Los Osos hopefuls face challenges

The Nov. 2 general election will usher in a new generation of leadership at the Los Osos Community Services District with the election of three new directors.

None of the three incumbents whose terms are expiring — Steve Senet, Chuck Cesena and Joe Sparks — is seeking re-election. There are a total of five seats on the board of directors.

Five candidates are running. They are Craig Baltimore, an architectural engineering professor at Cal Poly; Fred Dellagatta, a mortgage loan originator; Paul Malykont, a retiree; Leonard Moothart, an analytical chemist; and David Vogel, an attorney.

The three new board members will face several challenges over the next four years. These include:

Water. The district is one of several water purveyors that use underground aquifers as a drinking water source. However, saltwater is encroaching into the aquifer, and its future is being adjudicated in court.

Finances. The district declared bankruptcy after a previous board stopped construction of a sewer system in 2005, which resulted in fines and loss of loans.

Sewer. The county is set to install a new wastewater collection and treatment system that the district will take over and operate once it is complete.

Conservation. The county, district and other agencies are developing a habitat conservation plan that will protect endangered species found in the area, most notably the Morro shoulderband dune snail.

Drainage. The bayside community is prone to flooding in several areas.

Reach David Sneed at 781-7930.