Seeking Civility in Los Olivos

As a 34-year resident of Los Olivos, I have been watching with interest the challenges our community faces with regards to our septic dilemma. We have known for decades that the time would come when the community would be faced with coming up with a solution to that problem. That time has arrived. With the debate growing increasing vocal and opinions expressed ad nauseum, I decided to attend the last monthly meeting of the Los Olivos Community Services District (LOCSD).

I expected the usual reports covering the areas of collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage, wastewater, recycled water, and storm water. What I did not expect was what was released upon the Board of Directors when it came time for public comments. The vocal minority saw fit to rain terror, using personal attacks to make their point. I can respect other’s rights to their opinions, but I draw the line when our elected, unpaid officials are subjected to this type of haranguing. This is a meeting where information is exchanged and constructive ideas expressed. It is not meant to be a courtroom drama. It has been my experience that I live in a community where we treat each other with respect and civility. That is not what I witnessed. As my husband would say, the louder the voice, the less the message is heard.

As Boardmember Brad Ross reminded us, this project does not have to succeed. I hope the workshops proposed for the first part of the year will be widely attended by members of the community so that we can look at the pros and cons and assess our options. Members of the community who own property within the district and who will be paying the bill, can then ascertain which the best proposal is for us. In the end, those living outside the district can yell all they want, but they do not have the vote.

Correction: Due to an editing error, the original title of this letter read “Los Osos” instead of “Los Olivos.”


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