In response to David Burton’s Viewpoint (Nov. 21):
Fact: The original sewer plant project cost of $34 million to $38 million was budgeted into the bills that have been increasing annually over the past few years. The new project estimates add $40 million to $120 million to the cost, and because of anew location, will mean new piping and pumping uphill, requiring more maintenance.
Fact: The Coastal Commission staff, with its limited budget, sometimes recommends against projects based on incomplete or inaccurate information. The commissioners make their decisions at the hearing when presented with the applicant’s arguments and information. Morro Bay staff had an extensive rebuttal report to present at the meeting, but was unable to do so when Mayor Jamie Irons and his council majority requested denial. Even the Coastal Commission chair advised Irons to merely withdraw the project for further work, but he insisted on denial, as can be seen on the meeting video.
Fact: Replacing the city manager and city attorney both require recruitment periods, so obviously no succession plan was in place. Recruitment, interviews, background checks and contract negotiations for a city manager take two to three months. Who will fill that position during that period?
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Fact: Former City Attorney Rob Schultz’s consultations for other entities were done with full awareness and approval of each City Council. They never infringed on his work for Morro Bay. Schultz was always available to us, evenings, weekends, whenever.
Fact: On Dec. 3, another special closed session meeting regarding City Manager Andrea Lueker’s termination resulted in no action taken, but Irons’ personally selected attorney is racking up more fees.
Do check the facts, and talk with all five council members, not just the ruling majority, and then decide what “facts” to believe.