Oceano CSD update

October 3, 2012

Julie Tacker

OPINION By JULIE TACKER

It’s been awhile since we last talked about the Oceano Community Services District. In August, I explained OCSD General Manager Tom Geaslen had failed to bring the permanent sale of water initiative to an agenda in a timely fashion. This misstep prevented the district from stating their position on the matter in the voter information packet that goes to every registered voter in the district.

At the OCSD’s Sept. 26 meeting the board finally discussed the initiative, but were unable to spend district funds publicizing their position due to conflicts in the California Election Code.

Their position emulates that of County Council, Warren Jensen’s, impartial analysis which is published in the voter information guide. It states, “the measure may be subject to legal challenge on one or more grounds,” suggesting it “steps beyond the power of the electorate to enact because the legislature has delegated to community services district government boards the power to sell water. Additionally, because the matter of who or which entity the OCSD may contract to sell water is an administrative matter not within the initiative power of the voters.”

To get the message out without costing the district a penny, directors could do what I am doing, write letters to the editor urging a “no” vote on the illegal initiative that will likely be litigated in the future.

Another costly topic, administrative fees collected from the South County Sanitation District (SSLOCSD) are on this week’s SSLOCSD agenda. Historically SSLOCSD has paid $4,930 each year to OCSD for their staff’s time mailing and processing the sanitation district’s sewer fees that pass through the agency each year. In a budget discussion this spring, Geaslen suggested “we hold the check” in order to negotiate an increase and withheld some 10 percent (over $7,000) of pass through payments in April and May.

SSLOCSD District Engineer, John Wallace wrote a letter to Geaslen in early July demanding payment. Geaslen responds saying checks would be cut, they were, but billing would begin at $45,000 a year starting in July.

On Aug. 22, SSLOCSD was issued an invoice from OCSD for $7,382.32 for “Billing Cycle 1” which appears to be for July and August. Wallace has rejected the invoice citing insufficient documentation/ justification for such a charge. A 900 percent increase over what has been approved and budgeted by his Board. No written agreement and the billing includes costs associated with staff reading water meters; which is not how sewer charges are calculated.

Geaslen’s proposal would increase the cost to OCSD rate payers by 9 percent or $16.00 per year ($2.60 each bimonthly). This would be on top of the 2011 water/sewer rate increases that are ratcheting up over five years.

Sanitation District member agencies Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach would likely follow suit, increasing their charges to the SSLOCSD and corresponding actions by both city councils could take months, perhaps years, if ever approved by the SSLOCSD customers in a Proposition 218 protest process.

Once again, Geaslen is wasting time chasing unlikely “revenue sources.”

 


7 Comments

  1. letsbhonest says:

    Jeff Edwards is pure entertainment every time he shows up at the OCSD! He thinks he is such a “big
    important piece of business”. He just delights in standing at the podium strutting his comical stuff!
    No one really cares or listens to what he has to say by the looks on their faces. He trys to bully
    Around his comments to no avail! I had a relative from another state watch him one time and just
    For those few minutes my relative said ” who is that big clown? “

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. letsbhonest says:

    Mary lucey at the last month zone 3 meeting . She was talking with her hands and pushed the mic
    away; and when someone in the audience said ” use your mic” she had such rude attitude! She clicked with her mouth and gave the person a look of “how dare you interrupt me” my point is this: she is
    constantley reminding her OCSD fellow board panel to “talk in to the mic” “I can’t hear you
    But God forbid someone tell her that! I think she has the smarts to be on these boards but she definetly
    needs to watch her board room manners!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. letsbhonest says:

    I think Mr.Geaslin is doing the best he can. Give him some slack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  4. R.Hodin says:

    “It’s been awhile since we last talked. . .”

    Julie, we’ve never “talked”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  5. doggin says:

    I have to laugh at this story. Wallace told Gleason to piss off because he sent a bill for $40K more than it should have been with no justifiable logic behind the increase other than making more money.
    Coming from Wallace who once had 24 of his employees on the Sanitation Districts books feeding off public funds of to the tune of a Million dollars a year to engineer nothing of any valve in the way of a process upgrades, and now costing the public $1.1 million in fines….. Ha..hahahahahahahahah.
    Well there J W…. perhaps a career in comedy is better suited to your skills and abilities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  6. blacksmith says:

    Speaking on the initiative for selling water.

    First, Warren Jensen’s “impartial analysis” should be in quotations. The document, which Jensen is required to produce (but not required to have any basis in truth) is called an “impartial analysis”, but that doesn’t mean it is.

    In his “impartial analysis”, he says that “Additionally, because the matter of who or which entity the OCSD may contract to sell water is an administrative matter not within the initiative power of the voters.”

    Pure fantasy. If this was true, and it was indeed an adminstative matter, then the General Manager could sell the district’s water rights without any O.K. from the board, or the citizens which elected the board.

    He continues this by saying that “the measure may be subject to legal challenge on one or more grounds,” suggesting it “steps beyond the power of the electorate to enact because the legislature has delegated to community services district government boards the power to sell water.”

    Wake up. The people created the legislature.

    Ms. Tacker urges a no vote. Does she urge a no vote as a citizen of Oceano? Does she urge a no vote because her developer boyfriend has his own plans? Or could it be she urges a no vote because she blindly holds up Jensen’s “impartial analysis” as gospel.

    All I know is this would not have showed up on the ballot unless a lot of people in Oceano didn’t care about their water rights. They do. Time to stick up for your rights.

    Attention: CCN, send a reporter and pin Jensen down. Let him cite code, or case law, or something. (anything)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

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