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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Whereas I Find The County’s Proclamation Will Formally Cover The RWQCB’s Behind While Tossing The Los Osos 45 To The Wolves

Today, at 2 pm, during the Oh Lord, Let’s Deal With Los Osos portion of the BOS meeting, apparently without any notice or input from citizens or the CSD, the BOS is going to vote on and sign off on a Resolution that will hang Los Osos out to dry, possibly officially jeopardize The Los Osos 45’s case to secure their due process rights, all the while pretending the County’s hands are clean and making sure the RWQCB’s behind is fully protected. The citizens of Los Osos, of course, are irrelevant.

Below, an excerpt from the resolution, my email to the BOS, followed by an email letter to Paavo from Ron Crawford, who’s asking some questions about this resolution as well. As Ron’s email points out, a whole lot of Whereas's are missing from this Resolution. A whole lot. Indeed, if you visit his website at www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com you can read reams of the "missing stuff. "

This resolution really goes to the heart of the question: Does the County have the interests of the citizens of Los Osos close to its heart, or is it just making sure it scratches covers various backs? If you think the County was concerned with the citizens, then why were none of them in the back room while this document was being drafted? And why no notice of this proclamation in a timely manner so the citizens of this fair burg could chime in to fix the “inaccuracies” in this document, many of them coming directly from the RWQCB? And why in the world isn’t Supervisor Bruce Gibson leading a charge to have this thing changed so it's at least accurate?

Well, hopefully you'll show up today to find out who actually does understand just how bad this thing is for 45 citizens at least. Katcho? Who doesn't even live in the district? Jim Patterson? Lenthall, who keeps stressing how he wants this process to be clean and fair? Who?


From BOS resolution:

Whereas the County recognizes the the RWQCB still has legitimate concerns about the successful implementation of a project by the County, and that critics of the RWQCB overlook the current practical effect of individual enforcement actions, including the following statemenmts from their staff report of December 7, 2007:

A. Prior project efforts have progressed further than the current County efforts only to be "derailed" and that "the very real possibility (exists) that attempts will be made to derail the project again."
B. "Others have stated their intent to file a lawsuit challenging the (County's Proposition) 218 vote."
C. "The Cease and Desist Orders and settlemnt agreeements are being litigated in San Luis Obsipo Superior Court."
D. "The Cease and Desist Orders and settment agreements do not require any burdensome actions now or in the near future."




Dear Supervisors,

The resolution you are apparently going to pass today states at the end that "the foregoing recitals are true and correct." There's one problem with that. The foregoing recitals are NOT true and correct and if you sign this document, you are signing on to falsehoods.

For example, consider the final "list" of "findings."

A. The CDOs for the Los Osos 45 will do nothing to stop any project from being "derailed." If enough citizens decide to derail any project, the Los Osos 45 will have no effect on the matter. So, that "recital" is false.
B. "Others'" opinions and intents have no bearing on the Los Osos 45. They are NOT responsible for what other people do or say. That "recital" is also false.
C. The PZLDF case is about due process issues and has no bearing on anything. That "recital" is irrelevant. Worse, is it the intent of this Board to sign on to a document that officially approves of citizens having their due process rights suspended while they are being held hostage and abused by a regulatory agency?
D. The CDO's ARE burdensome on The 45, since they alone have been singled out for "punishment," and carry with them a time clock that has not been imposed on the other residents. Again, the issue they raise is about due process and fairness, not sewers or the RWQCB's authority. So that "recital" is false as well.

In addition to enshrining falsehoods as "true," it's interesting what your resolution FAILS to note: The Blakeslee compromise asked everyone to "stand down." The RWQCB FAILED to do so and your resolution FAILED to mention that failure. You have also failed to note that the RWQCB can, at any time, rescind the 45 CDO's they have unfairly imposed and fairly re-issue CDOs to the entire community. Since this document states as true that CDOs are not burdensome, that should not be a problem. Instead, this document does nothing to fix that basic unfairness, it only seeks to officially approve and support it.

Which means, if you pass this thing, you will not only be signing onto falsehoods, you will be adding insult to an already injured community. I beg you to reconsider.

Ann Calhoun
Los Osos, CA


Ron’s email:


Hello Paavo,
In the Resolution concerning the RWQCB enforcement actions for tomorrow's meeting, it reads:"the failures of the LOCSD in 2005"

Which "failures" is the Resolution referring to?

This one?

The failure to construct a mid-town sewer plant that was called "bait and switchy" by Dave Potter of the Coastal Commission in 2004, and that also relied on an unsupported, and therefore illegal, Statement of Overriding Considerations to retain the sewer plant at its unpopular mid-town location, and also included, for absolutely no logical reason whatsoever, a multi-million dollar public park that not only dictated the expensive and unpopular sewer plant location, but also included an amphitheater, picnic area, and tot lot that was all being funded by the State Revolving Fund (while dozens of other California communities couldn't get a dime of SRF funding for their badly needed, amphitheater-less water quality projects), despite the fact that the SRF Policy so brilliantly states: "Ineligible for (SRF) funding -- Decorative Items?"

Is that the "failure" that tomorrow's resolution is referring to... the "failure" to build that project?

If that's not accurate, please clarify which "failures" the resolution is referring to.

As always, much thanks,

Ron

14 comments:

Area51 said...

As I stated in my letter to the BOS, I just wanted to thank them for all their efforts on behalf of the 80% of us homeowners in the PZ who support them. I ESPECIALLY want to thank them for compiling this resolution "without any notice or input from citizens or the CSD." Although I'm sure they'll hear from the 15 or so malcontents, whiners, conspiracy theorisists, obstructionists, and the urine-swilling carpetbaggers today. (Although I think that should be ending soon as well, as I'm hoping the LOWWP will no longer be agendized in the new year).

Thank you BOS. The sure-fire solution to the eradication of the CDO's and CAO's is to keep progressing on the building of a sewer project, which we overwhelmingly support.

TCG said...

I agree with Area 51. The way to make the best of a bad situation at this point is to allow the County to proceed unimpeeded in their project development. This is the only viable way to protect the 45.

Ron said...

Whereas I have a bad feeling that AB 2701 maybe wasn't such a swell idea.

According to the Resolution:

"A. Prior project efforts have progressed further than the current County efforts only to be "derailed" and that "the very real possibility (exists) that attempts will be made to derail the project again."

I recognize that flawed take. That's a Roger Briggsism. He writes a version of that take over and over in those internal Water Board memos that I linked to recently (where he also writes that moving the sewer plant to a downwind, "environmentally preferred," out-of-town location could add as much as an "8 year delay," and that arbitrary, wildly inaccurate, completely unsupported number got plenty of traction in those "negotiations" that weren't "negotiations," as those memos reveal. Ahhhh... good ol, Rog.)

The problem with that take is it fails to take into consideration the REASONS why "prior project efforts" were "derailed."

As I've reported on for over three years now, as long as future "efforts" don't develop a nonsensical "project objective for centrally located community amenities," the "probability" that the project will be "derailed" again is no longer "very real." Does that possibility exist? I guess, but, quick show of hands: How many PZ residents will derail an out-of-town sewer plant so they can, instead, accomplish a very expensive "project objective for centrally located community amenities?"

O.K.... let's see here... I see SLO County Parks Commissioner, and Save the Dream founder, Pandora Nash-Karner's hand. I see county parks planner, and former Save the Dreamer, Jan Di Leo's hand... anyone else? Gordon? Richard, is your hand up?

Thanks for the link, Ann.

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

You're so full of crap it is hard to believe you're not the upper aquifer in Los Osos.

Just one case in point: finding A is based on Julie Tacker's statement that she intends to derail a project if its not to her liking.

Sewertoons said...

Ann, I've written this before, but as you don't get it - here it is again out of the PZLDF suit:

First Amended petition for Writ of Mandate 11.06.07

Point 103 - Page 29 -The prohibition zone was legally undefined in 1983, has changed and was and is not based on science nor proper apportionment of the benefits and burdens of a community wastewater project.

Do you not see any way that the Water Board might take this to see a possible cause for a delay in progress toward a WWTF should this PZLDF suit be won? If this sort of verbiage - and this isn't the only part in the suit like it - wins in court - it sets a terrible precedent.



If the PZ is illegal and not defined by science, those who state we have "magic sand" would chime in with their lawsuits -- so just how long do you think drilling test wells, or putting lysimeters under every house would take, how much would it cost and who would pay for it. The winning of this case opens all kinds of doors for delay and cost increases, hence the BOS resolution asking PZLDF to drop the suit.

Churadogs said...

Sewertoons sez:". . .If the PZ is illegal . . ."

IF the PZ is ILLEGAL? Uh, "toons," IF the PZ is ILLEGAL then a judge better step up really quick and cut those Los Osos 45 loose. Or are you advocating that people be prosecuted on the basis of ILLEGAL laws and ILLEGAL resolutions and ILLEGAL water codes & etc.

Sewertoons said...

No - it is the ALLEGATION as stated in the Sullivan case that CALLS it illegal. If the Sullivan case wins, the door is open to explore that allegation. Meanwhile, while the courts would be sorting this out, where is the County - where is the 218 - where is our sewer project? We are in limbo, sewerless, and more ripe for the picking than ever.

Churadogs said...

Toons sez:"If the Sullivan case wins, the door is open to explore that allegation. Meanwhile, while the courts would be sorting this out, where is the County - where is the 218 - where is our sewer project? We are in limbo, sewerless, and more ripe for the picking than ever."

By the time the case ever got finished and ruled on, it's likely that the sewer would be built. (The sullivan case doesn't challenge the 218. I haven't heard of anyone filing a 218 challenge yet, have you. And shouldn't the window on that one be closing pretty soon?) So wouldn't it all be moot? Unless a judge issues a restraining order to the county? Do you see Judge LaBarbara ever EVER doing that? I don't. Plus, is there a law saying that citizens CAN'T build a sewer system if they wish? Even if there were no PZ, what law prevents citizens from forming an assessment district and taxing themselves to build a wastewater treatment system? Remember, the RWQCB is not supposed to be legally able to tell anyone WHAT to build, only that by 2011 all discharges must cease in the PZ. Even if that finding is found illegal, what's to prevent citizens from still building a wastewater system?

Breaking the PZ simply makes scientific sense when planning BASIN WIDE water reuse plans. Gives the county more flexibility, which is a good thing, near as I can tell.

Sewertoons said...

Ann says:

"By the time the case ever got finished and ruled on, it's likely that the sewer would be built."

Oh c'mon Ann - 2012? You really think that the Sullivan case will drag on THAT many years? Isn't that part of the case's premise - that there is no guarantee that it WILL get built prior to the Water Board's timeline, hence the 45 and all of Los Osos will be fined? You mean you DON'T BELIEVE the dire prediction that Ms. Sullivan puts forth?

Ann says:
"Even if there were no PZ, what law prevents citizens from forming an assessment district and taxing themselves to build a wastewater treatment system? "

Just what year do you think all that would come to pass? 2020? 2030? Got any idea of what the cost would be by then? Won't we both be dead by then? (Meanwhile, the Water Board already plenty pi$$ed off at Los Osos, suddenly goes all soft and mushy, declaring a moratorium on fines and CDO's? Or maybe those still left in Los Osos die of some newly hatched odd-ball disease bred in our septic tanks?) But I digress.

Did you not hear Mr. Ogren yesterday at the Supes? He made it clear that the County will NOT move ahead and accept the project until all litigation threats to the 218 being valid are resolved. So basically I guess you are asserting that we should just disregard the 218 we just passed, form an assessment district and tax ourselves (you probably meant ASSESS ourselves) and build our own plant. So - uh - who is in charge? The bankrupt CSD? The vanished CSA-#9? (LAFCo loves us so - I'm sure they'd love to accommodate us on that proposition and let us form - well - a citizens' SOMETHING!!) How about Gail? No wait - Doesn't there need to be an AGENCY to build a public works project - something a bit more than a "citizens' group?"

Now, let me connect those pesky little dots for you, since your head seems to be in some kind of cloud, clearly hampering your reasoning powers. The County won't move ahead until legal threats are vanquished. The Sullivan case has language in it, that should it win, opens the door to challenging the PZ. (Doesn't matter that it IS valid - a suit can challenge anything.) And, as we all know, construction can be started and a project can be stopped. Do you really think the County will risk that? If there is a threat to the PZ, what does passing a 218 mean - it is no longer the entire area to be sewered, others will need to be assessed too! Goodbye 218!

Why Ann, the way you talk, it seems quite clear to me that BUSTING the PZ IS WHAT THE SULLIVAN CASE IS ALL ABOUT! The 45 are just convenient fuel to get the cars rolling on this so-called "civil rights" train. All this to get 15% more population in on paying, when that 15% represents a vastly more expensive area to sewer? 15% for "flexibility" on basin-wide re-use plans, when Cabrillo's wastewater reclamation would cost millions more? Busting the PZ for water on acre lots that are actually large enough are to clean the water and slowly return it to the aquifer?

No - busting the zone doesn't mean that. Gee, could it actually mean - NO SEWER for another 5 years?

Churadogs said...

Sewertoons sez:"Now, let me connect those pesky little dots for you, since your head seems to be in some kind of cloud, clearly hampering your reasoning powers. The County won't move ahead until legal threats are vanquished. The Sullivan case has language in it, that should it win, opens the door to challenging the PZ. (Doesn't matter that it IS valid - a suit can challenge anything.) And, as we all know, construction can be started and a project can be stopped. Do you really think the County will risk that? If there is a threat to the PZ, what does passing a 218 mean - it is no longer the entire area to be sewered, others will need to be assessed too! Goodbye 218!"

I think you need to separate out a 218 challenge (which to my knowledge has not materialized) from the PZLDF case. Two different issues. Plus, IF the PZLDF case is a possible threat to the PZ (which, if I understand you, you feel is the only hold the RWQCB has on this area,) then why wouldn't the RWQCB settle this case immediately rather than risk going forward?

Sewertoons said...

I am well aware of the difference between the two positions Ann. I have heard not one word out of the Morgan camp at all. Perhaps that challenge to the 218 has just gone away. I applaud the good sense of whomever if it has.

There are many reasons the RWQCB won't settle this, the first being it would cost time and money (we, the State of California pay them, you might recall) to do so, and really, there is no need. Not everyone has freaked out over the issues on the CDO's. Just those on the Sullivan case itself. I'm sure you are positive you need the CDO's dropped because of your emotional involvement in this case. Many others though have just settled and gone on with their lives. They are not paying anyone to defend them (- unless of course they have the CSD as their water purveyor). NO ONE has paid one cent of State penalty.

Secondly, they are right, we are polluting. Could they have handled this better - yes. But the fact still remains, we have gone 30 years with no sewer. Because they and the County did not do their jobs before - are we paying - yes. Will that ever be admitted? Get real - no! Are we polluting - YES! Is the "zone" basically correct -YES. Was it or will it ever be a perfect delineation - no!

To settle means delay, with the lawsuits that would no doubt spring out of some of Sullivan's assertions. I'll bet that they are aware of this. Delay doesn't get the job done for them, now does it? Delay doesn't help with the million gallons of dirty water we return to the ground every day, does it? Delay doesn't make the project any cheaper for us, does it?

Churadogs said...

Toons sez:"Are we polluting - YES!"

If you recall the ACL/CDO hearings, Harvey Packard was repeatedly asked, do you have evidence that Mr. X is polluting the groundwater of the state of calif. and the answer came back each time. NO, followed by the "verdict," Well, GUILTY anyway!

Do you wish to maintain that that's how the laws of the state of california should be run? I'm not. If The 45 are guinea pigs and a test case, the "real" law needs to make it clear how citizens can be found guilty of something based on NO evidence. Maybe some "special circumstances" need to be written into "real" law? something that makes it clear that your home can be legally taken from you based only on an assertion by a Staff member of a regulatory agency.

Sewertoons said...

Ann says:
"Harvey Packard was repeatedly asked, do you have evidence that Mr. X is polluting the groundwater of the state of calif. and the answer came back each time. "

The key word of course is the singular Mr. X.

As was stated at that hearing, COLLECTIVELY we are pollution. Lysimeters have not been placed under EACH household to determine WHICH Mr. X's are polluting. (Can you just imagine the cost of doing that and the warfare that would break out if Mr. X without nitrates lives across the street from Mr. X with nitrates - who pays for the sewer?)

Sorry Ann, that just doesn't fly unless you believe the fairy tale that there is a mysterious subterranean forest slowly rotting and giving off nitrates. Of course that doesn't quite explain the body care chemicals and drug residues in the upper aquifer, does it? Only tree nitrates are somehow allowed to enter the aquifer, yet pee ones are not? I wager it is PEE nitrates, hand in hand with the chemicals contaminating our upper aquifer!

Jeez - you are STILL grasping at straws to avoid a sewer! Unbelievable!

Mark said...

Grasp the RECLAMATOR and avoid the leaking stinking energy hog sewer and treatment facility.
Eliminate the discharge at the source!!! For our own financial well being and to protect the environment- let's get the government and industry off the ~P~I~P~E~...
Technology makes it possible the law supports it... USC 33/26.
Stop by www.NOwastewater.com and clkick on drought solutions to learn more.