Friday, September 21, 2007

Look, is that white smoke? Black smoke? Do we have a Pope? Yes? No? Whaatttt?

Info from the Sept 20, 2007 Press release from the CSD states:

The Los Osos Community Services District’s October Board meetings will include discussions related to the County’s 218 assessment vote process.

At the October 4, 2007 meeting, the Board will consider how to vote its own properties in the waste water assessment vote. . . .

At its October 18, 2007 meeting, the Board will be hosting a public discussion on a fall back position whould the County’s 218 process fail. The public is invited to share their thoughts and ideas on how the financially strapped District would proceed. No action will be taken on this item at that time. . . .

Both meetings will be held at 7:30 pm at the South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave, Los Osos. For more information please call the LOCSD office at 528-9307.

Interesting timing. On Oct 4th, the CSD will be considering how to vote the assessment ballot for their properties. If a vote is taken, it will be a signal to the community -- like the puffs of smoke the faithful look for as they gather in St. Peter’s Square to see if the smoke given off by the ballots being burned mean a new pope or yet another vote -- whether or not the CSD, as a body, is sufficiently confident in the County’s process to commit the community-held properties under their jurisdiction to a “combined total of $61,204.31” assessed “Yes on 218” or whether they don’t have that confidence, will vote to abstain, or vote No because they are working on Fall Back Plan B, which will then be discussed at the Oct 18 meeting.

Interestingly, that meeting is a day before the RWQCB may (or may not) agree to formally put the CDOs for the Los Osos 45 on ice. Which is also four days before the 218 election is CLOSED. Convenient timing, eh?

Get the maximum amount of “deniable threat & coercion Heh-Heh” from the RWQCB, yet give a sufficiently long time to signal – via puffs of smoke – the CSD’s Official Position, Yea or Nay, for those who may be on the fence and looking for what the CSD is going to do, while also giving the minimum amount of time for the community to hear or even know and discuss anything about whatever alternative “fall-back” plan the CSD may have in mind during the Oct 18 non-action item, with the election closed four days later.

Boing! Boing! Boing! Lots of little feeties hopping up and down on that election scale, eh?. Boing- Boing. Look! Smoke!

Mark You Calendars!

The county will be hosting a Community Open House on the Wastewater Project. Saturday, Sept 29, 2007, from 1:00- 5:00 PM at Sunnyside School, Los Osos.

Multiple classrooms will be set up for discussion of various project topics. Folks can travel from room to room to get more detailed info on various aspects of this project, including Alternative Options, TAC Pro/Con Analysis, the 218 Assessment Ballot & Q&A, Cost Guestimates, Funding, &etc.

The San Luis Bay Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, SLO Green Build, the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Commission on the Status of Women of San Luis Obispo County are all invited as participants.

Here’s an excellent chance for the community to get informed straight from various horses mouths and ask questions one-on-one.

And While We’re Mentioning Green

The next day, Sunday, Sept 30th from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. at the new Alex Madonna Expo Center at the Madonna Inn, there’ll be a “Green Living on the Central Coast” Fall San Luis Obispo Home Show. Over 130 local home and garden exhibitors will be there, including various local environmental organizations. Admission is free. The Website for more info is:

After attending the county’s Sewer workshop on Saturday, it might be a good idea to hoik on over to the Madonna Center on Sunday and see what WATER SAVING new ideas are in the offing, from native landscaping to new, improved low-flow toilets. After all, the Los Osos Wastewater issue is all about WATER, very, very EXPENSIVE WATER, so whatever you can learn in order to save it, will mean money in your pocket.


Mike said...

Don't be clucking too much over the weight of the CSD controlled properties... while the CSD does have several properties, they are EXEMPT from Property Taxes by California R&T Code... There will be a ruleing as to just how much, if any, weight the CSD properties really have in the value of what amounts to community owned property and the CSD is NOT representing all of the community!

TCG said...

Regarding the CSD's press release: "At its October 18, 2007 meeting, the Board will be hosting a public discussion on its fall back position should the County's 218 process fail. The public is invited to share their thoughts and ideas on how the financially strapped district should proceed. No action will be taken on this item at this time."

This statement says it all for me. This is why, even if I had no idea what the County would do, I would vote yes to have them manage the project instead of the disfunctional CSD.

First, members of the CSD Board criticized the RWQCB for waiting too late in the voting period to schedule their discussion on the 45 CDO's, then they schedule this for five days before the close of the voting period.

Second, the district management(oxymoron?) and the directors should have been developing their alternative approach months ago (they have had a year), presented it to the community as a draft and taken comments on it, then finalized the alternative approach by the start of the voting period so the voters have a clear idea of what to expect of the vote fails.

There comes a time when a CSD Board must do whatever is required to hire a competent General Manager who is capable of advising the Board on, and leading the district efforts in, developing and sucessfully completing a challanging public works project such as this one. The Board must also lead with concepts and gain public input to refine those concepts--not "throw it open to the public for ideas on what to do." Especially when they will have 15 or 20 people at their meeting and 10,000 home owners not there.

The CSD is not capable, financially or resource wise, of leading an alternative project. This is clear.

This board does the community a great dis-service by not acknowledging this and publicly supporting the County process and a yes vote as the best alternative for the town under all of our current circumstances.

Apparently, some combination of pride, fear, lack of leadership ability, and ignorance prevents them from doing this.

Shark Inlet said...

I would suggest that anyone who has not yet made up her mind about how to cast a 218 vote should attend or watch the Oct 18 LOCSD meeting.

Unless the CSD presents a clear and well thought out plan for what they intend to do, the 218 vote should be "yes".

If, on the other hand, the CSD has a good plan in place which has clearly addressed how to fund the design, permitting and construction of a sewer and treatment plant, while keeping the various bankruptcy issues from interfering with progress on the sewer, I would suggest voting "no" on the 218 ... if their plan is definitely, beyond the shadow of doubt cheaper and if their plan is definitely, beyond the shadow of doubt foolproof.

In other words, unless the undecided person is "wowed" by the clarity of thought presented by the LOCSD proposal of what to do next, a "no" vote is the only vote which makes sense.

Heck, if it's a brainstorm session or another opportunity for public comment and little more, it tells us that the LOCSD is incapable of doing the work necessary to run our community.

I would have thought that months ago, the LOCSD would have spent some time formulating a realistic (rather than wishful) plan about what they will be doing should the 218 vote fail. The fact that they've not yet presented this to the public is troubling, to say the least.

4crapkiller said...

Sharky: AB2701 states:

"(7) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section and amending Section 61105 to authorize the County of San Luis Obispo to design, constrct, and operate a wastewater collection and treatment project that will eliminate these discharges, particularly in the prohibition zone, to avoid a wasteful duplication of effort
and funds, and to temporarily prohibit the Los Osos Community
Services District from exercising those powers."

It would seem to me at this time that the LOCSD is prohibited from working on a design. What think you?

Shark Inlet said...

They can't work on a design ... but they can tell us exactly what they intend to do should the 218 vote fail.

I would have expected by now to see a plan like "we would likely pursue an out-of-town WWTF like suggested by Ripley and we need to borrow $20M to design such a plant and get it thru the permitting process ... we'll hold a 218 vote on the matter in February" as well as a statement that would convince us that the money borrowed as a result of that 218 vote would not be used to pay off bankruptcy debts.

Mike said...

You are far too kind Shark... The LOCSD had a year after the recall to blame the past and get their house in order, they never took advantage of the time they had and then they threw away the next year continueing to blame everyone, spending the District into bankruptcy and never stateing as much of a "Plan" as you just did in 2 sentences.

No Shark, the CSD does not deserve any respect for squandering millions of dollars and accomplishing Zero, Nada, Zip..!!!

The CSD has no business even considering a "back-up Plan"...!!!! The only "Plan" they had 2 years ago, is the same as today's... bankrupt the the District and create so much dissention within the community that any sewer would be priced much much higher than any of us could afford...!!! They don't give a damn about Tri-W, that has been a smoke screen all along. Tri-W will probably be developed into high density housing unless some form of community park/nature preserve is created.... Keep track of the snails, there is now a very real cloud on the use of Tri-W for any use other than for the community good...that's NOT residential or commercial development!!!

No Shark, this CSD has NO business even contemplating a back-up plan, they already have their "Plan" at work and those past 2 years have cost us way too much already!

Sewertoons said...

They are clearly going with Ripley and Orenco. But I think that they are decidedly staying away from what sort of assessment dollars their needed 218 would be.

I think that their minions are trying to create an impression to lull unsuspecting voters into thinking Ripley and Orenco will just put all the money up for this themselves, and that they will not have to ask the community for anything -- but to vote no so the CSD can build the plant.

Mike said...

Hmmm.... with or without an SRF Loan, doesn't it seem likely that the RWQCB will still a little say as to acceptability of any system, public or private...???

4crapkiller said...

Heck, my two votes have more weight than the LOCSD. I voted them both YES!

Sewertoons said...

mike, you are right, the RWQCB will have something to say - but for now, for the the CSD (sans Joe), it is just about control, getting control of the project, no matter how badly they screw us over in doing that. Forget competitive bidding, chances at good finance rates, and good project oversight. Step systems can meet approval, it is just how much more will that cost if the County is not at the helm?

Oh, and as for Tri-W, wouldn't Jeff Edwards love to get his hands on that!