Uh, Daddy, Why Did The Regional Water Quality Control Board Hold Two Days Of their Auto de Fe Public Beheadings & Weenie Roast Bonfires For The Los Osos 45 And The Tribune, The County’s Newspaper Of Record, Didn’t Carry, So Far As I Could See, A SINGLE LINE ABOUT IT ALL?
Daddy, Does The Tribune Wish The People Of Los Osos Not To Know Anything About What Happened At Those Hearings?
Why Not, Daddy? Why Not?
On Monday night, Dec 18, in the auditorium at the Los Osos Middle School, the county held a meet’n’greet followed by a formal presentation to introduce the team that would be taking over the Hideous Sewer Project come Jan 1. Members of the public were encouraged to write questions on 3x5 cards, a few of those questions were asked and answered in public in the short time left after the formal presentation. The rest of the questions will be read by the staff and there are some plants mentioned that staff will put together a FAQ sheet as part of their community outreach.
Since this was simply Day One, so to speak, of a long process, it was premature to expect many answers. But the event was pretty well attended (as always, out of a community of about 15,000 people, I can only conclude that if about 200 show up, that’s considered a sell-out crowd.) The event was televised by AGP, so I can only hope that folks who didn’t know about the event or who didn’t want to bother to actually show up, will watch it on t.v.
So far as I know, there was no attempt to check weapons at the door, so everyone was on their best behavior. I’m sure the long knives of the various Sewer Jihadi Factions will come out later, Alas, as this process moves along. I can only hope that everyone can hold their fire long enough to see exactly what will get born here before they start killing everyone in sight.
And the best way for that to happen is for the rest of the community, oh, say, the 14, 950 non-Sewer Jihadi residents of Los Osos to pay attention, stay in the loop, stay actively ivolved and well-informed, no sleeping at the switch, because there will be no second chances here. If the Process promised by the county is followed, if all sly secret thumbs stay off the scale, the lights stay on, no weird aces up the sleeves, no bait & switchyness allowed, then the Process will result in a successful project.
Speaking of which . . .
On Tuesday, the 19th, at the BOS meeting, it was voted to start the process of setting up a TAC, technical advisory committee, composed of various “lay” experts to “vet” things as they move along. Interested people have until about the end of January to submit their applications to serve. The TAC meetings will be held under Brown Act rules, hence the public will be able to attend, make public comment & etc..
If any subcommittees are formed, it was not known if they would be open to the public as well. I can only hope that they will be at least open to public attendance, but they won’t have to be Brown Act, i.e. folks can sit in to watch and observe, but are not allowed to comment or interrupt. Any questions they might have can be reserved for the official TAC meetings, or can be asked after the subcommittee meetings & etc. That way, the meetings won’t be hampered, but will be transparent and open to public scrutiny.
And, finally, as a suggestion, let me throw out this: One of the key problems is the fact that the 218 vote will come BEFORE the “advisory” vote on what and where. Given the history of Bait & Switch, a lot of people are concerned that we’ll end up with déjà vu again and that if enough people get spooked, they’ll refuse the 218 vote. So, I offer the following: If the Process is followed correctly, there could be 2-3 projects that will survive, with pretty close “guestimates” as to their final costs.
I would then ask the County to enlist the services of the folks at the National Water Research Institute, the same folks who did the so-called “peer review” of the Los Osos Wastewater Management Plan Update, top experts in the wastewater field who have no dog in this fight, to “vet” the projects that are in the final running, and issue a report – a sort of Consumer Report that could reassure the voters that any or all of those selected are sound and will fly. That no matter which advisory vote later selects which specific project, the voters will have the added confidence that all of them are o.k.
I think that added investment in such a neutral final vetting will pay big dividends later down the line.
Meantime, the CSD Board has agendized for their Dec 28 meeting, whether they can commit seppuku by dissolving themselves right then and there, or whether LAFCO would intervene and prevent the blood from making a mess on the floor until a year has passed, or what.
If the answer is that they can disappear in a puff of smoke before our very eyes, then I might have the answer to a critical question that’s been going through my mind ever since the recall: Will the disappearance of the CSD altogether finally make recalled CSD Board member Gordon Hensley happy, at last? If so, what a post Boxing Day present! Gold in his shoes in place of that awful coal.