Friday, September 16, 2005

View Point Rebuttal -- SewerWatch Style

(Note: I sent the following commentary to the Bay News on September, 5 in response to Gary Karner's Bay News View Point. They chose not to publish it in favor of another Opinion Piece from the Karners. [Update: The Bay News says they received the rebuttal "past deadline." However, none of my three e-mails over the next week to The Bay News were returned with something quick like, "Can't make it, past deadline." That would have been fine. Do I forgive them? I guess. After all, I am an alum.] Fortunately for Los Osos taxpayers, I call the editorial shots at SewerWatch. Enjoy...)

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In Gary Karner's View Point ("Solution Group Failed, Here's Why," The Bay News, September, 8, 2005), he says, "Since the Solution Group is the current target of the wrath of the opponents, I thought, since I was the Coordinator of the Solution Group and the primary author of the Comprehensive Resource Management Plan ("CRMP"), first released on November 24, 1997, that I would reply to those allegations with the actual facts."

You call those "facts?"

Well, at least Karner has one thing right -- there was a comparison (the Questa Study) between the county's viable and nearly approved project and the Solution Group's deeply flawed project (the Community Plan). But the Questa Study did not take place in 1999, as Karner states as "fact," it took place in 1998, and that is a very, very important distinction.

Karner did not just get that "fact" wrong, obviously, he lied about it. He has to lie about that "fact." Because if he didn't lie about that date, then he would have been caught in the truth, and the truth is ugly for the Solution Group. Very ugly. The truth is, the Solution Group knew months before the election that formed the CSD in 1998, that their deeply flawed Community Plan was simply not going to work in Los Osos.

Not only did the Questa Study, in mid-1998, clearly show that the terribly ill-conceived Community Plan was simply not going to work in Los Osos and was far inferior to the county's viable and nearly approved project, another study, this one conducted by the California Coastal Commission in 1998, also showed that the deeply flawed Community Plan was simply not going to work in Los Osos.

To add to the sketchy-ness of the Solution Group (that also included current recall targets Stan Gustafson and Gordon Hensley), those two studies were supported by an army of water quality professionals -- all corroborating the fact that the deeply, deeply flawed and terribly ill-conceived Community Plan was simply not going to work in Los Osos, and the Solution Group was aware of this mountain of evidence well before the election that formed the Los Osos CSD.

But, unfortunately for Los Osos taxpayers and the community fabric of your lovely town, the Solution Group chose to ignore that mountain of evidence, and continued to aggressively market their terribly ill-conceived project throughout Los Osos with a fluff-filled marketing campaign. It was that less-than-scrupulous marketing campaign that gave Los Osos the now infamous line, "better, cheaper, faster," along with, "Do-Doing it Right." That highly questionable marketing campaign was the brainchild of Karner's wife, and fellow Solution Group member, Pandora Nash-Karner. It was that terrible marketing campaign that lured (that's right, lured) 87-percent of the town's voters into backing the formation of a Community Services District in Los Osos in 1998 (two previous attempts had failed). Incidentally, Nash-Karner is also the same person responsible for the current "Save The Dream" marketing campaign.

If the Solution Group had not proposed their deeply flawed project and then aggressively marketed it throughout Los Osos in the run-up to the November, 1998 election, the county's project would have been up and running years ago, at about half the price of the current massive project, with the community fabric of Los Osos intact. There is also a very good chance that the Los Osos CSD would have never been formed.

Yes Gary, "the Solution Group is the current target of the wrath of the opponents."

Wrath understandable.

Ron Crawford writes and edits the blog, where all the documents mentioned above can be downloaded, including the 1998 Questa Study.



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