“You can’t serve two masters.”
That’s what Leon Goldin, a resident of Los Osos and retired attorney, said last Thursday during public comment at the Los Osos CSD meeting.
Before we knew Mrs. Kelly as one of the directors of the LOCSD, she ran a campaign that was supposed to be geared toward accommodating her Los Osos constituency by resolving the problems in the district. At the last Planning Commission meeting on April 30th, she said that she ran her campaign in support of the process and won, implying that she won based on supporting a process that the LOCSD has no control over.
She said, “I support the process, I ran my campaign on it and I won — and not by an insignificant amount. It is reflective of the 218 as well. So that needs to be kept in mind.”
That statement alone implied a few things:
- She doesn’t appear to care about those who don’t support the process.
- She ran her campaign on the process because that was her strongest position. On her campaign web site, which is still available, she provides blatantly ambiguous positions, compared to Barack Obama and his administration, which seems to be very specific. “I’m for solvency! I’m pro-trust! I like safety!”
- She won based on her support of the process without mentioning her support of the community — and she has yet to make that distinction of which entity she is more loyal to.
- All the “yes” votes on the bogus 218 assessment were also “yes” votes for Maria. If she’s counting the 218 votes as reflective of her popularity, that shows that she finds herself more aligned to the county than the people she’s supposed to serve.
Out of a five-person race, Maria Kelly got 28.43% of the vote, 3250 votes. Not insignificant? Compared to what?
At the candidate’s forum, the League of Women Voters dismissed questions from the public regarding the Los Osos wastewater project, citing that the district was “no longer in the wastewater business,” even though the Legislative Counsel’s Digest of AB2701 said that the wastewater project was essential to fit the needs of the district. The subject of wastewater was something that couldn’t be discussed, but candidates were allowed to run on that issue: an issue that was no longer a vital part of district affairs.
On May 8th, Maria Kelly sent me an e-mail, taking exception to comments I made about her speech at the Planning Commission. The quote she had an issue with was, “Maria goes on to say that three times as many people as those who go to the lectern week after week come to her about how they could help move the process forward.” Here was her response:
“People ask if they can help with affordability, not ‘move the process forward.’
Interesting interpretation on your part which reminds me that people may be hearing but not really listening so I need to continue to be as clear as possible.”
Interestingly, she never said that people ask if they can help with affordability. Here was my response to her:
“Let’s review when you spoke at the Planning Commission on April 30th. I’m going to also put what you said in context (on the video, you make the statements at 174:20):
“Setting aside the emotional component of this and dealing with the facts is really important to the rest of us in the community, who are not here week after week, disparaging the supervisors, disparaging the process. There are people that support this, three times as many people that come up and speak week after week, ask me what’s happening, asking what they can do to help. ‘When is this project going to move forward? When is it going to be completed?‘”
I thought that was perfectly clear. People come to you asking when the project/process is going to move forward. You did not say that people asked if they can help with affordability. As Tim Russert used to say, “Your words.”
You did said later, “I am looking forward to addressing the affordability issue,” but when the board decided to remove the alternatives to gravity from the design-build process on April 7th and not bring total cost comparisons from all viable solutions to fruition, that is when the affordability issue was addressed and that is when affordability became uncertain, if not unlikely. If you’re talking about access to stimulus fund money, that is a gamble at best. Before scheduling the item to be discussed on May 28th, the Planning Commission has only discussed two of the 10 items of concern. At this rate, we may not be able to even meet the stimulus fund deadline. Trying to be the exception to the criteria of receiving stimulus funds solely as being a disadvantaged community is going to be a hard sell given the likelihood that there are other public works projects out there in California that match the criteria and have moved further along in their process.
In short, affordability is uncertain and the BOS made it even more uncertain when they took collection system alternatives off the table.
Not only do you need to be clearer, you need to remove that chip off your shoulder and keep your ego in check or else someone like me is going to come and do it for you.“
If she can’t even get her story straight or analyze correctly, how can she be an effective leader in Los Osos? This concerns me.
It’s my belief that her campaign was run on fraudulent terms.
After she lost in the 2006 CSD elections, she applied for TAC and was accepted by the County even though her experiences in the subject she was applying for was non-existent compared to the likes of Dr. John Alexander and Dr. Thomas Ruehr, two reputable scientists. Despite her inexperience, she became an asset to the County because she was a dedicated supporter of the process.
Maria Kelly monopolized the county process to the point that she told the community, “If you support the process, if you support the 218, you must vote for me,” even though her support of the County wastewater process is wholly irrelevant compared to what is normally discussed on the agenda. The problem is that Maria set the support of the County process as a ‘must’ position for candidacy compared to other positions and prior experience in relevant professions that would be more beneficial to repairing the district. In other words, support for the County process superseded everything else that other candidates could possibly bring to the table.
Then she produced campaign fliers and mailers that offer her positions, which were akin to saying, “I’m in support of good things!” When I questioned her about the ambiguity of her positions, she told me that she showcased her positions privately to groups of people as a means of seeking a consensus to see if her positions were truly valid. It appears she never intended to present specific plans to the public — therefore who did she convey her plans to? She never did disclose that information.
On November 4th, Maria Kelly won and nobody else stood a chance. The County chose Maria. The County put her on camera for about 90 total hours as a community leader in support of the process. Being exasperated over the lack of progress over the sewer, the people chose Maria because she supported the County, but unbeknownst to the rest of the people, Maria chose the County over the residents of the district.
You can’t serve two masters. Pick one master. If you can’t, resign.