Dissolution of Los Osos is the only solution

April 18, 2015
Tom Salmon

Tom Salmon


The Los Osos Community Services District was created in 1999 based on the premise of “local control.” When formed, the original board enacted latent powers that included providing the services of sewer, half the community’s water, drainage, fire, garbage, lighting, parks and recreation.

The primary promise was to deliver an affordable and engineered proven sewer plant that would assist in protecting our water. Do people remember Paavo Ogren being hired as our general manager? If you follow his employment history, disgrace wherever he goes.

The districts tumultuous 15 year history has resulted in peeling away its services. The best thing the district has done was in 2004 when it turned over its fire management duties to the qualified folks at Cal Fire. Fire service, gone. Bruce Pickens was an incompetent chief, who went on to show his inability in the another fire department.

The 2007 Sam Blakeslee legislation led to the county takeover of the sewer. Sewer service gone. The district’s subsequent bankruptcy resulted in the sale of its garbage franchise. Garbage service, gone.
Due to a lack of funding the street lights in Cabrillo Estates, were turned off. Lighting of that neighborhood is being done through private agreements with PG&E. Lighting service, gone.

The district never had funding for parks and recreation; an early effort to provide a community garden failed due to the endangered snail, compounded by the gift of public funds providing the garden water at no cost, road blocks. Parks and Recreation services, gone.

The handful of drainage facilities dwindled to even fewer when a dispute with sewer contractors revealed some facilities LOCSD had been maintaining for over a decade were actually under county control. Drainage facilities, gone. Mike Wright allowed over 150 million gallons of our water to escape, much thru these same outlets to the bay. He repeats the mantra, it wasn’t my fault, I wrote a letter. End of my responsibility to my neighbors.

Let’s face it; the LOCSD is a water district that serves 2,700 households. The district just adopted a 53 percent rate increase over the next four years that will yield $5 million dollars that should go to implementation of the Basin Plan. Instead, the LOCSD’s General Manager, Kathy Kively, has gone rogue with busy work to perhaps justify her $10,000 salary increase.

Over the past several months, Kivley has embarked on a methodical process in which to move the districts offices to a new location.

Kivley began by sending a letter to the South Bay Community Center complaining about sticky tables and a scheduling conflict with a Girl Scout troop, after the troop showed up on the wrong night.

Without waiting for a SBCC response, she sent a follow up letter, severing ties altogether with the center and removing all LOCSD equipment from the building. Without ever going before the public, LOCSD meetings will no longer be held at the community center.

Kivley has since sent a letter to the current office landlord advising they are breaking the lease and will be gone by October. Except for Kivley, Mike Wright and Marshall Ochilski, I can’t think of anyone else who has complained about “our” community center. Why punish this facility, it is a part of us?

Additionally, Kivley is “negotiating” a contract with Verizon to use our 16th Street water tanks for cellular antennas. Before ever coming to the board and public with a deal to consider, Kivley sent a letter to the county requesting a permit; in the letter she claims she is the owner of the property. The board has not admonished her for this misrepresentation.

Under her guidance the LOCSD Board has reduced their citizen advisory committee schedule from monthly to quarterly. The less the public sees the easier it is for her to work on things that don’t matter. Kivley was fired at Atwater, and lied on her job application, Atwater was not satisfied by her. Many, many people here at home are not satisfied by her actions, I’ve given many examples. It seems the only people that Kivley satisfies are Mike Wright and Marshall Ochilski.

With only water left for the district to ruin in their services district, all focus, including ratepayer dollars, should be on infrastructure improvements, not this rogue busy work. Dissolution is the only solution to making our little community a little better, and to help us return to the quiet, happy community we once were. Get involved, we can do better.

Tom Salmon, is a longtime Los Osos resident with 35 years of expertise in statewide public infrastructure.

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  1. FairAndBalanced says:

    ThomasAquinas, which iteration of a Los Osos sewer project were you in favor of?

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • ThomasAquinas says:

      Lynette, wife of Director Tornaski, I was not in favor of many of the designs. But, that doesn’t imply all systems were not acceptable. Please stay focused, this is not about a sewer, or that sewer, or a sewer we were never going to get. This isn’t about Julie, Paavo, Pandora, Rose, Gorden, nobody from the past 15 years.
      Please Lynette, this is not a bouncing ball. Is the LOCSD accomplishing what is needed vs the money being spent. Don’t read anything into it, it is pretty much a up or down vote. Don’t go sideways, don’t reach into a grey area. it is still late afternoon, nothing complicated about you having to mince words, dissect words, misspell words. Does the LOCSD need to continue in its present form? Ok, does that help you figure it out? The process has begun, you just need to decide………

      (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
      • FairAndBalanced says:

        TA, interesting how you make an assumption about my identity, decide to attack using that assumption, and forget that others have strayed far from the topic, but you gave them a pass. My, such inconsistency!

        Well, never mind. There were but a few answers, and maybe you don’t recall what they were.

        There is no “up or down vote” here. The vote comes only after tons of work and buckets of money and I sure don’t see any leaders for this silly idea to convince LAFCO to dissolve the CSD, as if anyone on that board would think THAT was a good idea!

        As for the LOCSD continuing “in its present form” well, just what OTHER form is there?

        (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
        • ThomasAquinas says:

          Well, I’m too busy with LAFCO to debate or discuss with you. Let’s say you won, and I’m done.

          (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
      • FairAndBalanced says:

        Quoting from the moderator on a post today on the Morro Bay Parks Director story, I guess you, ThomasAquinas should have had your comments removed:

        It’s not your job to expose anyone (doxing), deal with the subject and the comments, not who someone
        “Comment authors who post personal information to expose the real names of any anonymous commenter or otherwise attempt to expose the real names of any anonymous commenter will have their comments deleted and risk account deletion and user banning. (you have a 1 in 80 chance of being correct if 5 years of guesses are any indication)”
        – See more at: http://calcoastnews.com/2015/04/morro-bay-recreation-and-parks-director-ousted/comment-page-1/#comments

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • Moderator says:

          FairAndBalanced says: “ThomasAquinas, which iteration of a Los Osos sewer project were you in favor of?”

          You posed that question just to go around and around Again.

          You have already been repeatedly warned (and more) to stop going around and around and around on Los Osos sewer history.

          You really want to call me out? You want enforcement?

          Thin Ice.

          (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
  2. pandayho says:

    Start gathering signatures and file a petition instead of writing the same article every week. If you really think it will make a difference then do it. County/CSD who cares anymore.

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
    • ThomasAquinas says:

      Mr. Pan, I truly laugh at your nom de plume, is it a personal favorite? Please be advised I have been dealing with Mr. Church with LAFCO, the process is in beginning stages.
      The editorials have been placed before, so you have all the information that you may need to come to a logical conclusion. There are people who may not know as much as you and would appreciate a explanation. The letters and the following comments are there for such a educational tool as a barometer of community direction.
      This board will fight to keep power, Kivley and Mike Weight need a power base. Marshall doesnt want the Dalidio land issues to come to the light of day. But we can see what we can do.Please be patient you will have ample opportunity to put your pen name, I hope pandayho isn’t just a shorting of your Christian name, on the legal documentation. I truly hope you have a splendid day. Respectfully

      (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
      • FairAndBalanced says:

        How does the Dalidio land issues have anything to do with dissolving the CSD?

        (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  3. SLO_Johnny says:

    If you try to fight the State Water Quality Board, you will LOSE.

    It’s time to focus on recharging the ground water basin before it collapses. There is still time to halt the salt water intrusion. The draw must be cut dramatically or direct injection of storm runoff must start very soon. If Los Osos repeats the drama from the sewer fiasco, they’ll end up needing a pipeline to Morro Bay; paying enormous fees for water from Lake Nacimiento project.

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down

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