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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Unnhh, uhhhh, ooowwww, ooooh Nooooo, Pleeeeze, Pluueeeeze Mummy, Stop These People Before They Screw Up . . . AGAIN!

Remember in my 12/16 posting where I told you the Regional Water Quality Control Board, during their auto de fe public beheadings and burnings on Friday, started issuing CDOs on some of the hapless Los Osos 45 using a timeline with some critical start and election dates and somebody from the audience reminded them that the County hadn’t taken over the project YET, could possibly NOT take over the project even after a 218 vote, that maybe they should wait to check with the county to see if those timelines and target dates were still correct, or even issue the CDOs but hold them in abeyance until they could check to see that the numbers they were using were still accurate and up to date and the Board said

NO!

And slapped REAL legal CDOs on REAL property owned by REAL people based on UNVERIFIED numbers.

So, I go to the County’s first Workshop at the Jr. High on December 18, wherein the County introduced the various people who are and will be working on this project when they take over Jan 1, outlined some of the things they were going to be doing and the processes they would be using, and there, on a big board was

THE NEW, REVISED, VERY DIFFERENT TIMELINE, FILLED WITH DIFFERENT DATES, EACH FOLLOWED BY THE WORDS, “(est. target date) AS IN, ESTIMATED DATE, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, AND BY GOSH, THE DATES LISTED WERE VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE OLD TIMELINE THE BOARD HAD USED TO ISSUE THEIR REAL CDOs,

YES, HAD THE RWQCB BOTHERED TO CHECK BEFORE VOTING THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE REVISED ESTIMATED UPDATES OF THE NEW TIMELINE AND THEN COULD HAVE PLUGGED IN THEIR VARIOUS TARGET DATES ACCORDINGLY.

BUT THEY COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO CHECK.

Even a small-brained chicken doesn’t walk out of its coop based on last week’s weather report, but instead sticks it head outside the coop door to check for ACTUAL rain BEFORE stepping outside. The chicken calls that “due diligence.”

Is that sort of due diligence by a chicken too much to ask for from a regulatory agency that has very real power to effect very real life & death decisions on very real people and their very real property in very real time?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The same water board who proposed the bimonthly pumping scheme without first checking on the air quality impact of hundreds of pumping truck trips throughout the town each month never thought to check with the local air quality folks before the order. We really couldn't expect them to think of checking with the County on current timelines - could we? It's only time and money. And it's not their time or their money.

To judge by the attendance at the CDO hearings last week, few in this town care one way or another, anyway. To judge by the coverage of the hearings in the Trib (none) our county newspaper didn't consider the hearing to be news and doesn't consider to be news the blanket judgement to issue CDOs to those who appeared and made presentations just the same as to those who did not or chose not to appear at the hearing.

Time to storm the Bastille, Ann. We could stop government of the stupid, by the stupid, and for the stupid right here. Maybe we could start a trend. I wonder if the Trib would cover it... ?

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

You have a good point ... that the RWQCB should have at least directed their staff to do some some basic fact checking before making a decision. One would expect better from individuals in a decision-making role, whether elected or appointed.

While I don't care for such rash decisions, I can understand why the RWQCB felt compelled to act. They're just reacting to Los Osos 20 year history of stall and delay and obstruct which has been capped off by the post-Recall board stopping a permitted and funded project just days after being elected (talk about lack of deliberation!).

Essentially the RWQCB has raised the stakes in a very serious way. They still have the option of lowering them again if they see the County making real progress, but unless they are convinced by the passing of a 218 vote, they won't even consider it.

What's the key here? We've got to work with the County to get things moving as quickly as possible. If we slow things down (yet again) we'll be doing our friends, neighbors and ourselves a disservice.

Anonymous said...

"What's the key here? We've got to work with the County to get things moving as quickly as possible. If we slow things down (yet again) we'll be doing our friends, neighbors and ourselves a disservice."


Shark:
I'm curious as to your your opinion regarding this community working with county. Do you think it's going to happen? Or will it be the same old thing, led by Ann Calhoun and the merry band of obstructionists? Will the county remain focused in the face of the extremist wacko's who will be nipping at their heels? Will lawsuits and obstruction continue to screw the property owners? Do you think there is any hope of these people doing anything positive toward the construction of a sewer project?

Shark Inlet said...

I dunno.

I suspect that the County will be pretty good at paying attention to staff and the technical (engineering and financing) folks. Essentially I think the board of supervisors will ignore the nutjobs. The staffers will bend over backwards to explain their logic to the nutjobs.

But, the nutjobs will grab onto any perceived factoid that seems to suggest "out of town" just to cause delay and they will run with those things all the way into the courts, stalling the project past the RWQCB's "drop dead" deadline. The RWQCB forces people to move out or get hunny-huts or face $100/day fines. All the while, the project cost per month goes up to $450 and 1/3 of our town moves out.

(Two question I will have at that time for the supporters of the recall is "Was it worth it?" and "Why did you think that TriW was so bad that it was worth forcing people out of their homes just so that you could get your way?")

Other than AB2701 and the election of Joe Sparks instead of Jeff Edwards it would seem that the best way of predicting the future in Los Osos is by an application of Murphy's Law.

I'm also feeling a bit grumpy this morning, so please ignore my rant.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"They're just reacting to Los Osos 20 year history of stall and delay and obstruct which has been capped off by the post-Recall board stopping a permitted and funded project just days after being elected (talk about lack of deliberation!)."

The RWQCB members wringing their "helpless" hands and trying to play the roll of victim here just doesn't wash. Also, please remember, the CSD put the contractors in "stand down," not "stop" (big difference) which is when the state stopped the second SRF contracted payment which lead to the October compromise, which IF the state had wanted to play instead of "getting their way," would have lead to a start up of the stand down and the collection pipe would have continued to get laid again & etc. Plus, you're forgetting that even before the stand down, even before the election was certified, Briggs was writing CDOs and ACLs.

anonymous sez:"Or will it be the same old thing, led by Ann Calhoun and the merry band of obstructionists?"

Amuses me when "anonymous" people make statements so at odds with reality. Would that I had "led" anything. Had I been leading anything, there would be no train wreck. We would have had what the Coastal Commission asked for, when they asked for it, a side by side comparison of in-town/out-of-town, followed by a 218 type vote to pick which one the community wanted, followed by work commencing, followed by everyone shutting up and going home to pay the bills. No train wreck, the PROCESS would have been correctly followed. Which is what, I pray, the county will now do. Follow the correct PROCESS. No ginned up SOCs, no force-fit square pegs and round holes, a 218 vote based on a much fuller work up of the full price, (not a teesny assessment followed by back loading the ginormous balance on as "service fees.") including OM&Rs, & etc. Had I been "leading" anyone anywhere, THAT is what would have taken place several years ago. Anonymous would have known that, had he/she been paying the least bit of attention to what I had been writing Lo! these many years.

Inlet sez:"The RWQCB forces people to move out or get hunny-huts or face $100/day fines. All the while, the project cost per month goes up to $450 and 1/3 of our town moves out."

After 2011, no hunny-huts needed since there will be No discharge of ANYTHING, zero, zip. No grey water, no sink water, no shower water, nothing. Or face up to $5,000 a day fines and/or jail time, which in reality will mean complete abandonment of all the homes within the PZ. When this was brought up at the CDO hearing, the staff blandly denied the necessity of abandonment and Matt Thompson there would be the alternative of installing a "holding tank," then it was later pointed out in their own documents that holding tanks were not permitted in the PZ, so once again, the left hand of the RWQCB doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

One thing seems pretty key here to our discussions. You and I simply see things differently.

Just because you think that the LOCSD asked the contractors to "stand down", the fact that they did so without prior approval of the SWRCB is what caused the problems here. In every public presentation, the discussion was about stopping (not pausing) the construction. No wonder the SWRCB thought poorly of the LOCSD. You also seem to keep ignoring the fact that after the "negotiations", the SWRCB came back to us with a counter-offer ... essentially we take a 218 vote to proceed with work on the collection system and we get two years to explore "out of town" ... but the LOCSD refused to agree to that offer. Hardly unreasonable for the SWRCB to want a 218 vote when you consider what the LOCSD had done earlier.

As to the SOC ... it said "hey, people round here want a park" and it was quite reasonable. Recall, if you will, 1998 and 2001 when the people voted and the property owners voted on the issues ... all the campaign literature showed a park as part of the project and both votes won overwhelmingly.

Sounds as if you just blame the solutions group and recalled board and the SWRCB and the RWQCB for being unreasonable at every turn. On the other hand, I see things differently and to me it appears that the post-Recall LOCSD board (as boardmembers and earlier) has played the key role in raising our costs horribly. Sounds like you care more about the location and the process and I care more about the costs and the timeframe for stopping pollution and saltwater intrusion.

Anonymous said...

shark said... "all the campaign literature showed a park as part of the project and both votes won overwhelmingly"

There is a huge difference between "I want a sewer plant, and if it happens to come with a park I am okay with that" and "I must have a park no matter the cost and I will pay double for my sewer plant just to get it"

Using the desire for a park for the whole reason behind siting it downtown cannot ever be inferred by the votes you reference.

Your inability to understand that is the reason we are where we are today.

The sooner you figure it out, the sooner we can move forward with a project that Los Osos can support.

Shark Inlet said...

There is also a huge difference between "I want a sewer plant, and if it happens to come with a park I am okay with that" and "TriW is expensive but I am still willing to pay 50-100% more just to get the plant out of town."

A desire to move the plant out of town at all costs cannot be inferred from a vote where people were promised lower bills to move the plant out of town.

Your inability to understand this is the reason we are where we are today.

The sooner you figure it out, the sooner we can move forward with a project that Los Osos can afford.

Mike Green said...

Sharkey Bubbled:
"As to the SOC ... it said "hey, people round here want a park" and it was quite reasonable. Recall, if you will, 1998 and 2001 when the people voted and the property owners voted on the issues ... all the campaign literature showed a park as part of the project and both votes won overwhelmingly."
This was the ponds of Avalon.
And yet a lousy swimming pool got voted down big time!
I was there, this is bunk, what most people voted on turned out to be not true.
At least we are consistant.

Doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome.

Anonymous said...

Uh Shark, I seem to remember the counter offer by the SWRCB included an agreement that essentially released the State from any culpability from the questionable revolving fund loan.
Sincerely, M

Shark Inlet said...

Yes ... that was the 218 vote.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"Just because you think that the LOCSD asked the contractors to "stand down", the fact that they did so without prior approval of the SWRCB is what caused the problems here."

The contractors contract had a 90 day no-harm/no-foul/no-reason "stand down" time period written in it. Why would be SWB have a cow and panic and jump the gun when the CSD was simply invoking a previously written and approved contract (wasn't that contract reviewed and approved BY the SWB before they let the loan?)

Nope, something went goofy there -- somebody paniked and jumped the gun and now is desperately trying to cover it up or baring that kill off the CSD so the breach of contract suit won't go forward so anybody can look at the timeline and emails and figure out who pulled the trigger exactly when ???

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

We've gone over this again and again. As the SWRCB "owns" the project, they are to be consulted and they need to approve of every change or work stoppage. The SWRCB contract with the LOCSD spelled this out. I've pointed it out to you before. Presumably you didn't believe me last time and you didn't bother to read the SWRCB contract ... or you just forgot.

In any case, the LOCSD didn't follow their contract with the SWRCB and they announced their intention to stop the project. Why do you insist that they were only pausing when their words and actions tell us otherwise?

Anonymous said...

Didn't they just suspend it to start with? And then all hell
broke loose?
Sincerely, M

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