Letter No. 1:
“Regarding Ed Ochs’ concern (Viewpoint, March 20) about the sewer tax that will be too costly to homeowners: Ed, you’re a little late to the party.
The entire project will cost more than anyone wants. Not that many years ago, it could have been completed with almost no cost whatsoever to Los Osos residents, thanks to significantly more financial resources (including grants), coupled with substantially less cost and inflation back then — talk about a missed opportunity.
Government did not turn against the people. Rather, residents turned against residents, Los Osos Community Services District board members worked against fellow board members, finally causing the county to step in and take it over. It will get done because it has to get done, but we’ll be paying far more, over a much longer period of time than it could have been. Let’s still look for grants, but also move forward before it worsens.”
I may be late for “the party,” as you describe it, but better late than never, and it’s never been later for Los Osos. It certainly ain’t no party.
While it’s true that LOCSD board members were “working against fellow CSD members,” it was for a just political cause, in my opinion. I’m opposed to Tri-W. I’m guessing you are pro-Tri-W? That the recalled board circumvented a 218 vote and proceeded with bids almost 50% over estimates, prior to a community referendum, was more the handiwork of a rogue CSD than a functional authority. They and the project needed to be stopped. Richard definitely wouldn’t agree with this raw assessment. That’s OK. We agree not to agree.
The post-recall board claim they stopped Tri-W, but that’s not quite accurate. It was the State that stopped the project when it determined it would not restart the old project without a 218 to secure the loan, which the State clearly recognized they failed to do first time around (having lost that loan to bankruptcy). The post-recall board then lost the project through a combination of bad advice, which they cultivated and accepted, their own mismanagement, conflicts of interest, and, yes, former recalled board members now “working against fellow CSD members” to undermine the board. Chuck, Lisa and Julie definitely wouldn’t agree with the first part of this raw assessment.
While you say, rightfully so, that the project “will cost more than anyone wants,” it doesn’t appear to expensive enough for some Taxpayers Watch supporters. To a man (and woman), they remain stone silent on the issue of affordability, even as true costs to homeowners slowly come to light and they realize, like you said, that costs will be “more than anyone wants,” or, I have to add here, more than they will be able to afford.
Sure, we’ll get a sewer, but don’t count on grants. They’ll be a drop in the ocean for any homeowner. If you’re worried about cost, you’re looking at fixing the wrong end of the problem. If you really want to pay less, petition the County to build a less expensive project, one that fits the community’s budget, one that Los Osos can actually afford. The County’s fix for the problem is to break the bank and the backs of PZ homeowners in the process. The County’s cure of destroying a community to build a sewer is far worse than the claimed disease of pollution, but here it comes anyway, even if it kills us.
Letter No. 2
“I was dismayed by Ed Ochs’ Viewpoint in the March 20 Tribune. His cost estimates for the sewer are not based on any facts. For one, we voted to assess ourselves $25,000 per dwelling, not a blank check.
And $10,000 to hook up to a sewer? Where did that figure come from? The actual cost per month is closer to $250, and much less for those who pay their assessment up front.
Please, enough with the foolish, fallacious fear-mongering.”
Fact: The 218 authorized a blank check to the County that will be filled in at the end, years from now.
You will probably be in a home by then, and since you don’t have a clue what’s going on around you in your own community, I doubt you will know the difference.
What percentage of homeowners in Los Osos do you imagine will pay the full assessment of $25,000 up front? 1%?
I see you still have a tough time reading what’s written. Assuming a homeowner can even get a loan for the lateral hook-up and septic tank decommissioning/pumping/inspection, that loan stretched over 10 years, with interest, “could run up to $10,000.”
The only aspect of my evaluation that is “foolish” is the part of the community that voted “yes” for a blank-check… What is “fallacious” is your false claim of $250 a month… and the “fear-mongering” was executed by the RWQCB to get the 218 passed.
If the true end-cost to each homeowner is $250 a month, as you claim, then Gibson/Paavo should have no trouble publicly “capping” the project at $250 by signing a contract with Los Osos for that amount — the County pays the difference.
To prove you no fool, I look forward to that announcement at the next Board of Supervisors meeting.