Sunday, February 11, 2007

Oops! # 1

In this morning’s Tribune it notes that the Los Osos CSD has hired attorney Shauna Sullivan to represent The Los Osos 45 in their CDO appeal to the State Water Board as well in a real court if the SWB ignores the appeals.

Good for the CSD. These 45 people have been put through hell for a whole year with very real health consequences for many of them. They have had their lives disrupted and damaged for a whole year.

And for what? If the Regional Water Quality Control Board had wanted the community to pump, inspect, repair, (even though they had received expert testimony that doing so wouldn’t do diddly to the upper aquifer, still it’s a kinda nice “feel good” gesture and might end up helping perched water or maybe help some low lying areas a bit) all they had to do is send us proper notification and a formal request and the vast majority of people would have happily complied.

Instead, the Regional Water Quality Control Board abused its power and discretion, demonstrated its complete lack of “science” and failure to do its homework with their original Mad Pumping Scheme, cooked up a settlement agreement that offered fewer protections to homeowners and so hammered people into signing it “under duress” (all the while denying it was duress), stupidly threatened the whole town with CDOs as well, spent God Knows How Much Of Your Tax Money on these appalling Mat Hatter “Trials,” all the while tying the cessation of these kangaroo court proceedings to the “correct” 218 vote on the county project, thereby moronically opening themselves up to charges of illegal “electioneering” which could derail this entire project with a lawsuit – It’s Los Osos, Home of Lawsuits, give somebody a chink and they’ll drive a piton into it -- thereby causing this writer to wonder how could these people be so stupid as to even make that link, in writing, in a legal document, fer crying out loud??

Now, in this Tribune story, here’s RWQCB Staff member, Harvey Packard: “He added, though, that the regional board has no plans now to expand enforcement beyond the 45 targeted.”

OOPS. Harvey Packard is STAFF. The Regional Board has not met or voted on how or whether to proceed, so sayeth Chairman Jeffery Young at the Jan 22 meeting. Supposedly (Wink-nudge? Wink-nudge?) nobody knows how they’ll vote or what they will do next. That item #6 was on the January 22 meeting agenda and was postponed, to be decided next time after public input and a vote. The last agenda I got noted that the next meeting in Feb. would not allow ANY discussion or input on anything having to do with Los Osos at all. Zip, Zero, Nada. So item #6 would appear possibly on the March calendar, after the Board had finished trying and beheading a few more of The Los Osos 45.

Yet here’s a STAFF member informing the community what the Board has decided even before the board has decided it?

Quel interestings, as they say. Or, Boy, let’s hope that Tribune quote was accurate? Or maybe Mr. Packard’s a mind reader who can see into the future? If so, he needs to quit this day job and go out on the road!


If you haven’t gotten your edition of The Rock (editor Ed Ochs told me he’d be delivering a copy to everyone in town soon, and posting it soon on their website, for those of you living outside Los Osos) I encourage you to track it down. Starting on page 6 is an interview with Dana Ripley of Ripley Pacific, the folks who prepared the project update report and presented their own recommendation for a STEP wastewater plan, both of which were reviewed at the NWRI “Peer Review Workshop” last year.

Consider, Pg. 6, third paragraph, re the Workshop discussion: “ . . . Of particular interest to me was that the water board staff indicated that it was “on the fence” and “may have erred” in approving the high rate effluent dispersal plan at Broderson. I wrote previously in November 2003 that the Broderson effluent plan needed to consider the State Health Department recharge reuse criteria, and the NWRI panel agreed with that assertion since the Los Osos upper aquifer has historically been a potable water source. State antidegradation policies, in my opinion, require that it be considered a potable water supply irrespective of any degradation that has occurred over recent decades. This was a major concession that strikes at the heart oat the feasibility of the Broderson high rate dispersal plan.”

And, P.8 paragraph three: “If the high rate dispersal plan requires RO, then the whole benefit of the Broderson site comes into question. If Broderson is abandoned for dispersal, then what justification at all remains for keeping Tri-w? Answer: none whatsoever. The pivotal issue, in my opinion, is whether or not the upper aquifer constitutes a potable supply. Since it historically was potable supply, state antidegradation policy would manate that it be considered potable supply today, and a plan advanced to restore potable water quality. The State health recharge reuse guidelines therefore apply. The NWRI panel made the same determination and the water board staff agreed that it “may have erred” on this. If Broderson is abandoned for dispersal, then Tri-W automatically needs to be abandoned as well, for what is a treatment plant worth without an effluent plan close by? Tri-W is simply the wrong treatment location for a host of reasons and the pre-existing approvals are simply of no value.”

The RWQCB staff . . . . . . may have erred.

(According to the NWRI report, RWQCB attendees were: Matt Thompson, P.E. Water Resource Control Engineer and Allison Dominguez, Environmental Scientist. Not known is just who was the original Staff member who made the decision regarding Broderson, which decision is now come into question as being in “error?”)

Now, please recall the videotape presented at the CSD’s CDO “Trial” wherein we saw the late Rose Bowker, then president of the CSD, telling General Manager Bruce Buel that they didn’t have sufficient geological information to make a sound decision as to which dispersal/recharge/disposal site to pick and Mr. Buel saying, yep, that’s right but we have to make a decision tonight or else face FINESFINESFINESFINES from the RWQCB for violating the TSO & etc. (Also, please recall at that same CSD's CDO “trial” Bruce Buel being asked four times and four times, under oath, replying that he found the TSO “unreasonable.”

Connect the dots, please. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the actions of the CSD Board to hire an attorney to help defend the unfortunate 45 CDO receipients,regardless of whether it was appropriate to use public funds for this purpose--especially since the CSD so longer is authorized to provide sewer service as an entity--it absolutely was irresponsible of a public agency to authorize any expenditure without estimating the amount and identifying the source of funding. Whether it comes from a reserve account, or another line item in the budget that is reduced accordingly, this must be done at the time of the action.

This is the type of thing that Ms. Schicker was known for doing on the Woods Humane Society Board of Directors, and the irresponsible spending habits continue here, as well.

Anonymous said...

No matter how noble these people think their cause is, it is THEIR cause. To have a choice to contribute to their defense is one thing, but to once again have this CSD force my support by spending MY money on their legal defense is reprehensible. If the CSD has to masasge their conscience, let them do it with their own persoanl money. Keep your hands out of my freakin' pockets!!!!

Anonymous said...

This board should burn in you know where for continually spending our money on situations they have caused! Their behavior is outrageous. At every turn they make decisions that hurt the larger community.

Anonymous said...

The LOCSD has no right to spend my tax dollars on anything other than what they were collected for. The hiring of this attorney is no more than a gift of public money to private citizens who desire to fight the State. The CSD board decision is TERRIBLE and must be reversed.

Anonymous said...

My first thought is that we should mount some kind of protest. But that might be yet another waste of time and money. This board will do whatever they want and they are going to crash soon. The house of cards will fall, it's just a short time from now is my guess.

Anonymous said...

I think the time has come for some serious investigation into what we can do to stop this CSD's spending of our money on their own personal vendettas and those of their supporters. Will the bankruptcy stop this? Will the TW lawsuit against the board members stop this? Can the county stop this? My frustration with watching these people piss away my hard earned money is reaching a new high. What can be done to stop it???!!!

Anonymous said...

I will be so happy once my home is sold so we can move away from the insanity of Los Osos! I am in the process of losing my only investment thanks to the two tragedies now playing; the move the sewer fiasco and now the CDO theatrical production.

The LOCSD has now hired yet amother lawyer and this while bankrupt! The whole CSD should be disbanded! I am sorry I don't have the money to be able to sue the CSD for this fraud and misappropriation of public funds. All I can do is write to the Atty General to become actively involved to stop this legal blood letting by the CSD.

Anonymous said...

Here is another problem: They don't represent the 45 because there are not 45 on the appeal. Half of the recipients settled.
REVOLUTION! OUR TAX MONEY IS BEING MIS-SPENT! Write your representatives and encourage the State of California to begin the audit that Assemblyman Blakeslee called for.
It's time!

Anonymous said...

This is entire situation has morphed into the most ridiculous self-righteous propaganda fest that it's becoming absurd.
The property owners need to unite, support the process and let the past be the past and let our future be determined by common sense and practicality. There is no magical sewer that will save Los Osos - Los Osos needs to be saved from themselves.
I have never lived anywhere else before where the glaze of eyes and the mantras are nothing more than nuance.
Overthrow the dictatorship of the CSD! Overthrow the dictatorship of the fear! Overthrow the culture of litigation! We deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Most of the above statements are obviously from "the Dreamers". They & their "darling Pandora" are the ones that got us into this mess in the first place! If it hadn't been for Pandora & her "Solutions Group", the CSD would not have to be defending the 45 CDO recipients. You MUST remember, it's NOT JUST THE ORIGINAL 45, but the ENTIRE PZ are being helped by having an attorney fight for our "RIGHTS".

Anonymous said...

There's nothing, really, that any of us can do (sans more litigation). Just let it implode. Let the County give us our 218, get a project going, and get our lives back!

Anonymous said...

Leave people's names out of it. This is bigger than any individual. We brought this on ourselves by forming the completely incompetent CSD in 1998 and it's been downhill even since.

Rose Schicker-Marks said...

To the individual who blamed Pandora and Dreamers for getting us into this mess ... please remember that some 80+% of citizens of Los Osos voted for the solutions group and their plans for our community, even if flawed.

As to other issues ... it would seem that the CSD has just voted to devote district resources to a project which will benefit only part of the district. Some would find this out of line, but it seems about the same as the district spending money to resolve drainage issues in neighborhoods that need their drainage problems resolved.

Is this bad? I would argue that for drainage (and other things the CSD is obligated to deal with), no. However, for the CSD to spend district money on a lawyer to help a limited number of district residents fight the regional water quality board ... um ... oddly enuf ... seems okay to me. After all, it was district actions which caused the RWQCB to select a lucky batch of 45 properties for CDOs. If the District is going to take actions which cause individuals to be harmed, the district should step up and pay for the consequences of their choices.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:31:
Again, you're being extremely lazy in just dismissing all who don't agree with you as Pandora supporters or dreamers. Be smarter than that my friend. And knock yourself out fighting the state and all else who tell you you need to hook up to a sewer, but do it on your own dime. Get your paws out of my wallet.

Anonymous said...

If you insist on blaming Pandora, then at least be fair and analyse the actions of Lisa Schicker. She's spent our District into bankruptcy and has absolutely destroyed any chance of moving the sewer. If you don't like that choice, explain what Julie Tacker has done to help the District find any funding to move the sewer.

We're tired of footing the bill for these 2 and their lawyers!

Anonymous said...

How do you guys feel about pursueing a basin plan amendment to dismantle the PZ? Will this be worthwhile or will it just be another (albeit noble) "delay?"

Anonymous said...

Drainage is a different issue - there is an assessment paid to deal with drainage. Drainage doesn't just affect a few, it causes mutliple issues on homes as well as our streets. Defending only a few individual property owners in a fight to appeal is not representative of the community because many would chose to settle if given the opportunity.
Drainage issues are addressed through property taxes.
Maria M. Kelly

Anonymous said...

"No matter how noble these people think their cause is, it is THEIR cause."

I did not choose to be one of the 45 randomly selected CDO recipients. I did not choose to give a year of my life to the RWQCB. I have a choice; 1) I can sign a settlement that gives the RWQCB the right to enter my property, do whatever they please, and then charge me for it, and also sets me up for fines if the 218 does not pass, or 2) I can fight.

The fact that some of us have choosen to fight has prevented the rest of the homeowners in the PZ from receiving a CDO this past year. Should I assume that you live outside the PZ? Anyone who lives inside will benefit from the appeal.

As long as a line divides our community we will never stand together. Thank you CSD for standing up for the for those inside the line.

Anonymous said...

Bev. De Witt-Moylan here:

Just a point of clarification. Anyone who reads the settlement agreement offered by the RWQCB prosecution discovers that it is a Cleanup and Abatement Order. This form of enforcement is actually worse than a Cease and Desist Order. Anyone who signs it agrees to allow the RWQCB to come onto their property to clean up and abate the purported nuisance and then charge the owner for this service. In addition the property owner has no right to appeal. Lastly the 2011 deadline remains for making "reasonable progress" toward installation of a wastewater treatment facility or cease discharging altogether. The prosecution team has made vague references to special consideration for settlers if the deadline approaches and reasonable progress is not being made, but they have not given any indication of what that special consideration might entail. Nor have they provided a definition of "reasonable progress."

At least seven defendants who had initially told the water board they would sign a settlement, on having an opportunity to read it, changed their minds. Subsequently the RWQCB sent them a terse note stating that since they had reneged, special language would now be inserted into their CDOs. Of course, in this case again, no indication was given of what that special language would be.

I would be stunned if many in the community chose to settle upon reading the conditions of this agreement rather than defending their right to live on their property on January 1, 2011 if the RWQCB determines that "reasonable progress" is not being made toward installation of a WWTF.

Anonymous said...

How noble is YOUR cause?

You were stupid enough to vote the bastards into office and you never questioned THEIR cause.

You believed the lies, you allowed the deliberate bankrupting of the District.

Now you want to spend even more money on lawyers to further delay the construction of any sewer. How stupid is it to hire another lawyer? 30 years of fighting a sewer in Los Osos has been too long!

The CSD was a possible way to a sewer, but no, you and your friends wanted no sewer and you only wanted to fight. Well, now you have a real fight. The RWQCB is only one government agency going to be walking over your rights. You better have deep pockets. I don't, I signed off and I want this war to end and the sewer built. I can't afford to support you or the CSD any longer!

Anonymous said...

The CDOs were not issued based on voting records. They were randomly selected, with a few know rebellious types thrown in to help insure RWQCB success. The biggest fight is from people who want a sewer, but are appalled by the behavior of the RWQCB.

Anonymous said...

The CDO's are a direct result of the Lisa Schicker CSD stopping construction of an approved sewer!

Some of are appalled by the behaviour of the CSD and their legal advice!

Anonymous said...

I understand that the 45 feel as if they are pawns in this whole sordid mess (which they are) but perhaps it would be a better use of time and energy to work with the county and promote a yes vote on the 218 as opposed to hiring more lawyers? How long can this fight go on? The RWQCB is not going to let up until a new project is underway. So let's help get the county project going. Or are you trying to stop the process altogether? Perhaps the "no sewer" label is in fact correct? I know it's like caving in to them but we need a project. We can't delay it FOREVER (well we can but it will not help the community as a whole and it would certainly not help the environment). Look, I voted for the recall but that hasn't seemed to work out as planned. Let's stop fighting and get a new plan. And everyone should show up at the RWQCB "hearings" and tell them to freaking calm down because we are united. But if they don't see us united they are going to keep coming at us and it's going to get much worse.

Anonymous said...

This whole CDO persecution is an attempt by the RWQCB to influence the 218 vote. History shows that their interference repeatedly results in disaster by hurrying the process and forcing bad decisions. The Blakeslee bill was intended as a stand down by all parties, including the RWQCB to insure that we did it right this time. CDOs, CACs, and unreasonable TSOs will once again cause the process to crash and burn.

4:59 I am so sorry that you signed off. Many people settled because they were too tired to continue. Few understood the consequences prior to signing. Water laws are very complex require specialized knowledge for comprehension. Unfortunately a few individuals tried to negotiate a settlement without legal assistance. The appeal is intended to protect you as well as the CDOs.

Anonymous said...

One more point of information. The RWQCB has violated and abused due process in many ways in its prosecution of CDO defendants. The appeal is to rectify that situation. We know that we will not win at the state level. But we are required to exhaust all administrative remedies before we can appeal to a court of law.

CDO recipients have discovered the need for legal counsel in the CDO process, as well as in the attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement agreement and in the appeal process. Each of us defendants has had to bear a financial burden in this matter, some more than others. Those outside the process so far have had the luxury of contributing if they so choose.

Those who are fighting the CDOs are not fighting a sewer. They are two different things altogether. To fight a CDO is to defend our right to live on our property, not to fight the WWTF.

Some people among the Los Osos 45 are staunch sewer supporters, while some are staunch believers that a sewer is being illegally forced on us. Some are Democrats, and some are Republicans. Others fall in all categories in between. There is no Los Osos 45 profile.

Some in this community think they know how CDO defendants voted and that we all deserve what we got because of how we voted. The fact is that this first group covers the spectrum in sewer opinions.

Bill and I are fighting our CDO because 1)we will not willingly abandon our rights and sign onto a CAO and 2)we believe that many of our rights have been abridged in the CDO enforcement. If the RWQCB enforcement does continue, everyone who lives in the PZ will find themselves in similar shoes.

We all have hoped all along that our efforts would prevent others from having to face what we have faced for over a year. While we have tried to stand up for the community, a few have stood with us, while some have even stood against us.

It is a relief of sorts to know that the CSD is willing to stand with us in the CDO appeal, especially given what an enormous advantage it was to have the CSD's case presented first, so that we could all incorporate it by reference in our own defense. The CSD was given two hours for a defense, whereas the rest of us got fifteen minutes for each property. The CSD had voluminous evidence and helpful witnesses whom we were able to cross examine. All this information went into the record for appeal to a court of law when that time comes.

Several weeks ago I said at a CSD meeting that we are you. And so we are. If not, then the Water Board has accomplished its goal of splitting us entirely, so that one group in a very Darwinian way rejects the other group as defective, separate from the rest, and not worthy of protection - food for the predators.

Bev. De Witt-Moylan

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bev.

The appeal group also includes teachers, police officers, and other public employees. Hardworking folks who believe in the democratic process.

Anonymous said...

Bev. YOU and your husband are very much part of the PROBLEM, NOT the SOLUTION!

Your overacted performance may have been the highlight of your high school stage career, but it was a poor performance in front of the RWQCB. You should have tried the act out trying to convince those idiots on the CSD to have not halted the sewer project until they knew what THEY, the CSD, were committing the entire community.

Quit your whinning, demand Schicker and Tacker resign in the disgrace they are, then get out of trying to design a damn sewer.

Anonymous said...

Congradulations 7:07. Blaming the CDO recipients is a new low.

Bill said...

I don't blog, but the last comment from anonymous 7:07pm deserves a comment. What PROBLEM? Did you get a CDO? Did you have a year of your life devoted to defending yourself and your property simply because you have a septic system. There is no whining here. And learn how to spell. You, who hide behind an anonymous moniker don't have a clue. Walk a mile in my shoes and then you can say how easy it was. The Water Board is abusing its authority plain and simple. You, who I am sure did not get a CDO, can rant behind your "anonymous" blog, have absolutely no idea what it feels like to be pursued by a government agency that has no oversight. If you want my CDO, tell me your name and come to the Water Board with me and we will ask them to switch. It should be a simple matter. And sign your name to your rambling and baseless posts. That would show some courage. Anybody who has the temerity to name call should also have the fortitude to own up to their authorship.

Bill Moylan

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that slice of wisdom, Pandora...

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who sits on the CSD board we should not criticize the CDO recepients who are taking the hit for ALL OF US. The RWQCB is conducting a witch hunt as far as I'm concerned. If you want Lisa and Julie to resign then start your movement for them to resign. Get involved. I haven't heard anyone at the meetings saying these things. Meanwhile, the rest of us will support our neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Not you, Bill, that coward above you...

Anonymous said...

If anyone knows performances, it's Pandora! Ever seen her perform in front of the Coastal Commission or the water boards? Talk about not knowing how to design a sewer! She and her friends should have given it back to the county in 2000! At least this board has gotten the project back into the hands of the folks that will make it happen!

Anonymous said...

It's a pleasure to see someone else disgusted with the hand wringing and cursing everyone else except our wonderful CSD.

This Board has also bankrupted the District, compromised the fire protection and has generally made asses of themselves. I, for one hope to see Lisa in jail where she belongs!

Charman Yung said...

Dear Bill and Bev -- and all CDO Recipients and Homeowners in the Prohibition Zone:

As head of the CCRWCQB, I control ALL the quality of ALL the water in ALL the kingdom, I mean region, that you can see and that which is underground and only I can see.

I admit I get paid a lot of money by you goofy taxpayers to take your homes away from you, fight and abuse you. If you haven't figured that out yet, then you haven't figured out your role in these "hearings." I understand that the stress may kill you or someone you love -- and that Valentine's Day is just around the corner -- but we don't give a damn. We just want your "yes on 218" vote delivered to us in a plain brown paper bag. Once we have your "yes on 218" the County will have you on the hook for so much money, we won't have to evict you -- one day you'll just drop everything you're doing and disappear. And the real estate speculators will give you pennies on the dollar what your home is worth, and you'll be on your way, Mr. and Mrs. Moylan, at last!

Just to show you I'm almost human (after all I am a lawyer), I throw you this crumb: You simply never grasped that all this was never ever about CLEAN WATER... it's about your home, and the land it's on, and how much it's REALLY worth... and how many many people are stacked up in line waiting to take their cut of what, in the future looking back, was once your home.

I WILL miss your suffering, though, and the poetry. I can't speak for the other members of the board, but I do get a big kick out of watching average citizens like you play chicken with six devious lawyers...and watching you get sick over it. But I'll get over it, even if you don't!

Your friend,

Charman Yung

Anonymous said...

Is it true that when all this is over and the county has bankrupt the homeowners that Pandora is leaving Gary and running off with their Montgomery-Watson-Harza winnings with Handsome Jeffrey Young and meeting up Roger Briggs, Sorrel Marks and Lori Okun in the Bahamas?

Hey, just asking!!!

Steve Paige said...

oops3- the 218 vote........

Dear Mr. Waddell,
Los Osos Sewer Project
Financial Director

It is our contention that there should not be a challenge to the community vote once Article 13D inconsistencies are corrected. We would then endorse a yes vote on the County project. But at this time we do see the probability of preemptive ‘declaratory relief’ challenges related to procedure because the vote, as you know, is a contractual agreement between the County and its Prohibition Zone taxpayers.

For the sake of a majority vote procedure, the County has chosen to use the fee basis for revenue under article 13D. This is ill advised based on the unresolved suit described as CV 050649, LOS OSOS TAXPAYER’S ASSOCIATION VS. LOCSD and STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD that was dismissed recently without prejudice. By using ‘user fees’, the County exposes itself to a 13-D SEC.-1(a) challenge where the County would have to prove that their interpretation of the law does not: “Provide any new authority to any agency to impose a tax, assessment, fee, or charge.”upon Los Osos PZ taxpayers. The Blakeslee bill is subservient to State Constitutional law, contrary to some off hand County claims otherwise.

As you will read below you can see that not only is new authority inferred by the County, it accepts ad hoc previous assumptions of authority by the Tri-W project engineers report and design. The LOCSD by resolution discounted the report last year. There are many flaws in the report and its relation to Article 13D. Our first choice is to work out our differences about the previous report and engineering with your staff and to open communication that resolves our contractual differences related to taxation for the sewer.

As last resort, after we have exhausted our mediation and dialogue with you, ‘declaratory relief’ is an expedient way these previous and new challenges to our low income community can be litigated in a timely manner to help move the sewer project along. We hope that is not necessary.

As you know, there was a very public written cancellation by the State Financial Auditor of the State SRF Loan for the Tri-W sewer project that is now in litigation by the LOCSD as a beach of contract by the SWRCB. If the County re-invents the same loan and engineer’s report, even in part, it will inherit its many legal weaknesses and consequences. If the County continues with the majority vote procedure based on articles of record, the County assumes the burden of methodologies for vote on the Tri-W sewer project all the way back to the original 46 Million dollar design assessment. A challenge could then be raised if the previous documents are used consistent with the total time line of the original County assessment. To avoid past proximate negligence issues, we recommend that an entirely new engineers report be generated by the County. The short list of irregularities from the total time line would read:

1. Successive cost increases without Article 13D required procedure
2. County mishandling of Article 13D compliance corrective actions
3. No accurate revenue stream commitment in the final contract documents
4. No accurate bifurcation of special vs. general benefit in the present context
5. Improper sizing of the plant which is limited to existing residences only under article 13D ‘user fee’ revenue procedures and will not allow other outside users not identified in the benefit description to owners within the PZ ( Septic dumping ).
6. Section 218 Federal Water Pollution Control Act- value engineering challenges including life cycle costs including private financing exclusive of the past failed loan costs that are not assessable to homeowners under Article 13-D .
7. Vacant lots require not applying the ‘user fee’ revenue stream formula specifically by description in Article 13D Sec 6-(B)4

No lesser legislative action trumps the State Constitution. So in our eyes the existing County vote procedure is rife with taxation challenges and potential higher Court appeals. We have side noted some them in our correspondance so we may begin a dialogue to remedy them before they become a larger, more public, or a legal problem for you. We enclose via legal service for the record some of the documents we would use in the future to support our challenges if necessary for the record.

Fee and charges basis in Article XIII D as written in the State Constitution.......................................................

SEC. 3. Initiative Power for Local Taxes, Assessments, Fees and
Charges. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution,
including, but not limited to, Sections 8 and 9 of Article II, the
initiative power shall not be prohibited or otherwise limited in
matters of reducing or repealing any local tax, assessment, fee or
charge. The power of initiative to affect local taxes, assessments,
fees and charges shall be applicable to all local governments and
neither the Legislature nor any local government charter shall impose
a signature requirement higher than that applicable to statewide
statutory initiatives.


SECTION 1. Application. Notwithstanding any other provision of
law, the provisions of this article shall apply to all assessments,
fees and charges, whether imposed pursuant to state statute or local
government charter authority. Nothing in this article or Article
XIIIC shall be construed to:
(a) Provide any new authority to any agency to impose a tax,
assessment, fee, or charge.
(b) Affect existing laws relating to the imposition of fees or
charges as a condition of property development.
(c) Affect existing laws relating to the imposition of timber
yield taxes.


SEC. 2. Definitions. As used in this article:
(a) "Agency" means any local government as defined in subdivision
(b) of Section 1 of Article XIIIC.
(b) "Assessment" means any levy or charge upon real property by an
agency for a special benefit conferred upon the real property.
"Assessment" includes, but is not limited to, "special assessment,"
"benefit assessment," "maintenance assessment" and "special
assessment tax."
(c) "Capital cost" means the cost of acquisition, installation,
construction, reconstruction, or replacement of a permanent public
improvement by an agency.
(d) "District" means an area determined by an agency to contain
all parcels which will receive a special benefit from a proposed
public improvement or property-related service.
(e) "Fee" or "charge" means any levy other than an ad valorem tax,
a special tax, or an assessment, imposed by an agency upon a parcel
or upon a person as an incident of property ownership, including a
user fee or charge for a property related service.
(f) "Maintenance and operation expenses" means the cost of rent,
repair, replacement, rehabilitation, fuel, power, electrical current,
care, and supervision necessary to properly operate and maintain a
permanent public improvement.
(g) "Property ownership" shall be deemed to include tenancies of
real property where tenants are directly liable to pay the
assessment, fee, or charge in question.
(h) "Property-related service" means a public service having a
direct relationship to property ownership.
(i) "Special benefit" means a particular and distinct benefit over
and above general benefits conferred on real property located in the
district or to the public at large. General enhancement of property
value does not constitute "special benefit."


SEC. 3. Property Taxes, Assessments, Fees and Charges Limited. (a)
No tax, assessment, fee, or charge shall be assessed by any agency
upon any parcel of property or upon any person as an incident of
property ownership except:
(1) The ad valorem property tax imposed pursuant to Article XIII
and Article XIIIA.
(2) Any special tax receiving a two-thirds vote pursuant to
Section 4 of Article XIIIA.
(3) Assessments as provided by this article.
(4) Fees or charges for property related services as provided by
this article.
(b) For purposes of this article, fees for the provision of
electrical or gas service shall not be deemed charges or fees imposed
as an incident of property ownership.


SEC. 4. Procedures and Requirements for All Assessments. (a) An
agency which proposes to levy an assessment shall identify all
parcels which will have a special benefit conferred upon them and
upon which an assessment will be imposed. The proportionate special
benefit derived by each identified parcel shall be determined in
relationship to the entirety of the capital cost of a public
improvement, the maintenance and operation expenses of a public
improvement, or the cost of the property related service being
provided. No assessment shall be imposed on any parcel which exceeds
the reasonable cost of the proportional special benefit conferred on
that parcel. Only special benefits are assessable, and an agency
shall separate the general benefits from the special benefits
conferred on a parcel. Parcels within a district that are owned or
used by any agency, the State of California or the United States
shall not be exempt from assessment unless the agency can demonstrate
by clear and convincing evidence that those publicly owned parcels
in fact receive no special benefit.
(b) All assessments shall be supported by a detailed engineer's
report prepared by a registered professional engineer certified by
the State of California.
(c) The amount of the proposed assessment for each identified
parcel shall be calculated and the record owner of each parcel shall
be given written notice by mail of the proposed assessment, the total
amount thereof chargeable to the entire district, the amount
chargeable to the owner's particular parcel, the duration of the
payments, the reason for the assessment and the basis upon which the
amount of the proposed assessment was calculated, together with the
date, time, and location of a public hearing on the proposed
assessment. Each notice shall also include, in a conspicuous place
thereon, a summary of the procedures applicable to the completion,
return, and tabulation of the ballots required pursuant to
subdivision (d), including a disclosure statement that the existence
of a majority protest, as defined in subdivision (e), will result in
the assessment not being imposed.
(d) Each notice mailed to owners of identified parcels within the
district pursuant to subdivision (c) shall contain a ballot which
includes the agency's address for receipt of the ballot once
completed by any owner receiving the notice whereby the owner may
indicate his or her name, reasonable identification of the parcel,
and his or her support or opposition to the proposed assessment.
(e) The agency shall conduct a public hearing upon the proposed
assessment not less than 45 days after mailing the notice of the
proposed assessment to record owners of each identified parcel. At
the public hearing, the agency shall consider all protests against
the proposed assessment and tabulate the ballots. The agency shall
not impose an assessment if there is a majority protest. A majority
protest exists if, upon the conclusion of the hearing, ballots
submitted in opposition to the assessment exceed the ballots
submitted in favor of the assessment. In tabulating the ballots, the
ballots shall be weighted according to the proportional financial
obligation of the affected property.
(f) In any legal action contesting the validity of any assessment,
the burden shall be on the agency to demonstrate that the property
or properties in question receive a special benefit over and above
the benefits conferred on the public at large and that the amount of
any contested assessment is proportional to, and no greater than, the
benefits conferred on the property or properties in question.
(g) Because only special benefits are assessable, electors
residing within the district who do not own property within the
district shall not be deemed under this Constitution to have been
deprived of the right to vote for any assessment. If a court
determines that the Constitution of the United States or other
federal law requires otherwise, the assessment shall not be imposed
unless approved by a two-thirds vote of the electorate in the
district in addition to being approved by the property owners as
required by subdivision (e).


SEC. 5. Effective Date. Pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 10
of Article II, the provisions of this article shall become effective
the day after the election unless otherwise provided. Beginning July
1, 1997, all existing, new, or increased assessments shall comply
with this article. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following
assessments existing on the effective date of this article shall be
exempt from the procedures and approval process set forth in Section
(a) Any assessment imposed exclusively to finance the capital
costs or maintenance and operation expenses for sidewalks, streets,
sewers, water, flood control, drainage systems or vector control.
Subsequent increases in such assessments shall be subject to the
procedures and approval process set forth in Section 4.
(b) Any assessment imposed pursuant to a petition signed by the
persons owning all of the parcels subject to the assessment at the
time the assessment is initially imposed. Subsequent increases in
such assessments shall be subject to the procedures and approval
process set forth in Section 4.
(c) Any assessment the proceeds of which are exclusively used to
repay bonded indebtedness of which the failure to pay would violate
the Contract Impairment Clause of the Constitution of the United
(d) Any assessment which previously received majority voter
approval from the voters voting in an election on the issue of the
assessment. Subsequent increases in those assessments shall be
subject to the procedures and approval process set forth in Section


SEC. 6. Property Related Fees and Charges. (a) Procedures for New
or Increased Fees and Charges. An agency shall follow the procedures
pursuant to this section in imposing or increasing any fee or charge
as defined pursuant to this article, including, but not limited to,
the following:
(1) The parcels upon which a fee or charge is proposed for
imposition shall be identified. The amount of the fee or charge
proposed to be imposed upon each parcel shall be calculated. The
agency shall provide written notice by mail of the proposed fee or
charge to the record owner of each identified parcel upon which the
fee or charge is proposed for imposition, the amount of the fee or
charge proposed to be imposed upon each, the basis upon which the
amount of the proposed fee or charge was calculated, the reason for
the fee or charge, together with the date, time, and location of a
public hearing on the proposed fee or charge.
(2) The agency shall conduct a public hearing upon the proposed
fee or charge not less than 45 days after mailing the notice of the
proposed fee or charge to the record owners of each identified parcel
upon which the fee or charge is proposed for imposition. At the
public hearing, the agency shall consider all protests against the
proposed fee or charge. If written protests against the proposed fee
or charge are presented by a majority of owners of the identified
parcels, the agency shall not impose the fee or charge.
(b) Requirements for Existing, New or Increased Fees and Charges.
A fee or charge shall not be extended, imposed, or increased by any
agency unless it meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Revenues derived from the fee or charge shall not exceed the
funds required to provide the property related service.
(2) Revenues derived from the fee or charge shall not be used for
any purpose other than that for which the fee or charge was imposed.
(3) The amount of a fee or charge imposed upon any parcel or
person as an incident of property ownership shall not exceed the
proportional cost of the service attributable to the parcel.
(4) No fee or charge may be imposed for a service unless that
service is actually used by, or immediately available to, the owner
of the property in question. Fees or charges based on potential or
future use of a service are not permitted. Standby charges, whether
characterized as charges or assessments, shall be classified as
assessments and shall not be imposed without compliance with Section
(5) No fee or charge may be imposed for general governmental
services including, but not limited to, police, fire, ambulance or
library services, where the service is available to the public at
large in substantially the same manner as it is to property owners.
Reliance by an agency on any parcel map, including, but not limited
to, an assessor's parcel map, may be considered a significant factor
in determining whether a fee or charge is imposed as an incident of
property ownership for purposes of this article. In any legal action
contesting the validity of a fee or charge, the burden shall be on
the agency to demonstrate compliance with this article.
(c) Voter Approval for New or Increased Fees and Charges. Except
for fees or charges for sewer, water, and refuse collection services,
no property related fee or charge shall be imposed or increased
unless and until that fee or charge is submitted and approved by a
majority vote of the property owners of the property subject to the
fee or charge or, at the option of the agency, by a two-thirds vote
of the electorate residing in the affected area. The election shall
be conducted not less than 45 days after the public hearing. An
agency may adopt procedures similar to those for increases in
assessments in the conduct of elections under this subdivision.
(d) Beginning July 1, 1997, all fees or charges shall comply with
this section.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you and your other team member feeling a little lonely these days or are you studying to be a Prop 13 expert?

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I will not vote yes on a 218 vote to be taxed out of my home. We will not be fooled again!

Once the county gets a 218 vote, they will add on SO MANY fees and charges that WILL cost hundreds & hundreds of dollars each month. The county will then hit us with Flood/Drainage taxes like in San Diego and Monterey.

I vote NO on the county's 218. I vote no to electioneering. I vote no to threats.

It's a conflict of interest for the county to have the sewer project when they stand to profit GREATLY by collecting much higher property tax money after they force us out of our homes and then re-sell them!

I will encourage my friends and neighbors to vote NO because Bruce Gibson will give Pandora what she wants - all the working people out of Los Osos so she and her friends can make a bunch of money off of us. Who do they think they are to do a "class cleansing"? Why do they think they can decide who can stay and who HAS TO GO!

Anonymous said...

and where did you get your J.D. from??

Los Osos has gone from sewer expert to litigation expert.

What's next? Doctor, heal theyself!!

Anonymous said...

"I vote NO on the county's 218. I vote no to electioneering. I vote no to threats."

...and vote yourself right out of Los Osos Einstein. And many of your neighbors. And they think the people who support a sewer are not neighborly.....jeeeez.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that most who support the county also support Tri-W. What's also funny is that these very people don't live in the Prohibition Zone, and if some do, they stand to profit from the Tri-W sewer. Second thought, that's not funny at all. You dreamers are heartless.

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly ignorant statement. Explain again, why does the county have the project? Because your CSD gave it to them, correct? So are you saying your CSD supports Tri-W?

Churadogs said...

To all: I'm still waiting for an explanation of how it's possible for Harvey Packard (RWQCB staff) to be quoted as saying "that the regional board has no plans now to expand enforcement beyond the 45 targeted." So far as I know, the BOARD hasn't voted on what they're going to do next, so he couldn't possibly know what they've decided. If his quote was meant to be narrowly focused and totally literal -- just exactly what's on his plate at this exact moment, then it's accurate but certainly misleading since it implies that the rest of the community is off the hook, which contradicts what has been said at the CDO hearings, that the staff intends to continue with issuing the CDOs to the whole community.

If, indeed, the Board votes to stop after the 45, then that makes what they've done to these 45 people even more inexcusable and evil.

I sure hope he'll clarify what he means.

Anonymous said...


It was my understanding that Harvey took Roger's place and job. Why don't you call Harvey at 542-4639 and ask him. We'd all like to know the answer to your question!

Anonymous said...

TO: anon 7:45

I believe that the CSD was forced by LAFCO to work with the county. I believe the CSD was fooled by Sam Blakeslee. I believe that the CSD would want the county to look at a few projects as they promised to do. Unfortunately, the county seems to only want what dreamers wanted all along - Tri-W.

The recalled board left the CSD broke. I don't think Lisa had a lot of options or real choices. The new board listened to bad legal counsel. The new board listened to Wildan. Bad. Bad. Bad.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like the thought that the majority of those who would be assessed to pay for a sewer actually may choose to so has some people worried.

Anonymous said...

The majority do want to have a sewer, but we also want to know what the costs will be before we sign on. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Real Time said...

Good work Steve Paige! The Blakeslee bill has yet to undergo Constitutional challange. By the time this happens and is resolved, what will be the real time costs of the CDOs? Thank the fools that stopped the sewer! They belong in jail!

Anonymous said...

Oops #1: Ann Calhouns's parents met.

Oops #2: They got married (I assume).

Oops #3: They conceived Ann.

Anonymous said...

To 10:48 Feb.11

You don't know beans about Ms.Schickers tenure at Woods, so why don't you shut your big fat mouth about something you know nothing about.....please.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, response to above and to validate 10:48 Feb 11th: Crossed paths with an individual who lives in San Luis and was also very involved @ Woods and would concur that it was a disaster and that "they had to start all over again..." after she became uninvolved. Knowing when to quit shows more character than playing to win and not being aware of the damage. Maybe she doesn't care about the damage and the self-righteous victim within has become so fanatical in desire, the power from the great beyond is guiding her path. George Bush believes the same thing, they should talk strategy. More $$ into the military during civil warand to broaden "defenses"= Loss for America.
More $$ into litigation that has no end to end a civil war(bust the PZ or Die)in Los Osos = Loss for Los Osos
Neither "leader" seems to care or understand that there are people asking for it to stop.
Support the county, accept the process, build the sewer, get back the sewer to help pay for the bankruptcy and debts-has to come from revenue - move on with our lives. Infrastructure is progressive, supports the future generations and allows for responsible development - ie PERMITTED REMODELS not the scabbed together un-permitted therefore no fees paid, for ones with extra unaccounted for toilets....another "straw in the basin".

I would bet $$$ there has been more building within the PZ - illegally - and that this crying about the line is a JOKE! We are the bulk of the population in Los Osos, end of story.
Let the marriage of the sewer and the citizens happen and make the bastard legal!