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Monday, December 17, 2007

Sleep In The Bed You Made 101
The email below (and the heading above) by Ron Crawford, was posted by Ron on the comment section of the previous blog. Since we're into emails 101, I've copied it off the comment section and put it here because he raises an interesting question. If and when he receives a reply and cc's that to me, I'll be happy to post that reply here as well.


Dear Supervisor Gibson,

Considering that Pandora Nash-Karner developed and implemented a "strategy" (her word), in 2005, to have the Regional Water Board fine the LOCSD "out of existence," is the same person that publicly endorsed you during your campaign, and then was your appointment as 2nd District Parks Commissioner, why should the 45 families that now have CDOs due to RWQCB enforcement actions have any faith at all that you represent their interests when it comes to those enforcement actions... against those 45 families?

See what I mean there?

You're closely aligned with the same person that supports the local Water Board fining the LOCSD and the property owners of Los Osos, so much so that she developed, and implemented, a "strategy" to help make it happen (I report on that "strategy" at this link: http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2006/05/contrast.html), and then you appointed her to a powerful county seat, and now you're appearing before the local Water Board to... well, I'm not sure what.

So, I guess I have another question: Mr. Gibson, do you, like your Parks Commissioner appointment, also want to see the LOCSD "fined out of existence?"

Are you two aligned on that "strategy," or do you differ from her on that subject? If so, it might be beneficial for your constituents if you made that distinction clear and public -- the distinction that you, unlike your Parks Commissioner appointment, do not want the RWQCB to fine Los Osos "out of existence."

I can think of at least 45 families that would be very interested in that distinction.
Thank you,
Ron
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ron Crawford
sewerwatch.blogspot.com

26 comments:

Mark said...

Ann & Ron:

Great work!

Santa should be bringing you some fire resistant mittens for Christmas.

Upper body and hand strength are the by-product of holding someone's feet to the fire.

The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men-Plato

You both are real BEARS! There is no harm in repeating a good thing-Plato

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Green said...

Richard, I cant find anything here that implies Pandora doing anything illegal.
(it's not illegal to be stupid, yet)

The question as I see it is, does Gibson agree and approve of Pandora's "strategy"?

I hope to god not.

I think Gibson would be well served to distance himself as far as he possibly can from Pandora and do so publicly.

I also think he should get on board with the resolution proposed by the other SLOBOS members, or explain exactly why he wont.

Mike Green said...

Let's go back to calling TriW "The Ponds of Avalon"

I think it would be helpful to remember WHY that parcel is so important.
Besides its gonna rain soon, so it should be filling up.

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Mike,

So we agree that Pandora's statement is not illegal.

As to a 'strategy' of the SWRCB and RWQCB re: Los Osos, that is in the realm of the decision-making process of their respective governing board's...not with Pandora or the County.

What you and Ann are essentially asking Mr. Gibson is if he and the other supervisors are willing to contest and fight to limit the ability of the RWQCB to enforce State law (re:Los Osos) by passing a resolution. And what exactly would such a resolution say?.....that the RWQCB not enforce the law because the supervisors don't like it?
Such a resolution would pit the County against the directives of the RWQCB staff and board at a time when the County has to work with and comply with the RWQCB directives on behalf of the residents of Los Osos. The resolution would be contrary to their role as the lead agency in the Los Osos Waste Water Project. What is needed today is County action to bring Los Osos into compliance with the law as quickly and inexpensively as possible……and not the County creating an adversarial relationship with the State.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Mike Green said...

How about a resolution narrowly condemning unequal treatment of the citizens of Los Osos by the RWQCB?

Or how about a resolution ENCOURAGING The RWQCB to begin treating everyone in the PZ equally?

It's not about should the law be followed, It's about ALL the laws being followed, especially the ones about equal protection and due process.

Richard LeGros said...

Mike,

I agree. All laws must be followed. Always.

However, no legal theory has been presented demonstrating that the RWQCB has violated any law, violated a citizen's due process or acted in an inappropriate way. I understand that folks are upset and angry with a process they may or may not understand; but citizen angst does not make a RWQCB action illegal.

Meanwhile, I have no problem with the PZLDF lawsuit or its' causes of action. The Court will resolve this issue; and probably not on the side of PZLDF.

Regards, Richard LeGros

PS: Speacking of lawsuits, if the TW lawsuit results in a court ruling that the named board has violated law regarding the use of Pubic monies; and said monies are ruled to be returned to the LOCSD by said board, how would you react. I am just interested.

Mike Green said...

Considering the past performance of money handling by the LOCSD, I would prefer that said money should go into an escrow account tied to a future wastewater system, perhaps to help low income homeowners.

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Mike,

Not a bad idea.

The money will go back to the LOCSD. As for what the money will be used for is a matter for a future LOCSD Board and the US bankruptcy Court.

Mike, do you beleive that the potential recovery of district funds (about $2,000,000) by the TW lawsuit to be a worthy endeavor?

Regards, Richard LeGros

PS: Regarding the money expended by the LOCSD:

-From 1998 to 2000, the cost of governance to run the CSD (in fund 100) was about $350,000 per year.

-From 2000 to the recall, the CSD governance costs (fund 100)adveraged about $680,000 per year.

-Since the recall, the CSD went over the approved 2005-2006 fund 100 budget by $600,000 (for a toal 2005-2006 governance cost 0f $1,300,000. In the 2006-2007 budget year, the CSD fund 100 spent $1,250,000. In this fiscal year (2007-2008), fund 100 was budgeted with $730,000, but upcoming legal expenses will result in fuind 100 expenditures of $1,300,000.

So in review, fund 100 expenditures to run the CSD have been (governancer costs)
1998: $350,000
1999: $350,000
2000: $640,000
2002: $655,000
2003: $675,000
2004: $693,000
2005: $1,300,000
2006: $1,200,000
2007: $1,300,000

So since the recall, the cost of government has risen by 46% at a time when the CSD revenues have declinded (no wastewater project raising revenues) and the CSD is offering fewer services.

Do you see anything interesting about this information?

Mike Green said...

Sure, I think you could add them all up and come to the conclusion that having a CSD has been a huge waste of money.
(what have we gotten for it?)

Steve said...

LeGros said... "Mike, do you beleive that the potential recovery of district funds (about $2,000,000) by the TW lawsuit to be a worthy endeavor?"

You know what I believe Richard... if the TW were to get a ruling in its favor, which I belive to be unlikely...

I believe the CSD board would each have to file for personal bankruptcy protection.

Kind of like how you avoided paying the judgement against you when you lost your court case by filing for bankruptcy... right Richard??

So no, I dont believe TW efforts are a worthy endeavor because it will not result in the recovery of any funds... but if your intent is to personally attack the board in an attempt to ruin them financially, then it makes sense.

And it would be fitting of your character to not only support that effort, but to mask your motives with this silly idea of "recovering funds".

You are not fooling anyone.

Churadogs said...

Richard sez:"2004: $693,000
2005: $1,300,000"

Of this jump in CSD expenditures, how much of that was the result of settling the lawsuit started by your CSD board majority to try to block the Measure B vote. If you recall, CSD attorney McClendon explained the rock & hard place your Board's action put on the new CSD -- the case law was clear, even to a non-lawyer like me: Courts HATE actions that limit voters and the previous cases should have made that clear -- so the previous CSD's action to block the voters from voting on Measure B cost the "new" CSD a bundle, but McClendon made clear, it also saved a court-decided formula that, had they not settled, had the potential to be set even higher by a judge using a formula that would have hammered the CSD even harder. If I recall, what your board majority left for the new guys was an enormous liability on that case alone.

Mike said...

It's my understanding that Measure B was ruled, in court, to be invalid....

Mark said...

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
Thomas Jefferson

Ladies and Gentlemen:

What's done is done. It would be a more productive use of your time, effort and energy to focus on "current events". Your future financial condition and environmental quality depend on it.

To be perfectly clear and provide the requisite disclosure; "my agenda is"- to fully promulgate, illuminate those interested private citizens and all government and regulatory agencies the technology and the law which requires it, in order that they be better educated in it.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

Citizenship-101. Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Public servant's duties and responsibilities, trust but verify.

The following is an excerpt from Ann's blog post email- More Sewerville 101 -From D. Thomas Murphy- Inventor of the RECLAMATOR.

I hope you will keep an open mind as you read the pasted excerpt and I trust you will read the entire letter and attachment "carefully", again, with an open mind.

-"My “goal”, which is in alignment with the “National Goal”, is to “comply” with the already existing laws, not to change any law as the laws already in place to support (require) everything that I am saying, doing and proposing to do toward the implementation of the AES program, not only locally, but nationally. The RECLAMATOR, as the “Ultimate Water Conservation Device” achieves the “National Goal” as defined in U.S.C. 33, Chapter 26 of “eliminating the discharge of pollutants at the source”.
The County’s due diligence phase, provided done ethically, will result in the County’s not moving forward with the project and turning it back to the LOCSD who are going to have an opportunity to enter into a Public Private Partnership Agreement with AES and move forward with the only federally compliant solution for Los Osos. However, if for any unforeseen or known justifiable reason the LOCSD doesn’t accept our generous offer, put $20 million in their account, acquire a $150,000 ongoing monthly revenue stream and challenge the current debts against them as unjustifiable as a result of them being a part of an unlawfully “Water Board” approved sewer project that was not in compliance with the requirements of U.S.C. 33, Chapter 26, AES is prepared to, as a private organization, move forward and retain all revenue and proceeds from the project as a totally private entity. This will simply be the LOCSD’s own choice. Please understand that the AB 2701 does not preclude nor prevent the LOCSD form moving forward with AES to provide its “Discharge Elimination Services”. This is a “service” and not a “sewer project” and upon us, i.e. AES and the LOCSD, or AES alone moving forward to provide this service to Los Osos, the County will then be precluded from moving forward with any “sewer” project for Los Osos as there will no longer be any “sewage” to “collect” within the community and therefore, no need for a County provided sewer collection system.
In regard to the County “entertaining proposals for decentralized solutions”, we are prepared to file a federal injunction against the project if any solution, decentralized or otherwise, is proposed which does not comply with the requirements as defined in statutes provided in U.S.C. 33, Chapter 26. Any proposed “solution” shall consist of the “best available demonstrated control technology currently available which will eliminate the discharge of ALL pollutants at the source” and additionally meet all other criteria (U.S.C. 33, Chapter 26, Sections 1311, 1312, 1313, 1314, 1316 and 1317) that is required to be considered by any authority who is authorized to identify such “best available innovative and alternative technology” and them to promulgate, require and assist in the implementation of such as an area-wide waste management solution and shall be specified by “name brand or equal” based on its performance."-

CDO and NOV recipients of Los Osos/Baywood Park have a front row seat and backstage pass to the "future of wastewater technology" national event.

To quote a resident of Los Osos/Baywood Park- "From obstructionists to world visionaries, is it possible"?
Technology and the law make it possible.

Is your world still flat?

Mark Low
AES DES
www.NOwastewater.com

Steve said...

Richard, maybe the difference in your numbers is a result of the LeGros math you are so famous for..

You know very well that during your tenure there were many, many expenses that were paid out of the sewer fund, including all legal expenses that were sewer related... so those figures are not in the Governance Fund 100 numbers you quoted from the years you served on the board...

But the current foards figures seem to include all legal expenses whether sewer related or not... and I believe the Measure B settlement would be considered sewer related.

So again, nice try Richard, but your numbers dont jive.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

Did you ever ask yourself why we got McClendon in the first place? He's from out of town, an expert in nothing CSD, sewer or water-like. His only area of expertise was in a lawsuit somewhat like the Measure B lawsuit.

The only reason to settle the Measure B lawsuit (which had just been won, by the way and while it was on appeal, the judge who had decided the case had, no doubt, already heard about the WalMart suit of McClendon's and considered the notable differences between the two cases) was to be able to pay Julie Biggs for her "pro bono" work and so that she could be hired by the LOCSD as their head counsel.

Why hire Biggs? She has no experience in CSD work, water law or anything else we need experience in ... the only logical reason for hiring Biggs would be as a payoff for helping CCLO and CASE.

Not that Julie isn't a good lawyer, but of the hundreds in our community, many are at least as good as she is and many have more expertise in what a CSD needs. What is interesting is that none of those others come with a $500-750k pricetag (what was the exact amount of the settlement ... I forget) signing bonus.

Had the new CSD really wanted to save money ... money they didn't really have ... they would have not paid that money to BWS for their "free" work drafting the failed Measure B which had little impact other than to muddy the water and give the new board an excuse for stopping TriW ... a poor excuse at that.

Sewertoons said...

Burke, Williams & Sorensen is a HUGE law office - check it out:

http://www.bwslaw.com/

Look at all the Counties they operate in - LA, Orange, Riverside, Ventura - why would a huge, expensive firm wind up working in a San Luis Obispo backwater town?

Who chose this law firm and why? I can't think that they were so hard up for work that they would wind up here with no reason other than being asked to work for a (according to the new board) "broke" CSD.

I wonder if Lisa even knows why they came here? Did she choose them - or took someone's advice to choose them? This was no random choice.

Sewertoons said...

shark's comments make me think - hire Biggs - pay off CCLO and CASE, groups concerned with affordability.


So I looked her up. Mrs. Bigg's bio on the BWS site,

"Ms. Biggs has special expertise in the complex process of incorporating new cities. She represented the proponents of incorporation in their successful effort to create the City of Laguna Woods in 1999 and the City of Goleta in 2001 and is currently working with several pre-incorporation groups across the State of California.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Biggs has represented numerous public agencies and municipalities in Southern California and in Colorado. Ms. Biggs has handled matters ranging from establishment and implementation of development impact fees, processing of subdivision tract maps, review of environmental impact reports to negotiation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on endangered species matters, negotiation and drafting of disposition and development agreements for redevelopment projects, and the drafting and implementation of growth management plans through the initiative process.
Ms. Biggs has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Redlands Whitehead Center where she taught courses in environmental law and at the University of California at Riverside where she taught courses in the Public Records Act.
Professionally, Ms. Biggs has authored several articles related to municipal law and other issues including, No Drip, No Flush, No Growth: How Cities Can Control Growth Beyond Their Boundaries by Refusing to Extend Utility Services, The Urban Lawyer, Spring, 1990; and Gifts of Public Funds, Municipal Attorney, 1991. Santa Anita Fashion Park: A Case Study in Successful Ground Lease Financing, originally published in the Beverly Hills Bar Association Journal in 1978, has been reprinted twice in Selected Problems In Ground Lease Practice (1988, 1991), a publication of the State Bar of California."

Long range plans?

Sewertoons said...

Here is another BWS point of interest. Do you suppose if a law firm up here were hired, any events like this they may have hosted would have gone under the radar of LO?

Under the "What's New?" tab on the BWS site:

September 26, 2007 at the Jonathan Club in LA - BWS hosted this event:

Sustainability in Urban Growth and Redevelopment:
Communities as a Renewable Resource

How can growing communities ensure that they will be relevant and vibrant in years to come? What are the best planning strategies? What are some of the challenges in implementing sustainable development?

Gary Lane VP, Land Entitlements & Community Development, Aperion Companies
Lisa Hardy Planning Manager, City of Santa Clarita
Perry Lev-On, PhD Managing Director, the LEVON Group, LLC
Moderator Joseph Montes, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP


What are workable strategies for sustainable redevelopment? How can redevelopment improve residents’ quality of life? How can sustainable redevelopment be financed? What do public/private partnerships offer? How can private entities demonstrate good citizenship through sustainability?

David Wilcox Senior VP, Economic Research Associates
Cecilia Estolano CEO, Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency
Tom Ito Vice President, Gensler Associates
Moderator Rachel Richman, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

SO - who hired BWS? Is there money in NO GROWTH?

Sewertoons said...

Bahman Sheik of the Ripley group said at their 2006 presentation to the CSD, that if you build a plant out of town, the town will grown up to it.

Mark said...

Is there money in NO GROWTH?

Bahman Sheik isn't paying for a sewer, you are...

Think SMART GROWTH toons.

How about those RECLAMATOR test results?!
Nice huh?

Mark said...

TOONS asked;

Long range plans?

Here is the link; http://slocounty.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=31&meta_id=78548 to the County's 12.18.07 Statement in support of a resolution which overrules submitted protests.

Other Agency Involvement/Impact
County Counsel has reviewed the resolution, which was initially prepared by
the County's outside counsel for this project, Orrick, Herrington &
Sutcliff LLP. Both County Counsel and outside counsel have reviewed the
memo.

Financial Considerations
The Recommended actions do not have any financial implications at this time.
However, following the due diligence period, the County may decide to
collect assessments on the properties in the district and proceed with the
planning, design and construction of a wastewater facility.

What about the 2 million already spent and the money needed to pay for the continuing of the County's "PROCESS"?

http://www.orrick.com/about/history.asp
Legal Innovators from the Early 1900s
In 1905, Ralph Harrison assembled the corporations that became the Pacific
Gas & Electric Company; and Charles Eells was instrumental in the
reorganization of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company after the devastating
1906 earthquake and fire. Eells saved the business from collapse by devising
an innovative plan to pay unpaid claims with company stock. The firm also
counted among its clients the first two San Francisco firms to engage in the
business of investment banking.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Thomas Jefferson

Churadogs said...

Mike said:" Mike said...
It's my understanding that Measure B was ruled, in court, to be invalid...."

The problem wasn't Measure B's validity itself. The problem was BLOCKING the vote on measure B that set up the (new) CSD for a huge mess. That lawsuit to stop the vote before it happened -- not voting then tossing measure B out as illegal -- that was the problem, if I understand McClendon correctly.

Inlet sez:"Did you ever ask yourself why we got McClendon in the first place? He's from out of town, an expert in nothing CSD, sewer or water-like. His only area of expertise was in a lawsuit somewhat like the Measure B lawsuit."

Here's the question that still puzzles me. The (old) CSD's lawyer, Jon Seitz MUST have known about the McClendon win vs. walmart, etc. which, I think McClendon said took place in August (prior to the (old) CSD's blocking the Measure B vote) So, did he advise the (old) CSD in closed session NOT to block the vote because they'd lose and would get hammered and the (old) board majority ignored his advice? Or did he NOT KNOW about the long history of blocking votes, thereby showing a lack of due diligence that ended up costing the taxpayers a bundle? That's still a puzzle to me, but one that will have to remain a puzzle -- unless someone wishes to violate the law and divulge closed session items?

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Ann,

No, Jon Seitz did not advise the 'old' board to uphold having a vote on Measure B. As a matter of fact, Jon vigorously opposed Measure B as he (rightly) saw that Measure B was unconstitutional; hence he authored the CSD lawsuit to keep Measure B off the ballot (and won).

The real problem now is that Los Osos has a CSD board and district legal council (Biggs) that are trying as hard as they can to not accept the courts' ruling that measure B was illegal. Why?.... ALL of the 'new' board's decisions were based on the neccessity of keeping Measure B legal. After the recall, the board did not make any attempt to adjuicate Measure B in appeals court (their own appeal no less).

In short, the 'new' CSD has based their policies upon an illegality.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Churadogs said...

LeGros sez:"hence he authored the CSD lawsuit to keep Measure B off the ballot (and won)."

So, you're saying Seitz didn't check the track record (including McClendon's recent win on the Wal-Mart case up north) of courts absolutely hammering entities with pre-set formulas for waaaayyyy high damages for those who attempted to block an election before the election (rather than waiting until AFTER the election, then contesting the result) and so he was the one who set up the post-recall board for a real financial hit? The same guy who dropped the citizens in the ditch when he defended the CSD by suggesting to the RWQCB that while the CSD is shielded (no assets) but the citisens aren't? That Jon Seitz? That's due diligence? That's protecting your client, the CSD/citizens? And above all doing no harm to your client? Wow!

Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

Ahhh,Ann....Jon WON the lawsuit.

The other case you refer to has absolutely nothing to do with Jon's winning case. It never will either as it is a red herring regarding this issue.

Oh...Jon is also the CSD attorney that authored the CSD lawsuit (in 2003 during my term) against the other water purveyors: forcing the adjudication of the water basin (which I know you just love to blog about). Jon's win is THE only successful policy of the current board......a policy Julie, Lisa, Chuck, Steve and John did not even think of to begin with; nor understand. You will recall that when the CSD announced Jon's water lawsuit that many (including Julie, Lisa, Chuck, etc....maybe even you) publicly criticized and lambasted the old board as we were sueing "property owners Does 1-50): as well as they supported the Cal Cities Lawsuit AGAINST the CSD regarding the RWQCB's WW Discharge Permit issued to the CSD.

A brick must have hit them over the head after their election as they finally understood the need for Jon's lawsuit.

Regards, Richard LeGros