Planning commissioner does battle with Morro Bay officials over sewage plant

A member of the Morro Bay Planning Commission and vocal critic of the city’s plans for a new sewage plant alleges that Morro Bay’s city manager and council majority are trying to oust him over his criticism of the wastewater facility project. [Tribune]

Planning Commissioner Richard Sadowski says Interim City Manager Martin Lomeli and Councilman Robert “Red” Davis have both asked him to resign from his post. Sadowski said he will not step down.

Sadowski, a semi-retired mechanical engineer, opposes the city’s plan to build a $150 million wastewater treatment plant and water reclamation facility on an approximately 15-acre property near the intersection of Highway 1 and South Bay Boulevard. The planning commissioner, as well as many residents who agree with him, have said they will not be able to afford water bills of $207-$241 per household that are expected to fund the project. Sadowski and his allies say they prefer an approximately 12-acre site that is adjacent to the existing sewage plant near the beach on Atascadero Road, which they argue is better suited to cope with emergency situations.

On Sept. 26, Sadowski spoke about the sewage plant project during public comment at a city council hearing on the matter. Sadowski said Morro Bay City Council members had already made up their minds on the location of the plant without listening to the public. The act of receiving public input on the matter had become a charade, Sadowski said.

Before Sadowski finished speaking, the timer went off, seemingly prior to the completion of his allotted three minutes. Mayor Jamie Irons told Sadowski to leave the podium.

Members of the audience then taunted Irons, and Sadowski called for a point of order. However, Police Chief Gregory Allen interjected, saying Sadowski needs to respect the process. Sadowski then left the podium and exited the building.

Following the meeting, interim executive Lomeli stated in an email that he met with Sadowski and suggested that the planning commissioner consider resigning because of his actions.

“I believe as a commissioner he should set an example of public discourse, and (in my opinion) his behavior was disruptive at that meeting,” Lomeli stated. “I’ve been in local government 30-plus years. I’ve never seen a planning commissioner purposely disregard the policies of the city in this manner.”

Councilman Davis, too, acknowledged meeting with Sadowski, though he would not disclose what they discussed.

Sadowski says the city has for weeks been attempting to stifle criticism of the sewage plant project. Prior to the Sept. 26 council meeting, the city cancelled two meetings of the Water Reclamation Facility Citizen Advisory Committee, on which Sadowski likewise sits.

In 2016, Sadowski ran for city council and was defeated by Davis and Councilwoman Marlys McPherson. Sadowski has served on the planning commission since 2014.

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5 Comments about “Planning commissioner does battle with Morro Bay officials over sewage plant”

  1. Myself says:

    I see now that the city council want to take action to remove him from the committee hes on, so you need to be lock step with these people to survive here in moron bay.

  2. MPL says:

    Hey BOLDGUY.
    The Citizen is King.
    Educated Citizens Drive…
    Citizens know how a Public Servant is supposed to behave.

    City of Morro Bay, California
    Black & Veatch Project No.189276 & Beyond

    Re: USBF®, SBR & economical water reclamation facilities design and operation.

    Mr. Sandeep Sathyamoorthy, P.E Process Design Lead
    Mr. Brad Hemken, P.E. WRF Lead
    Ms. Kristi Kuhlmann P.E. Engineering Manager
    Mr. Matt Thomas P.E. Project Manager
    Mr. Robert S. Kaessner P.E.(?)
    Mr. Jaime Irons Morro Bay Mayor/City Council
    Mr. Rob Livick PWD Morro Bay
    Mr. Martin Lomeli
    Mr. Joe Pannone Morro Bay City Attorney

    Greetings Gentlelady, Gentlemen,

    Evergreen Technology that exploits nature is “a sovereign remedy” for the currently high costs of the consulting engineering, designing, building and operating any Public Works “BIOLOGICAL” portion of those Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facilities designs that Black & Veatch offers, and especially, as in the case of the Morro Bay, California “Fix-it Ticket”, B&V Project No.189276 which calls for a permitted 30/30/30 effluent result.

    The Activated Sludge Evergreen Technology “Upflow Sludge Blanket Filtration” (USBF®) is an important Environmental Process Revolution that “by design” delivers 10/10/10, without breaking a sweat, using as much as 50% less Horsepower and requires approximately 60% to 80% of the land area of the SBR system depending upon lay out. The high treatment efficiencies delivered when using USBF® pave the way to economical water reclamation facilities design and operation. Please see ‘processes tab’ located on ECOfluid System Inc.’s website for information about ‘Features, Benefits & How it works’ provided within the system design.

    Evergreen Technology utilizing the “naturally occurring and free of charge” Filtration Blanket and Gravity was not evaluated in your B&V Project No.189276 “Facility Master Plan” dated 9, November 2016 and so I hereby, officially request that the attached 3rd party comparisons be formally acknowledged and accepted or rejected by Black & Veatch’s fine team of Engineers, at the earliest possible moment.

    I am particularly interested in the opinion of Mr. Sandeep Sathyamoorthy, P.E Process Design Lead, as it appears that his study/work is paramount to what processes will be evaluated, by Black & Veatch. It is brilliant that, one man and his team have the power to be able to harness nature, for the ecologic and economic benefit of the Citizens who will purchase and use Evergreen Technology USBF® instead of SBR, MBR & Ox-Ditch. Acknowledgement, then acceptance of a longstanding and proven Evergreen Technology Design USBF® will change the course of history. A change that will conserve ever more precious resources and provide for improved prosperity and energy conservation, for our posterity. Mr. Sandeep Sathyamoorthy, P.E Process Design Lead, is a very important person.

    Operation of a USBF® plant is simple and self-regulating.


    high treatment efficiency, including Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR)
    modular, expandable, compact
    no odor, no noise
    minimal amount of moving parts, gravity flow
    low cost of installation, operation

    fluidized bed filtration
    self-regulating hydraulic flexibilty
    handles highly fluctuating flows

    The point of my interest here is predicated upon what posterity will receive from my generation which includes the manner in which government works in the Public Works Arena. The cost of doing business is significantly reduced when USBF® is made a part of the Process Design Engineer Consultant’s tool box.

    After all, gravity “is” the ultimate green energy…

    Respectfully submitted,

    Concerned Citizen
    October 5, 2017

  3. mbwaiter says:

    Sadowski was interrupted by Mayor Irons at the 2 minute and 20 seconds mark and told Sadowski his 3 minutes were up. King irons will cut off/fire anyone who does not agree with him. Good luck to the new City Manager. The only way you can survive with King Irons is if you have absolutely no ethics at all and do whatever he tells you to do.

  4. Myself says:

    I don’t think that the council would listen to this story no matter who was to tell it, they continue to spew the tripe that the coastal comm killed the idea to build the sewer plant on the excisting site when it was this fool for a mayor asked the comm to do so in one of their meeting, something else is going on for the city to not want to build the plant in the same area.

  5. Boldguy says:

    Richard Sadowski the political gadfly of Morro Bay, read this article in the Tribune this morning, almost made me spew my coffee!!!
    Richard is a little off, nice enough of a guy, but there have been much bigger behavioral, emotional and mental problems exuded in the past, it’s surprising that he’s on the Planning Commission in the first place, but it is Morro Bay.
    Would of been even a better show had he been elected to the Council:)
    But one little area that he does have some expertise and background, would be on Sewer Plants.
    On this single issue he is absolutely right, the citizen’s of Morro Bay are being railroaded by the Political Elite of Morro Bay into a Sewer Plant that will be financially devastating for many Senior Citizens, Working Poor, as well as lowering of quality of life for many more:(
    But since it’s coming out of Richard’s mouth, it will be easily ignored!!!

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