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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Planning, Planning

The Planning Commission continued ticking off subjects on their Sewer Project List. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

The Ripley Plan minus the step tanks and at a higher cost due to the higher cost of the gravity pipes, plus the higher cost of welding portions of the gravity pipes in low ground water (costs you don’t have with STEP since the pipes are smaller and since they’re under pressure, are already sealed.)

Tonini, by straw poll, 5 – 0, is off the table, which means the County’s Plan is sort of off the table. Turns out with the Sustainability Group’s research and stress on conserving water (i.e. not getting it dirty so you have to pay big bucks to clean it up in the first place), we again have . . . . The Ripley Plan.

Commissioner Christie asked staff to look at the disposal AFY (acre feet a year) numbers and think like Monterrey County: They reuse all their treated water and have an ocean outfall as an emergency, wet-weather back up. She proposed looking at the Broderson site as a back up. Apparently the numbers were crunched and it’s doable. Plus, Dana Ripley guesstimated that the ag reuse demand will likely double or triple the already conservative figures they are now using, so Broderson would become less and less needed, even as a “back up.” So, once again, we have . . . . The Ripley Plan.

Which begs the question: Why didn’t Corollo Engineering, who were paid gazillions in tax money, see The Ripley Plan as the elegant, green, future-smart plan it was. Instead, they wasted millions to come up with an expensive cockamamie Tonini "Let's Throw The Water Away" Plan evaporate it, dump it, get rid of it as if it were a “waste,” instead of a very expensive, precious resource? The CSD had already paid $600,000 for just such a water-smart, green plan. It was called . . . The Ripley Report . . . and had been turned over to Corollo when the County took over the project several years ago.

Next question: During public comment, Jeri Walsh reported that Supervisor Gibson was at a recent LOCAC meeting saying that he thinks the Coastal Commission letter of July 15th was written by the staff and once the CC commissioners themselves get, uh, educated, they’ll likely come to different conclusions. Translation: Are Supervisor Gibson and Paavo Ogren and other, uh, interested parties, going to sabotage the Planning Commission solution in a series of ex-parte, wink-nudge, schmooze-fests and/or crank up organized former Dreamers to start letter-writing campaigns to dump The Planning Commission’s Modified Ripley Plan in order to return to the Throw The Water Away Tonini Plan so beloved of Paavo and Gibson and Corollo?

Well, stay tuned. I had to leave by the afternoon session. Chairperson Christie suggested that they’d need another meeting to check the whole thing over for any dangling participles and missed minor points, then it will be good to go.

Dribble, Dribble, Dribble.

The Tribune reports that Judge Barry LaBarbera needed time to review late documents before ruling on wither to release the county’s report on the firing of former CAO David Edge and former Assistant CAO, Gail Wilcox. At the heart of the argument are privacy issues and since Wilcox has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against both Edge and the county, the issue of whether making the the report public would taint the lawsuit or impede Ms. Wilcox’s rights to a fair trial.

At issue for the public is the curiosity about “person X” as the Trib calls him, the person with whom Wilcox was allegedly having “an inappropriate relationship.” Here’s what Mother Calhoun knows about what the point of all this is:

Nothing.

Nothing good can come of knowing who person X is. Nothing good can come of making this report public. Edge and Wilcox will not be rehired. Person X, if he’s married, will be publicly embarrassed and, from what the Trib reports, has already hired his attorney, so we may see another lawsuit. Or he could be targeted and fired at some point down the line. So, Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money will be wasted. The lives turned upside down by this unholy, Walking While Stupid mess will never be returned to normal. The pain this mess has caused in all of the players’ lives can never be undone.

Having said that, Mother Calhoun recognizes that certain bells cannot ever be un-rung. Wilcox herself opened this Pandora’s box with her lawsuit. If there’s one thing Mother Calhoun has repeatedly wasted her breath on it’s this: Lawsuits are always Pyrrhic Victories. No winners. Just some losers losing less than other losers. Scorched earth all round. Lives ruined. And once you decide to go down that path, understand it’s total war and you’ll be lucky to escape with the smallest portion of you life . . . maybe.

On the other hand, the report (and certainly Wilcox’ lawsuit) may let the public know whether the BOS handled this whole thing correctly. Having “at will” employees can seem like an easy way to avoid all those complex, time-consuming, expensive “Civil Service” procedures, but the allure of “at will,” still carries with it the potential to become just another Full Employment For Lawyers action. That report may help the public and the BOS think about how they want to deal with future CAOs – stay with “at will,” return to Civil Service, re-institute annual, sexual harassment training procedures for all employees, improve pre-firing investigative procedures and so forth.

Otherwise, this will all happen again. Sigh.

11 comments:

Watershed Mark said...

Inexplicably, the remaining board members seem recalcitrant to see that justice is done with respect to this scandal as they could choose to remove Christie themselves. Encourage the county supervisors to preserve the integrity of the hearing process and the rights of applicants to have fair hearings free from bias.

It will be interesting to see if Christi keeps up her thoughtful review of the LOSTDEP given this shot across her bow.

Has anyone seen Warren Jensen’s treatment of Lisa’s complaint yet?

Watershed Mark said...

Sorry for the “mislink” above-

Andy Caldwell is the executive director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB) of San Luis Obispo County. He also hosts the Andy Caldwell talk radio show Monday-Friday on AM1440, which airs from 3-5 pm.

Not2010Yet said...

It is outrageous that a cavalier PC is re-hijacking the sewer project after our town vote for county sensibility. It is time for the Board of Supervisors to muzzle their re-hijackers at once. Calls and town emails to the supervisors are needed at once.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"The Planning Commission continued ticking off subjects on their Sewer Project List. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

The Ripley Plan minus the step tanks...
"


Which is also damn near the EXACT same project that I exposed that the LOCSD had sitting in their filing cabinet in 2004... five years ago.

Wow, I was SO right... as usual.

Ann wrote:

" Translation: Are Supervisor Gibson and Paavo Ogren and other, uh, interested parties, going to sabotage the Planning Commission solution in a series of ex-parte, wink-nudge, schmooze-fests and/or crank up organized former Dreamers to start letter-writing campaigns to dump The Planning Commission’s Modified Ripley Plan..."

And N2010Y wrote:

"It is outrageous that a cavalier PC is re-hijacking the sewer project..."

Ann, I think you have your answer.

I smell another "serious letter writing campaign" coming on.

Finally...

Ann wrote:

"... Person X, if he’s married..."

And the The Trib wrote:

"Person X was central to Wilcox’s dismissal and therefore his or her name must be made public, Jensen wrote."

Just wanted to point out... the County's not calling the "person," "Mr. X."

Alon Perlman said...

Sorry about the repost, but the subject matter moved
"Alon Perlman said...
Dispatch from the Front Lines.
At 4:30 PM this day the LOWWP STEP Option died on the Government building meeting room floor
Mark hutchinson of county Staff confirmed and returned the CPR Paddles to the recessitation unit.
followed by an outburst ((R)(tm)registered trademark)by Al Barrow
This death will remain the status of STEP For at least the next three weeks.
The project is shoehorned into Giacomazzi with ponds, ag reuse water reuse, conservation and additional recharge areas identified.
Tri-W (or as county council said "whatever it's called now")
remains dead, though not quite as dead as Tonini. project.
106(?)Conditions and counting.
Oddly its not unlikely that the Tonini ranch will benefit by its relative proximity to a new water source.
...Hybrid with Vac proposed for the Low lying areas

6:32 PM, July 24, 2009"


The events at the end of the meeting included a significant change to some project assumptions.

As Jack's mom said; Till the appeal...

Quiz; What happened at the meeting (or, a discussion that didn't happen and is technically left open) that has environmental consequences to the project that could be used in an appeal (or CEQA challange)
Quiz rules;
Dave Duggan can't play, He already figured it out indirectly.
Ann Calhoun may play since she missed the end of the meeting. (levels the playfield).
First Prize; SEWER QUEEN or KING for a day
Cash value of prize; 1/10 of 1 cent

Hint #1. keeping to PCs 2nd topic de-Jur, nobody wants it.

Disclaimer; I supported STEP. If it becomes an option again I would support it, but on the question of what most people want I think it lost support.I opposed Tonnini, primarily because of sprayfields. and for all the reasons that later turned out to be the coastal commissions reasons. I was very active all along and still are in getting the County to take LEAD AGENCY ROLE in Basin Water Management-At this time I am still focussing on minimizing spills from pipes of whatever collection system is selected. I am not supportive of any lawsuits by anyone in Los Osos against anyone in Los Osos or that are likely to cost Los Ossans Monies.

Aaron said...

Even if the PC supported STEP, the BOS would overrule their decision in the long run. I'm not surprised that STEP was taken off the table -- and I don't think anyone should be surprised.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"And N2010Y wrote:

"It is outrageous that a cavalier PC is re-hijacking the sewer project..."

Ann, I think you have your answer."

Yep, I can hear the scritching of pens even now. But here's what's wierd about n2020Y. What's "outrageous" about the PC's changes? Water being returned to the basin? Full ag-exchange? No need to take Tonini out of ag production, indeed with clean water available it can be more intensively farmed, gravity collection still in place, sealed pipes for low lying areas so fewer leaks? All of this is . . . bad? So N2010Y wants the water taken out of the basin and thrown away, i.e. evaporated? Since when is this a "good thing." Makes no sense to me. But, do I hear the pen scritching, letter-writing campaign starting already?

Alon Sez:"Quiz; What happened at the meeting (or, a discussion that didn't happen and is technically left open) that has environmental consequences to the project that could be used in an appeal (or CEQA challange)"

Since I had to leave before the meeting, have no clue. The second "official" topic of the morning was Sludge, but when I left they had straw-voted, sort of, on Cold Canyon disposal, with a vague option to leave open possible ag land use in some future time when technology can fix the problems inherent with sludge spreading. But what was on the list for the afternoon, nope, don't know. Anybody guess correctly?
Meantime, shall we start laying bets as to who and how and when this much improved project gets scuttled for a worse one? And who the lead person will be standing there with blood on their shirts? Mesdames et messieurs, place yer bets! Will it be Paavo in the library with a gun? Or MWH in the kitchen with a knife? Or Supervisor Gibson in the foyer with a bozooka?

Watershed Mark said...

Ann,

The trick will be getting everyone to believe it was the WaterBoard with a NOV in the salle de bain.

But why would they "be down with" leaky bell and spigot in a discharge prohibition zone that feeds a very unique drinking water aquifer, even if it was created arbitrarily?

Watershed Mark said...

The New Mr. America: Bankrupt, Diseased and Running Out of Options

Churadogs said...

Mark sez:"But why would they "be down with" leaky bell and spigot in a discharge prohibition zone that feeds a very unique drinking water aquifer, even if it was created arbitrarily?"

Since when has this Regional WATER Quality Control Board been concerned about WATER? You don't slap on a prohibition resolution on account of nitrate loading THEN issue permits for 1,100 NEW septic tanks in the PZ if you're concerned about "water."

Watershed Mark said...

Where are the Clowns, when we actually need them?