEY feel is suitable. Whatever THEY decide meets THEIR goals and wishes. Not science. Not engineering. Not even an expert opinion by some of the best wastewater experts in the field. Instead, you will agree, in a legal document, beforehand, to turn your property's future use over to the same staff that cooked up the Mad Pumping Scheme, was holding Los Osos to a TSO order that four times Bruce Buel testified was "unreasonable," a staff and Board that clearly had no clue how to even organize a CDO prosecution of a whole town, that had to dump the whole original case on legal grounds and start over, a group that wasted a whole year futzing around with legal and practical problems. THOSE are the SAME people you're going to be signing your property over to allow THEM TO DECIDE WHAT CONSTITUTES PROGRESS, if you sign that "settlement" with it's "somewhat arbitrary" drop dead date of 2011.

And if the RWQCB votes to accept this "settlement" on the 14th and mails copies to everyone in town and you sign it BEFORE the Los Osos 45 have had a chance to appeal their cases to the State Water Board and then take it into court, you'll be signing a document that could well put your home in jeopardy and you'll be doing so BEFORE any judge anywhere has even had time to rule whether this whole CDO process is even legal or whether that date or any other date is legal or whether the RWQCB even has the authority to demand such a document since it's still not clear whether or not the original MOU with the county is still in force & etc, or whether once AB2701 kicks in, any agreements become moot since the County will have the authority, & etc.. In short, you'll be signing away your rights before you even know whether those rights are valid.

Caveat emptor, y'all, is all I can say.Caveat emptor, big time.

And a question: Why is the RWQCB putting in a "somewhat arbitrary" drop dead date in the first place? It's a poison pill that may well ensure failure of this settlemnt document. So, Why would the RWQCB want this agreement to fail?

Sewertoons said...

Ann says:

"a TSO order that four times Bruce Buel testified was "unreasonable,"

Yet, the old CSD was able to put out a project that would have been completed by the deadline. The schedule was what you old board haters might blame instead of the old board. They complied with it even if it made them do things that they might now regret, or at the very least would have explained better to the Community as to what was going on.

Like the project or not like the project, they got the job done. That is until the "new" board stepped in and, to quote shark, "the LOCSD assure the RWQCB during the ACL hearings that they would have a sewer online by 2010?"

Don't kill the messenger. Shark is just stating the truth. They could not possibly meet that deadline because they forgot to keep their house in good order, lost the loan, incurred fines and went bankrupt through naïveté or… something.

In any case, the County has the project unless we screw it up. The RWQCB will work with the County a little differently than any board in the divided little berg of Los Osos. The RWQCB even worked with the old CSD board to cut them some slack at one point. I think every entity on the County and State levels wants this project to be completed successfully. Unnecessary rocks will not be thrown in the path by any govenmental agency. It is up to us in Los Osos to keep in mind the bigger picture of what could happen if this project does not go through. It is up to us in Los Osos to not start throwing rocks if we don't want the horrible consequences posed by the RWQCB.

And by the way, hasn't the RWQCB always gone by what "THEY feel is suitable. Whatever THEY decide meets THEIR goals and wishes?" Now we had better listen and not start with the rocks. That is what this "agreement" is all about. Will we agree to put in a WWTF or not? The first step and deal breaker is the 218 vote. If that doesn't pass, we are in unimaginable trouble. Julie, get out of the way.

Mike Green said...

Sewertoons projected:
"Don't kill the messenger. Shark is just stating the truth. They could not possibly meet that deadline because they forgot to keep their house in good order, lost the loan, incurred fines and went bankrupt through naïveté or… something."
No, I do not doubt for a min. that what what Sharkey spewed was the truth.
But the comment here is like going to the autopsy of a plane wreck victim and stating that they were guilty of exceeding the speed limit on the way down.
If there was going to be any "justice" in this whole STUPID CDO thing then we need judges.
If you havent learned by now not to trust ill prepared and trained publick officials then you havent learned anything
The "Water Gods" I DO NOT TRUST,

The CSD I DO NOT TRUST

I'm going to be very carefull of anything I agree to.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

Business is getting very interesting on the Federal Bankruptcy Creditor's Committee. Does anybody out there have advice on what they hope the Creditor's Committee achieves?

Regards, Richard LeGros

Mike Green said...

Spectator Speculated:
"Maybe better to retreat from this insignificant battle ( we have mostly won it) and regroup as all the property owners in the PZ to fight the really big one.

Jon, when is the first transgression of rights (due process) the less significant?
When its happening, or when the damage has been redressed?

Oh, and you have to answer as if the transgression was costing you time and money that you probably dont have.

If not now? When?

Other than that, a masterfull post! Well Done!

Mike Green said...

Richard, Thanks for asking!

Well, the best sneaky rotten deal that you think we can get away with. Sheesh Richard why do you think they picked you for cryin out loud!
I think it's a perfect match by the way,
I trust a lot of your math, it checks out, sometimes not with reality, but close.
Do the best you can on our behalf and thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your input. I will relay your thoughts to the committee.

Regards, Richard LeGros

FBLeG said...

Does anyone know what the result of the hearing today in SLO superior court was in regards to the CDO hearing tomorrow? Did LaBarbara issue a ruling?

Anonymous said...

The ruling was issued by the judge. The water board issued its own version with a slightly different slant from the actual ruling.

The judge indicated that a continuance was not possible under the circumstances, but that there was justification for an appeal on procedure and perhaps on due process, if CDOs were indeed issued. He made the ruling without prejudice. The water board, however, stated that the judge found no evidence of anything unconstitutional in the water board's failure to produce "the witness." The judge said no such thing.

The hearings will continue as planned. Bring your picnic basket. This is going to be a long day, but no picnic.

*PG-13 said...

Spectator opens the comments with a well developed recapitulation of the RWQCB dance. Some of it is beyond my condescension and/or my ability to make meaningful comment. For example, whether "The water board posts legal opinion about the nature of evidence allowed based upon other cases in law, and states why much of the evidence from the CDO recipients is not valid" is true or not. I have my doubts about this but I'll concede to Spectator's judgement. The rest of seems to flow pretty straight. But I side with Mike as to when is the best time to stand and take issue with bureaucratic blundering. I don't follow Spectator's conclusion about "retreating from this insignificant battle ( we have mostly won it)" and following a strategy of n performing in "good faith". Sorry, I just don't see where good faith performance is going to be rewarded here. The RWQCB is setting the rules and running the table. Spectator even admits there appears to be no good faith on their part. Would they recognize good faith if it landed before them? I doubt it. And even if they did is there anything in their past behavior to indicate they are willing to consider it in their decisions and their actions. I just don't see it. Power corrupts. And this is a good example of that.

I'm aghast at how the CDO 45 are being prodded like a small herd of helpless sheep towards the slaughter house. That such abrogation of fair and due process is proceeding seemingly without any process control is scary. There also seems to be some divide and conquer going on here. Most citizens can only take so much before they can respond no more. It seems the RWQCB strategy of scheduling hearings only to cancel them then to reschedule them again only to cancel them again, all the time changing the rules of what can acceptably entered as evidence, then giving little to no time to respond to such changes seems a calculated strategy of exhaustion and diminishment. At what point does the CDO 45 become the CDO 30 or the CDO 15? With the others capitulating to some weird 'agreement'.

Bev De Witt-Moylan sums it up nicely > We are REQUIRED to "exhaust all administrative remedies" before we can appeal in a court of law. This phrase means that we must go through the show trial, endure the rubber stamped appeal to the SWRCB, and finally reach a judge who, we can only hope, will look at all the information impartially.

Man, anybody who sees that isn't a losers game is simply blind. And only the heartless or the most committed zealots still take some kind of pleasure in pointing out that this or that CSD is responsible for this predicament. Get over it people. As one lobster in the pot said to the others, "You're all look'in a bit pink. Who's fault is it that you're here?" Dang, we're all being cooked. We might still argue over where the sewer should end up. Or how much it's going to cost. And why it might have been better, faster or cheaper done some other way. But with respect to the CDO 45 and the RWQCB there can be no divisiveness. They are us and the RWQCB is a shared pain.

And then there is Richard. Now that he has edified me/us about what a Federal Bankruptcy Creditor's Committee is and does I gotta believe he is probably the most qualified person in all the land to sit on such a committee. Yet I still wonder who's 'side' he is on. We can only take him at his word that he is working to serve the community. Hopefully without rancor or judgement. I want to believe.

> Business is getting very interesting on the Federal Bankruptcy Creditor's Committee. Does anybody out there have advice on what they hope the Creditor's Committee achieves?

Uh, can I ask that it try to minimize our exposure to odious debt while still dealing honorably with those with legitimate claims and losses? Oh silly me, I'm such an idealist.

Mike Green said...

PG! word.

Mike Green said...

"ssss

Anonymous said...

pg13 said... "And then there is Richard. Now that he has edified me/us about what a Federal Bankruptcy Creditor's Committee is and does I gotta believe he is probably the most qualified person in all the land to sit on such a committee. Yet I still wonder who's 'side' he is on. We can only take him at his word that he is working to serve the community. Hopefully without rancor or judgement. I want to believe."

Sorry PG, belive all you want, he will disappoint.

In most bankruptcies the creditors sole motivation is to recover money owed to them.

With Richard, we get the added bonus that he also wants to DESTROY the debtor.

Once again, Richard's alterior motives will betray him.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I asked for input as I delve into the Creditor's Committee. Some responded with good ideas (thanks), while others want to pre-judge me (such as anon 4:14 above).

Well, I seek what is fair and just considering the current CSD's situation. I will do what I can, in light of the County taking over the majority of the CSD's tax revenues (see today's Tribune)to ensure that the CSD can survive. But I have to be honest; the damage to the CSD may already be too severe for the committe to save it.

For some time now I have been raising the ISSUES about the misuse of tax and bond payment revenues by the current CSD (as outlined in the Nov 27 VIEWPOINT); and have backed the County's lawsuit to end this situation. I am relieved that the County has succeeded in making sure that these revenues are properly spent to protect the taxpayers of Los Osos.

The current situation is this...the CSD has been stripped of annually receiving about $2,300,000 of the $3,200,000 it normally receives in tax and bond payment revenues; leaving about $900,000 ANNUALLY coming into the CSD. With all of the CSD's reserves now drained, and minimal revenues coming in from taxes, coupled with inadequate revenues coming in from the water department, the CSD MUST COMPLETEELY FOCUS ON IT'S CORE SERVICES ONLY AND STOP ALL ACTIVITIES WHICH DO NOT HAVE A DIRECT REVENUE STREAM TO PAY FOR THEM. Activities lacking a revenue stream are the CSD's efforts to fight the CDO's, excessive litigation regarding the Tri-W project, pursuing a new wastewater project plan, and others.

At yesterday's Bankruptcy hearing, Judge Robin Ribblet obviously saw merit to the County's complaint re: the misuse of dedicated tax and bond revenues by the CSD. It is a very rare event in which one government is allowed control of another government revenue stream inorder to protect the taxpayer.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Spectator said...

To Mike Green:

"If not now, when?"

Let the CCRWQCB write their history now. If they are wrong, then the history will be there, and they can be taken to task later. The "lack of due process" will require judicial review, after all efforts of "due process" have been tried by the CCRWQCB.

We shall see. It is up to individuals to either take my speculative advice or continue to fight. It comes down to "How much money is in your pocket".

To Bev:

"Good Faith" on either party to the dispute will be VERY important to any judge reviewing the CCRWQCB proceedures.

TO All and my opinion:

Lafco did not exercise "good faith" to the property owners who formed the LOCSD and wished it dissolved. They exercised "good faith" to the rest of the county who did not want to take care of the obligations of alledged poluters. And then when one looks at the elected representitives who got us in the mess, it would be very hard to find any "good faith" to the taxpayers of the district.

Richard:

Remember that a bankruptcy is: "I am unable to take care of my finantial obligations because I have made mistakes. The creditors gave me credit for their own benefit, which I was not able to repay, so they should share in my harm from my mistakes. I petition the court for relief from these creditors. I will attempt to repay them to the best of my ability on the findings of this court. Help! Please do not make me unable to pay them back for what the court decides is fair. I need to be able to live and make a living".

The basis of bankruptcy law is that if debtors were confined in debtors prisons, they would be a cost to the state, and would not be able to pay their debts.

The other basis is that credit would not be offered unless it benefited the ones extending credit.

And so here we find lawyers extending services for their benefit, contractors signing contracts for their benefit, a low interest loan for the benefit of the state in stopping pollution, fines for the benefit of the peole of the state in stopping polution, CDOs for the same purpose, and benifits for property owners if they do not have to pay for a mandated sewer.

It will be interesting how the court handles the benefits versis the debts to the property owners.

This is a Federal court. There are different rules of evidence, and different assignments of complicity from state civil law.

In this case, due to lack of precedent, the judge may be reguired to forge new law by unprecedented ruling as to evidence,causation, and complicity. Under all bankruptcy law is a underlying effort to determine fraud for relief, or creditor fraud, if it should exist.

I doubt that the judge has any experience in a municipal case of this type. I doubt that there are any judges left anywhere. This is a case with great precident and little prior law.

This judge will be watched very closely by the judicial system and all branches of government. She shows great ability to form agreements from opposing parties, so far, in effect, not to rule.

We will see where this goes in the future. Hard decisions will have to be made, and the decisions are subject to appeal.

Richard: Look to fraud, from other creditors within the committee, individual responsibility for illegality and mis-appropriations
by debtors, violations of law by creditors and debtors, and malfeasance of government by individuals. In addition look to prosecutorial misconduct by the CCRWQCB. Look to LAFCO and their decision, which has made the situation worse.

Merry Christmas to All, a Happy Chanukah, and the best to the rest. Chanukah is the feast of light, part of my Judeo-Christian heratige. There is a lot to say for light and reasoning. We need light. Expect no miracles.

Jon Arcuni

Joey Racano said...

Los Osos deserves what it gets. There was only one solution and that was the regional solution. My idea, too bad you did not take it as a serious option. Save the Bay!

Shark Inlet said...

Two things ...

Ann, I was asking for your comments on the independent review, not for you to tell us we should go read it ourselves. I read the 16 page document. I saw the meeting. I am asking for your comments because I would like to know what you think. I am particularly interested in this case because you typically tell us what you think and in this case you haven't ... which I find odd. So then ... the ball's in your court should you want to play.

As for the 2010 date ... I raised the issue because Bev questioned why the RWQCB chose that date. I was just tossing out a possible explanation as to why they picked the date ... because the CSD assured them that they would have a solution by then. I don't think this is part of some RWQCB strategy to make some agreement fail but suspect this is part of the RWQCB "you made your own bed" strategy.

Mike Green said...

OK Shark,
very weak explanation.
Why ask for no offence then?
Araid that Bev would take offence that the CCRWQCB used a completly illogical and harmfull reasoning?
I think she knows that already.
Did you read the website I sent you about logical fallacies?
Couldn't hurt you know.

Shark Inlet said...

Why say "no offense" to Bev? Because I presumed that any answers to her question (of why the 2011 date) that are anything but "they're full of crap" might be offensive.

She and the other CDO folks are going through a very tough time and while I figured that my answer has some merit, I don't want her to feel that I'm being "in your face" about it.

What about the RQWCB's reasoning? Don't exactly know, but because the whole situation has dragged on for ... um ... 30 years ... they might have felt the need to turn the screws a bit because without some additional pressure there would be no clear motive on the part of Los Osos residents to actually move forward ... that without some CDO in place, the property owners might just vote against both options the County would present us. While I don't share the opinion that we would vote this way, I can see why a reasonable person might think it is a likely outcome.

On the issue of logical fallacies ... yes, I read the website ... and two others.

Did you go back and re-read my posting that you criticized as fallacious? The argument I made was a mathematical and economic one and was solid.

Mike Green said...

Thanks shark, I'm glad it's cleared up,
No, I'm sorry I can't recall that posting that you refer to, but I'm sure it's there.
What do you think the upper limit of a sucsessful 218 vote would be?
I'm guessing 250/mo.

Shark Inlet said...

Mike,

I suspect that even if the total monthly bill reached $350 it would pass.

My reasoning is that if the 218 vote doesn't pass we're in a world of hurt and that property owners realize that.

Even if an individual property owner cannot afford $350/month they may still want to vote "yes" because they could sell their property far more easily and far more quickly should a 218 vote pass than should it not pass (and the state take over and more uncertainty and even higher bills).

Nope, we're in a horrible situation. Even the $250/month you suggest might pass is higher than what the Solutions Group CSD board members were able to get us. (And if you could count the various grants and the like that they would have also had if Julie/CCLO hadn't hosed up the situation it would have been about $30-40 per month less.)

So ... how much is it worth to you (and Ann and others) to pursue the idea of "out of town"? So far, between the debts (best case settlement) and the additional costs associated with delay we're talking about $275 to $300/month, arguably about $50-$75 more than what TriW would have cost us.

Anonymous said...

EXTRA,

THE CSD HAS SET A SPECIAL MEETING FOR DECEMEBER 28.
THE MEETINGS AGENDA IS TO DISCUSS THE SEL-DISSOLUTION OF THE CSD, WITHDRAWL FROM BANKRUPTCY, AND WRAP UP THE BUSINESS OF THE LOCSD

Anonymous said...

EXTRA,

RICHARD LE GROSS IS DRUNK AGAIN!!!
GO BEAT YOUR WIFE RICHARD.

Get's my Goat said...

Shark says: "if Julie/CCLO hadn't hosed up the situation". Julie and CCLO can take credit for a $40-$50 increase in the sewer price tag, but it is Solutions Group who promised the $35 per month sewer that wouldn't smell and would be parklike that would take up the whole center of town ESHA and have to be mitigated to the tune of about 300 acres in preserve. RWQCB calculated the Solutions Group sewer was $92 million in 2000! The LOCSD sewer CLAIMED to be $93 million in 2005, when it came back from going out to bid it was $165 million. CCLO and friends merely caught the flaws, which would have been costly add-ons later.

Shark Inlet said...

Okay,

We can reasonably blame the Solutions group for an increase of about $70/month over 20 years.

However, those who stand in opposition to Rose, Stan and Gordon can be ... um ... thanked for the remainder of the increases ... about $100-200/month so far...

Get's my Goat said...

Do you really think CCLO and friends were standing against Rose, Stan and Gordon? No. They were standing against a flawed project. Fraudulently forcefit on the commuinty. Rose called it "morphed" herself. It was not what she expected by the time it was permitted, that's for sure. I remember her jaw dropping wide open when she learned the decommissioning of septic tanks would have to be done by the Santa Maria plant, she was astonished to think our own plant couldn't process it...I also remember her telling Julie people using the dog park could go to the bathroom at the library or the park acoss the street, or that people using the dog park would just as soon drive home to use their own bathrom than for the district to have to add a public restroom, then the Coastal Commission noticed the bait and switch, April 2004, that had been played on them and the community. Then Rose had to eat crow, adding the park to the project. She was all of a sudden proud to have a $100,000 public restroom added in (to be paid for by the PZ only).

Shark Inlet said...

If CCLO didn't make it personal I would find it easier to believe you.

If the project was so darn flawed because it morphed (by requirement of the RWQCB, SWRCB, County and CCC) what made CCLO think that out of town wouldn't have morphed just as badly and wouldn't have cost as much if not even more.

I would rather pay and extra $100k for a restroom (about 15 cents per month) that people can use than pay an extra $8-12M (about an extra $15 per month) for an extra year of delay. TriW would also stop pollution and limit saltwater intrusion far sooner.

No matter ... the past is the past. I do wonder whether this whole fiasco would make for a good book.