html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: The news you’ve been waiting for! <em>Finally!</em>

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The news you’ve been waiting for! Finally!

Readers, I’ve been holding out on you. I know what you want to hear about, but last week I turned uncharacteristically shy. I have been waiting to see if I should trust it, letting things develop a little more. It seems like it really is happening though, and now I want nothing more than to tell you.

The Los Osos sewer project has been brought to the attention of the California legislature! For some reason, likely the blatant unavoidable desperation of the situation, their Assemblyman decided he was willing to go within fifty miles of that quagmire. Yep, Assemblyman Blakeslee has brought a bill to the California legislature that will take jurisdiction over the Los Osos sewer away from the Los Osos CSD and give it to the County of San Luis Obispo. While the County of San Luis Obispo rightfully wants nothing to do with that freakin’ mess, they are willing to build a sewer if they can choose the location and if they won’t inherit any liability from the millions of dollars in fines and the seventeen pending lawsuits against the Los Osos CSD. Blakeslee got the Regional Water Quality Control Board to say they wouldn’t impose fines on the County if the County means it about building a sewer, and the State Board to offer the County the unspent part of the $135M loan. In what I think is the most telling point of all, all five new directors of the Los Osos CSD, the ones that got themselves elected in the recall because of their passionate opposition to the old sewer location, have endorsed Blakeslee’s bill taking authority over the sewer away from them. Building a sewer was harder than it looked from the outside, wasn’t it, crazy people?

I’m fairly sure that Blakeslee’s bill is the best shot Los Osos has for getting out of this mess. It required compromise on all parts (and the citizens of Los Osos are still going to have to vote themselves a property tax increase) and the authority of Blakeslee’s official position to get the different agencies to agree. But I bet it can still collapse! I bet there is still some way all his leadership and hard work can be undone, leaving us with more of this wonderful story.

One last thing. The Blakeslee bill doesn’t settle the part that originally caused all the controversy, the location of the new sewer plant. The plans the old directors agreed on, a sewer plant as part of a park complex in downtown Los Osos, might be revived by the county. ‘Sewer plant’ in ‘downtown’ sounded fundamentally conflicting to some of my commenters, but I guess I am engineer enough to think it could be done. I would want to see the specs and know how the odors will be managed, but I can imagine secondary treatment enclosed in some bland building and a nice series of marshes to finish the treatment. In fact, and here’s the part that I should be ashamed to tell you, I even dreamed about it! I dreamed I was on some unfamiliar playing fields, and I looked around the park, saw the purple pipes for non-potable irrigation water, and realized, in my dream, that I was at the downtown Los Osos sewer location. It was fine, Los Osos. Stop fighting it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there's one thing I've learned from having a baby around the house, it's that humans have no natural aversion to sitting in their own shit. It takes somebody with more sense to teach them it's disgusting and unhygienic. The people of Los Osos are lucky that San Luis Obispo is around to change their diapers.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can a piece of legislation go wrong? Finally, a blog topic that I have some knowledge about!

There's an obvious one here: The combination of a Republican Assemblymember, and something that has anything to do with the word "taxes." The CA Republican caucus is somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan; (Note that they are holding up the $100 billion budget of California over a $1.7 million budget item to provide health coverage to children.)

There are lots of possible roadblocks: inter-personal feuds between legislators, any issues about whether this sets a precedent with other counties and districts, and if the bill can meet the tight deadlines this late in the legislative session...

Beyond boys and cats, you have plenty of material for the next few months.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Sweet Coalminer said...

I'll bet anything the county puts together something suspiciously like a CSD to figure out where to put the sewer.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're such a nerd.

9:42 AM  
Blogger AAA said...

Well you got me. I won't forget it!

2:03 AM  

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