Just days after longtime director Michael Thompson announced his resignation from the Cambria services district board, Vice President Greg Sanders announced he intends to step down, as well.
Sanders confirmed via email that he plans to resign his seat on the board Oct. 31, when he and wife Teri will be moving to Indian Wells in Riverside County.
Sanders cited family, specifically Teri Sanders’ aging parents, as a reason for the move.
Her parents, he wrote, “are beginning to need help. Our original plan was to move into a larger house in Cambria with plenty of room for us and them, but we couldn’t make it work. Teri’s parents want to be close to their grandchildren. All live in Southern California except our son, Michael, who lives in the Phoenix area.”
The move will also enable them to be closer to their daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed last year with breast cancer and underwent several surgeries before being pronounced cancer-free, Sanders said.
“We finally came to the conclusion that reality is staring us in the face,” Greg Sanders said. “So, we have decided the best course of action is to move to Indian Wells where we have a number of friends and we will be about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Teri’s parents and Sarah. We have a house in escrow that has two master suites, so it will work well when her parents are staying with us.”
The Riverside County town lies near Palm Desert, between Indio and Palm Springs.
Sanders, 70, has served twice on the CCSD board, first from 2002 through 2010 and again after being appointed to replace Muril Clift in 2015. But his community involvement has gone far above and beyond that role, as evidenced by the fact that he and Teri Sanders were named Cambria Citizens of the Year in 2015.
The couple bought their first home in Cambria in 1988 and became permanent residents eight years later.
We finally came to the conclusion that reality is staring us in the face.
Greg Sanders, CCSD vice president
“As you can imagine, the decision was a difficult one,” Greg Sanders said of the couple’s pending move away from Cambria. “We have so many close friends on the Central Coast. Teri will miss delivering Meals on Wheels, her HART and American Legion Auxiliary friends and others. For me, having to leave friends at American Legion Post 432, the Rotary Club of Cambria, CCSD and Veterans Treatment Court is tough. Family comes first, though.”
Sanders, an attorney, is a partner in Nossaman LLP, where he specializes in land-use entitlement, environmental and real estate mattters. According to his professional website, he has represented clients including Sprint PCS and T-Mobile, and has advised the Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies on legislative matters involving the construction of three toll roads. He’s prepared general plan provisions, zoning ordinances and related documents for more than 30 jurisdictions in California.
Sanders is a major in the state Military Reserve JAG Corps, supporting Army National Guard missions at Camp San Luis Obispo and the National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Sacramento. He served in the Army in Vietnam and other areas, receiving numerous medals.
With Sanders’ departure, the Legion post will be losing both its first (Sanders) and second (Thompson) vice commanders in the space of just two months. Thompson, like Sanders, announced he planned to move out of the area — to Texas, in his case — to be closer to loved ones.
Sanders and Thompson have formed part of the board majority most strongly supporting construction of the $13.2 million Sustainable Water Facility, along with Director Jim Bahringer. (Board President Amanda Rice has also voted in favor of that project, although she has acknowledged being “conflicted” on the issue.)
The board announced at its Aug. 24 meeting that it would replace Thompson by appointment, rather than by calling a special election or allowing the Board of Supervisors to name a replacement.
The appointment process requires a 15-day notice to the public to allow for interested parties to apply for consideration. Applicants must live in Cambria, be 18 years of age or older and be registered to vote.
Now the board will have to decide how to fill Sanders’ seat, as well. Its recent history of filling seats by appointment and vote in favor of replacing Thompson by that method would appear to offer a clue as to how they’ll proceed.
Cambrian staff writer Kathe Tanner contributed reporting for this story.