Thursday, August 16, 2007

To paraphrase Ann Calhoun paraphrasing Ricky Ricardo, "2001 Los Osos Community Services District? Joooooo gotta lotta 'splainin' to dooooooo..."

"Everything old is new again
Everything under the sun"
-- Barenaked Ladies

It's all comes full circle, doesn't it? Things I reported on three years ago, are all of a sudden completely relevant today.

In 2004, I wrote a cover story for New Times, titled, Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown (readers of this blog may have seen me refer to that story once or twice).

In that piece, I showed, using documents straight from the Los Osos Community Services District, that the only reason a mid-town parcel known as the Tri-W site was selected for the location of the town's sewer plant in 2001, was so the community could easily access the small public park found in the project. And, to make matters worse, I also showed how there was no reason whatsoever to include a public park in the Los Osos sewer plant in the first place.

These days, now that the county has control over the project, and it's their turn to mull over where to build the sewer plant, I find myself thinking about Three Blocks a lot, because the official documents that are coming out now from the county are in stark contrast to the official LOCSD documents that I cite in that story.

For example, the following is an excerpt from Three Bocks (keep in mind, I wrote this three years ago), and notice where the quotes are coming from. I lifted them straight from the official Tri-W project report, that the LOCSD created... using Los Osos taxpayer money.

I mean, look at these quotes. What the f--k? In the context of 2007, they just leave me shaking my head:

From Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown:
- - -
    ... it seems, that, from the outset, the centrally located "Tri-W" site was the site of choice because it was close to town and could accommodate a park. The sewer was going there... no matter what.

    Any doubts? Consider these statements lifted straight from the facilities report:

    “The size and location of the other sites did not provide an opportunity to create a community amenity. The sites on the outskirts of town, could not deliver a community use area that was readily accessible to the majority of residents in the manner that a central location such as Resource Park (Tri-W) could.”

    and;

    “Although the Turri site would have less potential environmental impacts, its distance from the center of town precluded it from providing a community amenity in the form of a public use area.”

    and;

    “(The Andre site) is 1.5 miles from the edge of the community and would not be able to provide the community with a readily accessible recreational area... On a non-cost basis this site was viewed as less favorable than the Resource Park site.”

    and;

    “Following is a description of the benefits of the project...:

    • Creates a Community Amenity and Visual Resource
    ... the wastewater treatment facility will be constructed and landscaped to maximize active and passive recreational space in the center of the community. Not only will this provide aesthetic benefits, but it will also provide park space for local schools and community groups near the existing community center.”


    and;

    “It is essential that any proposed wastewater project within the community of Los Osos reflect these strongly held community values.”

    One of those "strongly held community values":

    “Creating a wastewater treatment facility that is a visual and recreational asset to the community...”

    “The size and location of the other sites did not provide an opportunity to create a community amenity?” Are you kidding me? With that logic, why even consider other potential sites at all?

- - -

Damn, that's good stuff.

What a great question: If the size and location of the other out-of-town sites did not provide an opportunity to create a community amenity, then why even study those sites at all? What a complete waste of time and money.

But it's that "strongly held community value" take that just kills me. And that is STRAIGHT from the Tri-W project report.

It's absurd. It's saying that the community of Los Osos "strongly" wants a centrally located park in their sewer plant, so it can double as a "visual and recreational asset to the community," even if it means that the community has to pay an extra $35 million to make the centrally located sewer plant "urban compatible."

That is absolutely ridiculous on the face of it, but to make things worse -- much, much worse -- there isn't a shred of evidence that supports that extraordinary claim, obviously. (I wish I had a way of showing that, but it's very hard to show something that doesn't exist. However, every piece of evidence that would show a "community value" -- like election results and public opinion polls -- shows that the exact opposite community value existed in 2001, of course.)

About six months after the publication of Three Blocks, I was on the phone with Steve Monowitz, chief-staff-guy from the California Coastal Commission, and I asked him what his office pointed to as their source of the so-called "strongly held community value."

He said, "Like what?"

And I said, "Steve, at this stage of the game, I'll take anything."

He conceded that he couldn't point to a source, and then added, "It was inappropriate of me to rely on Solution Group members to determine community values for Los Osos."

Los Osos, that quote is at the core of your train wreck.

[Note: I also asked him if the CSD had notified him about the evidence that showed that the "strongly held community value" probably did NOT exist -- evidence like the 1997 election results that showed Los Osos, while staring down a gigantic sewer assessment, was in no mood to start shelling out millions of dollars for public recreation. Monowitz said, "No."]

The Solution Group was a citizen-based group that in 1998 proposed a "better, cheaper, faster" sewer alternative to what the county was proposing at the time. Their project was advertised at "a maximum monthly payment of $38.75," and would include a series of passive, relatively inexpensive, "drop dead gorgeous" ponds that offered "future recreational opportunities," but did not include a public park, to be built at the Tri-W location. That project was the overwhelming tipping-factor in the election that formed the LOCSD in 1998 with 87-percent of the vote -- yet, two years later, it would fail in dramatic, but very, very quiet fashion.

The project report I quote in Three Blocks was for the LOCSD's second project -- a not-so-drop-dead-gorgeous, MUCH-more-than-38-bucks-a-month, industrial sewer plant, and the only reason -- the ONLY rationale -- that the 2001 Los Osos CSD supplied for siting their second project at the Tri-W location -- the same site as their first project, the project that got them elected -- was, you guessed it... the "strongly held community value" for “creating a wastewater treatment facility that is a visual and recreational asset to the community...”

Now, let's consider some of the official documents that the county is releasing these days.

Nowhere, not in one single document, does it mention a "strongly held community value" for "creating a wastewater treatment facility that is a visual and recreational asset to the community."

In fact, the only document I've seen where the amenities issue is discussed comes from the county's project director, Paavo Ogren, when he recently wrote, "... the objectives that tilted the scale in favor of this site (Tri-W) may no longer have the weight they were given when the site was originally selected. In other words, “amenities”, like community parks, will not obscure the goals of providing the most efficient and cost effective solution to wastewater and groundwater problems."

(By the way, Ogren got that wrong. "The objectives that tilted the scale in favor of Tri-W" NEVER had the weight they were given when the site was originally selected, as Monowitz now knows.)

Think about what happened there for a sec. It's so interesting.

For more than four years, the LOCSD told regulators that Los Osos voters would not accept any sewer plant that didn't also double as a centrally located recreational asset, yet, now that the county has control of the project, that critical, critical criterion isn't mentioned anywhere, and no one from Los Osos is saying a word in protest.

Where are all the people that "strongly" held that value? Why aren't they showing up at Supervisor meetings these days demanding that the county select Tri-W because it's the only site that can also double as a "centrally located" "recreational asset?"

What in the hell happened to Los Ososans between 2001 and 2007? Why are they SO different today?

Or, could it be that the 2001 LOCSD knew all along that there never was a "strongly held community value," and just manufactured that excuse in order to give them a reason to retain their second project at Tri-W in an effort to obfuscate the fact that their first project, the one that got them elected and the LOCSD formed in the first place, had failed?

It's sure starting to look that way.

However, it wasn't just the Los Osos CSD that was saying things like, “The size and location of the other sites did not provide an opportunity to create a community amenity."

Oh, no. They had company in that concept. The California Coastal Commission.

In the now-expired Tri-W Coastal Development Permit, issued by the Commission in 2004, it reads:

"... other alternatives (to the Tri-W site) were rejected (by the 2001 Los Osos CSD Board of Directors) on the basis that they did not accomplish project objectives for centrally located community amenities."

Yep. That's exactly what it says. Page 89. Look it up yourself.

Can you believe that?

No?

Fair enough. I don't blame ya. I admit, it is hard to believe, so here's the screen shot of the page in the CDP that says that:



You have that right, dear reader. Every single other sewer plant location was rejected because they could not accomplish some nonsensical, completely unsubstantiated, project objective for centrally located community amenities.

That's the most ridiculous, stupidest, official government thing I've ever seen, and that's saying something.

Plus, and this is great, do you see the word "reincorporate" in that paragraph? That's huge.

The reason that word is in there is because when the 2001 LOCSD was trying to force their second project into Tri-W so no one, at least the local media, would notice that their first project had failed, they not only told the Commission about the "strongly held community value" for the park-in-a-sewer-plant, they also showed them a site plan that included the park amenities that the community was allegedly "strongly" demanding.

Here it is... this is the exact graphic that the LOCSD showed the Coastal Commission in 2001:



See all that stuff in there? That's things like an amphitheater, tot lot, picnic area, all kinds of gardens, a bridge, and a bunch of other expensive park amenities.

But, get this, after the Los Osos CSD convinced the Commission to sign-off on the Tri-W site (that's what that "LCP Amendment 3-01" document is all about in the graphic above... it was a BIG deal) due solely to the "strongly held community value" for all those park amenities shown in the site plan, the District immediately removed almost the entire park element from the project.

Let's stop and recap for a moment... because it's amazing what happened: In 2001, the Los Osos CSD got the California Coastal Commission to sign-off on the Tri-W site due solely to the park that the community allegedly "strongly" valued, and then immediately ripped the park out of the plan because they didn't have any money to pay for it.

Amazing.

THEN -- and here's where it all went south -- when they returned to the Commission, three years later, to get their CDP, they showed up with THIS site plan:



I realize the graphic is small, but if you look closely, all of that stuff that was in the previous graphic, like an amphitheater, tot lot, picnic area, all kinds of gardens, a bridge, and a bunch of other expensive park amenities, has gone-a-missin'!

Imagine the Coastal Commission's surprise in 2004 when they looked at that graphic.

They were not happy, understandably.

One Commissioner, Dave Potter, even went so far as to call the LOCSD "bait and switchy" for the District's scheme to get the Commission to sign-off on the Tri-W site in 2001 due to the so-called "strongly held community value" for all the amenities, only to have that same District immediately strip the amenities from the plan.

And that's where the word "reincorporate" comes into play. The Commission wasn't about to let a sneaky little CSD move forward with a major public works project at the environmentally sensitive Tri-W location, when the only rationale behind the project's siting was gutted from the plan immediately after gaining their approval, three years earlier.

The Coastal Commission told the LOCSD that they couldn't move forward with the Tri-W project without the amenities in the plan (an odd decision, to say the least. They should have just denied the permit right then and there. It would have been completely understandable).

As readers of this blog know, the Los Osos CSD voted to unanimously "reincorporate" the amenities in June of 2004, just like the CDP says.

Their other option? Select another site... out of town, something the Coastal Commission wanted all along, because the out-of-town sites were shown to be "environmentally preferable," according to the project's Environmental Impact Report.

According to recent county documents, the cost to keep the sewer plant at an in-town location, as opposed to an out-of-town location, is more than $35 million due to all of the extra technology required to accommodate a mid-town site.

Wow. Now we have a figure. The "strongly held community value" cost more than $35 million.

O.k... so, in summary, here's what we're looking at:

In 2001, the LOCSD wrote in the Tri-W project report:

"The size and location of the other sites did not provide an opportunity to create a community amenity. The sites on the outskirts of town, could not deliver a community use area that was readily accessible to the majority of residents..."

And, in 2004, the California Coastal Commission wrote:

..."other alternatives were rejected (by the 2001 LOCSD Board of Directors) on the basis that they did not accomplish project objectives for centrally located community amenities..."

I don't know how to make it any clearer than that. Clearly, the park was the ONLY reason Tri-W was selected for the District's second project. TWO different official documents, one from the Coastal Commission, and one from the LOCSD itself, confirm that fact.

And, if you think it through, considering the situation today, it's the ONLY thing that makes sense.

According to recent county documents, the Tri-W site is the most expensive site in the area for a sewer plant... by far, it is saddled with a host of environmental problems, including the fact that it's Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area, according to county documents, and it's "divisive" to the community.

So, with a resumé like that, why-oh-why was it selected in the first... errrrrr... second place?

There's only one plausible answer left standing: The "strongly held community value" for a centrally located park in the sewer plant.

So, where's the "strongly held community value?"

What in the hell happened?

To paraphrase Ann Calhoun paraphrasing Ricky Ricardo, "2001 Los Osos Community Services District? Joooooo gotta lotta 'splainin' to dooooooo."

###

If you want to read a fun companion piece to this story, click here. In that post, I show how "bait and switchy" actually paid off for the LOCSD because it ensured that State taxpayers would fund the millions of dollars worth of amenities shown in the 2001 site plan, because State officials erroneously considered the park "mitigation," "mandated" by the Coastal Commission, and made the decision to fund the amenities with State funds.

If it wasn't for "bait and switchy," State taxpayers would not have been stuck with that bill. What a slap to the face of every California taxpayer. We can all thank the staff of the State Water Resources Control Board's Division of Financial Assistance for that one, simply because they were too lazy (or incompetent) to pick up a phone and call Steve Monowitz, and ask him if the Coastal Commission "mandated" the park as some type of "mitigation."

By the way, the answer to that question is, "No."

What a joke. Bureaucracy at its finest.

- - -

Don't forget to support independent journalism. Those donations really help motivate me to stay on this story.... details are on the right towards the top of this blog. Muchos gracias!

16 Comments:

  • Nice start on the book Ron, can't wait for the companion pieces detailing the rest of the sordid story.
    Like the help from R. Briggs and company, you know, Pandora's chums.
    Or the decision to delay the recall vote until after the start of construction at TriW.
    That was a huge backfire
    And the failure of the negotiations with Blakeslee and the Water boards, get an interview with Sam, his take on this is priceless.
    Lets not forget the County CYA influence with LAFCO and why it doesn't pay to petition for redress anymore.
    Lots of splainin all over the place!
    I'm guessing 500 pages.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 8:57 AM, August 17, 2007  

  • Ron,

    Thanks for the 83rd reference to "Three Blocks Upwind ..." since the start of the year. You've now set a new record!

    Now, let's get to the substance of your current blog entry ...

    First off, no one is contesting the facts you present. The reason folks are often annoyed with you is that because you are so focused on trying to make this whole thing into a blame Pandora or blame Stan story that you are willing to cut corners and make misleading statements.


    For example, you wrote: "Let's stop and recap for a moment... because it's amazing what happened: In 2001, the Los Osos CSD got the California Coastal Commission to sign-off on the Tri-W site due solely to the park that the community allegedly 'strongly' valued, and then immediately ripped the park out of the plan because they didn't have any money to pay for it."

    In this one example you've chosen to essentially say that there was no community support for park amenities but that it was invented by the Solutions Group just to put the plant at one particular site and then, once the permit was approved, they took all the park stuff out just because they couldn't pay for it.


    First, you didn't show us that there was no support for park stuff, just that the LOCSD didn't demonstrate to your satisfaction and you pointed out that that the CCC staff didn't do their job thoroughly enough. I'll suggest that the formation of the LOCSD, the election of 2000 shows that the community members stood behind the conceptual plan, at least in part, because of the park.

    Because you have no evidence of deliberate deception, you should not portray it as such. It might simply be the case that (like the recall board) they were guilty of thinking that because they were elected, the public would support all of what they believed were their campaign promised. Pandora and the Solutions Group told us they would get us a park and they might have believed we wanted that. At least if you're going to portray one side in the most negative possible light you should try to see where the other side screwed up also. Otherwise it looks like you are more of a flack for Tacker than a journalist. For all your criticism of various marketing techniques, surely you realize that presenting only the negative of one side in a discussion is unfair at least.


    Second, cost savings measure is different from can't pay for it. You also conveniently forget that at the time of the cost savings measure (eliminating some of the park-stuff) there were many who were complaining about the total cost. In fact, after the re-inclusion of the park stuff, you were one who was complaining about those particular costs that CCLO asked be put back into the project. (Yes, that was not their goal, but that is the essence of what they asked for.) Another question I have that is not addressed by your discussion is whether the CCC staff had agreed to the removal of those park-bits for the sake of cost reduction. If the CCC staff had agreed or even suggested the plan, Potter's comment (you know, the one you use every few days) hardly seems fair.


    Third, wasn't it the case that the LOCSD agreed with the CCC staff to put the park amenities back in? Sounds to me as if the CCC staff said "if you want to build at TriW without any additional review of the project, you've got to put the stuff back in." Besides Steve Monowitz' offense at being characterized as having required the park amenities re-inclusion ... can you explain why it would be wrong of us to view the give-n-take between CCC and LOCSD staff members as being anything other than the CCC saying "sure, you can build at TriW if you put in the tot-lot"? This is much like when the RWQCB says "we don't care where you build the plant at all, but if you don't choose the quickest possible plan (read "TriW") you get fined"? In both cases, the language used is neutral and a choice is given to the other participant in the discussion but in both cases the coercion is clear. "Would you rather move along, sir, or would you rather visit the local jail?"


    One more thing ... when the LOCSD said that aquifer recharge is of chief import and when the Broderson recharge site is determined to be best by some engineering and geology studies ... don't you think that the TriW proximity to both the town and recharge site has some influence on what site is best? Your statement that it was only the park is just plain over-simplification of a complex decision. It is unfair and misleading.




    One more, entirely off topic question, if septic management is sooooooo darn important to those advocating for moving TriW, why did both Julie and Lisa vote against it in 2004? There's got to be a super interesting yet still three year old story there ... Ron, that seems to be your bailiwick ... why don't you got for it?



    On the book ... I would think it would be an interesting read if it were presenting all the details, not just those that make one side look good and the other bad. Clean up that bias and it would sell. I could imagine a title like "Sewer: the destruction of a town's middle class by bureaucrats, politicians and it's own residents" might do quite well.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 9:59 AM, August 17, 2007  

  • Shark, sorry, I gotta call it as I saw it.
    The CSD got formed NOT because we wanted a freeking park,
    It was "cheaper, better, faster"

    We were promised a sewer for 38.50/ mo as opposed to the county estimate of 80/mo.

    It was the money, plain and simple, what do you think the vote would have been if we had been told that there would be a 200/mo. sewer plant in the middle of town with a park?
    verses the county 80/mo with no park?
    Heck I'll even concede all the cost of delay and say that TriW could have cost 150/mo.
    It would STILL lose

    The inability of politicians to admit errors factors in heavily. Thats what drives recalls.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 10:45 AM, August 17, 2007  

  • Mikey,

    The park and ponding thing was the "better". STEP was "cheaper" and "faster" was great marketing (read: "a total lie").

    I'll only slightly disagree with you about what would have happened had we been told the truth. Here's the truth. With inflation, the County estimated $80 would have come in about $120 and because of delays, arguments and inflation, the TriW plan was going to be $200 per month but because of a later recall the cost would jump again to at least $250.

    Nope, the LOCSD would never have formed had we we been told the truth and the recall would never have happened had we been told the truth.

    The group who really needs to take some responsibility (but never will) isn't CCLO or the Solutions Group ... it is the County who allowed the development of Los Osos after 1970 without putting in a sewer who ought to be blamed.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 11:10 AM, August 17, 2007  

  • Sharkey! BINGO!, I hope Ron puts some of his considerable talent on that!

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 11:23 AM, August 17, 2007  

  • Sharky... we just had a discussion a few days ago where you put the rate of inflation at 5% and the rate of construction inflation is about 3% higher... so anything construction related would inflate about 8% where everything else would inflate 5%...

    So now you are telling us that singe 1998 the county's estimate $80/month would've gone up to $120/month due to inflation??

    Is that some more of that LeGros math??

    And then you state that inflation caused by delays of the Tri-W plan brought it up to $200/month??

    Are you sure those cost increases were only caused by inflation as a result of delays?

    Or could some of it been caused by poor planning and design? and mitigation of poor site selection?

    Or maybe a lot of it was caused by adding another layer of government (via the 1998 creation of the LOCSD) and its associated administrative costs...

    Or... maybe the reckless spending record of Buel and the board let the work leak out that it was open season in Los Osos... the way they were handing out money and approving contracts resulted in hugely overinflated fees and charges by consultants.

    It finally got to a point the Buel was so set on moving Tri-W forward "at any cost", that there wasnt a price that seemed unreasonable to him... he would've recommended approval of anything... and he did... and word got out... and we saw a result of that when the bids were opened.

    So please... don't tell us inflation caused by delays drove up the price of Tri-W... it's more complicated than that.

    By Blogger Steve, at 12:10 PM, August 18, 2007  

  • Steve,

    Let's do some math.

    $80/month in 1998, once pushed into 2003 with 8% inflation each year would be about $118 and if it were pushed into 2004 would be about $127.

    Sounds as if I did that one right.


    On the question of TriW I did not not say that the only reason it was $200 was because of delays and the resulting inflation. I believe that the bids came in too high because of the controversy and some individuals sending potential contractors letters indicating they shouldn't participate in the bidding process.


    You are suggesting that if another site had been selected (say the Giacomazzi site, the current front runner in my mind), the cost would have been less than $200/month. I'll agree with you. Not only would we not have to pay for a park (which would have some value to some people), we wouldn't have to pay as much for mitigation or odor scrubbing. On the other hand, other costs would be higher, like the cost of getting across the creek and then getting treated water back to appropriate recharge sites.

    The problem that many seem to misunderstand is this ... once the TriW site was selected in 2001 (and there seems to be a good debate about whether they should have done that or not) there was a threat from the RWQCB that delay not associated with meeting the needs of another permitting agency requirements (like the CCC) would be viewed as unacceptable. In other words, the RWQCB was threatening to fine the LOCSD.

    [As a side note, Ann and Ron are very good at pointing out that in approximately 2004 the CCC gave the LOCSD an opportunity to research other sites, but we don't really know how the RWQCB would have responded ... TriW was essentially fully designed and nearly completely permitted by that point in time ... to study another site thoroughly would have required another 218 vote to borrow even more money ... maybe they should have at least taken the opportunity to ask us via a 218 vote. Richard, do you have any comments on the de-novo hearing timeframe?]

    This would also go a long ways towards explaining Buel's "damn the torpedoes ..." attitude. RWQCB fines could easily exceed other possibilities.

    This is partially the drawback of the LOCSD being in charge of some community septic systems ... the LOCSD was put in a position where they were more vulnerable than they should have been.

    This, however, pales in comparison to the stupidity of the post-recall board. Even if you take their stated goals as their actual goals, their steps towards achieving those goals have been far more expensive than they should have been. But that's a matter for another discussion.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 3:47 PM, August 18, 2007  

  • Sharky... "$80/month in 1998, once pushed into 2003 with 8% inflation each year would be about $118 and if it were pushed into 2004 would be about $127."

    What you are forgetting is that when Pandora dressed up as a rat and went before the CCC to ask for time to con the electorate into electing her Queen of Los Osos (circa 1997)... the County had a project before the CCC.

    Are you telling me that if the CCC had denied Pandora her request, and allowed the county to continue with their project... we would have still been "inflating" in 2004?

    Doubtful.

    That project would probably had been completed and we'd probably be just under $100 per month right now.

    As far as inflation on Tri-W... people love to start adding on inflation starting in 2001... but realistically... without any lawsuits, when could that project have been finished? The earliest date?

    Then add on to that... realistic delays based on "normal" litigation for a public works project that size.

    That date... that late date... is where you start counting inflation caused by delays.

    And any delays beyond that date, I blame on the original LOCSD due to their short-sighted and illegal selection of Tri-W...

    The delays BETWEEN that date and when the county project would've been done... I blame on Pandora and her rat suit.

    As for the philosophy of "blame"... I am sure you will opine on that... Ill address it at that time.

    By Blogger Steve, at 4:34 PM, August 18, 2007  

  • Steve,

    You are right on the money ... the County project would likely have been started by about 2002. Under $100 per month would correspond to the County project experiencing no unexpected cost increases during the completion of the design and permitting stage, the bids coming in on target and no unexpected delays (like, say, a lawsuit from parents of middle-school students asking for the WWTF to be put elsewhere, or some "no sewer" person) that would cause the start of construction to be delayed past 2001.

    I've heard some complain about the County proposed plant as if it would have been a huge mistake. I cannot comment because I don't remember 1998 all that well.

    You can blame Pandora and you would be partially right. You could also blame Al and Julie for some of the delay because they both caused it.

    Whether the delay was a good thing overall will be forever debated. I'll suggest that if you would rather pay $200/month to have the plant at TriW to about $250/month ( about $200/month for the plant and monthly costs plus an additional $50/month to pay off LOCSD debts ... more details on the actual cost will come later) for a plant outside town, you will view the delay as a mistake but if you are willing to pay more than TriW to have the plant out of town, you will view the delay as essentially a good thing.

    There is not a right or wrong on the issue of whether in-town or out-of-town is better ... each individual property owner needs to determine whether they view the TriW "solution" as a better deal than what the County is going to offer next.

    I do suspect that as you suggest and as Mike Green has said outright, had we known the future when voting for the formation of the LOCSD we would have voted against it and we would have a WWTF next to the Junior High right now because most folks like you and I would have voted against the CSD.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 7:37 PM, August 18, 2007  

  • Sharky... "I do suspect that as you suggest and as Mike Green has said outright, had we known the future when voting for the formation of the LOCSD we would have voted against it and we would have a WWTF next to the Junior High right now because most folks like you and I would have voted against the CSD."

    You seem to agree with Ron more than you disagree... it surprises me you are so critical of him.

    By Blogger Steve, at 8:18 PM, August 18, 2007  

  • Steve,

    On some issues Ron and I agree lots ... on others ... not much at all.

    I think what it comes down to is the criteria we all have for determining what is best. I tend to think that the best project for the dollar is what we ought to go for (within some constraints). It seems to me that Ron values the correctness of the process more than money ... for example, if he sees the selection of one site as tainted in some way, he would rather go back and make that decision again.


    One key aspect of the magic of the internet is that it tends to amplify disagreement. Oh well.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 10:22 PM, August 18, 2007  

  • I don thtink its the internet specifically that amplifies disagreements... I think its anonymity...

    We all know who Ron is and the fact that he lives out of town seems to weigh heavily on the credibility you give him... but we dont know who you are???

    Im sure if we did, we would pull out lots of historical baggage you carry into this discussion... Im sure we would find plenty of questionable statements you have made and that would call your credibiltiy into question...

    But because of your anonymity... you can start with a clean slate... sit on your high horse... and pretend you know whats best for Los Osos in the future without taking any heat for how we got into this mess.

    All thanks to the internet.

    By Blogger Steve, at 5:46 PM, August 19, 2007  

  • Um ... Steve ...

    Considering you've not announced your full name, address and SSN it seems as if you ought not criticize me for my chosen anonymity.

    As to the issue at hand for our community, what's your take on the 218 vote?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 7:27 PM, August 19, 2007  

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