Sewer nut shreds the Shredder

October 17, 2011

Julie Tacker

OPINION By JULIE TACKER

Shredder:  Dear Shredder,

I think I’m having a problem communicating. Every week I go to the Board of Supervisors and say the exact same thing and nobody seems to listen. Also, my application to lynch Paavo Ogren and Maria Kelly was rejected, again. What am I doing wrong?

Los Osos Sewer Nut

Dear Nut,

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Julie: The same can be said for the sewer decision makers (1980-98, County of SLO, 1999-2005 LOCSD, 2006-today County of SLO) study after study, design after design, to still end up with an energy hungry gravity sewer IS insane.

Shredder: I consider what I am about to say the most important piece of advice I have ever given: shut up.

Julie: No Shredder, you shut up!  If you can’t be part of the solution, get out of the way.

Shredder: For years I’ve listened to you rant about your sewer.

Julie; You may have heard the dedicated concerned citizens of Los Osos week after week, but you obviously weren’t listening.  If you had been you would know why they go and perhaps have joined them in their plight.

Shredder: You hate it. You really hate it.

Julie: We don’t hate the sewer, we hate the process (tainted by corporate greed, small town politics and now a love affair that revealed what we already knew, Maria’s vote to settle with mondo-engineering firm MWH let lover-boy Paavo off the hook (for illegally ordering the backdating of a contract).

We hate having our voices quashed by those who claim to be doing what’s “good” or “right” for Los Osos. Those who do not live with the complexities of the issues in Los Osos, those who do not care what the dissention has done to a community that is otherwise quite lovely.

Shredder: You want more funding. You’re not happy about the funding you got.

Julie: “Funding?”  What funding?  Los Osos could have got a better loan from a loan shark than it’s getting from the USDA. The County’s “skilled negotiators” portrayed Los Osos as “deadbeats who defaulted on a $6 Million loan in 2005.”  This is completely false. The loan in question was rescinded by the State when their own engineer agreed with the District’s engineer and newly elected Board that moving the sewer from downtown would reduce the project cost by $25 million. That engineer was quickly removed from the project and buried in a cubical somewhere in Sacramento.

Shredder: I’m not sure what you want, and I don’t think you are either.

Julie: Los Osos has always wanted a fair process and a chance to build an environmentally friendly project. For example, this project doesn’t even provide for solar panels on the rooftop of the plant to offset costs of operation.  When this was brought to the attention of the permitting authorities, the County’s response was to orient the building east/west to absorb the southern sun, but not add the panels. The rate payers would pay for the panels up front, but would also benefit from the long term cost offset…maybe you Shredder, can get the answer “why not?”

Shredder: You’ve had years to formulate a cohesive statement, argument, manifesto, anything.

Julie: At one time (1998) 87 percent of voters were in agreement of one thing; to take the project away from the County. They were sold on “faster, better, cheaper” and are still in search of it.

Shredder: Instead, all anyone’s heard for years is incoherent rambling against anyone and everyone even remotely connected to Los Osos.

Julie: Again Shredder, you haven’t been listening to those weekly speakers.  Each brings something different.  They come from all walks of life, political parties, religious preferences, and myriad life experiences. Some speak sewer, others water, some to cost, the complex details, or as of late — the recently revealed love affair involving key players, Maria and Paavo.

Shredder: And if they’re not on your side—whatever the hell side that happens to be—they’re against you.

Julie: Not necessarily.  The Los Osos issues are very complex (if you were listening you would know that). Those citizens who march like lemmings to the podium to agree with the County ARE against those who bring forth the issues, concerns, and flaws. They like living like mushrooms; in the dark being fed compost.  Clearly they haven’t taken the time to go through the studies, add the figures themselves, or look at the logistics of the permits (e.g.  Harming/killing no more than 15 snails over the course of the 45 mile long project, emptying 5,000 septic tanks in under a year, tip-toeing through Native American ruins/burial grounds, daily dewatering of a million gallons of polluted groundwater from trenches, digging in sugar sand, the complex list goes on and on).

Shredder: There are two ways to go about this. One way is to sit down privately and try to reach a resolution.
Julie: Which issue would you like “resolution?”

Gravity verses step? Good loan verses bad? Who is eligible for subsidizes and who isn’t? Farmers will take the wastewater or they won’t? Seawater Intrusion marches on while the County sits on $5 million intended for conservation devices? Denitrifying septic returned water for drinking? Selling our Solid Waste franchise to the County for a mere $2.8 Million, never to get it back? Paavo and Maria? Which?

Shredder: The other way is to grandstand on TV and the radio every week clearly getting nowhere.

Julie: You obviously do not follow these dedicated citizens very closely; they attend many more meetings that are not televised than are. (They are not allowed appointments with individual Supervisors to take issues up behind closed doors.) They spend their precious time, days and often very long nights, reading documents, buying copies of documents, and mounting travel expenses to cross the state to speak to the State and Regional Water Board, Coastal Commission, and others to make their voices heard.

Shredder: You’ve fallen in love with the sound of your own ramblings, and probably driven away people who might have something important to contribute to the subject.

Julie: What you call “Rambling,” I call free speech. You in the newspaper business are supposed to be the biggest advocates for the 1st Amendment. As for others who may have been “driven away,” I say, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Shredder: You have managed to accomplish nothing, really.

Julie: Really Shredder? These hard-working, dedicated individuals have brought the overarching Los Osos issue of Seawater Intrusion to the forefront. While you sit comfortably on your porcelain throne and don’t give flushing it a second thought, the informed citizens of Los Osos have to weigh flushing pollutants into their future drinking supply while depleting their current drinking water supply and paying dearly for it.

Shredder: Might I suggest a hobby? Perhaps crocheting unicorns onto pillowcases; believe it or not, that’s actually a more substantial contribution to society.

Julie: Crochet away dear Shredder, I’d prefer to read the latest Water Conservation report.

Shredder: I’m a cheapskate, but I’ll happily chip in for yarn if you’ll cork it.

Julie: I’m a cheapskate too. I’d like an affordable sewer bill so I can afford a hobby. You say you’ll chip in for yarn? Nice. How about chipping in to pay the bills? Sewer and water combined are estimated at $500 per month per house.

I’d rather be a “Los Osos Sewer Nut” than a mushroom. Thanks for the compliment.

Julie Tacker is a 40 year Los Osos resident and longtime dedicated “Sewer Nut”


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TheFacts

Here we go again.


Lynette, Lynette, Lynette. How many times have you been discredited? You’re using this “rest of us” business again. Look, anyone who claims to speak for “the rest of us” would NOT be spending hours, days, weeks — and even years — composing pages and pages of blog comments full of spite. I know if I was an elected official, I wouldn’t have the time of day to be doing this stuff. I’d be working for the people and making sure they don’t pick up the tab for corrupt practices and conflict of interest.


According to your Smart Voter profile, you got 2,220 votes (12.82%) when you ran for the LOCSD in 2006. And when the Opinion Studies community survey came out in 2009, there are 7,557 owners/renters in the Prohibition Zone. According to some basic calculations, you roughly “represent” about 29% of the community, and NOT the majority (< 50%).


Aaaaaand everything you wrote is one giant ramble. None of it is true. It's boring too. Get a life.


Lynette_Tornatzky

TheFacts, theFacts, TheFacts, let’s talk about what’s relevant here.


The MAJORITY of the town agreed to the sewer that we are getting and continue support it. That is the MOST relevant thing you or I can say, right ;-) ?


TheFacts

Rubbish. The “majority” of the town does not have a concrete opinion. No documentation. How many times has this been spelled out to you? That’s right. You make things up, and you don’t accept fact. Good for you.


Typoqueen

From the outside I remember years ago when many many people wanted a sewer plant and were ready to roll with what was presented. But they haven’t been as vigilant at the same little group that have hounded the BOS every single meeting that I’ve seen. It’s seems like a small group of people that have been fighting this all these years. Is there some type of verified list or petition that states the amount of people that are for or/and against this? It seems like there should be something after all these years. With all the time the anti sewer people have fought this you would think that they/you would have sent our surveys to all the residents of LO or conducted a door to door signature campaign. Is there something like this?


Lynette_Tornatzky

The MAJORITY decided on the type and location of the sewer and agreed to assess themselves to pay for it. This is why the sewer is moving ahead now. Despite what the writer above says, an agreement to commit $25,000 per household to this project – by THE MAJORITY – well, that is pretty CONCRETE. (Those documented numbers are on the County website.)


MaryMalone

1. The “majority” is the “majority of voters who bothered to vote, or who even knew it was being voted on.”


2. The “majority” certainly didn’t know that Ogren’s fraud was in the works. Only a fool would vote for a project where the head pusher-man has to stoop to fraud to get his favorite contractor selected.


3. Since the county has done nothing to stop Ogren’s fraud, Brown Act violations, and abuse of power, I really wouldn’t put too much credence on what they decide to put on the website. It seems the BOS heads are firmly up Ogren’s kiester, and they may not be able to see the truth anymore.


Lynette_Tornatzky

There is no “Ogren’s fraud.” That is your OPINION, and you should state so.


MaryMalone

Definition of : A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.


—————


Back-dating a contract, having your girl violate regulations by working the LOCSD board and the BOS to further your career…what would you call that?


Of course, there other words that describe someone who works their girlfriend for their own advancement.


Lynette_Tornatzky

The CSD did not take Ogren or Buel to court. Who is pressing charges? No one. Just innuendo being tossed around.


“Working” the Board? First, NO PROOF. Second, you really are denigrating the intelligence of the two Board members who voted as Maria did, aren’t you?


What do YOU personally hope to gain by being a party to this gossip? And if you really believed any of this stuff you’d be filing a lawsuit, wouldn’t you? You know, putting up some money. But you know there is nothing there, so you don’t.


TheRazor

Any news publication that condemns people for speaking out — on any political issue — is morally and civilly unjust.


Lynette_Tornatzky

Oh, where to start, this piece is so tilted askew. Why is it the few who troop before the BOS weekly (Julie is not one of them), fail to recall that the majority of the town does not agree with them? THE MAJORITY!


Julie:

“No Shredder, you SHUT UP! If you can’t be part of the solution, get out of the way.”


Uh, Julie, the sewer project has been chosen BY THE PEOPLE, the funding is in place and the work has begun. End of story. So, knowing that, to which “solution” do you refer?


Julie:

“We don’t hate the sewer, we hate the process (tainted by corporate greed, small town politics and now a love affair that revealed what we already knew, Maria’s vote to settle with mondo-engineering firm MWH let lover-boy Paavo off the hook (for illegally ordering the backdating of a contract).”


Get your facts straight, Paavo didn’t backdate the contract, he didn’t even work for the district when that happened, the GM at that time, Bruce Buel, backdated the contract – at Board direction, I might add. The rest is just malicious gossip.


Julie

“‘Funding?’ What funding? Los Osos could have got a better loan from a loan shark than it’s getting from the USDA.”


USDA, 3.25% , Loan Shark, 25-150% – Julie, maybe you need to rethink your math? In any case, there was not enough SRF money to foot the bill this time around, which you know, but seem to have momentarily forgotten.


Julie:

“The loan in question was rescinded by the State when their own engineer agreed with the District’s engineer and newly elected Board that moving the sewer from downtown would reduce the project cost by $25 million.


No Julie, the loan was withdrawn because the Lisa Board STOPPED the project!


Julie:

“For example, this project doesn’t even provide for solar panels on the rooftop of the plant to offset costs of operation.”


Hey! For someone who singlehandedly squelched the SCHOOLS in this area from getting solar panels, this comment seems a tad disingenuous.


Julie:

“At one time (1998) 87% of voters were in agreement of one thing; to take the project away from the County. They were sold on “faster, better, cheaper” and are still in search of it.”


Most of Los Osos has learned over the years that this is an undeliverable, so they have sided with the County on this project. And yes, it is more expensive. In 1984 the project was $34.6 million, in 2001 the MWH project was $84.6 million and in 2004, when YOU started fighting it, the cost was $110 million. You do see the trend, right?


Julie, describing those on her side:

“…dedicated citizens…”


Julie describing those not on her side:

“…citizens who march like lemmings to the podium to agree with the County…”


Julie, when was the last time you saw anyone BUT your “dedicated citizens” marching to the podium? The sewer is a done deal to most in Los Osos. Nothing is going to change that.


TO JULIE: we opted for gravity because we too want to flush and forget – the years we have wasted to get to this point. The years we could have had a water conservation program in place – yes, one tied to the sewer project, as that is the only way to get this done, right? Or it would have happened already, right?


TO THE SHREDDER: there is no resolution to be had, when the “TRUE BELIEVERS in their getting screwed” are involved. They will hold firmly to that opinion, make it heard at ever venue with a podium, and be damned what the rest of the town wants or believes, that is just immaterial. These TRUE BELIEVERS cannot accept that they did not make a compelling enough case for their “sewer vision” to be taken up by the majority. And at this point, I do agree with you, they truly are getting nowhere, but we are free not to listen to their “free speech!”


MaryMalone

Ogren, serving as general manager to LOCSD at that time, was responsible for the backdating/ predating.


In CSDs, there is a line between office staff (which the GM heads) and the board of directors (which the president of the board heads). The board tells the GM what to do, and the GM tells his staff what to do. The staff is not allowed to talk policy with individual board members, or directly take directions from board members. Therefore, Buell, who actually signed the document, could not have backdated the document on his own volition. Directions come straight from the board. Neither the GM or anyone lower in the organization has the power to inact what the board tells them to do, unless the GM passes those instructions on to the staff.


If Ogren, as interim GM, was told by the board to backdate/predate the contract, then that is what he had to instruct Buell to do. If there was going to be any questioning of the board’s decisions and instructions, it is the GM (or, in this case, the interim GM) who does it, and he does it by discussing it with the board members. Only Ogren, in that instance, had the power to question what the board directed him and staff to do.


The GM is there to serve as a buffer between the board and office staff, and prevent individual board members from giving conflicting (and perhaps illegal) instructions to staff. The GM is responsible for pointing out to the board if what they are instructing staff to do is illegal, against district or other policy and/or regulations, etc.


This arrangement both puts the office staff in a touchy position and gives them coverage should questions arise about fraud, illegality, etc.


If Buell would have refused to do it, he likely risked being fired by Ogren, in whose chest–even then–the Heart of Sewer Vision beat strongly..


The likely reason for Buell requesting Karen Vega to witness Buell’s signature backdating the contract, and for Buell subsequently documenting the history and instructions to the GM who replaced Ogren, was to protect himself. I’ve had to do something similar myself in the past. It is a horrible, no-win situation for the staff member being directed to do something wrong.


Quoting a previous post, “The backdating of the contract in question happened in 1999. Bruce Buell, who at the time was just coming into his job as general manager of LOCSD, has admitted to backdating the contract at the request of Paavo Ogren, then district interim manager and now San Luis Obispo County’s director of public works.

Ogren was temporarily running Los Osos district when contractor Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH) of Broomfield, Colorado, was retained by the district for wastewater project management in early September 1999. Ogren did not sign the pact, nor did any board member. Instead, Ogren waited several weeks for Buell to begin his stint as the new district manager, and then told Buell to backdate the MWH contract.

Buell, in an explanatory memorandum he wrote in 2006, said the request was part of “unfinished business” and that Ogren “advised me that I should pre-date the agreement to accommodate the work actually done by MWH at the board’s request.” Buell’s action was witnessed at his request by LOCSD employee Karen Vega, he said in the memo to another incoming LOCSD chief, Dan Blesky.

“Buell was not an agent for the district and had no authority to execute the contract and he had no authority to backdate the contract,” Blesky wrote to his directors in 2005.


Lynette_Tornatzky

So, why would a former Interim GM be telling the District’s current GM what to do?


Here is what Buel actually said to Bleskey on 1/6/06 in its entirety:


“Statement Regarding Execution of 1999 Montgomery Watson Agreement”


“I reported to work as LOCSD’s General Manager on November 16, 1999. Paavo Ogren, who was the Interim General Manager prior to my term, presented me with a series of items of unfinished business. One of the items was the draft agreement with Montgonery Watson (MW) to perform Wastewater Project Management Services. Paavo explained to me that the Board had selected MW in August 1999 to perform this work and had directed MW to assist in negotiations with Oswald Engineers (OE) for OE to produce the Project Report for the Wastewater Project. The negotiations with OE were lengthy and contentious and were not resolved until late October 1999. The Board formally approved the OE agreement and the MW agreement in early November 1999, but Paavo had not executed either document. Paavo advised me that the Board had authorized MW to assist in the negotiations and that I should pre-date the agreement to accommodate the work actually done by MW at the Board’s request starting Sept 1, 1999. I did so. I also directed Karen Vega to witness my signature which she did at my direction.”


The whole thrust of Blesky’s words were to try to extricate the new Board from having to pay MWH. This had nothing to do with Paavo until a perceived need for new material to try to stop the present sewer project, as all the old stuff had failed to work.


MaryMalone

The actions for which Ogren wanted Buel to sign off/backdate occurred before Buel took the GM’s chair. Ogren was the one who leaned on Buel to do the backdating, and he did it in his role as prior GM, since that is the time period when the approval occurred.


Ogren was using the power of his position at the time the reported Board approval was given.


Buel’s misgivings were clear by the fact that he had a Karen Vega witness his signature.


Lynette_Tornatzky

How do you explain that the Board had no punishment to Buel for signing in this way? And in fact went ahead with the MW contract!


Ogren was NOT the GM, Buel was. He should do as he was asked by the Board, Ogren only being the conduit of those wishes. Ogren would be in no position to fire Buel, that would be Board business as they are the ones who hired him. You are just making stuff up.


If Buel was unclear as to what to do, he could consult the minutes as to the Board’s wishes. Or ask for further clarification. Ms. Vega was only witnessing that it was Buel who signed the contract You are inventing motivations as to Buel’s state of mind to support your allegations. Nothing is clear about misgivings here, but what is clear is your strange need to make a case out of nothing.


seniorcit

If you google Paavo Ogren backdating contract, there is story after story that Paavo ordered Bruce Buell to backdate the contract. The DA stated in Lisa Shicters action that the contract was apparently an illegal document but the statue of limitations had run out on it. All of it gossip according to you? Can you provide some documentation that the CSD ordered Bruce Buell to backdate the contract? Was it also gossip that Bruce Buell used his house as collateral for an insurance bond? I’m pretty sure he admitted to that.

The cost in 2004 was $154 million wasn’t it? So your saying Julie singlehandedly raised the cost by $44 million? A rational person would assume that by locating a full blown sewer plant in the center of town, on ESHA land, requiring the most expensive visual mediation, the most expensive smell treatment, adding park amenties such as dog park, amphitheater, tot lot, $1,000 drinking fountains, all put together would astoundingly increase the cost.


Lynette_Tornatzky

seniorcit said:

“Bruce Buell (sic) used his house as collateral for an insurance bond?”


Yes, I believe that is true. Is that illegal?


seniorcit said:

The cost in 2004 was $154 million wasn’t it?

Not according to the Water Board’s chart it wasn’t. The center of town was selected by the Better-Faster-Cheaper group to save on pumping costs. Apparently the town agreed and the CSD was formed to do that project. (You might ask yourself what was the smell mitigation then?) In any case, now that the project has been moved out of town, is it cheaper?


Julie was not alone in raising the cost, but you would have to agree, she was a leader. All of the roadblocks and lawsuits raised the cost the of the project the most. But the project took out the amenities. Too expensive was the voice of the people! Then at the Coastal Commission, Julie and friends demanded that the amenities be put back in. Go figure, but cha-ching!


seniorcit

Who would put their private residence up as collateral for a government entity? Someone that knew the fix was in and was in no danger of that collateral being cashed in.

I don’t have the ambition to address all the inconsistencies of your 2nd paragraph.


TheFacts

A round of applause for the creep.


I’ll save the reader some precious eye time with a few quick words.


1. The people voted to assess themselves for the sewer, but did NOT vote for the project parts, funding sources, etc.


2. Paavo backdated the contract. Just because the board approves it doesn’t make it suddenly legal. If someone was murdered, and a city council sanctioned it, it’s still murder. Only reason it was “legal” is because the illegality claims were made after the statute of limitations period expired.


3. The USDA loan was initially going to be a 0% because of the disadvantaged community waiver — and now look what happened. The PZ is now on the hook for interest that they can’t pay.


4. Loan was withdrawn before the Lisa board “stopped” the project. Think court cases.


5. Gravity was chosen by Noel King after AB2701 was passed, not because it was “flush and forget.” It’s on public record. No thorough process, no gravity tech memo, no nothing.


So please, get a life, and do your homework. Your logic is just as crippled as Joyce Albright.


Lynette_Tornatzky

To TheFacts:


1. And that distinction makes a difference HOW?


2. Paavo did NOT backdate the contract. Bruce Buel did. Do you see Paavo’s signature on that contract? No, you don’t.


3. The USDA does not give 0% loans, You have confused it with the SRF loan which does give 0% loans. We have another chance to get that or to get close to it on December 6 when the SWRCB and the County go over that loan for possible amendments.


4. No, the Lisa Board stopped the project and with no project (which she admits they did not have) the funding was discontinued. Court cases is what came after when they realized they had been cut off and they wanted to get the money back and not pay for what they spent.


5. Step gravity and vacuum were compared. You must have missed the Rough and Fine Screening Reports. The people filled out a survey and clearly CHOSE gravity.


I am offended at your statement about Joyce. That is just cruel.


Lynette_Tornatzky

I must post a correction. Ms. Tacker did not stop the solar panels from going in at Los Osos Middle School, she only delayed them. I spoke with a representative of San Luis Coastal Unified School District and the project is going ahead and is in the design phase. The Baywood School plan had some amendments at the California Coastal Commission hearing and so did Morro Bay High. Don’t know what happened at Monarch Grove.


Backstory: In April 2010 Ms. Tacker publicly voiced her opinion on solar panels for the schools in Los Osos and Morro Bay, calling them unsightly, unsafe and bringing up the familiar deal breakers of a wetlands and shoulderband snail habitat.


I quote Ms. Tacker from the New Times article by Matt Fountain on April 28, 2010:


 “These structures are hideous,” said Los Osos resident and former LOCAC member Julie Tacker. “This is a highly scenic community and our land use policies say we don’t want these things to be visual in nature.”


The projects passed through the County Planning Commission. She appealed it there but the appeal was denied and the Minor Use Permit was granted. But then, Ms. Tacker and friends appealed this decision to the California Coastal Commission on October 27, 2010 for a January 2011 hearing. They argued these points: The solar plan was inconsistent with the LCP on ESHA, Visual and Scenic Resources, archeologically sensitive areas, the County’s grading ordinance and the way the County processed the project. Staff found no substantial issue and neither did the commissioners. The panels are going up over a parking lot at Los Osos Middle School.


Bored Watcher

The structures will be pretty ugly. Have they been installed at the middle school? I don’t go that way to often to have looked over at them. I heard there were a dozen or more trees having to be removed for them, why didn’t they just put them on the roof? Wouldn’t have to cut the trees, or dig up the parking lot. or disrupt classes. I have to side with Tacker on this one.


Bored Watcher

Just looked up the appeals to the Coastal Commission over these projects. Sierra Club as a co-appellant. Hardly making Tacker the scapegoat for “delay’s”. Lynette, additional support for Tacker’s position was LOCAC, our community advisory council. One member called the carports “visual blight.”


wolfhound

Say what you will about the so-called crazy folk, but one thing for sure is that they are responsible for locating the upcoming sewer plant downwind and out of town, in a more intelligent location.


The real crazy ones were the nutty ones that had their heads in the sand and wasted millions of our dollars, even after being told by the water board that the Tri-W location was wrongheaded at best.


Thank you Julie, not many of us really wanted to picnic in a sewer park.


Lynette_Tornatzky

Yet wasn’t it Julie and Lisa who brought in Patricia Johanson, sewer park builder extraordinaire, to see what she could offer to Los Osos? I recall the Bay News article on that, maybe you saw it too.


RU4Real

I’ll try this again, just to ENLIGHTEN Ms. Tornatsky…Julie & Lisa DID NOT BRING IN Patricia Johannson…It was Debi & Pam who found Patricia, liked her work & thought her work would be a good fit for Los Osos. I do NOT know why my comments on this keep getting removed. Let’s give credit to those who really brought Patricia in…


moderator

I do NOT know why my comments on this keep getting removed.

name calling abuse


Lynette_Tornatzky

Julie and Lisa got the face time with the press. Did they mention Debi and Pam? Sorry if I missed that.


RU4Real

NO, Lynette. It was NOT Julie OR Lisa who found Patricia Johannson, it WAS Debi & Pam who brought her in for a “consult”…Just so YOU know.


MaryMalone

I don’t live in Los Osos, so I don’t have a horse in this race.


I will say, however, that, on a broad perspective, the following can be agreed upon by everybody:


“Building a wastewater treatment facility in a community is an investment which is anticipated to provide improvements on the long-term.”


For those who agree with that simple premise–which seems obvious to me–then I will offer this:


Unless the design, engineering and construction effectively mitigates the soil problems in Los Osos (risk for liquifaction and native soil nitrates), it will cause more long-term, perhaps catastrophic, problems than it solves.


Turquoise

Bravo, Julie Tacker!


The Shredder is all about taking cheap shots but I usually agree with their basic premise. This editorial was shallow and flawed from beginning to ass-end. I applaud Tacker for kicking that ass.


Typoqueen

Geez that was an irritating commentary, I couldn’t even finish it. When Shredder did the Q & A thing he didn’t go on and on like Tacker did.


Tacker should be ashamed, Julie, you are directly responsible for the high cost of your sewer system. You fought and screamed and caused so many problems that now the cost has gone sky high from when it originated. I remember back in those days when despite knowing that you had to have a sewer system put in you guys were determined to not have ANY sewer treatment facility built, you fought EVERY location and now the residents of LO are paying for it. Leave those poor people alone before you do any more damage.


seniorcit

An honest mistake you made i’m sure, but actually Pandora Nash Karner and her Solutions Group would be the culprits in direct responsibility for the high cost of the sewer system. A fact most have forgotten is she and her group were the ones that stopped the County sewer plan in 1998 that was at least 1/2 the cost it is now.


MaryMalone

TQ, every resident has a right to question what is going on. It’s not just Lynette and Maria Kelly (before she moved in with Ogren, years ago) who have that right.


The contract upon which this project is based is illegal. It was signed at the direct instruction of Paavo Ogren.


The parties involved, especially the funding parties, need to be formally aware of this and sign off acknowledging they are aware of, and accept, the fraud, and won’t prosecute.


Otherwise, what may happen to Atascadero and its FEMA loans may happen to Ogren’s Sewer Vision, but in a much bigger way.


Lynette_Tornatzky

Kelly has not moved in with Ogren, nor has she ever lived with him.


The contract was signed by Bruce Buel at the direction of the Board . Why would a former interim GM be telling the current GM what to sign? It doesn’t even make sense!


Lynette_Tornatzky

See my comment above for the reason Ogren would talk to Buel.


MaryMalone

We’ll see where Kelly lived. All it takes is getting her phone records and it can be seen how many times and what hours of the day she used her phone from Ogren’s home.


Ogren on November 16, had no power, even as interim GM, at that time, to pass on their directions to Buel or anyone else.


However, he made the argument that the approval had come while he was still interim GM.


So Ogren not only committed fraud on the backdated document, he fraudulently represented himself as having the power to instruct Buel to backdate the document.


Lynette_Tornatzky

Why Mary Malone – you DO have a dog in this fight, don’t you? Are you planning on spending money on lawyer’s fees to try to make a case to get to those records with a court order? Phone records won’t prove where she lived in any case, all the while ignoring eye witness testimony as to her continued residence in Los Osos until she resigned?


Did you never work at a place where you took someone’s position and they explained what has been going on before you got there? Did you think that they were “committing fraud” as you put it?


The Board backed up Buel, end of story! (You are only making yourself look worse by continuing to support your belief in this imagined crime.)


Cindy

“all the while ignoring eye witness testimony as to her continued residence in Los Osos until she resigned?”


Lynette, I don’t know what eyewitness testimony you’re referring to but generally the best eyewitness testimony is from the neighbors. If I’m not mistaking, the neighbors said that Maria’s car was very rarely at her house and she wasn’t home nights. Also when the kids got into the car accident, her kid gave SLO as his address not LO. I’d like to believe you and initially I did but how does one explain this odd discrepancy?


Lynette_Tornatzky

Just because she did not live in the same house, the one the neighbors reported on, does not mean she did not live in Los Osos! Usually when people decide to part ways, one of them moves out. I know where, but you aren’t going to drag that one out of me, for what should be obvious reasons.


And her ex-husband moved to SLO, so that explains the SLO address.


Really, you know neither MaryMalone nor I, so you will just have to sort out what makes sense.


MaryMalone

My, you are worried, aren’t you?


Lynette_Tornatzky

No, nothing to worry about on this topic. Must be wishful thinking on your part?


MaryMalone

When you look at Ogren’s history of treating ethics regulations like they are toiletpaper, it makes a lot of sense.


I bet he has the Brown Act printed on toiletpaper so he can defile it first-hand, up close and personal, and then flush it away, just like the money the Los Osos residents (stuck for paying for Ogren’s vanity project, his sewer vision) will be flushing away every month.


Typoqueen

Mary, I’m not as up to speed as you all are on this LO thing, not at all. I can only go by what I see and so far to me this has gone on too long and SOME of the people that seem to be fighting this seem a bit over the top IMO. I remember reading so many controversial things about Tacker, things that I didn’t like. What was that story about her and her boyfriend cutting down those trees that weren’t there’s to cut down, I might have the story wrong but didn’t they use city equipment to chop/chip up those trees? That story just came to mind but there is a long list of garbage on her. Some of those things aren’t so bad but there seems to be a pattern here. I’ve been reading Lynettes T’s posts and they seem to make sense. LO needs a sewer, it’s disgusting that they haven’t had one all this time. this bit about Orgren and his mistress, it seem trivial, I don’t care about that stuff, whats the point. Seems like people have been after Ogren for a long time, he sounds like a shady guy but it’s done. If I lived there I’d just want this damn sewer to get done with and I’d want to get on with my life. The people that continue to go to those meetings every single week year after year need to move on and try to enjoy life, we have a short time on this earth if you’re going to fight for something fight for something that will do good and that you have a chance of winning.


Typed fast sorry for the mess.


MaryMalone

You don’t have to understand know and/or understand their motivations.


The sewer project was awarded by fraud. This does not speak to the worthiness or the appropriateness of the company awarded the contract, or the knowledge and competency of the government administrator, Ogren, pushing the contract’s approval by fraud. . Indeed, it emphasizes that the contracting company could not get the contract by honest means, based on their credibility and quality of their design and project specs, and so had to enter into a collusion with Paavo Ogren to commit fraud against the people of Los Osos, who will have to pay for it.


The Ogren-Kelly deal is not a trivial issue since they both used their positions in office to shove Ogren’s Sewer Vision down the throats of the Los Osos peeps. I can’t even imagine the number of Brown Act violations the two of them conspired in, both with each other and with others. Every time I learn new details, there is another Brown Act violation involved somewhere.


You cannot, out of one side of your moth, bemoan the terrible ethics problems in SLOCo government and businesses, and then out of the other side of your mouth say that the fraudulent awarding of a $multi-multi-million sewer contract and multiple Brown Act violations are “trivial,” without appearing to be two-faced, which does not appear to be your style at all.


I can understand if you want to put your limited resources to other problems, and choose not to protest this problem of fraud, conspiracy, abuse of power, and Brown Act violations.


However, to call such really big (and illegal) lapses of ethics and blatant breaking of regulations “trivial” just isn’t right, IMO.


Typoqueen

Mary, it just seems like this has been going on too long. I haven’t seen the proof of fraud, if I see the ‘proof’ then I’ll believe it, you might be right. But even at that, even if this guy was banging that woman and they were hiding this or that and violated the Brown Act, this thing needs to get done. I know that sounds bad but someone needs to care about the money that these delays have cost LO. Year after year it was delayed by the same people and there was always one reason or the other and now it’s the Ogren thing. I say enough is enough. All of these delays have cost too much it has to stop. There has to be a time when people step up and say enough this is it and that is what the BOS did. So do you want to start the whole process again? What do you suggest, what do you think that the BOS should in this case. Stop it all and start from scratch? Then what, what about when those same people find another way to delay this because I guarantee that they will find more trash to bring up to delay this project again and again and again $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. I say just do it, just build the damn thing and move on.


MaryMalone

Maybe for YOU it has been going on too long. Others put a greater value on ensuring that the government’s actions in awarding such a huge contract be done in an ethical manner because it will impact the outcome of the project…and if the ethical issues are allowed to go unchallenged legally BEFORE the project gets going, there is a good chance it will get challenged later on down the road. Then Los Osos will be stuck with a partially finsihed mess while the courts sort out whether the initial contract and revisions were legal or not.


Just because something has been going on for a long time does not mean you have to make a choice out of poor options.


To just accept such a problem-laden contract, with problems in the design, using a company that has a terrible track record, because the fight has gone on too long is, IMO, a very poor choice.


That kind of choice simply embolden the filth in politics like Ogren and Kelly to commit further fraud and break other ethics violations to get their way.


You don’t give into a bully unless you want that bullying to become institutionalized and accepted in your life.


Typoqueen

So in other words, just financially destroy the community over principle or/and allegations that are just theory, I haven’t seen evidence of real issues that should affect this treatment plant. What about the other delays? Do you not see a pattern, do you not see that there will always be a reason for these people to delay getting a sewer? They will fight and find problems with everyone that fights for a sewer. Maybe you are right but at this point they are like the little boy that cried wolf, I’m not buying it. More delays mean more money.


Oh well, we won’t see eye to eye on this.


racket

It’s like living near the train tracks. Sooner or later you get used to the noise and can work around it, but it never really goes away.


MaryMalone

I grew up living one house away from the train tracks, and you are correct, over time, you get used to the noise and can work around it. A little while longer, and it actually makes where you live feel like home.


I rented a house when I was single and it immediately felt like home. It wasn’t until Jack O’Connell came to the door during one of his campaigns that, in talking with him, I actually realized that just beyond a nice line of shrubbery was railroad tracks!


I have never slept as well as I did when I lived near the railroad tracks, being rocked to sleep by the rhythm of the rails.


Cindy

Julie sounds like she is making plenty of sense to me.


MaryMalone

Especially the part about not wanting to pay $500 a month.


It seems obvious to me that if Ogren has so little faith in his Sewer Vision that he has to use his shack-up to trot her wares before the County BOS and the LOCSD board members to advance it, then Ogren’s Sewer Vision must be really, really bad.


Lynette_Tornatzky

$500 a month? From what left field was that incorrect number excavated?


You might be making yourself a hero to the few who believe this trash MaryMalone, but to the rest of us, you look pathetic.


Bored Watcher

Did you watch the Rob Miller presentation at the LOCSD in Oct? How much do you think your water bill will climb to “balance the basin”? Denitirfy the water? Blending stations?

I can see where Julie get’s her number…Golden State Customers are already close to $200 per month. Especially Cabrillo Estates res…but they won’t get a sewer bill, so who cares about them? Added to the $250 per mo. sewer, we’ll be darn close to $500, if not more. Stay tuned Sewertoons, you will be flushing and forgetting, the rest of us will be remembering…every hard earned

dime.


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