After what appeared to be a heated controversy over newly elected Community Services District (CSD) board member Julie Tackerâ€™s right to vote on the Los Osos sewer, CSD General Manager Bruce Buel has denied any attempt to bar Tacker from participating in this highly charged debate.
â€œ[Tacker] has the same rights and responsibilities as any other board member,â€? Buel said.
Before seeking a seat on the CSD board, Tacker had been a founding member of the Concerned Citizens of Los Osos (CCLO), a group currently involved in a lawsuit against the CSD for what it describes as a premature approval of a poorly situated sewer plant. Upon entering the race for CSD, Tacker dropped out of the citizensâ€™ group to avoid an inevitable conflict of interest.
The CCLO, which plans to attend next weekâ€™s board meeting in adamant protest, objects to the projectâ€™s allegedly inadequate evaluation and its adverse financial impact on local residents, many of who live on fixed incomes. That financial burden was spelled out at last Thursdayâ€™s board meeting, when a rate-design consultant projected a cost of between $140 and $157 a month.
Buel explained that the estimated price range depends on the extent of future property development. The sewerâ€™s completion will allow building to resume on vacant lots, and the more new construction takes place, the less each existing customer will pay.
Tom Salmon of the CCLO is skeptical of these estimates and expects the real costs to exceed $200 a month. He blames the project and its exorbitant costs on out-of-town realtors and developers.
In a recent group e-mail, Salmon proclaimed, â€œMoney and greed and not good science or socioeconomics are driving this train wreck.â€?