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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

BOS 218 Meeting Today



At 2 p.m today, in the BOS chambers, the Engineers Report, Assessment Ballot & etc. for the Sewer Project will be discussed and voted on. The engineer's report is at the County site at http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/PW/LOWWP/Bos_Items/8_28_2007_Clerk_s_File.htm (which link I hope works)



Couple of interesting things that I hope will get covered today:



1. Does an unreturned ballot represent a "yes" vote? Or simply drop off the radar thereby leaving the remaining returned Yes & No ballots to battle it out. The reason why this may be important has to do with voter coercion and/or Los Osos history.



In the 2002 mini-assessment vote, about 40% of the ballots were never returned to the CSD. At the time, I heard from many people that they were afraid to vote because their name was on that ballot and that ballot was "public information." With the Regional Water Quality Control Board already having hammered and pointlessly disrupted the lives of 45 random citizens for well over a year, with the expressed intention of hammering even more if the vote doesn't go the way they want, how many more citizens will now be seriously intimidated into not voting at all? Is that intimidation and fear sufficient to possibly trigger a lawsuit from somebody that could delay this project? (You don't have to win such a lawsuit, only file it and delay.) If so, can/will the RWQCB remove that threat by rescinding the CDOs and CAO's of the 45, and officially guaranteeing no "retaliation" for any vote, and so help to make this vote "clean" and hopefully lawsuit-proof? (Please God) If the RWQCB refuses (they have a long history of having a totally counter-productive, apallingly tin ear), what can/will the County do to make sure this vote is un-coerced?



As to history, in the previously mentioned mini-assessment vote, and later the hotly-contested recall election, about 40% of the eligible voters didn't bother to vote. If 40% of Los Osos is regularly, "normally" Out To Lunch, then whatever gets decided actually represents the wishes of a minority of the community (50% + 1 of 60%), not really a fully engaged community. (Or I should say 50%+1+40% of Yeah, Like, Whatevers.) If the community and the county and the RWQCB keeps that in mind, then maybe people can stop lying about Los Osos with their false narratives of the place being filled with recalcitrant, apathetic crazies. 40% missing IS our Normal, not some weird aberration.



Of course, if the assessment ballot return rate vote drops far below the "normal" 40% mising this time, a couple of additional factors may well apply: Fear of retaliation from the RWQCB (voter coercion) and/or a refusal of people to cast a vote that will literally put them out of their homes.



Also of interest is the $127 million assessment amount for this go-round. As the Tribune notes, the Tri W alone was guestimated at $150-153 million. Which seems to imply that the County also recognizes that the TAC figures are correct, that no matter how you slice or dice it, Tri-W is still waaaayyy more expensive and so may fall off the table. (Unless some sticky little feet get to jumping up and down on the scale?)



This entire Process is, in a profound way, a Covenant between the County and the citizens of Los Osos. Covenants can be kept. Covenants can be broken. Los Osos has a sad history of bait & switchy broken covenants. Will this time be different?

17 comments:

Area51 said...

"If so, can/will the RWQCB remove that threat by rescinding the CDOs and CAO's of the 45, and officially guaranteeing no "retaliation" for any vote, and so help to make this vote "clean" and hopefully lawsuit-proof? (Please God)"

Making the vote private STILL wouldn't appease those in this community who conitnue to latch on to anything they can to stall any progress whatsoever on the building of a sewer. If the RWQCB rescinded the CDO's and even packed up and suspended their operations and regulations on the Central Coast for a month just to make Los Osos feel all safe and cuddly and all during their vote it STILL wouldn't make a difference. There will NEVER be a "clean" process in their minds simply because the obstructionists WILL NEVER STOP FIGHTING THE BUILDING OF A SEWER. Just ask George and Gwen Taylor, whose ugly, rickety, hand-painted sign about the "mystery sewer" along LOVR assaults my eyes and embarasses me every day I have to drive by it. They don't want a sewer. I'm sure they're "afraid" of a public 218 vote. How thouroughly convenient. (By the way, I'm sure they complained they never got a 218 vote on Tri-W, but now that they get a 218, the complaint is it's not "private.)

Complaining is a tactic/art form used with great success by the obstrucionists to stop a sewer. Simple. Al Barrow bragged he could delay a sewer indefinitely. Don't put lipstick on this pig by calling it "fear" Ann. If it's not the 218 vote, it's the location, If it's not the location, it's the system. If it's not the system, it's the water board. If it's not the water board it's the money. If it's not the money, it's the dearth of enough studies and test wells. On and on and on and on it goes. You embarrass yourself by not acknowledging and admitting this.

One more thing. The lawsuits will come. Believe it. For the very reason I have just stated above.

4crapkiller said...

I am surprised that Ann never researched the law. It is clear. She asks questions that were answered by Paavo at the last BOS meeting. Lame.

Sonia Patel at the TT comes up with a figure of 154 million, $25,000 per developed property with trailers less. It is the monthly fees that will be a problem for homeowners in the PZ.

area51, well said.

The nut cases, headed by "Not in my lifetime", "flush it and worry about it", "we don't need no stinkin sewer", and "regional solution with his Morro Bay contingency" will be out in mass today at the BOS meeting asking the same questions over and over and over again as they have in the past. With some luck "dragon lady" will be there along with "poet lady". It will be great entertainment. With some luck we may even see someone hauled out of the meeting!

Of course, this will only fortify the rest of the county's view as to the insanity of Los Osos nut cases.

In the long run, the BOS will have to weigh the site and system and do the best they can for Los Osos.

In that each supervisor lives in a district that has water sufficiency problems, the recycling of water will be a major factor. Consider the costs of having to bring State water to Los Osos. Another 70 million on top of a sewer system? Hope not. In any case the water departments serving Los Osos will be looking at treatment for Nitrate at the well heads to utilize upper aquifer water. This is just another expense we are looking at. Then there is the cost of resolving the indebtedness of the LOCSD.



Water is the real problem.

TCG said...

Unfortunately, Sona Patel's article this morning in the Trib did a great disservice by incorrectly stating that the $25,000 assessments were IN ADDITION to the monthly costs quoted in the Fine Screening report.

Of course, those assessments are the most significant part of them, expressed on a monthly basis for those of us who choose not to pay the assessment in a lump sum.

4crapkiller said...

Who the heck to believe? Certainly not the TT, Ann Calhoun, Ron Crawford, or "flush it and worry" (Orenco kid).

Guess it is up to individual research! Who will take care of the poor Bantu in our community?

Shark Inlet said...

I am surprised that Ann, who in the past told us to be careful and to watch the process and the like is the one who is disseminating misinformation in the form of questions about the 218 process.

Simply put, at this stage ... well after Paavo has already answered these questions quite clearly and well after Ann could have easily looked up the 218 law and read it ... to continue to suggest there is some doubt about these aspects of the 218 (will non-votes be counted as yes? can't the votes be private?) is to raise doubts that I am afraid are intended to torpedo the 218 process.

Maybe I'm feeling cynical today, but I see no basis for Ann's "questions" other than a deliberate attempt to sway the debate or an ignorance of the facts which would cause most columnists to blush.


On the question of who to trust ... um ... at least the Trib doesn't have a bias one way or the other. When Patel makes mistakes they tend to be on both sides of the issue.

Ann, as a columnist, gets to present her side of the story with no limits to her bias. I would suggest anyone trusting Ann or Ron over the newspaper on these matters is woefully underinformed.

Perhaps Paavo is the one to trust ... and if this is the case, Ann has already had her questions answered. Non-votes don't count. It is a straight-up weighted vote count of returned votes (weights determined by the amount of benefit one is deemed to receive ... mobile homes and condos typically have a lower maximum occupancy than do single family homes, so the are deemed to have a lower benefit). The votes are also required to be public votes unless there is a compelling reason otherwise. The 218 law was written carefully and requires this.

4crapkiller said...

WATCHING THE BOS MEETING: WHOA FOLKS!

Two guys got up at the beginning of public comment and talked about a system that could be attached to our septic tanks that would produce potable water for very little money. It would actually be funded by Federal grants. $40 to $60 a month. Are these guys real? It would seem that this needs to be explored. If this would be a con job, these guys would be put away for a very long while.

How does one research what they got? Or is this just more BS. Is it the mystical John Alexander system? They said potable water! I have no idea how much.

Does anyone know about a web site? Is this system expirimental? Apparently it returns water through a water meter?

4crapkiller said...

By the way, for a bunch of people that told us during the recall that the water board had no teeth, it seems a lot of the NO proponents are really worried and would have the state change the law to make the assessment vote private or non disclosable due to possibilities that the water board would use the no vote to nail the obstructionists to the wall.

And once again Cessena uses the blame game!

In all fairness, if the "fabuous five" by obstruction gets us a better and cheaper sewer system due to delay, they will be heros.

Area51 said...

I saw Al Barrow setting up their visuals, so this is to be expected. I think it's been obvious from the start Barrow was going to be trotting out his pie-in-the sky bullshit the closer we got to the 218 reckoning day. To hell with that freakin' guy. He'll stop at nothing to muddy the waters and try to confuse and obfiscate in order to "delay a sewer forever." Hang on tight folks......here we go......the wack-parade is in full swing and they're after your homes........

4crapkiller said...

The two guys at the beginning offered a individual system that the water board has been against because they want a community sewer. If I could get information on their claims and proof of nitrate elimination, political pressure could be placed on Blakeslee or Maldonado to enact a bill to enable this. Why not? Water and lack of pollution is desired by all (except those who do not want to pay). I would be willing to expend political
capital if their individual property systems would work. Patterson and Paavo are on top of alternate systems and will keep all options open. IF THEIR SYSTEM eliminates nitrates and is accepted by the FEDS as a viable system, and in addition they put grant money behind it, why NOT the CCRWQCB.

We shall see. We have been down the road of unsubstantiated claims before.

The BOS really took the TT to task, just showing that the paper is worse than no paper at all.

Other than that, the same old obstructionists voiced the same old stuff they have been spouting before, playing the same old blame game, and were called down for it.

The motion accepting the 218 ballots passed unanimously. 5 to 0. However, the staff was directed to consider all new technologies.

And now the real fight starts! It is clear to me that the BOS really wants to take care of our poor Bantu.

4crapkiller said...

Previously I wrote that the Morro Bay Power plant puts 4.5 tons of nitrogen compounds into the air every day of full operation and ADMITTED it.
Today, the guy that usually wears a broad hat to keep bird do off his lower lip stated that our rain has 7 PPM of nitrate in it. I wonder where he gets his figures. Studies on this have been deliberatly avoided. Hmmmmmmm.

Conspiracy Boy said...

SharkInlet:

Are you nuts?!?

You say, "... the question of who to trust ... um ... at least the Trib doesn't have a bias one way or the other..."

If this is what you think than you should never question Ann, Ron, or anyone else. The Trib is THE MOST bias newspaper that exists in the country I would say. They are so unprofessional. They've played a MAJOR PART in the division of the community (The PZ is what really created the division.)

And you want us to trust Paavo?!? You are really nuts! He lied a couple of times today, just in one BOS meeting.

Give us all a break, SharkInlet!

You want us to tax ourselves out of our homes with no proof of pollution. The law says they've got to prove we're polluting. You seem to forget that -- how convenient. Same goes for the RWQCB, Paavo, the BOS, Blakeslee, etc.

Why does everyone involved in the big pipe scheme feel that they are above the law. There will be a federal investigation, there will be a couple of lawsuits. The truth will come out and some are gonna be in big trouble.

Mike said...

Hey CB, the dark glasses were a great touch. You don't look real well though, had the BP checked lately?

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:" is to raise doubts that I am afraid are intended to torpedo the 218 process."

Oh, horse pucky. You're making totally unwarranted assumptions again.

Crap sez:"In all fairness, if the "fabuous five" by obstruction gets us a better and cheaper sewer system due to delay, they will be heros."

This is rich indeed. What does the TAC report's comparison charts already tell you about TriW?

Crap also sez, regarding Mr. Murphy & Mr. Low's onsite system: "IF THEIR SYSTEM eliminates nitrates and is accepted by the FEDS as a viable system, and in addition they put grant money behind it, why NOT the CCRWQCB."

If the system works and meets the nitrate levels set (which are set by the RWQCB and can change whenever they wan, and please don't ask about "proof" or "science," they dont' need it, for them ASSERITON is enough) and meet the definition of "zero discharge" (which, again, they define and can also change, with the RWQCB doing the "changing,") , the RWQCB, under law, has to permit it, HOWEVER, the RWQCB can set permit fees and testing requirements of, oh, let's say, $10,000 a year per household for a discharge permit (you think that's too high? Who you gonna call for a second opinion? Who ya gonna appeal to? The STATE WATER BOARD?) and required output testing twice a month at $150 a pop, let's say. You can't complain that the RWQCB hasn't allowed this system, they have, and since they can set fees and testing requirements & etc however much they assert will protect the waters of the state of Calif & etc, and if you think the fees are excessive, who do you complain to? Right, the STATE WATER BOARD, the regional board's wolf that has it's back at all times. Now, do you still want to expend political capital and lobby for the Murphy & Low onsite system? Right.

And people wonder why I reference "Chinatown" so often.

As I've noted in my latest posting, science and reason and logic and common sense have NO place in this Kafkaesque World. As you also noted regarding the air borne nitrate pollution from M.B. power plant, " Studies on this have been deliberatly avoided. Hmmmmmmm."

Welcome to SewerWorld. Wwhat does you own statement tell you?

area 51 sez:"Complaining is a tactic/art form used with great success by the obstrucionists to stop a sewer."

You've fallen into the semantic trap of lumping everyone you disagree with as being an "obstructionist." They're not. If I read this community right, the folks who voted for the recall and the Measure B were NOT "obstructionists." They wanted a sewer project that was cheapER than Tri W, they wanted the plant out of town, and they wanted a 218 vote and a say in the matter. That's not "obstruction." That's a reasonable request and right now, the County's Process has produced three out of three: The options being considered are cheapER, likely out of town and the 218 vote is coming up, with a promised advisory survey (i.e. a further say in the matter).

When you mis-label people with some phony, misleading tag, it blinds you to the more complex reality. There are a small minority of people in this community that truly don't feel we need a sewer and who will do anything they can to block any attempts at building one. Small minority. The majority of the townsfolks aren't "obstructing" anything. They wanted a bettER, cheapER system, and, with luck, they may get it. Now, you have to 'splain to me how that warrants being called "obstructionist?"

Shark Inlet said...

Ann and others ...

The key here about TriW is this ... after TriW was stopped, will our bills be lower or higher in total for a better or worse project?

There will always be some who say it was a good move to stop TriW, no matter how much it costs and there will always be others who say that stopping TriW was a mistake even if it ends up costing less somewhere else.

If I end up having to pay a lot more than $205/month (between LOCSD debt payments, my sewer assessment and my monthly sewer bills), I will consider the choice to stop TriW to be a huge mistake.

We also need to figure out the costs of importing water, desal or denitrification at the wellhead into the mix unless we can figure out out to lower our water usage (or how to creatively reuse treated water).


Ann, when you close by writing "When you mis-label people with some phony, misleading tag, it blinds you to the more complex reality" I have to wonder a bit about why you've changed all of a sudden. After all, you've branded the ousted LOCSD boardmembers, Dreamers and members of Taxpayers Watch with descriptions they would quite disagree with. Even which Richard and others have explained to you their actions, your choice to continue to say that they chose to pound money into the group (for example) shows a lack of grace toward their position or a lack of understanding of the ... as you say ... "more complex reality."

I tend to agree with you that a bit more graciousness all around would be good. I would expect that you would criticize me for my own choice of words earlier in this very comment section. That would be fair. However, I think that rather than just saying that I've made presumptions, it would be nice for you to explain why you've asked the same two questions several times even though Paavo and others have already answered these questions. Please realize that it would be natural for some to wonder about your motivation for the repetition of questions that were already clearly answered by Paavo now at least three times when I've heard him speak on the issue.

4crapkiller said...

Ann, you are not being truthful in your comments to area51, or you are deaf and blind. How about the people who do not want to pay?

Even yesterday, one of the big supporters of the recall ( the guy who usually wears the wide brimmed hat and brought forth information about nitrate in rain ), got up in front of the BOS claiming that septics did not cause pollution. There has been a very significant "no sewer" contingent in the recall. They have been repetedly heard in LOCSD meetings. YOU have even questioned the need for a sewer, based upon lack of scientific individual tank/system testing, and continue. To me it is clear that some septic systems MAY work in the PZ but the vast majority do not because of separation from ground water and lack of carbon in the sand.

There was even someone there (from out of town) claiming that if a septic tank worked well, it did not produce nitrates. Lame. He should have included the word "system". He showed a complete lack of knowledge of the PZ problem, or a deliberate intention to confuse.

As far as the "NO PAY" obstructionists, they are obvious, and have been fighting this for years. They are too smart to simply say "I don't want to pay", but have brought up "affordable" as a reasonable objection to high costs.

As far as TRI-W being more expensive, true. But the charts do not show that it is GROSSLY more expensive. 10% more expensive? However a MBR produces far better effluent for recycling than any other system mentioned, and this is noted in the fine screening reports.

As you heard yesterday, water recycling is a big consideration and component of any system.

This is about water. Clean water and our need for water. Everyone in the district will pay more for water, regardless if they pollute or not. We all draw water from the same basin, including the farmers outside the LOCSD. The BOS will decide how to handle this when the 218 passes.

There is another component of TRI-W and it is found in the contractors suits. One of the BOS originaly stated that it may be possible to get the contractors to drop their suits if TRI-W was started up again. There would be no loss of profit. This certainly will be considered. In any case, if this does not occur, the property owners will pay. It will come out of the same pocket.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"If I end up having to pay a lot more than $205/month (between LOCSD debt payments, my sewer assessment and my monthly sewer bills), I will consider the choice "

The $205 a month on Tri W was a guestimated STARTING cost that would have gone up an hour after the operation was turnkeyed (MBR technology is an energy hog and energy rates have and will contine to go up.) Furthermore, as the TAC points out, TRI-W was incomplete, more had to be added which meant costs would go up. So to keep claiming that Tri W would cost only $205 a month is totally misleading.

Inlet also sez:" We also need to figure out the costs of importing water, desal or denitrification at the wellhead into the mix unless we can figure out out to lower our water usage (or how to creatively reuse treated water)."

That also pertained to the Tri-W project.

Inlet also Sez:" Ann, when you close by writing "When you mis-label people with some phony, misleading tag, it blinds you to the more complex reality" I have to wonder a bit about why you've changed all of a sudden. After all, you've branded the ousted LOCSD boardmembers, Dreamers and members of Taxpayers Watch with descriptions they would quite disagree with. Even which Richard and others have explained to you their actions, your choice to continue to say that they chose to pound money into the group (for example) shows a lack of grace toward their position or a lack of understanding of the ... as you say ... "more complex reality.""

Richard has never explained to my satisfaction (as to the truthfulness at least) as to why he voted to start pounding millions of dollars into the ground when he could have waited. He first wrote on this blog that he had no choice, the law required it, etc. Then when Julie wrote in to say, Nuh-huh, nope, the CSD had until December, I think it was, to make that final committment, then I never heard further which version was the truth. It was a horrible gamble that put the community's money (not his) at risk and in this case was lost. That's not the decision of someone who cares for the community and for prudence's sake would wait to see what the community wanted before proceeding. That's something far more complex. Perhaps Dr. Freud needs to be asked?

Inlet sez:" I tend to agree with you that a bit more graciousness all around would be good. I would expect that you would criticize me for my own choice of words earlier in this very comment section. That would be fair. However, I think that rather than just saying that I've made presumptions, it would be nice for you to explain why you've asked the same two questions several times even though Paavo and others have already answered these questions. Please realize that it would be natural for some to wonder about your motivation for the repetition of questions that were already clearly answered by Paavo now at least three times "

Explaining things to you has proven to be a waste of time. You misread what I've written, mischaracterize it, leap to conclusions (very often false) then go doodlebugging off onto some wild speculative relm, claiming it as "reality." As regards what you do, I used the phrase "counting angels on the head of a pin" for a reason.

Crap sez:"Ann, you are not being truthful in your comments to area51, or you are deaf and blind. How about the people who do not want to pay?"

You obviously didn't read and understand what I said to Area 51. (That must be some kind of virus you're catching from Shark Inlet?) He's falsely lumping all "anti-Tri-W" or whoever he disagrees with people into a big pool called "obstructionists." I maintain that true "obstructionists" are a tiny minority of this community. Always have been. What the Tri-W/Recall was about is bettER, cheapER, out of town, a 218 vote. That's not obstructionist or no pay.

Crap also sez:" . . . YOU have even questioned the need for a sewer, based upon lack of scientific individual tank/system testing, and continue. To me it is clear that some septic systems MAY work in the PZ but the vast majority do not because of separation from ground water and lack of carbon in the sand."

You again havn't been reading me and mischaracterize my points. My objection to "lack of scientific evidence" is exactly that. You have in place now a regulatory agency that makes assertions and when asked for fact or science, shrugs and points to an assertion. Or uses the phrase "common knowledge shows" in an official document of assertion. "Common knowlege?" Common knowledge once held that witches floated on ponds. I have maintained and still maintain that the PZ was politically expedient, NOT scientifically defensible. Had the RWQCB done better science from day one, they would have ended up with a BASIN plan that would allow for a variety of options as technologies came on line. Instead, they locked themselves into a box and from day one played Hobson's Choice while pretending they weren't and have absolutely refused to get out of that box and that game. For that reason we have this ridiculous PZ which has, literally, boxed us all in. It is not scientifically defensible, especially in light of the far more serious water issues at work here. (If you want a hair raiser, go read the scientific and techonological report done on the waterboards in general (commissioned by the State WAter Board. The text is rather politically soft-soaped, but take a gander of their list of recommendations. I mean, what does it say about a regulatory agency that some study group has to recommend that they have access to peer-reviewed periodicals in their field of operations available in their main offices. DUH???? No, this RWQCB proved their appalling incompetence beyond a shawdow of a doubt when Briggs ordered up that Mad Pumping Scheme. Nobody the least familiar with septic systems and/or groundwater would ever, ever have dreampt that up. That Dr. Wickham could so easily clean their clocks speaks volumes as to their "scientific" competency. And those are the folks whose unsupported assertions can and likely will help destroy a town.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

For someone who says that you hate mischaracterization, it saddens me deeply that you continue to write things to and about the comments of Crap, Area51, Richard and myself that suggest you have less interest in dialog than in argument and scoring points.

There are lots of issues you raise in your most recent comment here, but it is probably worth pursuing only one. Do you feel that Paavo answered the questions you posed about the 218 vote, how votes would be counted and why the votes cannot be private?