Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Property Owners Within San Luis Coastal Unified School District Boundaries that DON'T Own Property in Los Osos. . . Welcome to Los Osos!


[Note: I sent the email below to State Assemblyman, Jordan Cunningham, on April, 3, 2019]

Hello Assemblyman Cunningham,

I'm a blogger in SLO County, and I'm researching a story involving a property tax assessment in Los Osos, a community in your District.

First, a few things off the top:

1) I'm really lazy, so, the way I do my blogging these days is that I make the emails that I use in my reporting process the blog post. In other words, this email IS the story.

You can actually go to my blog right now, and read this email at this link:

https://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/

I published it right before I sent this. See how that makes things so much easier? That way, I don't have to redundantly write another story just to report everything that I'm going to contain in this email. Cool, efficient process, huh?

And, 2) because this email IS the blog post/story, it's going to be fairly lengthy and packed with details.

Now, to the meat.

This email/blog post/story is actually a follow-up to a series of emails that I sent to you (and your friendly and helpful staff) back in October of 2017.

One of those emails is archived on my blog at this link:


Re-reading that email might help make this email make more sense.

Now, what you'll see if go back and read that email, is that I show you how my reporting on Los Osos over the past 20 years (including numerous published newspaper stories, and two New Times cover stories (freelance, which makes those two even more impressive, if you ask me), eventually exposed how about 4,000 property owners in Los Osos are being fleeced every time they make a payment on their property taxes because they are funding (until the year 2034) a fraudulent assessment that appears on their property tax bills, and that fraudulent assessment stems from the early Los Osos CSD's clear municipal bond fraud involving their fake "sewer project," as supported by a gigantic stack of primary source evidence (that I have linked-up all over my blog... since 2005... 05!)

Also, in that same email from a couple of years ago, I write:

"Considering that you refer to the 'Fire Tax' as an 'unfair burden on homeowners,' what is your take on the fraudulent "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment?"

Additionally, on your official web site, it reads, "Jordan previously served as a trustee on the Board of the Templeton Unified School District and is also the former President of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association, a nonprofit group dedicated to taxpayer education and advocacy for fiscal responsibility in government."

Well, I never received an answer from you from the October, 2017 email (although your helpful staff responded promptly), and here we are, in March, 2019, and, so far as I know, you still haven't lifted a finger to help those thousands of property owners in Los Osos, many of whom are low/fixed-income seniors.

So, I'm sure, you can see how your stance on this super-important story has me scratching my head regarding your eyebrow-lifting hypocrisy. I mean, on one hand you write things like, "Californians pay too much in taxes. I'm proud to have worked to repeal the unfair Fire Tax on homeowners," and, "Jordan... (is) dedicated to taxpayer education and advocacy for fiscal responsibility in government." However, when it's shown to you that thousands of property owners in your own district are being fleeced by their local government through a fraudulent (read: waaaay worse than just "unfair") property tax assessment, crickets. No reply. No press release. No action. Nothing.

[By the way, that reminds me: Another reason why I love to do my blog posts/reporting like this -- where the email I use in the process of reporting the story IS the story -- is that it shows that I did send the email. The ball is now in the recipient's court. A fun journalism dynamic AND the story still gets out there, at least a little bit. If I were to simply send an email to a source seeking an answer to a question, and NOT publish that email on my blog, and then the source simply just never replied (which happens often, including with you), well, then I don't have a story at all, and the entire thing just fizzes out.

So, when I publish a reporting-process email on my blog, like this one (and my previous email to you), it shows that 1) I DID send the email (which is huge, trust me), 2) the source just never replied, and 3) now, because I can show that the time-stamped email was sent, and there was zero reply, a NEW, excellent angle to the story is created. In this particular case, that angle is that our local state assemblyman was fully aware, for nearly two years, of an air-tight municipal bond fraud case involving a local SLO County government agency, with thousands of his constituents as victims, and that assemblyman did absolutely nothing to help those victims/constituents that are being directly fleeced by the fraud. Journalistically speaking, that angle is, frankly, AWESOME.

So, yeah, a lot is packed into my beautiful, personal editorial policy of publishing my emails to (certain) sources on my blog, which is also why these emails have to be so detailed and lengthy -- so they'll make sense to not only the source, but also to any readers that happen to stop by my public blog. I call it "open source journalism." Thank you for understanding.]

Well, I have excellent news for you!

I have recently exposed ANOTHER amazing angle to this (already) spectacular story, and I have a journalistic hunch that this intensely great angle will actually spur you into helping your constituents... uh... this time.

After some additional research (since my 2017 email to you), it turns out, that, by far, the #1 property owner that is being fleeced by the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud is [drum roll please... pddddddddd] the San Luis Coastal Unified School District! [cymbal crash!]

This. Is. Awesome!

If you remember, in my original email to you from about two years ago, I show how the bulk of those roughly 4,100 property owners in the so-called "Los Osos Prohibition Zone" are being fleeced about $250 per year by the fraudulent "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment. According to sources, that's because a huge percentage of those properties are for single-family homes, and the amount of fleecing, according to documents, is based on the number of "units" (I'm assuming that's some sort of planning euphemism for toilets) on the property, and, well, think about it: What properties in the LOPZ have THE most toilets? Yep: Schools.

Which means that when a typical single-family home in the LOPZ is getting burned to the tune of about $250/year for the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud, the SLCUSD, with THREE schools/properties and hundreds of toilets in the PZ, is shelling out a whopping $13,000/year, or some $400,000 over the 30 year span of the LOCSD's municipal bond fleecing -- $400,000 that could be going to other things, like teachers' salaries and students' supplies.

Now, because I'm very, very lazy, instead of rehashing my reporting that first exposed the SLCUSD fleecing (which really gets down in the legal/evidentiary weeds), I'm just going to reprint below an email that I sent to, Assistant Supt./Business Services of San Luis Coastal Unified School District, Ryan Pinkerton, in June of 2018 (almost a year ago), with cc's of that email going to (among others):

Eric Prater <EPrater@slcusd.org>, Straith Zanartu <szanartu@co.slo.ca.us>, rpiza@co.slo.ca.us, shredder@newtimesslo.com, "Fountain, Matt" <mfountain@thetribunenews.com>, jtarica@thetribunenews.com, dave@920kvec.com, news@ksby.com, ktanner@thetribunenews.com, jbrescia@slocoe.org [Note: I also cc'd those same people on this email.]

... and then I'm hoping to get your response to my email to Mr. Pinkerton.

Here's the email, sent 6/29/2018:

Hello Ryan,

I've yet to receive a response to my email to you from 6/14/18, but that's o.k., because I actually have some very important additional information that I just dug up, new information that will likely affect your response, and the information is very, VERY bad news for SLCUSD, especially its taxpayers.

Remember this figure?: "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT...  $5,719.62," and how I show that the SLCUSD is being fleeced every time they pay that fraudulent assessment on their property tax bill, and how that fraud lasts until FY 2033/34, which means that SLCUSD taxpayers will be fleeced out of some $180,000 over the 30-year course of that fraudulent assessment?

Remember all that?

Welp, here's the VERY bad news for your office: Turns out, that "$5,719.62" yearly fleecing isn't the only SLCUSD-owned property that's being fleeced.

If you stop by this link:


... like I did, and type things like "Coastal" in the search box, and then bounce around a bunch of property tax bills for awhile, what you'll discover is that there are TWO other SLCUSD properties that are ALSO being fleeced by that exact same fraudulent assessment.

Check it out (it's SO interesting):

Now, as you might remember, the first one that I uncovered was the "5,719.62" "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" fleecing on parcel number, "038-221-001," with "Assessed Owner As of January 1, 2017 SAN LUIS COASTAL UNIFIED SCHOOL DIST."

But, just recently, I also discovered "074-052-075," with "Assessed Owner As of January 1, 2017 SAN LUIS COASTAL UNIFIED SCHOOL DIST," with "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT 4,543.30."

AND, "074-331-001," with "Assessed Owner As of January 1, 2017 SAN LUIS COASTAL UNIFIED SCHOOL DIST," with "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT  2,780.74."

That more than doubles my previous estimate on how much the SLCUSD taxpayers are being fleeced on the early LOCSD's municipal bond fraud.

That figure WAS about $180,000 over the 30-year fleecing (about $6,000/year for 30 years), but with those other two properties tossed in, that figure NOW explodes to about $400,000! [about $6,000 + about $4,500 + about $2,500 = about $13,000/year, over 30 years of funding the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud = about $400,000!... Worth. Of. Fleecing.

Absolutely stunning. [However, I do need to point out here how I had to dig up those two other properties, independently, without anyone at SLCUSD ever revealing them to me, especially in light of the subject matter of our previous correspondence. That is very disappointing, and will eventually need to be explained on your end. I mean, did you simply not know of those two other properties with the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" fleecing, OR, were you aware of them, and just simply decided not make me aware of them because that would be bad for SLCUSD officials? So, yeah, I'm really disappointed on how that played out. That's a very bad look for the SLCUSD. It kinda makes it look like you SUPPORT the fraud. That SLCUSD officials don't care if their taxpayers are being fleeced out of nearly a half million bucks. Baaaad look.]

So, that's the point of this email: Now that I've shown that the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud fleecing of the SLCUSD taxpayers is actually closer to a half million bucks, instead of 'just' $180,000, NOW what is your response? Still nothing?

Again, if you have any questions, please just ask.

Thanks again,
Ron
- - - - -
sewerwatch.blogspot.com


Of course, SLCUSD officials also never replied to that email... of course... and, in the convening year, also never lifted a finger to address the fleecing, which they have now paid twice since I first exposed the fleecing to them ($26,000 MORE of fleecing WHEN they were fully aware OF the fleecing, uhg) so, obviously they also don't care if their taxpayers get fleeced. They have made that very clear. Which is why I'm now sending this email to you, to see if you, unlike SLCUSD officials, actually DO care that SLCUSD taxpayers are being scammed out of about a half million bucks due to the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud.


I've already confirmed that you don't care if 'only' about 4,000 LOPZ property owners get fleeced out of about $250 per year... each (for a grand total of about $1.1 million per year), but this is different. This fleecing involves all property owners within the SLCUSD boundary, NOT just the Los Osos Prohibition Zone boundary, and that is thousands more of your constituents, burned for a whopping total of about a half million bucks of municipal bond fleecing. (By the way, and this is a great detail: I call what's happening to the LOPZ property owners a "Double Fleecing." They are ALREADY being directly fleeced every year on their own property tax bills by the fraudulent "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment, but then they ALSO pay big bucks into the SLCUSD's real/legal property tax assessments, like Measure J and the General Obligation Bond of 2014, and then THAT tax money is also being fleeced by the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" municipal bond fraud. Soooo, yeah, PZers: Double fleecing. How's that taste? Ouch!]

If it'll help, in a nutshell, the early LOCSD municipal bond fraud worked like this: They lied to Los Osos voters, through an elaborate marketing scam (easily documentable today, by the way [A good start? Just Google: sewerwatch "summer 2000"), that they had developed a "better, cheaper, faster" sewer system for the town, however, for their "better, cheaper, faster" fake so-called "project" to move forward, property owners needed to pass a Prop. 218 property tax assessment vote to fund it.

The CSD's completely fraudulent marketing scam worked, the assessment passed, and that allowed the CSD to sell nearly $18 million in municipal bonds to investors. That $18 million quickly vanished straight back into the pockets of the people that ran the "better, cheaper, faster" scam, of course, because the people that ran the scam were ALSO the consultants that the CSD hired to design their fake project (including the spouse of a then-LOCSD Director), as their own documents clearly show. Additionally, as their own documents also show, the people that ran the scam were fully aware, waaaay before the Prop. 218 vote, that their fake "better, cheaper, faster" scam was never going to work. And, of course, it never worked. Not even close... because it was fake to begin with. (I mean, a GREAT piece of evidence in this case is that, today, you can go to Los Osos and NOT see a "70-acre," "better, cheaper, faster" series of wastewater ponds in the middle of town. Prima facie, amirite? I even caught two of them confessing to their scam, IF you're interested.)

However, that $18 million worth of municipal bond funding, that Los Osos property owners (including SLCUSD) were scammed into approving, is secured by the fraudulent "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment which will continue to appear on LOPZ property tax bills until FY 2033/2034, as I first exposed years ago, and it's paying for absolutely nothing, well, OTHER than the CSD's obvious municipal bond fraud, and a return on the bond buyers' terrible investment.

So that's what happened: Starting in about 1997, a small group of people realized they could make a lot of money off scamming Los Osos property owners on a known-to-them-to-be-fake "better, cheaper, faster" sewer project, which is exactly what happened, and that led to not only 30 years of municipal bond fleecing (until the year 2034), including (and especially) to SLCUSD, but also a massive environmental disaster as well, and those people behind the fraud are still around today, in local government circles, still doing really terrible things, of course. (I must admit, it gets a little weird on that level. I mean, I first exposed the fraud YEARS ago. Totally busted them, dead to rights, yet, absolutely nothing happened to them, which allowed them to continue to run public-money-scam after public-money-scam, for, like, another decade and counting. Leaves me shaking my head.)

Finally, one more point: Apparently, this situation, where a government agency committed municipal bond fraud involving a 30-year assessment, however, they didn't get busted on the fraud until about 15 years into the fraud-based assessment, leaving thousands of victims to continue to fund the fraud for ANOTHER 15 years, is unprecedented (I've looked everywhere, and I can't find another case like this one), which means, I don't know if there's even anything you CAN do. Maybe get the assessment cancelled? I don't know. I'll leave that point up to you. Although, I find it hard to believe that thousands of innocent victims will be forced to knowingly fund a fraud for the next 15 years. Please tell me that's NOT the only outcome here. Our justice system HAS to be better than that, right?

Now, with all of that in mind, here's my question for you today: Do you, someone who is "dedicated to taxpayer education and advocacy for fiscal responsibility in government," STILL not care?

I mean, not caring that low-income seniors in your district are being fleeced about $250/year by their local government is one thing, not caring that a school district in your district is being fleeced about $400,000 for the same scam is quite another... uh... I guess. (What I mean by that is, personally, I'm not sure which one's worse. They both seem equally horrible to me, but that's just me.)

If you have ANY questions involving the overwhelming amount of primary-source evidence I've exposed (and published) that clearly shows the fraud, please just ask. I have it at the ready, and I can easily put it all in context for you -- a process that'd take about a half hour. Again, IF you're interested.

So, uh, do you care?

Ball's in your court. ;-)

Thank you, again, for your time,
Ron
- - - - -
sewerwatch.blogspot.com

P.S. Here's the link to the SLCUSD boundaries:


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