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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

TIC, TIC, TAC

The Los Osos Wastewater draft TAC report is in. My thanks for all their hard work. They have done the community a real service by being a vital part of The Process.

If I understood correctly at the last meeting, they plan on doing some follow up charts that will illustrate various component-combined possibilities complete with pro/con and possible prices available to the community. The sample they were looking at really looked great since it combined icons as well as data so non-engineers in the community could see at-a-glance-the different “plans,” sorta like the graphics laying out different pricing plans for Dish TV, for example.

I do hope they’ll follow through with that notion and that the county will incorporate those pages into the pre-218 brochure they’ll be mailing out since it should give the community a quick view of the various options and combinations now under serious consideration, complete with guestimated price tags.

All of which will be helpful since it was clear from the BOS meeting yesterday, that there are now about a zillions balls in play, combining, recombining, and with a fast approaching Prop 218 vote looming, the community better have a pretty good grasp of at least several of the probabilities that will likely turn out to be The Real Deal.

In addition, I hope the community will still keep paying close attention. There still exists the possibility that sticky little fingers will sneak onto the scale or that Roger Briggs from the RWQCB will again run amok and threaten the whole delicate process. (A speaker quoted from one of the RWQC Board members, Dr. Press, when he spoke of a need to return to a “virtuous cycle, not a vicious cycle.” Too true. Mr. Briggs and his Board need to be reminded of Dr. Press’s observation.)

And Gail McPherson of PZLDF-Citizens for Clean Water, noted to Paavo Ogren, that she hoped he would “keep your word to the community as you have done so far,” to which Mr. Ogren replied that he hoped the community could see that this Process is doing just that. A reminder again how critical it is that The Process remain clean and transparent so everyone can see just how the wheels are turning and meshing and so see when any one wheel gets out of whack so it can be fixed in a timely manner.

Meantime, there are several things the TAC report have made crystal clear.

Sewer plant sites out of town are NOT waaayyy more expensive. There are now about NINE sites being looked at, not ZERO unavailable. No one has mentioned the “fact” that the Coastal Commission won’t allow sewer pipes to cross a creek. The Tri W site isn’t the ONLY site that will work. The Broderson site was never able to carry the full load of recharge, so the old Tri-W project needed add-on components, which would have driven the price even higher than where it was guestimated to be. The guestimated “final” price of Tri-W was about $205 a month. At this point in the county’s “guestimations,” of various alternatives, the starting price is about $200 a month, a number that can go down with competitive bidding and value engineering and such like. Right now, cheapest combination with the best case scenario (federal $, low cost financing, grants, etc) has a guestimated price of $120 a month to a high of worst case scenario of $250. Reality may lie somewhere inbetween OR, if competitive bidding breaks out as the project nears the “let’s get RFP & Seriously Sign Contract” phase, could go lower.

At this point, it’s too early to tell. But here’s the irony: The new options are still under old Tri-W project’s guestimated costs, while offering greater flexibility which could translate into future savings on O&M&R costs. (i.e. alternative energy technologies, increased ag reuse, newer options and technologies that could be utilized better at a more flexible out of town site that would have been prohibited by the in-town one, & etc.)

And, clearest of all, no matter how the TAC report is sliced, the Tri W project remained the most expensive, so when the recalled CSD Board kept telling this community that there were no suitable sites out of town, that putting a plant out there would be waaay more expensive, that Tri-W was the cheapest solution available, the best solution available, the only solution available . . . that simply wasn’t true.

Interestingly, as untruthful as the Tri-W project always was, a huge portion of the community was ready to accept those lies, and that $205 price tag and grudgingly and fatalistically end up with a sewer plant in the middle of their town.

Also interesting, as near as I can tell, the “messages” in the recall and in Measure B were these: The community wanted:

(1) a cheaper plan (keep in mind the word “cheaper,” with the emphasis on “er.”)
(2) with the plant located out of town
(3) and a 218 vote in the matter.

Near as I can see, the County’s delivered three for three.

Before sewer Jihadis on either side of this war crank up their VOTE NO ON WHATEVER, they might want to think about the above: Three for three.

For some in this community, that still won’t be good enough, but my bet is that the majority of property owners have been given what they asked for (cheaper, out of town, 218 vote), so I’m betting they’ll say, Hey, thanks, vote for the 218, then take the Community Preference Survey as to what type of system they prefer, (Um, waaaallll, personally, I like blue and do put those little purple thingees on it And if you can, you know those round orange whatachamacallits, let’s have some of those scattered around over here and there, if they’re not too expensive, that is.”)

The county will say, Thank you very much for your input, the BOS will try as much as they can to see that the community preferences are realized, then the project will go out to bid, digging will commence, and people will start paying dearly for the apalling train wreck that was unnecessarily visited on their town by a series of lies, unchecked egos, CYA weird Medean and Freudian and Shakespearian human failings, that resulted in a lack of due diligence and apathy and incompetence and failure on the part of a whole array of governmental agencies whose whole point of existence was to look out to make sure the tracks were clear and the train was indeed, NOT heading for a cliff.

28 comments:

Rick said...

Well put. Three for three...

I'm blogging on this now too.

http://lososos.polemicmag.net/

I wonder what the next phase of this party will be like!

Churadogs said...

Rick sez:"I'm blogging on this now too.

http://lososos.polemicmag.net/

I wonder what the next phase of this party will be like!"

Yeah, checked the site out. Couple of good comments. IF everyone keeps their fingers out of the pie and somebody puts a paper bag over Roger Briggs' head so he doesn't screw this up AGAIN, and various "Dreamers/former CSDers" don't file more "vengeance" lawsuits, and everybody takes a few deep breaths and keeps an eye out to see that small wheels aren't getting stuck or gummed up, then "The Process" will chug along to its final resolution -- something (sadly) that COULD have happened years ago. Sigh.

Area51 said...

"Oh, For God’s Sake, Gail, Sit Down And Shut Up and STOP Monkey Wrenching The Hideous Los Osos Sewer Project!"

"Sewer-neutral" Gail McPherson continues her quest to kill the 218 vote, and any project that seeingly costs more that $20.00 per month. I don't know how or why the Bay News continues to report on her antics, but this woman continues to do damage to every homeowner in the PZ (which I understand she is not). Now she threatens litigation on the 218. I know she's Ann's girl, and it's dumb to even ask Ann, but why aren't McPherson's actions viewed with he same distain as "dreamers" or "former CSDers" or whatever Ann calls those who disagree with her. Her attempts to sabotage the 218 are just as obvious and devious, if not more so, than Roger Briggs'.

Here's a thought. Maybe the CSD can chip in some dough to help her new lawsuit. (We wouldn't call this a "vengeance" lawsuit, would we Ann?). I'm sure they can find some money lying around to further help their pal McPherson.

You are so correct Ann. People need to keep their "fingers out of the pie" and their hands "off the scale." That means everyone, on all sides of the issue. And most definitely means the "unchecked ego" of Gail McPherson.

Shark Inlet said...

Um Ann ...

Do you really think that the problem these days is former Dreamers trying to throw a monkey-wrench into the process? Even if the Dreamers hadn't filed "vengeance lawsuits" (and if you're gonna call the Dreamer lawsuits that, what are you gonna call the lawsuits and other moves of CCLO and CASE?), it would seem that the LOCSD board was making zero progress at an amazing rate. Subtract out all the legal bills and the LOCSD board still didn't have enough money to do the preliminary work necessary to hold a 218 vote to finance even a design and CEQA approval process. You can't honestly believe that Gordon had any influence on the situation after he was recalled.

You may be right about Roger Briggs and the RWQCB as a whole, but you've got to admit, they've been making decisions to try to force us into the quickest possible solution. After all, the sewer has been delayed by about ... um ... 25 years now ... it would seem that they have every right to push timeliness. As you say, however, if they push too hard it might result in a negative result.

It would seem to me that the best thing we can do now is to pass the 218 vote and to have a clean process. Along those lines, area51 is correct. To me it seems as if the LOCSD regulars are the ones who are trying to bend the county process to their liking. Gail and Linde and the rest who want to complain and argue and fight and who have the ultimate goal of having their favorite location, their favorite collection method, their favorite treatment method, their favorite recharge method, etc... and all for only $75 per month. Hell, I would like that too, but I recognize that the "best solution" will not be something that we all agree on ... but we've all got to agree that going with the 218 vote and the county process is better than the alternative where no one knows what will happen but we can be sure that the RWQCB will take action and that it won't be pretty.

Realistic1 said...

Yes, Ann. All fingers need to be off the scales. Including Gail's. Her "subversive" campaign to sink the 218 is so blatant I can't stand it.

This fear mongering over the 218 being a public vote is absurd. What's she going to do? Sue to change a law that's been in effect since 1996? One that was overwhelmingly passed by the State voters?

Get real. Briggs and the Water Board are nothing compared to this wolf in sheep's clothing who continues to "support" the County process out of one side of her mouth and then undermines it out of the other.

People are too afraid to vote? Give me a break. Afraid of what? Do you honestly think the Water Board will deliberately target "no" voters? Can you say "ACLU lawsuit"? Puhleez.

I'll join you in your request for the RWQCB and Briggs to back off the moment you tell Gail McPherson and her moonies to "sit down & shut up" as well.

Hypocrite!

Shark Inlet said...

I'll have to chime in support for Area51's comments on Gail.

Did you listen to her public comment at the SLO BOS on Tuesday? Her praise of Paavo and the County staff could be just as well interpreted as fear-mongeringg. (She said something like "we appreciate that you've lived up to your promises ... so far ... and we hope that you will continue to do so." Considering County staff essentially ignore public comment from the regular nutbags, her comments can only be explained by a desire to influence Los Osos citizens and to get them to fear the County.

Admittedly, the previous paragraph is a bit over-the-top, but I was astounded at the completely unjustified and completely rude insinuation of her comment.

About the RWQCB and CDOs if the 218 vote fails. While I don't expect that they would selectively prosecute folks who voted "no", I do think they would take a "yes" vote as evidence in a request to reduce the total financial impact of the CDO. They won't announce that they would do this in advance and I don't think they would take such a step lightly, but I do think that a homeowner presenting evidence of trying to move forward would be met with approval.


Oh ... Ann is no more a hypocrite than you or I ... she calls em like she sees em just like the rest of us. No doubt you and I agree that she is biased, but I think she could explain how she's not being hypocritical rather quickly by noting that Briggs is a RWQCB staff member and as such, shouldn't be meddling in the County process but Gail should be welcomed to make public comment on what happens in her community.

Realistic1 said...

Yeah, I guess you're right, Sharkey.

Roger Briggs, or any other employee of any regulating body that has jurisdiction over this issue, should NEVER offer an OPINION to the County about their process. After all, public agencies NEVER do such things.

For that matter, Gordon, Richard, or any other supporter of the Tri-W project, should EVER comment on the current situation, EVER AGAIN, because they no longer have a right to say ANYTHING.

But Gail... well GAIL can say anything she wants, even if it's with a forked tounge, because she's a private citizen who, by the way, doesn't own property in the PZ.

My god, what WAS I thinking?

Real 1

P.S. You know I'm not mad at you, right? Just pissed off by all of this absurd discourse, and the blatant attempts by citizens to sink the County 218 vote before it ever gets off the ground.

Shark Inlet said...

Real 1 (Mike) ...

The real issue here is that the RWQCB and their staff should go out of their way to take any action which might be construed as trying to bias the County process toward one plan over another. It just looks bad.

I don't think (as Ann seems to) that people named Roger, Pandora and Gordon should be officially banned from making public comment or having an opinion ... but I do think that her point should be well taken ... the opinion needs to well founded and if there are possible negative consequences of making the opinion public, care should be taken to deal with the issue.

Mike Green said...

Sharkey!!
Yes! This is now a political process and the less lightning-rods the better.
Perhaps the anonymouse thing should be done in reverse. Ideas without egos.

Realistic1 said...

Shark -

First, I'm not "Mike". I'm the same Realistic1 from the Trib board, and I'm pretty sure you know who I am - certainly NOT Mike.

Secondly, I agree that the RWQCB shouldn't go out of their way to influence the County, but to expect them to keep quiet entirely is not reasonable.

You even commented earlier that Gail was playing the subliminal game at the BOS today, quietly planting seeds of distrust in the County process with her veiled compliments.

Her fear mongering regarding the 218 in the Bay News - feigning concern for the vote - was nothing short of disgraceful. I'd simply like to see Ann comment about THAT before she continues her constant criticism of the RWQCB.

Area51 said...

Don't look now folks, but the "Move the Sewer" sign on the 1700 (I think) block of LOVR as you enter our wonderful little community now is a sign warning about the "mystery sewer" and advocating "questioning" if not altogether denouncing (which I think is the real intent) the 218 vote. The obstructionists are gearing up, and I've said it before, it's gonna get real wiggy around here again. More so than it usually is. Pre-recall, Joey Racono dressed as a woman, Michael Jones and the mob sign-carrying, misinformation in the press and fear mongering in the streets wiggy. I'll be walking my street in support of the 218, hence in support of my neighbors, but I hope the county is prepared for the nutjobs. Sigh.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:" Did you listen to her public comment at the SLO BOS on Tuesday? Her praise of Paavo and the County staff could be just as well interpreted as fear-mongeringg. (She said something like "we appreciate that you've lived up to your promises ... so far ... and we hope that you will continue to do so."

Did you bother to listen to what Paavo said later? He repeated her comments and used them to carry the message further, noting that he hoped the community could see that this Process was doing just that, that he was indeed keeping his word to the community, etc. In short, McPherson's comment, far from being some hidden slap, served as an invitation to Paavo to hit that message AGAIN. Perhaps you missed his follow up?

Inlet also sez:"About the RWQCB and CDOs if the 218 vote fails. While I don't expect that they would selectively prosecute folks who voted "no", I do think they would take a "yes" vote as evidence in a request to reduce the total financial impact of the CDO. They won't announce that they would do this in advance and I don't think they would take such a step lightly, but I do think that a homeowner presenting evidence of trying to move forward would be met with approval."

Having attended the ACL and CDO hearings from day one, I wish I could share your apparent sanguinity about the RWQCB. I don't and can't. What they did to the Los Osos 45, for example, was both stupid, incompetent, pointless, usless, cruel and counterproductive. Watching that appalling performance, I no longer have any faith in the RWQCB at all. Zero. Zilch. And less than zilch in Briggs.

Inlet also sez;"Oh ... Ann is no more a hypocrite than you or I ... she calls em like she sees em just like the rest of us. No doubt you and I agree that she is biased, but I think she could explain how she's not being hypocritical rather quickly by noting that Briggs is a RWQCB staff member and as such, shouldn't be meddling in the County process but Gail should be welcomed to make public comment on what happens in her community."

Correct. If Briggs had any sense at all, which so far he has not demonstrated, he would understand that as a regulatory official with ENORMOUS un-checked power to destroy lives and communities,he needs to be like Caesar's wife: not only SEEN to be above suspicion. He is neither. (those "private" little emails to and from Pandora, taking action BEFORE the new CSD board had even legally been formed, etc. all point to a regulator about to run amok and make a difficult situation not only worse but infinitely and unnecessarily worse.)

McPherson, like Hensley & LeGros & etc. are all private citizens whose opinions carry no regulatory weight.They can monger away as much as they like.

Realistic1 sez:"Her fear mongering regarding the 218 in the Bay News - feigning concern for the vote - was nothing short of disgraceful. I'd simply like to see Ann comment about THAT before she continues her constant criticism of the RWQCB."

McPherson's comments concerning the 218 vote being public is well founded. When the original assessment vote went through a few years ago, that fear surfaced then. Now, the community has seen (if they had been paying attention) to what the RWQCB has done to 45 of their friends and neighbors, they also should have seen the RWQCBoard members discussions about capping any fines, & etc, and making distinctions between cooperative dishcargers and recalcitrant dischargers, & etc, all focused on a clear message: We have the power and authority to declare certain persons Most Favored Nation status and/or Least Favored nation status, and we can do so based on your vote. It is not an idle threat and raised some really interesting issues vis a vis the notion of electioneering, voter coercion and such like. Most communities in facing a 218 vote don't have to face the likes of Roger Briggs of The Secret E-Mails. Or of Dr. Press speaking about a "vicious cycle," or see certain members of their community targeted for 18 months of "prosecution" as lab rats for a board to finally figure out how to do it right. McPherson's comments in the Bay News simply frame the reality. Realistic1 would be a fool to think the threat isn't a real one, and a bigger fool to forget that "perception IS reality," and if people were fearful of a "public" vote the last time, when there was no clearly framed individual threats,individual prosecutions, individual civil proceedures that can cost them their homes, then that fear is simply even more magnified now.

To lessen that fear, to lessen the perception of electioneering and coercion and retaliation and "viscous cycle," the RWQCB should rescind the CDO's & CAO's on the 45, issue an official statement that the 218 ballots will NOT be used by them for any selective enforcement or differential in fines & etc. (If the 218 fails, Briggs need only send out registered, return receipt requested, etc. a Notice of Violation to the whole town for the clock to start ticking. The groundwork has already been laid. Most people in the community understand that.) The RWQCB then should issues a PR to it's megaphone, the Tribune, for front page headlines all about how the RWQCB is confident the citizens will support the county project and move ahead & Kumbaya, & etc. THAT would be an incredibly SMART move.

That's why I don't have any confidence that that's what Briggs & Co. will do.

Area51 said...

Unbelievable. Once again the whole world is to break and bend to satisfy the whims of the people of Los Osos. Laws, rules, order, oversight, regulation should all be tossed out the door because Los Osos is special. In fact, Los Osos should be designated it's own special place, with it's own special laws, and it's own special rules of conduct because, well, because it's Los Osos dammit, and Los Osos is SPECIAL.

Un-freakin-believable.

"The RWQCB then should issues a PR to it's megaphone, the Tribune, for front page headlines all about how the RWQCB is confident the citizens will support the county project and move ahead & Kumbaya, & etc. THAT would be an incredibly SMART move."

Oh pul-leeeeeeeeeeeeze. Do you not attend or watch CSD or BOS meetings Ann? My guess why the the RWQCB wouldn't issue a statement like that simply is because IT'S NOT TRUE!!!!!! If it's not anti-Tri-W/location, then it's affordability. Then next it becomes the system: if it's not STEP it's nothing. Then it's "We never got a 218 vote." So we get a 218 then it's "We demand a PRIVATE 218." On and on it goes. It never ends. The RWQCB knows this. I'm sure the BOS is finding this out. And quite frankly, if the homeowners in the PZ haven't figured this out and once again fall prey to the manipulative, devious and destructive games of the obstructionists, we'll get what we deserve.

If you play with fire, you'll eventually get burned. The obstructionists, many with no fear because they have nothing to burn, don't believe this and simply don't care. I do. Let's get this 218 passed.

Mike said...

Well said!!!

If I never heard another sound from Chuck, Schicker or Tacker regarding anything it will be be too soon!

We've had enough of the obstructionist, let's get on with supporting the County!

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

Are you asking us to believe that Gail and Paavo had an agreement ahead of time where she would insult him and the County staff with the suggestion that a reasonable person shouldn't believe them ... just so that he could reply?

That's asking a bit too much!

I'm going to have to chime in with Area51 on this one ... I'll predict the next Gail/Linde issue is this ... "Vote NO on 218 unless the County promises to take TriW off the table and unless they promise us STEP!"

Mike Green said...

Well I guess that would blow the old sewer neutral thing right up!

Keep a sharp eye out, don't let the opposition get traction unquestioned and keep pounding the message!
Yes on the 218!

Sewertoons said...

Ann said:
"Did you bother to listen to what Paavo said later? He repeated her comments and used them to carry the message further, noting that he hoped the community could see that this Process was doing just that, that he was indeed keeping his word to the community, etc. In short, McPherson's comment, far from being some hidden slap, served as an invitation to Paavo to hit that message AGAIN. Perhaps you missed his follow up?"

Paavo is just excellent at his job, and I swear, he is helping us along in spite of our obstructionist-selves. What Paavo did with Gail's two-faced statement was to make lemonade out of lemons. She pitches a curveball and the ever-savvy Paavo knocks it out of the park - score for the TRUE Los Osos and the County. Gail ought to know by now that she is no match for Paavo.

Shark and Area51 are on target, too. If we can keep the liars at bay when the ballots come out (unlike the recall and the last election) - we will have ourselves a sewer.

Conspiracy Boy said...

Who said "clean process" -- this is as dirty as it can be. Anyone who can't see that it is dirty, is dirty themselves.

Beware of the county.

Beware of the developers.

They're coming fast!

Conspiracy Boy said...

Sewertoons:

I'm so happy for you! I'm so happy that you can afford what will amount to $400 to $500 a month (imported water included.)

Same goes for:

Mike Green
CrapKiller
Ann Calhoun
SharkInlet
TCG
etc.
etc.
etc.

Mike Green said...

CB, when you put it that way, it kind of takes the sting out of it, have a nice life there in Bakersfield! ta ta

Mike said...

MG, Well said, see ya at the MerryMaker, MH

Conspiracy Boy said...

Yeah,

Mike and Mike Green. Go celebrate and get drunk (you people have no class) and decide where you want all the working families with young children and the seniors to get shipped off to.

Bakersfield, Calfornia Valley, -- you be sure and let us know where you've decided to send everyone!

Thanks for all your humanity. No wonder you want to sit at a dump like the Merrimaker -- it fits you well.

Shark Inlet said...

Conspiracy Boy,

As a member of one of the working families with young children who lives in a neighborhood of nearly all seniors ... I understand your point of view ... but I must again insist that it is actions which raise our costs which must be opposed.

You are arguing against a 218 vote because it is a blank check.

Let me ask you this ... would you rather sign a blank check to someone who is typically trustworthy who you'll see day in and day out into the future, just like you did in the past ... or would you rather sign a blank check to someone you don't know at all who you've never worked with at all in the past and who you can count on to leave town right after the check is cashed?

To me that is exactly like the decision we're facing with a 218 vote.

While I can see some reasons to view the County as possibly untrustworthy, I can see many many many reasons to trust the "other guy" even less, whether the "other guy" is the LOCSD, the State or Orenco. This is especially true when you have another blank check to cut ... one to the RWQCB ... if you turn the County down.

If you want to get folks to vote "no" on the 218 vote, you ought to explain why voting "no" is a more financially sound decision.

Sewertoons said...

cb, why are you so in love with Orenco? What have they ever done for you? Is this love keeping you from answering shark's question? The one he keeps asking you but you never answer?

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"Ann,

Are you asking us to believe that Gail and Paavo had an agreement ahead of time where she would insult him and the County staff with the suggestion that a reasonable person shouldn't believe them ... just so that he could reply?"

It never ceases to amaze me how badly you misread what I write. You really have a knack for misunderstanding -- a genius for it, so to speak. And if you saw the interchange, to so misread what was realling going on there is quite amazing.

That little interchange was a classic bit of public theatre, one of those very typical "dance" moves every savvy politician/public servant/citizen learns early on, it was very well done, it made it's point and had nothing to do with some prior agreement or anything such like.

It was a two-thumbs up move! A two-fer-one dance step. Wonderful bit of business from both of them.

Sewertoons sez:"Paavo is just excellent at his job, and I swear, he is helping us along in spite of our obstructionist-selves. What Paavo did with Gail's two-faced statement was to make lemonade out of lemons. She pitches a curveball and the ever-savvy Paavo knocks it out of the park - score for the TRUE Los Osos and the County. Gail ought to know by now that she is no match for Paavo."

That wasn't lemons. That was a carefully lobbed perfect pitch intended to be lobbed out of the park. She threw, he hit. It was a nice play on both their parts.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

A curveball is not a carefully lobbed pitch intended to be lobbed out of the park. A curveball is intended to get the batter to swing at a location the ball won't be at ... a curveball suggests Gail asked a slippery question where she wanted Paavo to make a misstep in his answer. I trust from the context you screwed up the sports metaphor and not that you think Gail was trying to be insulting.

Essentially you are asking us to believe that Gail intended Paavo to hit a home run. If that is the case, it should be said that she could have phrased herself in a far more gracious manner. Either she intended her comment to be very insulting to the County and Paavo in particular or she has little idea of how her words are likely to be taken.

Neither is a problem ... and this issue isn't really all that important ... but please realize that some folks quite reasonably disagree with your rosy assessment of what she says.

Conspiracy Boy said...

Sewertoons:

I am not in love with Orenco. But if their figures are true to what they say then I'd be in love with that.

Besides, every expert and professional that has weighed in on Los Osos have all said the same thing. Gravity is wrong. Step is right.

What don't you understand about that?

Sewertoons said...

cb,

If within the County process the Orenco bid comes out on top, great, but I won't take any "sales talk" as fact until the bid is in the County's hands. I'm not worrying about the technology, I just want a yes on the 218.