The issue is water in Paso Robles

May 21, 2010

Opinion by KAREN REED

The City of Paso Robles has taken the final steps to saddle us with exorbitant and irresponsible water rates. They have done a good job of making everyone believe this is a water issue. This is California. Water is an issue in the whole state. We all want sufficient water!

The real issue here is the way the City Council is going about getting the money to pay for the infrastructure needed. There are rules and regulations, guidelines for them to follow. The constitution of the State of California has even been amended to spell out the procedure to fund these kinds of projects. Our public servants have skirted the rules and decided they were just going to force us to pay for this plan and then hide behind the city attorney, preventing us, the people that have to actually pay for the projects, the ability to have a say in the decision if we are willing to pay the proposed costs for the proposed plan.

There are procedures that have been used several times over the last few years for the City to fund major projects. I can think of two or three I drive by every day. Of course, our public servants don’t like the process because it could mean they don’t get everything they want. But the bottom line is by following the proper procedures, the projects that have public support, will get done.

If they would have used the legal process to fund these kinds of projects when they started this in 2004, they would probably have the funding in place by now. The citizens would have had a voice in the project. It might look differently than the plan they have adopted now, but it would have been done legally and only with public support.

There is no reason to allow this plan to be rushed through. The pipeline is still under construction, the pipeline payments are covered in our current water bills, and all the other infrastructure can be added after the citizens have been allowed a voice in the decision how best to achieve these goals.

If we miss this opportunity to insist that the City Council follows the rules required to fund the projects, we will not only be saddled with 300 percent higher water rates, but it will reinforce the attitude in our public servants that the way to get things done is to bypass the will of the citizens and just force their will. That is an erosion of our constitutional rights. Once our rights are gone we will never get them back.

This November, three of the five City Council members will be up for election. Perhaps our only recourse as ordinary citizens is to vote out the incumbents. This will send the powerful message that this behavior will not be tolerated. We must have representatives that listen to their constituents and act accordingly.

Karen Reed is a businesswoman who lives and works in Paso Robles.

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I registered on this site just so I could share this photo I took last Monday. This is city sprinklers running on a Monday (a no water day under mandatory Paso Robles water conservation rules) and in the RAIN!

Here is the weather data from that day:

Ironically I was red tagged yesterday for watering on a non-water day.

I also informed the city of their faulty sprinklers and offered to share the same data I presented above. Probably not enough money in the budget to fix their own stuff, but plenty to send out the water patrol to harass the tax payers. Cynical.

Unless and until the system is changed it doesn’t really matter who is in office.

a: Our system is fine, and voters in Paso can support or reject current office holders. It does matter who is in office.

How exactly did things work out from 2000 to 2008 under the conservatives?

a: When our governement (local or national) is run by conservatives, it generally works out well. The problem is that between 200 and 2006, George Bush did not run the government with conservative fiscal policies. He spent money like a druken sailor, which isn’t quite fair to say to all of our sailors in the area . . . And after 2006, Nancy Pelposi controlled the purse strings . . .

It does matter who is in office.

Q: How exactly did things work out from 2000 to 2008 under the conservatives?

A: Who was the conservative who controlled the white house? George Bush did NOT exhibit conservative fiscal values between 2000 and 2006. After 2006, Nancy Pelosi controlled how our government spends money. It DOES matter who is in office.

Republicans are better if they are willing to act conservatively in office. Democrats seem to be even less fiscally responsible than George Bush.

It’s funny that we always had enough water during the housing boom but now that Paso probably hasn’t build ten houses in the last three years we are having to ration it. It couldn’t be because the city wants us to pay for the Naci pipe line. lol!!!

“We need to throw all of the bastards out!” honeywagonlew and monkscrew you are both a crack up but I agree that you have the right idea. Throw them all out, everyone of them, every incumbent in the whole State. Lefties and Rights alike, get rid of all the scoundrels, “we the people” can’t trust any of them, if some good guys go out with the bath water, well that’s their own fault for not speaking up long ago. The sound of that makes me laugh but, like you, I’m serious, it’s time to clean house.

Back on topic, I think Paso Robles desperately needs Nacimiento water. Not so much for development, but for diversification of the water supply. Currently, Paso Robles gets 100% of its water from ground water sources mostly around the Salinas River area. So, let’s say that due to a major train derailment and chemical spill into the Salinas River, the chemical leaches into the ground water and makes the water unfit for consumption. Is this likely to happen? No. Is it possible? Yes. In another scenario, picture several years of severe drought. Water tables plummet. The wells that provide Paso Robles its water are now only putting out 50% of their former output. The citizens and businesses of Paso Robles are now requiring more water than can be delivered. Mandatory watering restrictions will be imposed. Our precious lawns will all die. We won’t be able to wash our cars in our driveway. Is this likely to happen? Maybe.

As you can see, putting all of our eggs in one basket just invites serious trouble. Diversifying our water portfolio is a painful, but necessary, step in securing the future of the City of Paso Robles.

We need to throw all of the bastards out! Left, right, or nonpartisan makes no difference. Unless and until we get people responsive to the needs of We The People we need to get rid of them all.

Its simply to easy to point the finger and blame one party or the other or this administration vs. the last. The problem is that they are all corrupt. Business interests and lining ones pockets are the mantra of the day.

Dems and Repubs are 2 sides of the same coin. The result, heads we lose, tails we lose. I know that Rush says its the democrats fault but don’t fall for it. It is actually OUR fault. We continue to tolerate politicians who promise the world and deliver nothing.


Well I guess Paso May be beginning to understand what happened in Los Osos Better. With just $20 mil approved in a bond sale (with no 218 vote to make it legal) the project planning began. The CSD allowed consultants, in some cases freinds and family of the board members to burn through the bond and then broke the news—the price tag to build the project was not $40, $50 or even the $96 mil. It was goning to be $165 million. Thanks for the update—and still no 218. A recall vote threw the 3 original board memebrs out to force a vote, but the consultants working closely with past director Hensley and Pandora Karner, Gibson and others, they filed claims and bankrupted the district.

That move the project back to county, Funny the same consultants were hired by the County. The County agreed to use $2mil and get the project ready for bid. After $7.25 they still have nothing! Buit the consultants have been paid.

What ever Paso voters decide to do to have a say, be careful, get good legal advice, you are surrounded by scoundrels all the way to Sacramento.

You obviously don’t live in Los Osos dunie – that isn’t what happened!

No 218 was legally required then! The sewer beyond the $23 million bond was going to be paid off with the rates and charges. The average bill was going to be $205/mo. This time around property owners have a $25,000 lien against their homes, thanks to the recall and the County taking over the project – AND the estimate is up to $250/mo. That does not count the costs to pay the creditors in the bankruptcy. The district wouldn’t have gone bankrupt had they started the project back up and done a bridge loan to redesign the plant and put it out of town.

Yeah, watch who you get for legal advice. The bad advice the “new” board got cost them and the citizens of Los Osos a fortune.

Mythbuster, why don’t you tell us more about a “bridge loan”.

We need to throw these good ole boy/girl’s out, just to say it politely. Same as is going to happen nation wide during the next few elections. The American conservative, which is by far the largest group of Americans, thanks to Nobama, are fed up with business as usual with these politicians. The ones we have here in Paso are no different and possibly worse. Stick to the rules and listen to us or we’ll throw you basterd’s out. Pissed off in Paso!

“The American conservative, which is by far the largest group of Americans, thanks to Nobama, are fed up with business as usual with these politicians.” honeywagonlew

How exactly did things work out from 2000 to 2008 under the conservatives?

Unless and until the system is changed it doesn’t really matter who is in office.