html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: They <em>never</em> let me down.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

They never let me down.

I have such high expectations for Los Osos that you would think disappointment is inevitable. Surely they can’t keep making spectacularly poor decisions or amazingly inept mistakes forever. There must come a time when the directors of the Los Osos CSD realize that they have driven the District into dissolution, that outsiders are stepping in to clean up mistakes that now include the retraction of a $135M loan to build a sewer, $6.6M in fines, and thirteen lawsuits against them (contractors who started work on the previous downtown sewer location are suing for $28M). With all that hanging over them, you would think they would be grateful that Representative Blakeslee’s bill dissolving the CSD has cleared the Assembly committee, especially considering that the directors of the Los Osos CSD all backed that bill.

They said they backed the bill. In public, they said that the County of San Luis Obispo should take over building the sewer, in whatever location the County chose. In private, though, the directors went to their fancy LA lawyers, the ones they’ve spent a couple million dollars of loan money on, to write up an assessment of their options. The fancy LA lawyers sent over a draft to the CSD lawyer, who wrote a bunch of comments and sent it on to Blakeslee’s office without taking the comments off. There was some good shit in those comments, stuff that Blakeslee’s office thought we should all know.

In the comments, the CSD lawyer pointed out that if the loan money for building a sewer were actually applied to building a sewer, the CSD would be unable to use it to litigate their thirteen lawsuits. In the comments, she said that they should try to amend the Blakeslee bill so that the County of San Luis Obispo would assume all of the CSD’s debts and legal liabilities, instead of just the responsibility for building the sewer. In the comments, she suggested that the CSD declare municipal bankruptcy, to clear their indebtedness to the contractors they hired and then fired from the sewer project (and yet I imagine the fancy LA lawyers would somehow get paid). My favorite is that in the comments, she recommended selling the location for the downtown sewer plant before the Blakeslee bill passes, so that the County would have to buy it back to build a sewer there. Awesome.

You know, I genuinely believe that serving on public committees and boards is a civic responsibility. I think that stuff like deciding details of public utilities is hard, thankless, and only interesting to utilities geeks. I very much appreciate that people are willing to put effort into boring things that make cities run. In general, I think those citizens do their best and should be insulated from the costs of honest mistakes or sincerely made wrong decisions. But not these directors. I think these fuckers have long since abandoned their fiduciary duties to the Community Services District. I think they should be held personally liable, and should lose their fucking houses as a first step toward paying the debts they would like to shift to everyone in San Luis Obispo County.

Proof that the Los Osos septic tanks are leaking and polluting their aquifer.

Don’t be so scared of the sewer/park combination. Other people are doing it. You could shape it like a beautiful butterfly.

Oh, City of Byron. For your own sakes, learn from Los Osos. It can go so, so wrong.

Did I mention that the fancy LA law firm charges unusually high overhead rates?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the directors have relatives who work for fancy LA law firm?

How are lawyers supposed to buy new cars every week if they price their services fairly Megan? Did you think about the lawyers??!?!

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Megan,

I know that random compliments are boring but I told my wife that _nothing_ makes me hot for Megan like a good Los Osos post...they are Shakespearean in the depth of their tragedy, biblical in their eventual punishment. I'm left crushed, filled with sorrow for the clueless masses, hoping for their redemption, while the perps are cast into Gehenna. Or, at least, come the revolution, they'll be first up against the wall. ;^)

9:55 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Every time a story about Los Osos comes up I RUN to my boss' office to tell him all about it (I'm not ready to show him the blog, I don't think). On Monday, I told him that I'm about ready to go back to part-time so I can write a book about the Los Osos sewers. On Tuesday, he sent me an email saying that if I can work it into my facilitation training (large group decision-making?), he'll let me work on Los Osos on work time!! And he knows people who have worked on Los Osos for twenty years! He'll hook me up!


8:37 AM  

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