Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: A long wait for sewer action

The year 1973 seems to me more than just 37 years ago. It feels like another lifetime. It was the year of the movie “American Graffiti” and the torn path to the Watergate Hotel. It was the year that signaled the official end to the Vietnam War. It was another era.

On a personal note, 1973 was the year of an estate sale of property in Baywood Park. My parents bought a lot at that estate sale. Architects were consulted, fees were paid and building permits were given. And it all came to a stop.

Everywhere my parents turned, there was someone saying that we didn’t need the free sewer system that the federal government would develop in the area. There was always someone with a better idea. My father would ask, “Who doesn’t want a sewer system?” It was baffling to him that so many of his neighbors “didn’t want to join the 20th century.”

I went to the Los Osos town hall meeting on Nov. 29. I was grumbling to my wife that it would be the same old, sad story that I had heard for so many years. It would be a lot of talk and nothing resolved. I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong.

Thank you, Supervisor Bruce Gibson, for your care and concern. You held a meeting that was informative and showed the countless hours that your staff has put into this project. You all should be congratulated.

You have given us hope. Hope that we will finally, after all these tumultuous years, be able to move forward. The presentations were clear and concise. A special thank you to Kate Ballantyne, environmental resource specialist, for taking the time to answer so many questions and concerns. Thank you for caring so much about your community.

Will my parents finally benefit from buying property in Baywood Park in 1973? Will they finally be able to receive some benefit for paying taxes for 37 years?

At this point in their lives, the benefits are small. My mom has advanced Alzheimer’s and my father spends his days trying to make her comfortable. Their battles are fought far away from Baywood Park.

All I can do now is call my father and tell him of the great work that Supervisor Gibson and his staff have done to move the sewer project to completion. It is some small consolation to hear him say, “Finally, after all these years, finally something will get done.” Michael Johnston was the dean of students at Morro Bay High School from 1992 until 1998. Retired from education, Johnston now lives in San Luis Obispo.