Los Osos is faced with an increase in our sewer rates when the system has been online a mere three years.
A “virtual” hearing is planned for Tuesday, April 21. Protest vote ballots have been received in the mail, however because of the COVID-19 “shelter-at-home” mandate there is little Los Osos residents can do to spread the word in our community, and many residents are unaware that the ballot is due before the 21st and have no knowledge that they otherwise must protest at the hearing online or even how to do it.
Here is the letter I sent to Wade Horton, CAO and Emergency Services Director of the County of SLO.
“In a communication I saw today, in spite of our intense focus on staying healthy, saving lives and curtailing the spread of a deadly disease; the County has every intention of going forward with a ‘virtual’ hearing on the 21st. for the sewer rate increase in Los Osos.
“How many residents even know how to connect to these online methods of attendance, or to make a statement? Many people do not have the necessary electronics or internet connection.
What would we be doing at this time without COVID-19; perhaps going door to door, tabling at Farmers Market and other locations, speaking at local meetings, etc., all to get the word out to sign the protest. None of that is possible now.
“It appears, in my view, that the County has no interest at all in a democratic process; the Board of Supervisors instead intend to ram this rate increase through at a time when 6.6 million people in the US filed jobless claims this week: the highest number ever in US history for the second week in a row. Shameful.
“Please advise the Board of Supervisors now to delay this hearing. Mr. Horton you are the CAO of the county and the Emergency Services Director; you have the authority to tell the board to delay the hearing due to the public health emergency pandemic we are now facing.
“I am appealing to your sense of decency and duty to the people of the county and Los Osos to stop this unnecessary action.
“Delaying the ‘virtual’ hearing is a show of unity and concern for the multitudes of people losing their jobs at this time of unprecedented distress, anxiety and fear that is making us all more susceptible to this killer virus.
“Please do your job Mr. Horton and safeguard and give refuge to the good people of Los Osos.”