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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oops, the Behinder I Get . . .

Was derailed the past few days by Jury Duty, but finally located the” mysterioso” Letter discussed in the previous posting (3/27/07) with the help of the Tribune’s Sona Patel. (Thanks!) It’s at http://www.sanluisobispo.com/multimedia/sanluisobispo/archive/letter.pdf Very interesting, especially the part about the muddlement with AB2701’s inconsistent sections. I hope that won’t cause problems down the pike as the wastewater project moves ahead.

And the letter certainly points out another interesting dilemma. If the District doesn’t survive, all its debts and assets and liabilities return to the County, something the County really, reeeeeely doesn’t want, Nuh-huh. But if the County buys the Tri-W site at fair market value and repays itself the advancement of $2.1 for the new sewer project, and divvys up the rest, then the CSD will likely survive and the County will be off the hook, Whew.

Oh, what to do? What to do? Well, as I’ve said, this is Los Osos. Stay Tuned.

As for “Who Leaked The Letter?” An even better question is why was it "leaked," i.e. anonymously posted on a public forum blog site, rather than just handed to reporter Sona Patel at the Trib in the first place.

Or maybe the question should be, Why was it leaked at all since it appears to be a preliminary query, something that, while not “secret,” was being kept private among the CSD Board for now, until some answers returned, so was there some motivation to make even the questions public at this early stage? Perhaps by someone who disagreed with the questions being asked? Or the direction being implied by those questions? Are we looking at CSD Board Governance By Newspaper Headlines again? (Hey, it’s an old political practice: The Loyal Opposition takes to the Editorial Pages and/or Front Pages and or “anonymous” Blog postings when the Board (city council, school board, BOS, whatever entity) majority seems to be heading in a direction the minority disagrees with.)

Since there was no confidential warning boilerplate on the letter, making it public doesn’t appear to have violated any closed sessions rules. It appears to be just another official letter from one governmental entity exploring options with another governmental agency. Nothing requiring anonymous “leaking.” So why the drama?

Oh, wait, what am I thinking? This is Los Osos!

Start Yer Engines Online! Vroom! Vroom!

The LO wastewater Rough Screening Report has been posted at the county sewer website: www.slocounty.ca.gov/pw/lowwp.htm and click on the link to the Pdf file. It's about 126? pages, so if you want to print it off, load up your printer with paper and ink since there's all sorts of cool color coded bars and graphs. Happpy reading.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ann,

A few different, but related thoughts:

1. Whoever leaked the letter to the Tribune was probably someone who was very frustrated with the CSD Board's continuing inability, or disinterest, in admitting to, and starting to fix it's grossly poor financial situation.

2. People should not be so quick to assume that if the CSD folds, the County will assume our liabilities. This would be an unprecedented situation, and I believe that the County would be smart to take whatever legal action may be available to it to prevent that, on behalf of all of the tax payers of the County.

3. To help begin to solve these almost insurmountable problems, all of Los Osos should start supporting the County's efforts leading to a sewer project. They are doing a professional job, we will have a say in the final project type, we will never be able to do this ourselves-or do it any better ourselves, and it will not ever get any cheaper.

4. If we can do number three, above, then we (the people of Los Osos and the CSD) can, and should focus our attention and efforts on three things: finalizing the bankruptcy settlement, taking the necessary steps to improve our current and future financial situation (make difficult budget cuts, increase water rates), and focusing on serious water planning in conjunction with Golden State.

The above is a very challanging agenda, but needs to be undertaken for the future of our community.

Continuing to stew about every detail of the sewer situation, when that is now being competently handled, and ignoring all of the rest makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Ann:

The property owners are obligated to repay the bonds via an assessment already being collected with their property taxes. If Tri-W is sold, and the proceeds are used to continue operating the CSD instead of paying down the bond debt, when the County purchases another piece of property (or even Tri-W) for the WWP, won't the property owners be paying for a site twice?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...

Anonymous said...

Ann says:
"And the letter certainly points out another interesting dilemma. If the District doesn’t survive, all its debts and assets and liabilities return to the County, something the County really, reeeeeely doesn’t want, Nuh-huh."

LAFCo has something to say about this, too. They won't consider dissolution until September. It is probably more expedient for the County to prop up the district financially. The services MUST continue for the citizens, whether the County likes it or not. And I don't think the County wants AB2701 to fail for lack of a District. The District has put the County over a very nasty barrel.

I think the big job ahead for the County is to prop up the District, but to protect themselves from the District using those funds to initiate a lawsuit against the County - the charge of the lawsuit really wouldn't matter, the objective would be the delay of a project. Outside of Joe, I don't trust anyone on the Board.

Anonymous said...

The people who are disgusted with this board have very good reasons. Apparently the "loyal opposition" are those who pay the bills: property owners.

I do not think Ann has been very fair to them in her opinions.

Mike Green said...

I recommend we change the name of Los Osos to Boomerangville.

The County has to be seeing us as a huge nasty chicken come home to roost.

4crapkiller said...

No Mike. The county sees us as just a bunch of fools. Chickens have more sense. We should have stayed with the bird in the hand.

Anonymous said...

to Mike Green 606pm.
I think the renaming of Los Osos should be Bend(over)CA.

Mike Green said...

Buck Buck Buck Buck$$$$.
Trying to raise my level of county competence!

Mike Green said...

Crappy, you are obviously a city kid, on the ranch even the fools were thought smarter than chickens.

4crapkiller said...

Mike:

If the liability goes to the county. These people will not be fools. However, the law will decide. We will see the brilliance of the law, and Lafco law. I think LAFCO law is chicken law. HA!

Mike Green said...

Crappy,
Got to agree that laughco law is below fools law.
Is the cunning plan of the CSD for real?
Time will tell!
Did you ever find any plus fours?

Mike Green said...

Oh, just thought up a better name,
Pissinthewindemer by the sea

Any seconds?

Anonymous said...

I have read all the internal memos from the RWQCB and county over the years, but again, it's very depressing because it's all a big scam.

If Morro Bay nitrates are higher than ours with agricultural runoff, it appears we would have the same problem. We have more animals out on LOVR then ever.

The test wells were not sealed way back when the RWQCB made it's case and they knew it wasn't from septics. They knew it was from surface run off. They knew, and the county knew a sewer would not correct the problem. Just as in Morro Bay where they have higher nitrates and have a sewer.

No, it's a land grab, and too many RWQCB employees have owned or still own property here.

It's all a lie and fraud...and abuse of power.

Anyone who signs the settlement is a retard, I'm sorry. It's too bad that you would encourage your neighbors to sign and vote yes to a blank check.

Signed,
Yearsrushby

*PG-13 said...

MG > Pissinthewindemer by the sea
MG > Any seconds?

I like it. But try to imagine writing that - without breaking out into hysterical laughter/tears - everytime you have to write your mailing address. I can easily envision getting arrested in the post office.

Anon > Bend(over)CA.

I like this too. Very descriptive. Good imagery.

Oh, this is tooooooo easy. But kinda fun. Lot'sa names come easily to mind:

> Harvey's Hollow, CA
> Septage, CA
> CSD Folly, CA
> Blogerville-USA, CA
> Dyspepsia, CA

But I still like 'Sewerville' most of all. It pretty much encompasses all of them. If/When we ever grow up and become a real town, I wonder what would it take to claim Sewerville as our name? Let's plan ahead. If we start now we just might succeed in 20-30 years. But probably not.

Snowy Plover said...

Los Mordidos
Las Suenas falsas
Soldouton
Greedville
Pandoraland (re: Congalton)
La Zona Clandestina

Anonymous said...

"We have more animals out on LOVR then ever." Yearsrushby

And I suppose 14,000 people peeing and pooping into the land right above their water supply could not possibly have something to do with the nitrate problem?

"No, it's a land grab, and too many RWQCB employees have owned or still own property here" Yearsrushby

Have you listened to yourself? Do you know the meaning of the words paranoid or illogical ? Are you seeing a shrink?

Is this all that you can come up with? If you want people to vote no on 218, you are going to have to do better than these lame arguments.

How about Manypisolis? Lies and Consequences? Nitrate Springs? Stooleyville, Poison Creek, Bankruptcy Hills, Urinal Meadows, Piddleton, Sickwell, Dingleberry Dell, Bacteria-by-the-Sea, Nitrogen Heights, Pissey Park, Fibber's Ridge…

Churadogs said...

Wasting away again in Sewerritaville, searching for my lost shaker of salt . . . twang-twang-twang. . . Some people say, that the CSDs are to blame, twang-twang, but we know, plunka-plunka-plunka, it's our own darned fault, twang-twang

The first Anon above raises excellent points. There are a few more I'd add to the critical issues: One, very important, no, two issues: SWB Breach of Contract lawsuit and the lawsuit against WMH for, what, fiduciary failure whatever. Very Important suits to finish and settle. If the CSD goes kerflooey I'm sure the county would see those through if only to protect their own bank accounts. And fixing the CDOs & ACLs in a "real" court before this pointless RWQCB scheme eats up more time and tax money.

Another worry: Ran into a citizen who said that IF such and such a system was still on the table when it came to a 218 vote, he'd vote against the 218 altogether because he didn't want the non-property owners to get an "advisory vote" on any proposed system for fear that they might select the system he didn't want.

If that kind of thinking is prevalent (and it doesn't matter what system is proposed, i.e. if you're a committed STEPper or a committed BIG PIPer, then we'd better worry that this train will go off the rails again.)

Another anonymous above sez:"I have read all the internal memos from the RWQCB and county over the years, but again, it's very depressing because it's all a big scam. "

and he/she received an anonymous reply that went like this:" Have you listened to yourself? Do you know the meaning of the words paranoid or illogical ? Are you seeing a shrink?"

Actually, Anon #2, just because you're paranoid, dosn't mean they aren't out to get you. Any reading of this situation from Resolution 83-12 onwards, IS depressing because it's not about nitrates, it's about about development. If it were about nitrates and drinking water, a moritorium would have been imposed, nitrate loading in the entire basin would be the target, various partial treatment plans could have been put in place (indeed, the Original Ponds of Avalon was just such a plan, collect the bayside/low areas, septic maintenence/Pirana-type systems for other higher areas under a CSD-run septic managment district, etc.) that would have reduced the nitrate loading, HOWEVER, such a plan would not allow for buildout or higher densities. The nitrates were only the tool needed to force a full sewer so that build-out could continue and once the infrastructure was in place to increase density with the addition of imported water.

there's nothing new or illegal or secretive or weird about that sort of plan. It's what cities do all the time. Where it went off track is the nitrate issue became the red herring. Way back when, if the county, CSD, RWQCB, citizens, planning, CSA-9, LOCAC had all been honest and said, O.K. kids, ya gotta huge choice here: Permanent moritorium, assess yourselves to raise taxes to buy out all the empty lots, fight lawsuits over "takings," etc. OR build a full sewer, import water, pay for it all, so the community can build out as planned and then some.

That might have kept the debate honest, rather than all this distraction over nitrates.

Anonymous said...

"Another worry: Ran into a citizen who said that IF such and such a system was still on the table when it came to a 218 vote, he'd vote against the 218 altogether because he didn't want the non-property owners to get an "advisory vote" on any proposed system for fear that they might select the system he didn't want."

I'm almost 99% certain I recall the county saying the process would involve 2 advisory votes. One from the property owners, one from the community at large. I have a question regarding this into Paavo, because I have the same fears. A longstanding problem in this community: I'm paying the money and it's my house on the line, but other people who are not (some of which don't even live here re: Margetson) have an inordinate amount of say in this. I say bullshit. I'll be waiting to hear from the county on this.

Anonymous said...

Ann,

I asked you a direct question regarding the sale of Tri-W, and the CSD using the proceeds to continue operating instead of paying down the bond debt. Such a transaction would cause property owners to pay twice for a site. You addressed every other comment here, why didn't you address my question?

Anonymous said...

Ann, please answer the anon above; more than just this one anon would like to know your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Yes Ann. Please address the above!

On another note. I am sorry I voted for Joe Sparks. He seemed to be the kind of bright intelligent person that could rise above the partisanship. In fact I was hoping that someone new on the board might be able to bring this thing together. After that last meeting I'm not so sure. It's too bad Maria did not get elected. I voted for her as well. I think she's on the TAC though? Well just some random thoughts. Now all five of the board members irritate me when before it was just Julie.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you may think about Joe, he is the only one who even has a CLUE as to what is going on financially. Even the Finance Committee knows that.

If you care to have a CSD at all, you may want to change your opinion of him. His financial expertise is a much more valid point to judge him on at this stage of the game. I would imagine from his vantage point - really knowing what goes on in closed session - he might well be justified with his upset with the rest of the board members who seem to forget or want to avoid that we are in bankruptcy to the point of insolvency. I'd bet we only know a little bit of what goes on.

4crapkiller said...

Of course anyone with blind faith in the actions of the board that brought us bankruptcy would be upset with the hard questions of Joe Sparks. The other members of the board and those duped are hard set to whitewash their actions. It is alway hard to admit ignorance. But bankruptcy is real, and insolvency a reality. Sad.

Just watch the board blame everything on Bleskey, our ex-GM. Not that the incompetence can be denied, but he was hired by incompetents (Board) on the advice of incompetent lawyers. ALL in conspiracy to STOP the sewer.

It seems to me that the whole thing has come down to payback to those who helped provide the lies leading to the recall election (lawyers). Bleskey came later, took the money (rediculous salery), and now the board will try to make him the scapegoat.

Does anyone think for one minute he was acting on his own?

To ALL:

Ann can't answer your financial questions without serious consultation with others. I seriously doubt that she can create a "what if" spreadsheet, much less read a complex corporate financial report.

There is nothing the matter with that. She writes beautifully. Regardless of subject.

However, she really does not know what is really going on, since she does not look at things with foresight, and consider consequences. She is biased far left. She really needs to write about what she knows best: There is a beauty to the human condition.

Anonymous said...

Hey 4Crapkiller:

While I agree that Ann is biased far-left, that is irrelevant to the sewer discussion.

I am considered by those who know me as a "lefty", but I'm on the same side as you with regard to the sewer issue, as are most of the "lefty" property owners I know.

I'm still waiting for Ann to comment on the double payment for a site if the CSD is allowed to use proceeds from a Tri-W sale to continue operating (or pay back debt other than the bond debt).

My money is on her ignoring my request...because that's what she does when her answer would paint her friends in a bad light.

Churadogs said...

to Anon above: Please correct me if I'm wrong: The original small assessment was for design of a wastewater system and purchase (with grants as well) of a site. A wastewater system was designed, the voters didn't like it, said Phooey on it. Further wastewater monies/SRF $ went to update the wastewater reports (i.e. Ripley reports, etc.) Those reports were given to the County when the county took over. Whether they'll end up using any of the designs (mayhaps use the pipe layout from "Tri W?" or other elements,? mayhaps use elements from the Ripley report, etc? Remains to be seen) So, the property owners got what they paid for -- design and updates of design. As for the property, IF the county sells Tri W and uses the $ to buy property out of town, it's a wash. If there's been an increase in what the Tri W property is worth since it was bought, and there's a "profit" from the sale then it will be up to ?? the county? since they own all things sewerish, maybe (Blakeslee bill had some unresolved issues with assets) they could use the "extra" $ to apply it to the sewer? refund the grant portions, buy more mitigation? less mitigation? That, I suspect, will be something the lawyers and Sam Blakeslee can argue about?

Anonymous said...

Ann says:
"As for the property, IF the county sells Tri W and uses the $ to buy property out of town, it's a wash."

Also, the property owners will get what they paid for if Tri-W is used for the WWTF site.