Nick Coury

Los Osos remains deadlocked over a debate that has raged on for close to 30 years.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the voter count remained split for the four measures that will decide the future of the Los Osos sewer system.

Tuesday marked the vote concerning the Los Osos recall and sewer initiative election, with nearly one-third of voters in the affected district sending in absentee ballots.

The controversial recall is asking residents if three Community Service District (CSD) members should be removed from the five-member Los Osos board. The members on the ballot are Stan Gustafson, Gordon Hensley and Richard Legros. Regardless of each side’s statements, the recall has brought about a lot of heat.

The three members of the ballot support a new sewer which has been opposed by many residents who question the financial and aesthetic aspects of the project. If the measures pass, the CSD members will be replaced with project opponents.

“I think that this (the issue) has really fostered a lot of very strong opinions on both sides,” said Frank Hutchinson, 53, a resident of Los Osos. “I’m a little bit concerned that the side opposing the recall has a pretty strong advantage because of all the money that was pumped in on their side. “

Initiative B is also up for vote, which will prohibit a sewage treatment plant from being in “close proximity” to homes and public buildings. If passed, the initiative would also require approval from voters of how sewage is treated, and where a treatment facility might be constructed.

“I was in favor of the alternative plans that they originally were going after when the CSD was originally voted in,” Hutchinson said. “I just feel that when the CSD switched the whole project back to a conventional sewer, it was deceitful in a way. I prefer to see a more environmentally friendly system in place, which uses less energy and puts more back as far as resources are concerned.”

Voters had until 8 p.m. on Tuesday to vote on the issue. As of press time, the vote remained split 50-50.

“We are either digging a new sewer or we’re digging a hole for ourselves,” said Loni LaRose, the administrative coordinator for the College of Science and Mathematics at Cal Poly and a Los Osos resident.

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