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Morro Bay's issues are serious

Shredder, what kind of journalist are you?


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Please, New Times people, educate yourselves before you write and publish your columns. I am speaking, in particular, about the person who wrote the Shredder column in your last issue ("Trouble right here in Morro Bay," Nov. 15).

First, the ridiculous suggestion that the existing Morro Bay sewer plant is polluting the ocean needs to be corrected very clearly and visibly in your next issue. In fact, the plant's discharges are very closely monitored for any sign of problems, and guess what? There aren't any.

Check out the monitoring reports for yourselves—something you should have done before making your obnoxious comments: morro-bay.ca.us/355/Monitoring-Reports. Had you taken the trouble to do any research before you published that column, you would have learned that, year after year, the reports indicate that the effluent discharged by the plant is doing no harm whatsoever to the marine environment. In fact, the inspectors have noted that the outfall serves as a great artificial reef.

Here is a quote from the 2017 monitoring report: "This document presents a comprehensive analysis of the extensive monitoring data collected over the last three decades. Virtually every aspect of the treatment process, receiving waters, and seafloor sediments is monitored. An exhaustive quantitative analysis of all measured parameters demonstrates that the effluent discharge consistently meets the permit requirements and has no discernable effect on the ocean environment."

If that's not enough for you, here's another quote: "Detailed analyses of these measurements confirm that, during 2017, the plant regularly exceeded wastewater treatment expectations established in regulatory standards and the original WWTP design criteria. Moreover, the plant has consistently discharged exceptionally high quality effluent over its long history, and there has never been an indication of deteriorating plant performance."

Second, regarding the Shredder column's nonsense about counting the votes from the Proposition 218 election, for some reason, the New Times seems to be pushing the views of Morro Bay city government and ridiculing the opposition. In fact, there were significant irregularities in the city's Prop. 218 vote process including failure to provide residents with an estimate of project costs based on solid, verifiable financial data; blatant intimidation of voters; incomplete noticing; failure to provide residents with information and ballots when requested at City Hall; failure to adequately secure submitted ballots; and illegal refusal to count valid protest ballots. No, regardless of what city government staff and officials say, the law does not require the ballots to be dated, nor does it say that votes cannot be collected before a city's official hearing notice is mailed. Go read it and see for yourselves.

Did you know that in July, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) legal staff wrote a letter to the City Council and asked for a litigation hold on all records related to the Prop. 218 vote? Did you know that after the Sept. 11 hearing where the council refused to count 1,000 valid votes, the HJTA legal staff wrote to the council and to "contractors, lenders, bond purchasers, and all other potential creditors," warning them that, "HJTA has reason to believe that the rate increase by resolution 71-18 is suspect and should not be relied upon. Thus, please note that any expenditures, loan applications, or other pledging of those funds should not be relied upon at this time"?

Guess what, people? Morro Bay city government's mishandling of the 218 vote is a serious matter, so how about taking it seriously, doing some research, and writing something worthy of real journalists. Δ

Linda Stedjee keeps an eye on her old hometown of Morro Bay from her new residence in Sète, France. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.


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