Dissolve the Los Osos Community Services District

October 29, 2016
Top row: Chuck Cesena, Lou Tornatzky bottom row: Marshall Ochlyski, Michael Wright, John-Erik Storm

Top row: Chuck Cesena, Lou Tornatzky
bottom row: Marshall Ochlyski, Michael Wright, John-Erik Storm

OPINION by TOM SALMON

I have long supported dissolution of the Los Osos Community Services District, in fact, I opposed its formation. With this coming election of directors, I am encouraged that the conversation to dissolve may get some traction.

Incumbent Marshall Ochylski and seated director Lou Tornatsky (along with their wives) signed and supported dissolution of the district when considered in 2006. Additionally, longtime Los Ososan and former LOCSD board members Frank Freiler and Pandora Nash-Karner (and her husband Gary Karner) also supported and signed the 2006 petition to dissolve.

Even my neighbor, Bob Crizer, signed that petition. Some of these folks appear to have recruited and are supporting candidates in this current election.

Joining together to dissolve the district may just be the healing this community needs.

At last; ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ (the ancient proverb which suggests that two opposing parties can or should work together against a common enemy).  We can all work together to force the county to take better care of Los Osos than it did in the past and choose a new District 2 Supervisor in 2018 who will have Los Osos’ best interest at heart.

Opponents will cite “local control” as a reason to keep the LOCSD. There’s nothing left that’s “local.”

By order of the court, the LOCSD agreed to only unanimous decisions as partners in the recently formed Basin Management Committee. In doing so, the district has yielded its authority as a water purveyor to that entity that Ochylski presides over. Additionally, the LOCSD gave up its garbage franchise to the county as part of Ochylski’s bankruptcy negotiations and recently turned over all sewer facilities it once managed to the county.

Twelve years ago, the district contracted with county fire for its emergency services, the community is completely satisfied in the service provided. The community is outraged at how much money the LOCSD has siphoned off for administration from the fire fund over the years – enough to buy two new engines.

The services that are left for the district to provide are those we don’t argue about, a couple of drainage inlets and some pumps, a couple of lighting districts that illuminate about 300 of the 5,000 homes in the community.

The 16 general managers in 16 years makes it very easy to conclude that the experiment is over and the community is ready to hand the keys back to the county. Arguments that LAFCO wouldn’t allow dissolution in 2006 are lost on today’s changed circumstances. There’s no big debt, no looming bankruptcy and fewer services provided.

Now there’s just a district that is a shell of what it set out to be — no reason to keep the lights on when nobody’s home.

Dissolve the LOCSD. There are three directors who are all in, in the words of Pandora, “moving forward” with dissolution.


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10 Comments

  1. wolfhound says:

    Fortunately, California is one of only 8 States in the Union that provides us with a Grand Jury & one of their foremost goals is to enhance ‘civility’ and pursue matters of community interest.

    Other California CSD’s have also appealed to the gatekeeper (DA) successfully & the
    grand jury has in fact ruled unanimously for ‘full dissolution’ in some cases. Some report that it was their first & most powerful step toward dissolution’.
    Some have even suggested the County absorb the CSD
    SLO County impanels the Grand Jury with the County’s fiscal year, July 1st – June 30th, well before any year end referenda.

    Proving & demonstrating incivility in Los Osos should be a simple matter because a lot of our meetings were on tape. Many tapes should show the armed sheriffs in the back of the CSD meeting rooms ready to drag off some ‘uncivil’ residents.The audio part would speak for itself, with folk interrupting speakers, yelling & screaming loudly with arms raised middle fingers extended. Newspaper articles & blogs from all over the county embarrassing the entire community depicting the incivility, even extending to the county.

    Should be a slam-dunk to convince our DA using the same material to be used to convince a jury made up of our neighbors.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. Kaiser Bill says:

    Los Osos, Cayucos, Morro Bay, and San Simeon Are not going to get good governance and representation when Gibson bows out in 2 years. This is the district that gave the county Laurent and Bianchi before Gibson’s arrogance. My money is on the liberal voters of District 2 selecting trust fund baby Noah Smukler as their Supervisor. Why not make someone who had never had a real job a career politician on the Board of Supes?

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  3. wolfhound says:

    At this point in time, most folk in town now know the true price of owning & trying to operate a dysfunctional LOCSD. Their past actions surely meet the definitions of ‘dysfunctional’.

    We, seemingly can’t get along with the most knowledgeable of ‘managers’ they could solicit
    Over time they repeat this performance over & over again …….. 15 or 16 times!!! When do we say stop?

    Additionally, we don’t seem to get along with attorneys either, we burn one out & just switch to another. Then, we elect 2 more attorneys, on the board, just in case we need some pro bono service down the road.

    We also went through any number of contractors early on, as I recall.

    Dissolution of LOCSD is the best and most obvious solution for its myriad problems.
    It would not deprive fesidents of any related benefits we now have.

    It’s doubtful that the County would refuse absorbing what little we have left to generate funding to operate our administration & threadbare budget.

    I am a toss to understand why, our past history in itself, should not be evidence enough to convince any sane thinking government entity to highly recomment ‘dissolution’.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  4. Ron says:

    Dissolved?

    Welp, considering the formation of the LOCSD in 1998 turned out to be saturated in fraud (and, yes, I will take massive credit for exposing that awesome story [you’re welcome, Los Osos]), the LOCSD doesn’t need to be “dissolved,” it needs to be immediately dismantled and investigated.

    So, it’s a VERY good thing for the tiny handful of people that 1) committed the fraud, and 2) cashed in on the fraud, are “friends” with SLO County DA, Dan Dow, which means, that the fraud will never be officially investigated, and the “more than 4,000” LO property owners — many of whom are low income seniors — that are stuck funding the fraud until FY 2033/34, will continue to be fleeced for the next 17 years, as I first exposed back at this link:

    http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2013/05/junk-bonds-twice-year-fleecing-of-los.html

    Obviously, Dan Dow has decided to protect his campaign-donor-“friends,” over all of those low income seniors out in Los Osos that are being fleeced every time they cut a check for their property taxes.

    Behavior based marketing” wins again, of course.

    Journalistically speaking, the current situation in Los Osos is friggin’ great.

    (3) 17 Total Votes - 10 up - 7 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      Of course it is…it provides great material…but in reality, what ever that is in Los Osos, the Schicker/Tacker express has fallen on hard times.The engines are old, decade, and rusted, the tracks need to be replaced, and the ridership is virtually non-existent.
      Abandonment is the only reasonable solution. It’s time to clear the tracks of the unwanted cows.

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

    You’re setting your sights too low. Skip the county. And common sense dictates avoiding state control.

    Think future Tom!

    Vote for Los Osos D.C.

    (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
  6. Grrr says:

    Do it! It is time for CSD to raise the white flag.
    So, which of the candidates running would be willing to dissolve CSD, other than, apparently, Marshall?

    (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
  7. Pelican1 says:

    Tom, this is one of the few issues we agree on…after these years. simply put, the proof is in the pudding…”Local control” has been a monumental failure.
    The community of Los Osos would be better served hiring lobbyists who would demand the county’s attention and who would settle for nothing less than an equal and fair share of the the attention, representation, and subsequent funding….instead of the same old red headed, orphan, stepchildren mentality that has prevailed for decades.
    Los Osos lives matter too!

    (15) 25 Total Votes - 20 up - 5 down
  8. TWEEKSBALMER says:

    Go for it Tom, I’ll get in touch and let’s start a movement which is easier no what we have a sewer.

    (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down

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