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Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Writ is Wrought

Now, it remains to be seen if a real judge will review the RWQCB’s Torquemada’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party CDO Hearings and decide if the i’s were dotted properly and the t’s crossed correctly.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---------
CONTACTS:
Gail McPherson, PZLDF
805-459-4535 Mcp@charter.net
Deadline Looms for Los Osos Property Owners Seeking Enforcement Relief .

Sullivan & Associates has filed an appeal in Superior Court seeking enforcement relief. Those listed in lawsuit include 20 individuals, as well as the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund, and the Los Osos Community Services District.
The deadline for filing the writ in superior court is May 25, or parties will lose their opportunity to challenge the conditions and consequences in the enforcement orders against their homes.

Battle weary after 1 1/2 years of water board's unprecedented enforcement effort against individual properties, "the last thing homeowners want is to go through more expense, time and hearings." says Gail McPherson, spokesperson for the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund."But they have no choice if they want to preserve their civil rights, property rights, and right to an un-coerced vote."

The Regional Water Board prosecution staff has expended hundreds of thousands in public monies against the first handful of residents, and planned to apply an expedited process to 4400 more properties. The Notice of violation was sent in April to all businesses and properties even though they have legally permitted and properly functioning septic tanks.

In June 2006 the County began steps to assume control of the community sewer project under special legislation AB 2701.

The County letter sent a letter ahead of the May 10 water board meeting asking the prosecution staff to rethink their approach, concerned the enforcement was counter-productive and a distraction to delivering a project, and a successful assessment vote.

The Regional Board members expressing similar concerns at their May 10th 2007 meeting. Board members Daniel Press, Russell Shellcross and John Hayashi questioned the wisdom of orders requiring the passage of the 218 vote, the excessive mandatory fines, and water code statutes that seemed meant for industry ill applied to individuals. These Water Board members noted Los Osos residents demonstrated a growing community reconciliation under the county led efforts for a sewer project.

While water board members gave the prosecution staff many indications that enforcement should be suspended and the orders in place rescinded, the board issued two more Cease and Desist Orders the same day. By the end of the meeting the water board said they wanted to consider ending the enforcement possibly as early as July, after hearing from the County.

The turn toward better relationships was apparent from board feedback, but homes and businesses still face significant threats from enforcement.

In a mixed message Chairman Young and the prosecution Attorney Reed Sato informed the other board members and community that retroactive fines, from as far back as 1988, could be levied in addition to those in the order.

Besides requiring a successful 218 vote, the orders could lead to $5000 a day in fines if the sewer is not built by 2011. "The only options left to property owners could be to build their own onsite sewer, pay fines, or vacate their homes." according to Gail McPherson, spokesperson for the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund.

The water board prosecution staff confirmed they can mail out orders without the need for hearings as well.

The appeal requests that all enforcement Cease and Desist Orders, as well as settlements that are Clean up and Abatement orders are vacated, and that the water board discontinue individual enforcement actions against properties in Los Osos.

“We are actively encouraging cooperation with the water board. However, because no action was taken to vacate the orders that are in place, or halt enforcement we must move forward before the filing deadline expires." Said McPherson. "In so doing, we hope to protect individuals’ property as well as the greater community from enforcement, and also guard the County process and the 218 vote for the project.”

For More information on the Petition for review, the Writ of Mandate, and other enforcement information is available on line at http://www.pzldf.org/

Citizens for Clean Water –PZLDF holds weekly meetings open to the public on Monday’s at 7:00 PM at Washington Mutual Bank in Los Osos.

For more information please contact PZLDF.org or call 528-8408


Additional Contacts:

Sullivan & Associates
Shaunna Sullivan
805-528-3355

County Contacts:
Supervisor Bruce Gibson
805-781-1350

Water Board Contacts :

Reed Sato
Director, Office of Enforcement
State Water Resources Control Board
916-341-5889
916-591-4932 (cellphone)
916-341-5896 (fax)

Harvey Packard
CCRWQCB Prosecution Team
805-542-4639

Jeffery Young
CCRWQCB Board Chairman
(via Michael Thomas)
805-542-4623

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any improvement to water quality is worth the effort. What I personally appreciate is that all the names are listed on that writ of mandate so we can get an idea of where to recover costs to the homeowners when this lawsuit either holds up the county process and/or forces the state to reinstate actions against the home owners. What I also appreciate is that most folks know that there is no need to vacate the orders that the Writ is asking for because time schedule orders can be changed when reasonable progress is being made. Filing lawsuits does not show progress and therefor is hindering my Constitutional rights to clean water.
So again, thank you PZLDF and Shaunna Sullivan and the CSD for allowing us to have the opportunity to know who the rest of us are working to defend ourselves against - you

Anonymous said...

If anyone signed a settlement agreement - you best beware that this writ is asking for that to be "vacated". There is an attorney, representing parties, and asking the court to dismiss a settlement that you agreed to.
The CSD is one of the parties, you better let them know how YOU feel about them asking for your agreed settlement to be "vacated". They don't ask once, they ask twice! pg 16.1(a) line 13-16;pg 17.1(b) line 7-10.
This is negligent and without a doubt there is a code section to defend those citizens who signed their agreement.
Thank goodness that the defense counsel is the AG office because for them, this will be a "no-brainer".
The scare tactics that are being used against the citizens of LOS Osos by the petitioners is in-excuseable.

Anonymous said...

Sam Blakeslee already has been assured that the RWQCB will back off when the sewer starts.

That's a known fact.

Gail creates more confusion and supporters so she can drain money out of everyone including the CSD. It's hard to understand her motives when she herself knows the RWQCB will back off, everyone knows that (Jeff Edwards knows that) and what does she expect the judge to say? He'll probably say that the RWCQB has already "stood down."

Anonymous said...

Bev. De Witt-Moylan here:

The RWQCB issued two more CDOs on May tenth, including ours, with the same conditions as previously issued CDOs - fines of up to $5000 per day per household and cessation of all discharge by 1/1/11. They mentioned being able to fine all of us in the PZ all the way back to the 80's if they feel like it. They indicated on May 10 an intention merely to look at the current levels of enforcement at the July meeting following a presentation of the County's progress.

Under current conditions, all deadlines continue to apply. We have yet to complete the appeal process to the SWRCB. We have until June 10. The SWRCB has most of a year to sit on our appeal before making a ruling, if they wish.

After over a year of living with the stated conditions of the CDO,we heard the water board say on May 10 that they didn't mean to scare us, that they don't want to punish anyone, and that maybe these CDO conditions are too harsh, since the fines are "exorbitant." We also heard them say that they are just like us. We heard Mr. Hayashi say that he didn't know what he would do if he were faced with such fines.

We did not hear them say that were standing down.

Anonymous said...

What a revoltin' situation this is!

Gail McPherson interviewing herself for her own press releases is the height of self-centered egomanical exhibitionism that is the permanent stain on everything she touches. Nobody is phonier than Gail. Nobody.

When is the town going to wake up and realize that everything she touches turns to shit. Ex-con, current con, racist, elitist, sewer charlatan, pathological liar, psychotic sociopath, political whore, McPherson betrayed the community and stabbed it in the heart with AB2701 and now expects Los Osos to cough up money for the CDO defense, a cause she has used and corrupted with her hollow shell game promoting her crooked agenda! And she thinks no one sees? The CDO recipients will pay the ultimate price for allowing her to co-opt their defense -- their homes.

So when oh when will sad, passive Los Osos wake up and realize Gail McPherson is helping the state kick you out of your homes -- so she can be the somebody she never was and never will be. Why should we pay for her sins? Why should we stoop so low? So she can feel important? Is that our destiny -- to serve her mental illness???

The best move PZLDF could ever make for themselves is to shed McPherson and reclaim the lives she has stolen from them by instilling a fear and panic they never needed to survive...only to be controlled. Until then, her defense is the RWQCB's best offense. She works for them and always has.

For Ann Calhoun to act as McPherson's publicist is something even Al Barrow wouldn't lower himself to do, and Ann barbequed Wild Al for his outrageous behavior. That is surely the pot calling the kettle black! How outrageous is it to help a con steal a town?

Ann, if you call publicizing Gail's agenda 'helping the community' then you are as delusional as your parasitic host.

CDO #?????

Mike Green said...

All this vindictive thrashing about, and not one single comment on the Writ or the Sullivan Brief!
It is oh so easy to kill the messenger!
If someone can show me where in the Writ or in the Sullivan Brief where it can be construed to delaying or causing opposition to the county process, then do so.
Both things are online, use your brain and computer. cut copy paste it and explain why you feel the way you do.
Otherwise, take your vindictive shrill expounding to the CSD meetings.
You'll have lots of company.

Bernie said...

To Above,
Everything you say is correct, but YOU are failing to even MENTION that McFleecus was given all THIS POWER by certain LOCSD Board Members, such as Chuck & Lisa. Don't forget, it was Hensley who "invited" her in.
Bernie

Anonymous said...

If you piss into the wind you shouldn't be surprised if something blows back into your face. PZLDF is poking a stick at a tiger and were all going to have to pay the price.

Fuckwads!

They think their smart but their screwing us all.

Anonymous said...

1:32 is telling it like it is, Mike. Wake up!

Mike Green said...

1:32 is telling it like it is, Mike. Wake up!

I completely believe that anon dose not care for Ms.
McPerhson.

So what? Where dose anon mention anywhere anything about the actual Writ or the Sullivan Breif?

Bring it on! I'd love to read it!

Anonymous said...

Typical Los Osos.
If these people spent as much time and effort towards helping the community secure a 218 vote and funding for a project and supported the county effort as they do on lawsuits, they wouldn't have to worry about CDO's and CAO's. That's the schism that exists in Los Osos. Those that favor a solution, and those that only want to fight the authorities. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I have to agree with CD0#???? 1:32 PM, May 26, 2007.

My husband and I are CDO recipients. We dropped out as soon as we saw what Gail McPherson was up to.

PZLDF is supposed to be non-profit and not supposed to be political, but we were horrified to see that she is profiting from PZLDF, and is clearly working for the county and Blakeslee to push the 218 vote on us. This is not what we signed up for when we first started attending PZLDF meetings. This is why we will never go back.

Fact is, giving any money to PZLDF feeds McPherson's political agenda and does nothing for the CDOs but bury those who remain deeper in debt.

At the end of the day, she will cost us our homes, not protect us from losing them. Why contribute to our own demise at the hands of someone who couldn't care less about what happens to us?

It doesn't make any sense, unless your name is Gail McPherson.

Anonymous said...

"If these people spent as much time and effort towards helping the community secure a 218 vote and funding for a project and supported the county effort as they do on lawsuits, they wouldn't have to worry about CDO's and CAO's. That's the schism that exists in Los Osos. Those that favor a solution, and those that only want to fight the authorities."

More disjointed thinking from half wits who don't know what's going on. No amount of time and effort is going to help convince anybody to fund the county for a bad project. You "blank checkers" are so obvious. You wouldn't know a solution if it hit you in the face. For you the only "solution" is selling out your neighbors. Nice.

Anonymous said...

GAIL'S 10-STEP SNAIL TRAIL TO CDO PROFITS

1. McPherson takes over PZLDF
2. McPherson hires Shaunna Sullivan, a real estate lawyer from the other side of the tracks, to rep CDO recips.
3. McPherson makes repressive Alan Martyn proxy president of PZLDF.
4. Laurie McCombs, Chuck's ex-wife, and a CDO recipient with a history, becomes secretary of PZLDF.
5. Chuck champions LOCSD financial support for Shaunna, making sure his ex has legal representation at the community's expense. The CSD's broke but Laurie's covered.
6. Water board verbally agrees to stand down 5/10.
7. Chuck continues to champion CSD money for PZLDF, Laurie and Gail even though it's a bottomless pit.
8. McPherson tells Trib and Bay News the water board was only talking, didn't really mean it. More fundraising needed.
9. Shaunna files writ with Superior Court for enforcement relief to "protect the greater community," McPherson says.
10. In Ann's press release here, McPherson claims she and non-political PZLDF "guard the County process and the 218 vote for the project." More fundraising needed.

Reject corruption, follow the money, connect the dots, wise up -- and remember our troops in Iraq today.

Mike Green said...

And STILL not one single comment on the content of the Writ or the Sullivan Brief.

Where the heck IS the fine screening report?

Anonymous said...

I did not choose to receive a proposed CDO, but when chosen I had to determine the path that I felt was right, as did the other CDO recipients. I originally tried to proceed along a path allowing me to comply using an alternative method. I was given no options by the RWQCB, and the options I suggested were immediately made unattainable. My naive trust in those agencies entrusted with the protection of our environment was shattered. I had no choice, but to fight for my home and my community.

If the Writ is dropped, I then could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 a day retroactive to 1988, before I even moved to Los Osos. Obviously my home would be lost as would yours.

The RWQCB has taken so much from me. I live in a constant state of anxiety, so many sleepless nights, never sure what Matt and Reed will come up with next. I have spent thousands of dollars, and so many hours in the defense of my home. Our efforts have so far prevented the rest of the community from receiving CDOs or CAOs. Obviously some do not appreciate this effort. Those who chastise us, have you gone into the RWQCB and signed a settlement yet? Have you put your home on the line? Or do you even live in the PZ?

Like most residents, I had always planned to hook up to a sewer when it was made available. Like most CDO recipients, I decided to fight, not only to protect my home, but also those of my friends and my neighbors. I hope that I do not have to now fear the people in my own community. I hope some day our community can heal, but if we back down to the RWQCB, Los Osos as we know it will cease to exist.

Anonymous said...

Mike: You need a drink. Or you've had too many. What difference does the content of the writ make? You're not paying attention. It's just a formality to keep the cases alive for appeal. You miss the point, which is not the writ, but the writer. You're paying her bill...to protect you. Bet you didn't know that... Where's your gratitude?

Anonymous said...

I for one am very grateful to all the CDO recipients who are standing up for us and our homes. It's not all about Gail! These homeowners are not Gail groupies who have been brainwashed or something. They are aware citizens who are doing what they believe is right. Just because you're mad at Gail for "stopping" the sewer at TRIW (which is a good thing) there's no need to take it out on your neighbors who are fighting for their homes. The tide has turned somewhat and we are headed towards a project and the CDO recipients are to commended for keeping everyone's feet to the fire. It's gonna be okay, folks.

Anonymous said...

Gail never stopped the sewer at Tri-W -- that's a lie. The State took care of that. She delivered us to the County, which we now have to fight to the death to get Tri-W off the table, where it now sits, after the community -- not Gail -- voted it off the table. Gail fostered the Blakeslee Compromise for the same project. That doesn't sound like someone intent of stopping Tri-W. That sounds like a someone intent on playing the fiddle while Los Osos burns.

To say the CDO recips are not brainwashed belies the fact that you are, as are many of them. No one said they were "Gail groupies or something." But they are Gail victims...who would have been far better off without her, the anxiety she perpetuates, and the expense of supporting her they, not her, must now underwrite until when...2011?

If they don't lose their homes to the waterboard, they will lose them to McPherson's "blunder after blunder defense" that will suck every dime out of every home.

CDOers made a big mistake living in the PZ. They made an even bigger mistaken allowing McPherson to take over. Which one is worse only time will tell.

Mike Green said...

Anon blathered:
"Mike: You need a drink. Or you've had too many. What difference does the content of the writ make? You're not paying attention. It's just a formality to keep the cases alive for appeal. You miss the point, which is not the writ, but the writer. You're paying her bill...to protect you. Bet you didn't know that... Where's your gratitude?"

Lets see, what difference dose the content of a lawsuit have?
I'm guessing you think none.
No. to you, who wrote the truth is more important than the truth.
And if anyone could wonder why LO is in such a mess.

No we kill messengers and pay no attention to the message!

To bad we didn't kill the messengers of "cheaper, better, faster"
or "We have a plan"
This is different, this is an appeal before a judge.
Let the law decide.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Mike Green.

Anonymous said...

Okay...Julie, Lisa, Chuck, Steve, and perhaps John HATE the tri-w sight and the tri-w project. Why did they hook up with Gail?

Anonymous said...

See, Gail keeps spending the people's money and this isn't benefiting anyone in the community.

Anonymous said...

to anon 7:53,

Gail forced her way in and took over all Lisa's work load because Lisa didn't have the time. She had two jobs and was President of the CSD. Soon Lisa couldn't make a move without Gail's okay. Mother Gail took over and the board listened to her over their own legal advisors (who were very bad, but Gail picked them, her along with Julie even though they were warned against hiring BWS and Wildan!)

Lisa was seen on channel 20 asking Gail to please come up and explain why the board was doing what they were doing. I recall this when they had increased the SRF loan amount.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 5:58PM:

I am sorry to say that you were used. The 45 CDO's were a tactic to push the Tri-W. All the people in the know were made aware that as soon as the project started the CDO's would be lifted.

Pandora, the county, Sam Blakeslee and the RWQCB had to make sure the people of Los Osos would be scared enough to pay for the big project.

It's a horrible thing, but Gail knew all this. It's unbelievable the extreme measures that the RWQCB has gone though to push for the Tri-W. There are millions to be made off of the PZ homeowners.

You have to remember that we were on our way with Dana Ripley for a step system when Sam Blakeslee had to step in for the county to take over. They do not want a step system, or anything affordable for that matter. It's not like there aren't other modern systems that cost less, that are not funded by SRF loans.

It's amazing that we will have to pay for the most expensive system that won't do a thing about any nitrate problem for 40 years, if at all. Now the county will force imported water (so the developers can build) that will kill us with mercury and other pollutants from the mines. The county knows how bad the water is, yet will spend $190 million to poison us. Wow!

Churadogs said...

Anonymice sez:"For Ann Calhoun to act as McPherson's publicist is something even Al Barrow wouldn't lower himself to do, and Ann barbequed Wild Al for his outrageous behavior. That is surely the pot calling the kettle black! How outrageous is it to help a con steal a town?

Ann, if you call publicizing Gail's agenda 'helping the community' then you are as delusional as your parasitic host."

Did you send the same comment to the Tribune. After all, they got the same Press Release and not only quoted from it but actually wrote a whole story on it. Guess they're fronting for McPherson, too? Me, I got the press release announcing an upcoming action (filing a writ) and posted it. The pr gave a website to read the writ. People can go to the website and read what Ms. Sullivan has filed. Then they can watch to see how the judge rules. It's new s and it involved members of this community. You need to get a grip.

another Annonymice sez:"What I personally appreciate is that all the names are listed on that writ of mandate so we can get an idea of where to recover costs to the homeowners when this lawsuit either holds up the county process and/or forces the state to reinstate actions against the home owners."

Dear Mice, Would you now please explain to us how this write holds up the county process by so much as one molecule? You also need to get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Ann,

The one anon blogger you told to get a grip has more of a grip on the situation (obviously) than you do. I read the post carefully and agree with him/her.

At least there are some (not a whole lot) of people watching this with working brains and common sense. You think that you are so wise but you can not be if you continue working with the very people who have lied over and over, caused great harm and brought Los Osos down. First you wanted the dog park at a sewer in the heart of town surrounded by homes, now you want to push Sam Blakeslee, the county, and Gail's agenda.

Anonymous said...

Ann sez: "Did you send the same comment to the Tribune. After all, they got the same Press Release and not only quoted from it but actually wrote a whole story on it. Guess they're fronting for McPherson, too?"

Ann, you made my day. Now you are using the Trib as support to validate your corruption, when you usually beat on the Trib like a drum...

You are the height of hypocrisy! A sad joke of an old tattler. Stuck on Gail. Unable to stand on your own two feet. Zero integrity. Pathetic.

Is the Trib fronting for McPherson? Of course they are, you lame old dreaming weenie! She's working with the county, and the Trib is the county's megaphone. You are such a fool and a liar! You really exposed yourself with your own words.

Nothing I could say could lay it better or clearer for everyone to see what you're made of.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:29 AM, May 27, 2007:

Are you just finding out what Ann's "made of" NOW? Where you been? She ain't pretty but she sure is vicious. Does that compensate?

Anonymous said...

Ann is old enough to be Al Barrow's mother. Don't tell anybody.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"First you wanted the dog park at a sewer in the heart of town surrounded by homes,"

INCORRECT. As a member of the Board of Slo-4-Pups, the group that got the first off-leash dog park up and running (and maintains to this day), we were asked by the CSD to do public input workshops, meet with RRM designers, write and present a report to the community at a CSD meeting. Included in the report and in the public comments at that meeting, are/were some of the problems we found with the site. Since such an undertaking was part and parcel of our nonprofit group's mission statement -- to advise & assist other communities and groups to build dog parks in their own communities,--the report was written and presented and filed. End of story. Had Tri W been built, and a dog park was part of the plan, a group of Los Osos folks would have had to form to run the thing since SLO-4-Pups, the organization I belong to, would have nothing to do with it since our park is out at El Chorro. So your information is wrong and your conclusions about your wrong information is also wrong.

Anonamice sez:"Ann, you made my day. Now you are using the Trib as support to validate your corruption, when you usually beat on the Trib like a drum..."

Oh, plluuueeeze. You Missed the point of my comment. The Tribune GOT IT WRONG AGAIN. That was the point -- wrong story, AGAIN.

It's amazing to me how you could possibly miss that point?

Anonymous said...

Ann,
I don't attend meetings, and I don't blog. But unfortunately the story the few nutty bloggers want to tell has nothing to do with a project, how enforcement can challange a sucessful 218 vote, and how even the best and affordable project can't be delivered if the process is screwed with by the State.
Mike Green gets it and a couple of others, the rest appear to be duplicate postings from a few more fixated on Gail, who hate Gibson or Paavo than anything close to a coherent discussion about the writ and why it is necessary for the the preservation of citizens rights.
Is it jealousy? is it a old grudge they nurse? is it Al Barrow...or that Pam Ochs---Dannilee, who failed in her own Lota lawsuit? Maybe a bit of Tom Salmon who just hates everything about everything gov? His emails are blocked all over town.

Anyway, I usually don't write or read comments. I enjoy your wit and glean important info not in the Tribune.
Thanks Ann. Ignore the lack of substance and meanies, and Keep up the good work.
Toni

Anonymous said...

Dear Gail/Toni,

Your fraudulent post is quite transparent. Filled with the usual lies and cries. You are filled with hate for anyone who doesn't agree with you -- which is just about everyone in Los Osos who can't stand the corruption you brought with you from Riverside and spread here.

No unelected citizen with a criminal history should ever be able to exercise more authority than the elected CSD -- and no one should ever have authority or power over the CSD.

Any sane person in Los Osos agrees. Who could dispute this except your handful of lackeys? You have violated our community, gang raped us in our sleep because you could.

If the CDO recipients really wanted to help themselves big time, they would step away from Gail McPherson and cut ties. It should be obvious that more people would donate to PZLDF if McPherson "The Bookkeeper" were not involved. There is a serious disconnect between their credibility and hers. She is stealing theirs. Their defense pays a heavy price for their association.

There is no meanness, jealousy or lack of substance to arguments that McPherson is wrong for Los Osos -- you can agree or not. McPherson sold us out -- who could dispute this? One day there was Ripley, the next day there was Blakeslee... Carollo... MWH. One day Los Osos had a sewer project "on the table," the next day Tri-W was back "on the table." It goes on and on. Facts are facts, not mean, jealous or lacking substance. McPherson lies, facts scream. This jealousy thing is never spelled out because no sane person could possibly feel jealous of McPherson's "record" of destruction. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This not to be envied nor pitied...

Losing McPherson is simply the best course of action for a Los Osos that she divided and conquered. She has already done her damage. But her bitter job isn't finished until the open 218 passes. People need to be aware of the duplicity at work here. Embrace ignorance at your own risk.

Many in the community are simply scared of her. Too weak to disagree. This is what happened in Germany in 1939. Oh yeah, it could never happen here, right? Good morning, Los Osos!

Ann, if you choose to mirror/support Gail's agenda, that's your choice, but it is neither a wise nor intelligent decision.

Not Al Barrow
Not Pam Ochs
Not Dannilee (?)
Not Tom Salmon
Not Whoever

Just someone who strongly disagrees with you and all that you have "accomplished" here in my town... like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Ann says: "It's amazing to me how you could possibly miss that point?

OK, how did the Trib get the story so wrong?

At the same time, tell me how come the only one quoted in the story is McPherson? Does she speak for ALL of the CDO people in Los Osos... with their consent? How come no other CDO person is ever interviewed by the press, just her?

Get my drift?

I guess all the other CDO people are just too stupid to talk or think. Thank God we have McPherson to do our talking and thinking for us.

I don't know what we'd ever do without her... do you?

Shark Inlet said...

Perhaps Ann just like to have her food pre-chewed and pre-digested.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:41am,
"One day there was Ripley, the next day there was Blakeslee... Carollo... MWH. One day Los Osos had a sewer project "on the table," the next day Tri-W was back "on the table."

Huh? The CSD was bankrupt. There was no sewer project on the table with Ripley - just an idea with no funding and no hard costs - and that is a long, long way from an actual project. Why are you glossing over this part? They couldn't even finish paying him!

Anonymous said...

You said: "Huh? The CSD was bankrupt. There was no sewer project on the table with Ripley - just an idea with no funding and no hard costs - and that is a long, long way from an actual project. Why are you glossing over this part? They couldn't even finish paying him!"

I'm not glossing over this part. You're right, there was no specific sewer project yet on the table, but it was getting there. A 218 vote on it would have followed. But Gail (and Pandora) bankrupted the CSD with Riverside buddy Biggs and behind the curtain Blakeslee -- and that was that. Thank you Gail. But wasn't that the plan all along?

Shark Inlet said...

Just out of curiosity ... how is that Pandora bankrupted the CSD? She was not a board member during the time right before or right after the recall?

Please also note that essentially I agree with you on a lot of stuff ... if the recall board really wanted to have an out-of-town project they could have had a 218 vote to issue about $10-20M in bonds back in early 2006 and if the property owners voted for it, the new CSD could have moved forward with their out of town plan. I'm actually semi-convinced that part of the reason for the RWQCB fines of the LOCSD and for the CDOs is that the LOCSD board clearly didn't have any momentum toward getting even an out of town plant online.

It all boils down to this .... they could have had that 218 vote and done what they wanted (even though it would cost a lot) but they shortsightedly chose not to. Had someone (anyone) on that board the GM or any of the closet cabinet had any financial sense this would have been the first order or business.

Anonymous said...

Let's sue Wildan and BWS - maybe we can get some money back. Their advice SUCKED.

Anonymous said...

Shark,

Delighted.

You said: "It all boils down to this .... they could have had that 218 vote and done what they wanted (even though it would cost a lot) but they shortsightedly chose not to. Had someone (anyone) on that board the GM or any of the closet cabinet had any financial sense this would have been the first order or business.

You have asked and answered one of the biggest questions of The Sewer Game. You win something, I just haven't figured out what.

When the Question was asked of Julie, she replied: "If we have a 218, we'll never get a project."

And, backing up the tape a bit, you'll find Gail and Keith dropped the 218 lawsuit -- in favor of the 4/5the suit -- in the spring of 2005. Apparently, Julie Biggs didn't want a 218 either.

Chomp on that with your victory cigar.

P.S. Pandora urged the RWQCB to fine us ASAP -- and the fines were part of the $40 million debt figure that helped push the CSD into bankruptcy. As a result, the County now keeps the CSD on life support. We have been dissolved, all but for the County's need to keep us barely alive to carry our debt so they don't get stuck with the tab.

Shark Inlet said...

Fair 'nuff.

About Pandora ... I believe the RWQCB would have fined the LOCSD even if Pandora and her friends encouraged that action. The RWQCB was loaded for bear and waiting with an itchy trigger finger.

Don't get me wrong ... I am of irritated with the Solutions Group folks for a variety of reasons, but I don't think we can pin the problems since October 2005 on the board before that time or the Dreamers or Taxpayers Watch.

Those on the board after the recall and those who advised that board are the ones who were obliged to come up a plan for charging the waters from TriW to out-of-town and in retrospect it is really really clear that they hadn't really considered developing a realistic plan for achieving that goal.

Hell, about that time I even suggested a plan for achieving their goal of moving the sewer so it can't be that hard. Nope, this was a massive screw up. We elected people who listened to fools as advisers (Blesky, McClendon, Biggs, etc.) and who didn't carefully think through all the likely ramifications of their actions.

About what will happen next, I think that you are right. The property owners, even though it will be difficult, will tend to sign on the dotted line for a County project even if expensive because they are more interested in stability and getting things fixed than in any continued fights with the RWQCB. Yes there will be frustration with particulars of the County's plan and there will be frustration with the costs, but as a group, the property owners will recognize that the alternative (voting no) will open up an Armageddon-sized can of worms. This they don't want.

Anonymous said...

Ron,take a puff yourself on that victory cigar.
Ron is basically agreeing with Shark by saying Julie had no confidence she and her board could convince the property owners to support them. Ron is right, for once. They had no support from the property owners. And Biggs/Gail/Keith dropped a 218 suit in favor of a 4/5th suit which was a loser like the rest, until it was settled!!!

Ron, the CSD had $6 million in state money for a project that the CSD stopped. And they went bankrupt. Do you know how hard it is to go bankrupt when you have $6 million cash in hand? You have to do really stupid things, like say shoot first, think later.

They had $6 million, ok, $6 million Washingtons. Where is it? Gone. They had a choice to spend it. They could've sent it back to the State and said no thanks, here's the check back! We told you not to send it.

If they didn't think the State should have sent the money in the first place, then why didn't they just return it?? There's a story for you Ron.

Anonymous said...

Shark,

You say: "Yes there will be frustration with particulars of the County's plan and there will be frustration with the costs, but as a group, the property owners will recognize that the alternative (voting no) will open up an Armageddon-sized can of worms. This they don't want."

I agree with your probable outcome. I disgaree with using the threat of Armageddon to win that vote. That's winning through intimidation, not through merit, and suggests then that the quality of the vote is inherently flawed and meritless -- which it will be.

At some point, Armageddon will have to be defined to me in detail so I can make an informed choice between this hell or that hell -- whichever is the more affordable hell.

What further gets my goat is the County's decision not to spread special benefits outside the PZ, placing the majority of the expense on the backs of PZ homeowners. This injustice will weigh on how I vote -- I have a big bone to pick with the County and RWQCB on the legitimacy and ultimately the legality of the PZ.

Anon 7:55 PM, May 30, 2007 says: "If they didn't think the State should have sent the money in the first place, then why didn't they just return it?? There's a story for you Ron."

You know, I think you're right. I think it would make a great story, and someone should do, although who on the board would agree to be interviewed for such an expose?

And, oh, I'm not Ron.

Shark Inlet said...

Let's key in on one particular aspect of your interesting posting ... the benefits of a sewer.

I've heard an argument before for spreading some of the costs across the whole of the LOCSD because everyone will benefit from cleaner water. Thus, Cabrillo and other folks outside the PZ would pick up some of the tab.

Three issues seem worth raising.

First, over half the cost of the project is the cost of collection system. If Cabrillo isn't to be sewered, they can't really be charged for the pipes to other neighborhoods.

Second, even if half of the cost of the WWTF is spread across the whole town instead of just the 5000 homes in the PZ, using TriW numbers (from memory) it would only lower the estimated TriW payment from $205 to $190 for those in the PZ but those outside the PZ would pay $65 every month. The sheer size of the PZ relative to the rest of town makes any attempt to sluff off some of the costs pretty ineffective.

Lastly ... if I throw a rock through someone's window, it is my responsibility to pay for the damage. Sure, they benefit from having the window fixed to keep out wind, but it is still my responsibility. If the PZ is scientifically unsound (and I think that by-n-large it is pretty sound) it is those in the PZ who should pay to fix their own pollution. I would also think that the County bears some large responsibility for the problem and should also pay for a lot of the costs ... but I see no reason why those in Los Osos but outside the PZ should pay any more than folks in San Luis or Grover Beach.

Shark Inlet said...

Correction ....

In the previous posting when I wrote "if the PZ is scientifically unsound" I meant to write "if the PZ is scientifically sound".

Apologies if this caused any confusion.

If you laughed, however, I'll take full credit.

Anonymous said...

Shark,

You say: "If the PZ is scientifically sound (and I think that by-n-large it is pretty sound) it is those in the PZ who should pay to fix their own pollution. I would also think that the County bears some large responsibility for the problem and should also pay for a lot of the costs ... but I see no reason why those in Los Osos but outside the PZ should pay any more than folks in San Luis or Grover Beach."

Why do you say the PZ is by-n-large scientifically sound? Not to get into too deeply here, but can you "simplify" the scientific evidence for the PZ? Or your own homespun "evidence," for that matter?

I believe in advance your evidence is arguable. The PZ is both a nonscientific and a political boundary. The PZ must be torn down to level "the paying field" -- not out of the goodness of anybody's heart but because it is the THE SINGLE MOST HONEST SOLUTION TO THE SEWER CRISIS -- and the law.

The WHOLE DISTRICT should pay. Proposition 218 refers to "the district" paying, not a part or a section, not the lowlands or a peninsula.

Plus, we all benefit from a cleaner bay. This is where the State and Feds need to step us and pay their fair share. After all, Los Osos isn't the sole or even main polluter, and Morro Bay belongs to the State, that is, to Everyone -- and Everyone should pay for the benefit of cleaner water. All suspected polluters -- dozens of them -- should be paying SOMETHING. The water companies benefit from selling cleaner water -- and should pay too.

You say: "I've heard an argument before for spreading some of the costs across the whole of the LOCSD because everyone will benefit from cleaner water. Thus, Cabrillo and other folks outside the PZ would pick up some of the tab."

Yes, but what happens if it is later determined that Cabrillo (not others who don't use Los Osos water) contributed pollution to the PZ basin (because effluent also flows horizontally and the water table rises to meet the soil) and should hook up...but now Cabrillo has managed to avoid costs for the treatment plant and any of the additional millions of paving and repaving the town, and so on... There's a lot on the line here, and I submit we haven't gotten to the trap-door bottom of the PZ scandal on which this coming assessment is falsely based... allowing the political "tax ghetto" to be "walled" around unsuspecting current homeowners to stick them with the bill.

The County would like nothing better than cover up years of neglect and liability. After all, they permitted over 1100 illegally-discharging homes to be built from '83 to '88, creating the very density issue that the RWQCB is citing us for today. In essence, creating the PZ. Where's the lawsuit on that? Yet rather than them paying up, they're paying out with our money...without the advisory vote they promised, and I'm not cool with that.

PZ Factoid: The PZ boundaries were drawn by a RWQCB member, George Rathmill. He lived in Cabrillo Estates. Based on past reliance on science, I'd venture to guess that the PZ was created without proper science, which of course, never mattered to the RWQCB.

You will never see "RWQCB" and "science" in the same sentence, except how I'm using them here.

Nice place, Cabrillo.

Tear down the PZ, split the costs and build the sewer -- and let's go home.

It's the correct legal, social and financial solution for Los Osos.

Anonymous said...

The correct legal solution for Los Osos??

Nope. It'll create more legal delays. If you think the PZ is not 'scientifically' sound to begin with, Cabrillo's location and density are far less sound than the PZ.

The correct financial solution for Los Osos??

Nope, the location and density make the financial benefit of adding Cabrillo questionable.

the correct social solution for Los Osos??

Yep, can't argue that one. At least it provides a social pacifier.

Shark Inlet said...

The science is pretty solid.

Essentially the main reasoning behind the PZ is that those areas are with a higher density and the septic systems are closer to groundwater. These are exactly the reasons that the County should never have approved of development in these areas without a sewer in the first place.

Cabrillo's density is low enough that septics adequate. The geology of the area is also different ... if the groundwater in Cabrillo is polluted by nitrates (it' isn't, but let's suppose) that groundwater isn't part of our aquifer but rather it would tend to flow toward the ocean.

The second reason is that the nitrate levels in the aquifer are increasing in exactly the areas under the PZ.


Presumably if there is a scientific argument for expanding the PZ to other regions of Los Osos, the RWQCB would be likely to do so. Without any science to even suggest that Cabrillo (for example) is part of the pollution problem, the RWQCB cannot and should not expand the PZ even if it would make them pay more.

On the matter of whether sewering the entire town (and not just the PZ) would lower our costs, the answer essentially is "no". If Cabrillo needs sewer lines and sewer mains, the extra money they chip in for the collection system will just about cover the additional costs. Furthermore, while there are economies of scale in the WWTF they are slight. The addition of more homes would cause the plant cost to rise.

Including Cabrillo won't hurt. The County will allow them to vote themselves in if they would like to do so ... but please don't think that including the areas outside the PZ will have any substantial impact on the total bill you and I will have to pay.


Ultimately it would seem that you view including Cabrillo as a way of lowering your costs. I disagree. I see the PZ as being largely sound. You disagree. Even if you are right about lots of stuff, I'll stand behind my assertion that including them isn't bad for me but essentially I don't care much at all because it won't lower my costs. If you convince me that I'm wrong on the money issue I would be a whole lot more interested in any evidence you have that says Cabrillo is polluting our aquifer.

Anonymous said...

shark said:
"I'm actually semi-convinced that part of the reason for the RWQCB fines of the LOCSD and for the CDOs is that the LOCSD board clearly didn't have any momentum toward getting even an out of town plant online."

Amen. Perhaps they had no momentum because their goal was only to stall. They really didn't have a desire for a plant out of town, just a desire to have none at all.* Ripley was called in at the last minute to make them look like they were doing something, as the "move it out of town" excuse was starting to look like what they were actually doing - nothing.

We have paid an enormous price for no sewer. (Water Board threats, bankruptcy, more pollution, embarassment, a lousy credit rating, services in danger of being dimished, and a lame, half-assed Ripley "plan"). If the obstructionists have their way again, we will continue to pay. Only the stakes will be much higher on this next round.

We need to be aware of upcoming tricks. They will make some sort of lunge at crashing the 218 vote. Many wrong doings have been done in the past, including those done by the County. Now is not the time to use that as an excuse to vote "no" on the 218. To cave into this really will effect the feared "economic cleansing." The cost at the next step will be far higher, not the teaser cost of $50 million you are being manipulated with, and perhaps the cost the State will extract. (This $50 million is the salesman's price to convince you to give them the job.)

If the 218 does not pass, someone will making a killing, and the no-sewer yokels are being played to stall the sewer to help that someone to get rich.

Development will happen. It can happen while most of us can still afford to live here if we vote now to have a sewer, and play our cards right with our water. Or it will happen after the costs have eliminated all but the most affluent. The last option will hold a good chance for state water. Then development can REALLY happen.

* Remember Julie's famous alleged words - "There will be a sewer in this town over my dead body!"

Anonymous said...

Shark,

You said: "The science (for the PZ) is pretty solid."

Thank you for your explanation re: Cabrillo and the PZ, etc. Most civilized of you. I appreciate your point of view, but I would be more convinced if I could study the science myself and get some current "objective" analyses from experts. As I said, the RWQCB and science have never been an e-harmony match, and a water board member living in Cabrillo drew up the PZ...I don't know. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but... I'll need some current "second opinions" before I stop poking at the walls of the PZ.

My concern tonight is the post under yours from 12:25 AM, June 01, 2007.

He or she said: "They really didn't have a desire for a plant out of town, just a desire to have none at all.

Many of the statements in this post are untrue. At this time there may be a handful left standing in the Alamo in Los Osos who don't want a sewer. Julie Tacker is finished. She represents no one anymore but Jeff. There is nothing to fear from the few onsite proponents, but much to fear from those who use fear as a tactic to drive the vote, who "re-use" fear of the County's past failures as am excuse for "no-sewer yokels" to "crash" the 218. It will backfire. Los Ososians typically react to fear as a threat and reject it on that basis, sometimes without really knowing what they're voting for or against. This is shaping up an another one of those.

No one will be crashing the 218 vote. Who? What bloc? Fearmongering seems to require that there be a "crasher." But there isn't any! Diseent won't kill the 218 -- the 218 will.

If the 218 does not pass, no one will making a killing... No "no-sewer yokels are being played to stall the sewer to help that someone to get rich." If the 218 does not pass it will be because the County tries to slip a Mickey in on us with unaffordable sewer and at unaffordable price. That would be no one's fault but the County's for blowing it. Give the people a real choice and they will pass the 218. Let's see how complicated the County can make that. Let's see how they avoid playing it straight.

Enthusiasm for one's "team" is great, but misstatements and stupidity about nonexistent "obstructionists" and other boogeymen will cost your "team" votes in a 218 contest you're concerned about. At this stage there's no need for campaigns of mis- and disinformation by either side. All we need now is a clear understanding and sound analyses of the Fine Screening and 218 ballot, and people will be able to make up their own minds.

It's already too late for kicking and screaming. It's time for thinking clearly.

Anonymous said...

anon, 6:32 PM, I disagree.

Actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, the actions of the noisy few can sway the people who don't have the time, the will, or frankly the brains, to read or listen to the reports on the fine screening. Look at the history, the recall, the inaction of the Board who admitted in the December Water Board hearings that there was no plan. They won the election with their nonexistent plan. Remember all those people who believed $100 out of town, no fines, no loss of the loan? Lies WILL be believed.

You will see in the fine screening and pro/con analysis that Tri-W simply was not the horror story its opponents made it out to be. That alone will set those off who must not be made to look foolish because they were wrong. A petition was started to make the County take Tri-W out of the running or these folks would vote NO on the 218.

The County can cut costs to the bone, and the obstructionists will STILL say it is too expensive, Orenco can do it for less with private financing! For some, the sewer will be unaffordable because they ARE expensive. That is not the fault of the County. That is just the reality that many do not care to face. This is the last chance to have any say in what we will have here and where. Voting no is not an option.

Yes, it is time to think clearly, but there is no law making sure that the thinking will be clear. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Please don't be naive. We are not the ones in control of the kicking and screaming.

Anonymous said...

We have yet to see if the 'move-the-sewer without a plan to move the sewer' faction or the 'I'm not anti-sewer I'm just not for this or that sewer' faction will support a 218.

Will the property owners approve an assesment that is without question unaffordable for the many??

What is the greater good for Los Osos?

What will the State (the people) do in response to a positive vote by a small community to tax themselves into compliance and tax a substantial number of their neighbors into a corner and out the door? Will the State and the 111 legislators even attempt to address affordability in some other context??

That's the question.

Anonymous said...

Good post...

Will the State and the 111 legislators even attempt to address affordability in some other context?? That's the question.

But you know the answer is "NO," so while I appreciate the lament, the question stands alone in sad acknowledge that the calvary will not be coming to rescue us from the anguish of unanswered unaffordability.