Is this action pure greed [News, “Goleta Eyes Cash Stockpile,” 12/3/09]? The City of Goleta has, according to the word on the street, apparently no capacity or interest in properly running a sewer district. Nonetheless, this transfer is before LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission. Sewer districts are critical public health providers, as can be seen by the 1982 EPA study that confirmed that sewer systems can be major distributors of antibiotic resistance (see http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/43/2/371.pdf). Antibiotic resistance now kills more Americans than AIDS.
LAFCO, at my suggestion, convened a meeting on this subject and then invited the city, Goleta West, and Goleta San for the discussion. In seeking clarification on whether LAFCO, in its deliberations, considered public health issues such as waterborne disease, LAFCO stated that it did not include the issue of public health in any deliberation. That is to say, if the city, following its corporate raid on Goleta West, fails to deal with public health, that is not a concern of LAFCO. Nonetheless, the key to putting this all together is LAFCO. - Edo McGowan