“While it’s always nice seeing your name in the paper, I must clarify and amplify my comments as reported in the story about Montara Water and Sanitary District water rates (Review, July 24). When I described the NIMTOO (“Not In My Term Of Office”) mindset to your reporter, I was referring to government in general and to some members of the Sewer Authority Mid-coastside board in particular. I did not mean to imply that MWSD, which has been both forthright and farsighted, was the problem. In fact, its members published a five-year projection of potential rate hikes just a couple of years ago, and what is happening now is just a continuation of an emerging reality.

“In fact, a local example of NIMTOO exists at our sewer agency, where the Half Moon Bay members of the SAM board, who since 2009 have refused to approve maintenance funds for the Intertie Pipeline System, were the proximate cause of the major sewer spill in 2017, which resulted in millions of dollars in fines, before being bargained down to $600,000 plus needed improvements. Further, the city’s upstream neighbors, who funded the sewage expansion tanks in Portola that Half Moon Bay would not pay for, are responsible for saving Half Moon Bay from major sewage overflows in its backyard (and fines) on multiple wet weather occasions, because the SAM operators were able to turn off all flows from the north, and allow HMB to consume 100 percent of the plant’s capacity, averting overflows. I realize this is a sensitive and uncomfortable subject, but there is a conversation we need to be having about our infrastructure, and growth and quality of life.

“As evidenced by the debt burdens on almost every state, county and city in the country, growth has not paid for itself, and shortsighted politicians passing the buck to future generations (NIMTOO) is not just a local issue. However, we here on the coast are in a uniquely sensitive situation regarding water, sewage, the environment, traffic, et al. What is needed is sustainable growth, growth that funds the necessary infrastructure that it burdens, and that provides water, schools and other essential services without putting existing residents at risk for water or fire security, or for costs attendant to growth from which they do not profit or benefit. And we are the only people who can ensure that balance.”

— Gregg Dieguez

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