Stop The Press! Missing 10% Show Up!
The Tribune reports today that "About 6,000 of the nearly 8,700 ballots that were mailed to the town's propertyowners were returned, . . . about a 70 percent voter response. "
Oh, My Gaawwwwddd! During the first mini-assessment vote, about 40% of the ballots were never returned. During the hotly contested recall election, about 40% of the qualified voters didn't bother to vote. All of which led me to observe that maybe 40% of Los Osos is permanently out to lunch?
But if about 70 percent have returned their 218 assessment ballots . . . Gosh, maybe now we can say that only 30% of the community is out to lunch?
The count continues today, results maybe tonight or tomorrow morning . . . or sooner. Hmmm, is somebody calling their lawyers to challenge the vote or the assessment or the hanging chads, if there are some chads to be found, even as I type? Hey, this is Los Osos.
Is That A Lawsuit In Your Pocket Or Are You From The RWQCB And You’re Just Glad To See Me?
In case you believed the nice smiley-faced false info being bandied about by all parties that the RWQCB has backed off and are holding the CDOs in abeyance, Uh, WRONG. They’ve never been in abeyance. Only the full Board voting to vacate the CDOs now issued should be considered “abeyance.” That’s why the people who spoke at the protest hearing of feelings of coercion and intimidation and of retaliation by the water board weren’t just blowing smoke out of their ears. The following press release from PZLDF makes clear just what’s STILL happening to your friends and neighbors and . . . what waits for YOU at any time, completely at the whim of the Roger Briggs.
Lawsuits and Funding-----Meetings Monday Oct 22 and Oct 29 -------BOTH at 7:00 PM at Washington Mutual Bank..
I am not certain that the community fully understands that the enforcement has never been in abeyance for the PROHIBITION ZONE PROPERTY OWNERS.
In December 2006 and May 2007 the first 50 were randomly selected in 2005 were prosecuted, trials held, and then each was issued enforcement orders (CDO's=Cease and Desist Orders) and Settlements (CAO's=Clean Up and Abatement Orders). The appeal was required to be filed to the State Water board, and they rejected it. That was the point in June that allowed the legal challenge of the enforcement, the basis for enforcement, and all the 111 causes for actions, including the basis for enforcement (83-13 and the prohibition zone and faulty data etc) coercing the vote and requiring a 218 to pass. The appeal pleading are listed at www.pzldf.org . This is currently filed in superior court lawsuit IN BEHALF OF THOSE WITH ORDERS ---AND ALL THE PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE PROHIBITION ZONE. This has been funded entirely donations by PZLDF, the CSD and individuals, and more is needed.
Sullivan and Associates has made substantial progress advancing the enforcement appeal lawsuit in Superior Court for hearing. The appeal asks that all enforcement orders are vacated and the individual enforcement on ALL Prohibition Zone private homes and business property is halted. We have additional pleadings due this week and hearings being scheduled. The administrative record must be purchased, and donations are needed for this effort. Additionally the water board has set Dec 6 water board meeting to consider vacating the 46 orders already issued.
In the event the 218 is protested (no vote succeeds) the ENFORCEMENT warning noticed in each homeowners 'NOTICE OF VIOLATION' will be issued to every property owner. These are likely Clean up and Abatement orders, and these endanger your property with fines and enforcement.
Generally, the opportunity for you property to be listed under the enforcement appeal (that is already in motion) exists for all the properties. Listing your property but by retaining Sullivan and Associates, and joining the PZLDF lawsuit guards your rights for no delay in obtaining due process because the lawsuit is already filed. In joining the enforcement lawsuit you can move quickly and economically to halt the Regional Water Board taking actions against your property, and there is strength in numbers.
I understand that funding for the 218 challenge is also being sought by other parties, it is vitally important that the enforcement lawsuit is fully funded as well. If the current enforcement lawsuit is lost, due to a lack of funding, the 218 challenge may do little good to protect you home for enforcement.
A meeting to discuss how lawsuits might coordinate to achieve the best outcome is needed. We will also discuss the actions you need to consider taking to best protect your property interests.
Topics on actions and strategies to deal with the enforcement ALREADY in motion will be the topic in Meetings[ ,. . . . .] Oct 29 [. . . ] at 7:00 PM at Washington Mutual Bank..
Viewpoint, Gail McPherson, of PZLDF
Have Some Coffee. It's Not Time To Fall Asleep
I have previously written here of the importance that this community NOT fall asleep after the vote is in, with everyone heaving a huge sigh, Awwww, Whew, Now Big Uncle Daddy Will Make Magic And Give Me Free Purple Pudding With Cherries On Top So I Won’t Have To Trouble My Pretty Little Head About All This Anymore. That's what happened last time and look where it got us today.
The really dangerous/exciting part of this process will occur AFTER the vote, and that will require careful attention to see that the train continues to chug along on the track the majority of the community wants –you know, the silent, asleep, clueless, out to lunch, pay-no-attention-until-it’s-too-late majority. If people fall asleep again, it’s likely this whole mess will simply repeat itself – community wakes up to find something on their doorstep which they didn’t want, put there by subtle and not so subtle little sticky fingers on the scales. It’s all about squeaky wheels and getting grease; it’s eyes on the prize and flyswatters in hand to smack away sticky fingers, it’s constant attention to the fee-back loop to catch those critical moments when the track can branch off to make sure it's branching where the majority of the community wants it to branch.
So, please stay awake, Los Osos, this bumpy ride ain’t over ‘till it’s over. Even now, before the vote’s dust has even hit the ground, there’s already whispers in the chaparral, Ursine grumbling in Banded Dune Snail land, rumbles in the shrubbery, unsettled ghosts returning to haunt unresolved issues yet again. So, eyes open, folks.
Viewpoint by Gail McPherson.
Will we wake up on Oct. 24th to 'ground hog day' Los Osos style? Just as in the Bill Murray movie, we just can't seen to get it right. I have been asked about how I think the vote will go. Without pontificating on the outcome, I believe the vote will be close, in spite of all the risks and pressures applied against the NO vote.
Those who vote no may do so, not because the people aren't sincerely committed to solving the sewer issue, but because they either simply can't afford it, or because the county has repeated the mistakes of the past, and once again made the project just as confusing, costly, uncertain and unknown as the bait and switchy project. (The county even kept TRI W on the table) And that may prove to be a huge mistake.
Most know the Vote is a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" decision, But the county could have done better than zero-sum. They spent $2mil more on top of the millions already invested. Without insulting the hard working TAC, most thought the process was more smoke screen than fine screening of alternatives. At the end of the day, they don't have a clue what project or location they are committing a huge chunk of their home to.
That makes it plain risky to vote YES, but where we are in history, many sense it may be more risky to vote NO. It is just too bad that the County adopted that obsolete parental process before they understood the real needs of the community. They used that same formula from the past. Pay now and eventually, you will know what it is, where it will be, and the complete cost. It is the purest definition of insanity to keep repeating the same actions over and over and wondering why the results are the same.
There are angry voters, hopeful voters, tired and obstinate voters. Even the most optimistic voters, who know the technical reasons and practical justifications for "the county process" fear voters are in the dark feeling like they are trapped with a pickpocket or worse. I don't disagree with the county's reasons, logic for some of their process decisions and timing, but that is the flaw. The cart is before the horse and that just doesn't build the trust needed to succeed. Promise Accountability builds trust, and accountability to the community is completely missing before the vote. The vote should be the county's scorecard, but most feel a whiff of extortion and coercion.
In any event, many will refrain from voting at all. To date less than half the ballots have been returned. from what I hear it will be close. If it is a yes, I believe the assessment will be challenged, resulting in more wasted time and expense. But the real message of this vote, if Gibson and the county will just listen and respond, is you need to work hard on trust . If the voter hires you to complete this job, you must install a process that includes holding you accountable.
You can build trust adopting policies for the formation of a community commission, whose purpose is to assure affordability criteria is developed and met, and can work on funding and payment plans to halt displacement and ease hardships. Deliver the best value through competitive and creative solutions, and loosen up with flexible out-of-the-box funding plans.
Above all- as true servants of the public, the best advise I was ever given was take care of the community like you'd take care of you own family members.. "If one family is displaced-it diminishes us all" was a statement to the Governor from the original CSD board. That should be printed up and replace every YES and NO signs in Los Osos to remind us all of our duty to our neighbors, and what makes a community.
O.M.G.! Starbucks Finally Found . . . Small.
So, I go into Starbucks in Arroyo Grande and order a “small” coffee and the nice young lady behind the counter says, “Do you want a “short” or a “small?” And I laughingly say, “Isn’t the “Tall” your “small” heh-heh?” pointing to the sign that says they have “Tall” and “Grande” and Venti, and nowhere does it say anything about “short.”
“Oh,” she pleasantly pipes, “Besides the “tall,” which is “small,” we have a “SHORT,” and then shows me, you know, like a NORMAL paper cup, like the kind you used to get when you went into a coffee shop and ordered a “small” coffee, before this Venti, Talli, Realli-Talli, Grande, Grandiosi, Humongous, Ginormous, Oh Jeeze Get A Crane! sizing took place?
So, I sez, “Uh, when did you guys get a NORMAL “small” cup size?” And she said, “Oh, we ALWAYS had what we called the “short.” We originally started out with only two sizes, “short” and “tall,” then I guess people wanted bigger sizes, so we shifted our “short” to being “tall,” and now use our original “shorts” for Kid’s hot chocolate servings.”
I gazed in wonder at the menu board and all around the counter, looking for this miraculous word “short,” as she quickly added, “No we don’t have that posted anywhere.”
Duh, of course not. The “short” costs a “normal” $1.50. Why would you post that when you can con people into thinking that small is tall and then charge them waaaay more money and send them out the door with waaaayyy more caffeine than they really want? This is America, folks. Change the name, jack the price.
So, if you ever want a “normal” cup of coffee and find yourself in a Starbucks, just ask for a “short.”