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Monday, September 03, 2007

Ooooo NOOOOOO, Did The Tribune Screw Up AGAIN????

Hmmm, is this getting to be a bad habit, like nose picking and spitting on the sidewalk. When I read the Tribune’s Sept 2 front page story on PZLDF spokes-personage, Gail McPherson, I was struck by this statement of “fact.”

She [McPherson] opposes the vote unless the county selects a plant site and technology, which the county says it can’t yet do.” (bolding added)

Further down in the story it states, as “fact,” [McPherson’s] latest activism focuses on gathering opposition to the county’s effort to hold a property tax vote before it chooses technology for a project or a location for a treatment plant. (bolding added)

“I think its important to explore all possible consequences of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote and be comfortable with what they’re voting on,” she said.

“And in an e-mail to residents she wrote “I want answers. No blind vote . . . We have a responsibility to be informed.”

Hmmm, I wonder how exploring all possible consequences of a yes or no vote and wanting answers and taking responsibility to be informed (remember, this article was written before anybody in this community has even seen the ballot and the engineers reports) suddenly morphed into this non-fact “fact:” “She opposes the vote unless the county selects a plant site and technology, which the county says it can’t yet do.”

Oh, wait, I know. It’s the Tribune! Of course they’ll jump to the wrong conclusions then print them as “fact.” And then follow up with this delicious piece of spin: “But Blakeslee [Assemblyman] worries that McPherson’s efforts could prevent property owners from agreeing to assess themselves for the sewer’s cost. If that happens, the county would bow out of the project – leaving Los Osos without a sewer and state water officials continuing to hammer for a solution.

“If attempts to undermine this earnest effort succeed, ones that will be hurt the most will be the seniors, the young families – the most vulnerable,” Blakeslee wrote in an email to The Tribune. “I hope anyone who seeks the defeat of the process appreciates the huge price they may be asking others to pay.”

See how that worked? Very clever. The juxtaposition is really slick. The narrative now becomes McPherson Opposes & Undermines The County Process And Wants Seniors To Die In The Streets.

Whee! Pure Tribune

[Posted below at the end of my comments is a Press Release/Viewpoint sent to the papers by McPherson. Please read it and tell me how the position outlined therein becomes opposition and undermining.]

On the other hand, we are now fully engaged in the middle of The Sewer War Campaigns and the ballots haven’t even arrived in the mail. So the importance of setting up and spinning the Narrative is really critical. It will follow the usual Karl Roveian lines:

1. Anyone who asks a question, demands answers, points out errors, raises concerns, questions possible outcomes or unintended consequences, warns of critical points to guard against the old bait & switch, or objects or disagrees with anything in any fashion will be branded an ANTI-SEWER OBSTRUCITONST! And trashed.

Couldn’t be simpler.

In all the insanity that will soon get cranked up full steam, the good people of this community and above all The County (and Sam, Sam, are you listening?) needs to remember: Perception IS reality. This community was fooled once and is gun shy and wary of getting bait and switched and ripped off . . . again. Therefore, the County truly needs to do whatever it can to make accurate information readily available. (The Tribune has already grossly screwed up guestimate numbers on their front page so the County really needs to warn the residents to be very careful about where they get their information so this vote doesn’t get contaminated by the Tribune’s incompetence.)

The County then needs to make sure that every step of The Process remain clean and transparent and open and following the CEQA steps, the due diligence process, which hopefully will include at some point a promise of a neutral Peer Review by Dr. T, for example, all of which will go a long way towards making The Process not only clean but SEEN to be clean and transparent and open. That will ensure that we may well end up with an outcome the community (not me, not Joe Sparks, not McPherson, not the Tribune, but the community) can and will and does support.

And, most important, the people of this community need to pay very close attention to language and spin and narrative manipulation. (The Tribune is notorious for this) And look out for character assassination (lots of hidden agendas and personal vendettas still at play here) and fear-mongering and threats (are you listening RWQCB?) and be wary of snake-oil salesmen and Professor Henry Hill coming to town suddenly with 76 trombones that will save River City.

In short, get accurately informed, demand answers, get information before you support OR oppose anything. The County has planned a 218- workshop at the end of September, the County’s doing an update presentation before the RWQCB this Friday afternoon at the Board’s Aerovista Place meeting room, with Supervisor Gibson promising to speak to the upcoming vote vis a vis Los Osos 45 and the coercive un-level playing field at this point & so forth. (Also promising to be there are Mr. Murphy & Mr. Low, who presented a 53 page document regarding a “nowastewater” onsite system for Los Osos to the BOS at their last meeting, which will certainly toss another interesting item into the mix.)

So the game is very much afoot. Caveat!



Herewith, the CCW-PZLDF/McPherson statement:

Citizens for Clean Water –Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund’s mantra since County involvement began over a year ago has been:“Compliance requires a project, and a project requires a clean process...”I delivered the same consistent message concerning the County guarding the process at all the County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Los Osos CSD and the project TAC meetings. I have been consistently making the same point against supporting a blind vote (yes or no) or voting from a position of fear and intimidation and without facts. Since the information had not been supplied to the voters, I have begged both sides in many email messages to please wait, get the facts and then make their informed individual decision, and cast their individual vote.Proposition 218 Is For Each Individual Property Owners To DecideThe individuals who own property must each weigh the costs/ benefits and options to a County led project. An 11yr old told me her secret for making good decisions is -"Don’t say NO without KNOWING, or YES on a GUESS…” Neither Citizens for Clean Water-PZLDF, nor have I ever advocated a YES or a NO 218 vote. (I have always been for a wastewater project-not Tri W) The consistent position has been against an uninformed YES or NO vote. Voting blindness is promoted by fear and incomplete information. That has been the formula for the past project failures. There is a cure for the blindness. I am glad the County recognizes this too. The cure is information.What are they approving? The assessment is about approving the funding for the design and construction of a wastewater project. First, property owners need to see the assessment ballot for the cost against their property, and know where they stand. This is what they will be obligated to pay in the assessment. Because the assessment represents just a partial cost, the County has committed to include in the engineering report and supplemental information, best estimates for the monthly operation and maintenance costs, and the interest that property owners will likely pay on the assessment. This is needed for property owners to have a complete picture of the financial impacts.
Citizens for Clean Water would like to see a simple affordability index included. Additionally, a simple plug in calculation is useful for voter to calculate the percent of their household income that will be devoted to the project assessment.
(net income / annual assessment x100 = affordability measure) EPA guidelines is 2.5 percent. This information will help in establishing “individual affordability” and in providing support for additional funding methods and grants.What is the project?It is entirely reasonable to see the “plan” to assure any project alternatives being proposed by the County will result in a project that both the community and the individual voter can support. Essentially the County staff report becomes the contractual agreement to pursue the best ideas from the consultants screening, TAC pro/con, as well as additional proposals such as Orenco and Lombardo, in the due diligence phase. Activities after a successful vote has been described by Paavo Ogren, and will become a written agreement with the community. Some of the promises to date include:§ Restrict contentious TRI W site or technology to total cost analysis (level field) if it remains a project under consideration.§ Accept proposals for review of design/build and design/Build/and finance and private options that potentially cut delivery time and costs§ Assure small pipe collection technology is included, and expert consultants weigh in.§ Include the treatment technology best suited for small pipe (STEP) is included.§ Cost should be based on bond financing, not the entangled SRF loan, to assure objectivity during the selection phase.§ Accept proposals for complete level 5 recycling such as decentralized proposal by Lombardo Assoc.ConsequencesThe 218 is a public vote, and that would not be as much an issue if the water board had rescinded and vacated enforcement orders before the vote. There are indeed consequences to either a yes or no vote. The importance of the PZLDF appeal was to allow the County process to proceed unmolested by the enforcement threats that seek to intimidate property owners into a blind vote or blank check. The added issue of some not feeling safe to vote at all, or believing a yes vote will shield them from enforcement begs the question, how to protect against an un coerced vote. Asking the question and suggesting solutions is the right and responsibility of the County and the community. The County is obligated to guard against illegal voter intimidation. In a divided community, threats can come from individuals, groups, neighbors, or CSD directors and ex directors along with the water board. It’s all illegal.The community knows that under AB 2701 that the responsibility for the project reverts to the CSD if a 218 assessment fails. Of course the CSD has said they would need to proceed with a “turn-key project” ASAP to meet deadlines. Voters need to know-Could they accomplish this using the County and Ripley work to get proposals and contracts signed for a project? Those with enforcement orders certainly deserve knowing if the CSD has a ‘Plan B’ or not before ballots are returned. Provide guarantees if the assessment passes:The County essentially provides a staff report to the BOS (Aug 28th) that defines what the County is approving the Staff to do- if they are hired by the community with a 218 vote. The County has promised to deliver the best value/ lowest cost project, and as such we are guaranteeing to pay them with our property and future. I believe that the 218 assessment represents a "contract with the County" No one can be expected to enter any “contract for payment” willy-nilly, even if enforcement is threatenedA shield from liability is in AB 2701 is for the county, but does not translate to the community with Notices of Violation. The Community continues to be harmed, while the years of failure by the Water Board and local agencies skate. Because Governments are shielded from consequences of bad decisions, and there is little recourse if they overspend or fail to deliver can the County at least describe how they will provide the best value/lowest cost guarantee? The contract should have sufficient detail to assure there is not an intentional or unintentional "breach" by either parties, and also what options the community has for a addressing and correcting a "breach" of contract. Methods such as third party review and cost and performance metrics need to be spelled out in the staff report to assure agency performance. I believe a contract with the community can be nailed down without giving up flexibility in system selection or CEQA site selection, or the creative financing and delivery options. Last, the County should consider supporting the appeal of the individual enforcement if the County assumes the project. Regulations are rightly applied to the lead agency for the property owners, not individuals. This good faith commitment is reasonable and ought to be included.Keep Los Osos Solution Out of the VoteFew can disagree with the notion that “proposition 218 will solve many problems in Osos” (Sparks headline viewpoint all local papers) However, 218 is to fund a project, Not save face (instead of money?) or settle the CSD problems. The County role is to deliver a project. AB 2701 was specific in that the LOCSD bankruptcy was NOT to be solved on the back of the project. Entangling the CSD politics only harms the County process.The community must insist that the County keep this obligation, and leave the SWRCB disputed loan for the CSD and the courts. The County must also resist subversive enforcement threats from the RWQCB. I expect the same tactics used by Roger Briggs against individual to force a vote, will be used (again) against the County to force TRI W technology. Just as the CSD painfully experienced RWQCB intimidating interference from 1998-2005, the County is receiving letters from Roger Briggs in efforts to drive the project’s technology, which is explicitly forbidden under the Ca.water code . The County must just say NO to the RWQCB, as is their right and responsibility to do so, and absolutely necessary to keep their promise the good people of Los Osos who will soon vote Yes or No on hiring the County to deliver. Gail McPherson is a retired Wastewater professional and Spokesperson for Citizens for Clean Water/Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund. To donate to the enforcement appeal: PO Box 6095 Los Osos Ca 93412. For more information PZLDF.org or call 805-534-1913

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17 comments:

Maria M. Kelly said...

Here is a thought from one of those that don't feel that they need to know the absolutes prior to an assessment vote:
The priority is to commit to resolving the issue and technology is not the silver bullet. The reason that technology can't be definitive issue is because there is the human factor to consider - impact to residents with cost being the issue at the forefront.

If the community chooses to commit to resolving that unknown through information, fund raising and possible one time individual grants, then we can vote yes with even less uncertainty and less fear of technology.

The issue is a commitment to resolving the waste water problem and to our neighbors who will be impacted.

The bankruptcy plays into this without even having to try. If a failed assessment sends the project back to the CSD there doesn't appear to be room in the budget for the development of another project. Ironically, the 2700 water rate payers in the PZ who buy water from the CSD are the ones who pay for the shortfalls. Our rates were raised under the guise of conservation yet no where in the budget is there a conservation line item that is adequate to address conservation programs in our community. Instead, those increases in rates have been paying for cost overruns in admin for legal expenses.

Thank goodness that G.Milanes worked diligently to ensure that our loans for water infrastructure were extended. It is sorely needed and was delayed as another casualty of the 2005 vote.

The past is the past and not to be forgotten but not to be dangled as a constant reminder of failure but rather as a reminder that: to err is human, to forgive is divine.

Shark Inlet said...

Glad Gail has come forward with a PZLDF statement.

I am saddened, however, that she is essentially saying that without full information, she is opposed to a vote. We'll never have the sort of full information she is advocating for before decisions need to be made.

Furthermore, if we're willing to take the "we need full and complete information before we can make a decision" to the extreme ... it is really really really sad that during the recall campaign, the recall advocates didn't provide us full information about what would happen if the recall were to pass or even about what the recall board would do if the recall were to pass. If their campaign adverts were "we'll do nothing for a year, bankrupt the CSD and lose the project to the County" I am pretty sure they would have lost. Please recall that we've still never seen even sketches or back-of-the-envelope calculations to support their "ready to go" out-of-town plan that would cost us only "$100/month" ... their key campaign promise.

Nope, Gail seems only in favor of getting full information before the vote when it suits her.


I would also want to suggest that when push comes to shove and when the County gives us all the information they possibly can, PZLDF will need to revise their position. Simply put, at that point in time saying "we oppose the lack of information" will appear to many to be an argument to vote "no" on the 218. Unless Gail and PZLDF doesn't want people to think this, they should carefully revise their position in the next few weeks.

Area51 said...

yawn yawn yawn yada yada yada..

You either support the 218 or you don't. It can't get any simpler than that. The hemming and hawing and mincing of words, the playing of the continued blame game, the "oh jooocy the Trib is the problem", no wait, it's the RWQCB that's the problem, no wait, it's the public vote, no wait etc etc etc BS says more than anyone needs to know about McPherson, Calhoun or any of the other multitude of vocal "activists" in this community.

The game is very much afoot INDEED!!! And I surely don't need another workshop to help me figure THAT out.

4crapkiller said...

More McPherson rubbish, and not making much sense, very hard to read, and published by Ann to support Ann's bias. I guess you have to help your friends, Ann.

There is a LAW, passed and signed by the governor, that sets the process. The county is following the process set by the law, AB2701:

"(i) After the approval of a benefit assessment, the board shall
complete a due diligence review before deciding to proceed with the
construction and operation of a wastewater collection and treatment
system. The board shall consider any relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the prompt availability of reasonable and sufficient financing, the status of enforcement actions, the successful development of reasonable project technology and location options, the availability of any necessary permits and other approvals, and the absence of other significant impediments. At the completion of this due diligence review, the board shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to proceed or not proceed with the construction and operation of the wastewater collection and treatment system.
(j) Collection of assessments may not commence until the adoption
of the resolution to proceed pursuant to subdivision (i).
(k) The county shall have no power or responsibility to construct and operate a wastewater collection and treatment system pursuant to this section and the district shall resume that power and responsibility when any of the following occurs:
(1) If the board adopts a resolution not to hold a benefit
assessment election pursuant to subdivision (e).
(2) If there is a majority protest to a benefit assessment
proposed by the county, on the date of the resolution adopted by the board determining that the majority protest exists.
(3) If there is not a majority protest, but the board adopts a
resolution, pursuant to subdivision (i), which declares that the county will no longer exercise its powers pursuant to this section, on the date specified in the board's resolution."

What does McPherson NOT understand about this LAW? THE FIRST WORD SAYS "AFTER".

By bringing up objections and more objections, McPherson confuses the situation. It also shows her attempt to distort Ann's precious "process".

Shark Inlet said...

Crapkiller has a good point.

It would seem that the process was defined by AB2701 and the County has been following the process quite reasonably ("three for three" to quote someone).

Many of the complaints that we are hearing now are things that could or should have been brought up during the timeframe AB2701 was being written. Perhaps they could have been brought up during LOCSD meetings before the LOCSD voted to support AB2701. Maybe they could have been brought up at County Board of Supervisors meetings before the Supervisors agreed to play their role. Maybe these issues could even have been brought up with the Assemblyman who wrote the legislation or during the many committee meetings or votes before AB2701 was passed. Or ... perhaps before the Governor signed the legislation into law.

A PZLDF lobbyist could have ... at that point in time ... made those points and perhaps the way AB2701 was written could have been different.


This seems to be yet another situation where Los Osos folks pay attention far too late and then complain about things that they should have argued about earlier. Ron would say this happened in 1998. I claim this happened in 2005. Ann says it is happening continually.


So Ann, when you are the one who continually tells us to pay attention and to watch out and that the process is important, why are you now passing on the complaints of those who did not pay attention and voice their concerns back when the time was right?

It is sort of like the conductor of the coast starlight announcing that everyone who wants off in San Luis Obispo should get off in San Luis Obispo and then, once the train is past Paso, heading for Salinas and San Jose, a small group of passengers announce that they want to turn the train around even though everyone else who paid attention would be horribly inconvenienced.

Sheesh!

Steve said...

Shark, sometime you throw one out there that is far out in left field it isnt even still in the parking lot... and you post directly above is way out there... and I know you arent that stupid... you do it on purpose.

You know very well that there was a group of people involved in trying to influence AB2701... and that they were in large part ignored.

So your analogy should go something like this...

The conductor announces that everyone who wants off in San Luis Obispo should get off in San Luis Obispo and then, THE TRAIN NEVER STOPS, OR EVEN SLOWS DOWN.

You're damn right I want off... and its a little more than an inconvenience.

This is the same argument we heard for years from the old CSD board... "your chance to complain is past"... but just because you ignored us doesn't mean we will shut up.

Let me ask you Sharky... if a man breaks into your house and at gunpoint threatens to rape your wife, wouldn't you beg and plead for him not to do it?

Once he does, do you lose all right and justification to complain about what he has done?

Once he completes the rape, is he no longer accountable?

What if in court he were to say "You know if you didn't want me to rape your wife you should've said something before I did it. You never said a word so I assumed it was okay with you... but you certainly shouldn't complain now. The time for complaining was back before it happened."

See how crazy your argument is?

There were a lot of people that wanted AB2701 to be written different... but it wasn't. So now they are hoping the county listens to them anyway. What they are asking does not violate AB2701, it just goes above and beyond the minumum requirement. I think the county has already gone above and beyond in some areas, and I dont think what Gail is asking is too much to ask.

Shark Inlet said...

Steve,

It's not that Gail is asking too much ... it's that she's asking far too late. If, at the time AB2701 was written, she or Julie or PZLDF or the various and sundry "no sewer" or "move the sewer" folks hired a paid lobbyist, they could have perhaps had a huge influence on the process.

The fact is the recall board screwed the pooch. They messed up. They thought they could take the SRF money they already had and use it to design an out-of-town sewer. The problem is that they didn't have enough money to do it, let alone do it well. They could have easily had a 218 vote to borrow about $20M (which would be maybe $25/month per household for 20 years ... not a large amount, really) to get a new location and design. If the property owners had agreed, then I believe the RWQCB would have seen they were taking the right steps to get something going. Instead, the LOCSD chose a path that had zero, no, nil, nada, zilch chance of success.

When that became obvious, Blakeslee got into the mix because he wants to do right by the folks of Los Osos and by the citizens of the state as well. The County insisted on a 218 vote early in the process so that way they wouldn't spend oodles of millions before a 218 vote which, if voted down, could cost the rest of the County a ton. Quite reasonable, I think.

What it boils down to is this ... while I blame the post-recall board and Ann blames the pre-recall board for the massive screw-job, something needed to be done. The County was willing to help out, but they wanted to protect their budget from the whims of the Los Osos voters who might very well vote "no" if the sewer isn't exactly to their particular liking in every way (down to the exact property, the way the homes are to be connected, the collection system, etc.).

The fact that there are some who are willing to vote "no" on the 218 because there might be the possibility that the system will be STEP and there are others who would vote "no" if gravity isn't off the table just goes to prove the point ... there are too many non-experts acting with callous disregard to the well-being of their friends and neighbors.

What is best for our town is to vote "yes" on the 218 because it will allow for the possibility of ending the sewer nightmare with only a moderate to large amount of casualties. Voting "no" is a vote for the body-count to go up because you are so selfish about getting your way that you would prefer you neighbor being forced out of town than having STEP (or gravity or TriW or whatever). [Well, there could be another, more sinister motive, but I don't have tin-foil hat, so I don't believe it ... the other possibility is that some are pushing for continued confusion and continued delay and inflation so that they can take advantage of the turmoil by buying up many properties as they bottom out.]


Steve ... you're pretty reasonable ... don't you agree that asking that AB2701 to be changed a full year after it was voted on and signed into law is a bit late?

Even though there were complaints at the time, I don't remember anyone making hay over the issue Gail is now raising. Even if they were, how do you propose to change the reality that it would be impossible for the County to guarantee that the one particular project for a 218 vote is the one that would come to pass? The County cannot control the RWQCB, SWRCB and CCC like puppets and guarantee that they'll sign off on the County's ideal concept as it moves through the design and permitting stages.

While Ron disagrees about TriW (and believes that Stan and Pandora wanted MBR all along), the evidence shows that the RWQCB effectively vetoed the ponding scheme we had originally voted for when we voted in the CSD and approved the 2001 assessment. It is clear that the County will need to worth with regulators and they cannot promise one particular project. It is only after pursuing one of them with due diligence (which takes oodles of cash) that we'll know whether a particular project will be chosen.


I would propose that when we think of possible projects, we assume that the County will go with the one which was identified as the likely cheapest project (STEP/Giacomazzi/biolac) and that they'll be flexible and that if it doesn't work out, they'll go with the least costly alternative.

To suggest that the County might go with the most expensive alternative and thus we ought to vote "no" as a matter of principal just strains credibility. The County is not out to get us. The State is not out to get us. Lisa, Julie, Pandora, Stan and Gail are not out to get us.

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

4crapkiller said...

Steve: Your anology defies logic.

The answer to the problem is: If you do not like the law, work to change the law. If you defy laws, you effectively have no case, no chance to get the law changed, and chances are will be punished. You will be considered a nut case.

Nobody likes all the laws. However we would have anarchy if significant percentages of the population consistantly defied the law. They put anarchists in JAIL.

When you have a law that is intended to stop pollution and insure clean water, one would be hard pressed to find support from the general population of the state to grant immunity to a small group that wishes to thwart the law.

I have written about this law in the past, and have concerns about it. The county must respect the will of the people. So far they have not obstructed or violated the terms of AB2701 and have gone out of their way to effect the law.

It is entirely legal for ANYONE to protest the 218 vote. That is their right. But to confuse people deliberately as to the consequences of their actions is a crime against the people of the state and the people of Los Osos.

It would be just more of the lies and false information and promisses we received before from Steve Sawyer and the recall candidates.

Conspiracy Boy said...

SharkInlet:

Noel King said "gravity only" -- Paavo says Step has problems. The RWQCB wrote on 8/3 to show how much they wanted Tri-W. The county will not accept Step. Besides, your gravity supporters have an impressive letter writing campaign to the BOS for gravity. You still think it will be Step?!

As far as Gail and the 218 goes, The Porter Cologne Act says "The ballots...shall state the maximum amount of money to be borrowed from the state under the contract" The county should have a project in order to follow the law. (and we know that many other charges will be added.) Didn't the county have until 7/08 anyway? They could have done a proper 218 and it would have been a win-win for everyone. But they showed their bad intentions at every single turn.

Didn't Richard LeGros quote $300 to $350? And that's before cost over-runs and imported water.

In my opinion, if the state wants to get rid of all (over a million) septics, then sewer the entire community.

P.S. Didn't Jerry at the last BOS meeting say that the county initiated the talks with Blakeslee about taking the project? Hmmmmm.

Conspiracy Boy said...

CrapKiller:

You said, "If you defy laws, you effectively have no case, no chance to get the law changed, and chances are will be punished. You will be considered a nut case...."

Well, then doesn't that apply to the recalled board when they didn't have a 218 vote and the county does?

Richard LeGros said it was the state's project all along. So, can I ask then, why is the county having to do a 218?

If a 218 wasn't needed for the Tri-W then why did Sam's compromise ask for a 218 right away as did the State Water Board.

Shouldn't the recalled board be punished for waste of public funds? All $40 million?!

They (recalled CSD) were nut cases to start a project without a vote. The Porter Cologne Act says "Before a public agency may enter into a contract with the state board for a construction loan under this chaper, the agency shall hold an election on the proposition of whether or not the public agency shall enter into the proposed contract and more than 50% of the votes cast at such election must be in favor of such proposition..."

4crapkiller said...

To Conspiracy Boy: SINCE YOU ASKED:

AB 2701 REQUIRED an asessment vote (218 vote).

The California Constitution was altered by Proposition 218 in 1996. Sewer systems were an exception, so the recalled board was not required to have an assessment vote.

Article 13D C of the constitution:

"(c) Voter Approval for New or Increased Fees and Charges. Except
for fees or charges for sewer, water, and refuse collection services,
no property related fee or charge shall be imposed or increased
unless and until that fee or charge is submitted and approved by a
majority vote of the property owners of the property subject to the
fee or charge or, at the option of the agency, by a two-thirds vote
of the electorate residing in the affected area. The election shall
be conducted not less than 45 days after the public hearing. An
agency may adopt procedures similar to those for increases in
assessments in the conduct of elections under this subdivision."

Please note the words "except for".
Sewers were and are exempt. But not us, because of rampant misinformation in Los Osos. AB2701 changed this and now we will have assessments on our PZ property instead of fees.

In the past it would have been reasonable that if one used no water, hence no sewer, and closed their house for ten months for an extended vacation, they would not be required to pay fees. Now whether the home is in use or not, the assessment will be levied on the property tax. If the assessment vote passes. If not, look at $900 a month regardless from the CCRWQCB, however I do not know how they will handle this.

The Porter Cologne act was a 1972 law. In the case of sewer systems it was trumped by Proposition 218 which became part of the California constitution in 1996.

You be plenty ignorant. Do your research and learn. Your pronouncements are foolish.

Conspiracy Boy said...

CrapKiller:

NO, YOU BE PLENTY IGNORANT! Wake up!

4crapkiller said...

To CB:

I admit ignorance, and the older I get the more ignorant I get. That is why I research and do not accept pronouncements from fools!

Conspiracy Boy said...

CrapKiller:

From the info you supplied it looks like a vote would be needed for fees and charges. There was no vote.

Besides, this info shows "new or increased charges" -- we didn't have a sewer for "new or increased charges." It doesn't say new or increased charges to build and plant and lay pipes.

I had spoken to the President of Howard Jarvis years ago and he told me that if any charges appeared without a vote they would defend that. But, of course, you know more than the President of Howard Jarvis Association. I forgot.

And isn't the Porter Cologne act a Federal Law? Wouldn't that trump state law? But again, this doesn't matter a vote was not allowed and was required by both laws.

Either way, the recalled board didn't give allow a vote (not even for fees & charges for Tri-W) so I rest my case.

There was over $40 million of public waste by the recalled board, and they should pay. Maybe they will.

Shark Inlet said...

Conspiracy Boy,

Let's correct a few unintentional misstatements. First, there was over $40M of public waste by Lisa, Julie, Chuck, Steve and John (I believe you incorrectly stated it was the recalled board).

Also, a 218 vote is required for assessments, but not for service fees. A really really smart guy who wrote a really really thick book and he disagrees with your contention that a 218 vote is needed every time I blow my nose. His name? I forget, but he is the expert so you must believe me even if I don't give you the information you need to check out my story.

Seriously ... if the County needs to borrow more money on bond to bring the project to completion (suppose some two years of delay is caused by pointless losing lawsuits and inflation causes the project to be some 15% more than they proposed), they'll either need to take another 218 vote to raise those funds, or they could borrow themselves and then, with the approval of the PUC, charge us on our bill.

4crapkiller said...

Conspiracy Boy Cannot read law. Maybe that is why we are in so much trouble! He has no idea what "Except for" means!

How in the name of intelligence do you think the Tri-W site was able to get a low interest loan from the state revolving fund? Like nobody watches them like a hawk! Especially when THEY want a loan, and the competition is fierce.

Do you think everyone but yourself is an idiot? Of course you do!

Conspiracy Boy said...

SharkInlet and CrapKiller:

I do mean the recalled board should and may be sued for public waste. That over $40 million debt is from them and their actions. They couldn't have done it without the State Water Board though.

If the State Water Board hadn't loaned out this "unsecured loan" then we wouldn't have a $40 million debt. Period.

A vote was needed. Two laws there. A sewer fee and charge for a $220 million dollar sewer (w/interest) doesn't cut it. No way!

This is Federal investigation stuff here. Federal, not state.

We'll see.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

We'll see who the real idiots are!