North Coast voters will have two local races in which to cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election: for the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors and the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees.
Candidates for the Cambria Community Healthcare District Board of Trustees are to be appointed in lieu of election, because there were three applicants (incumbents Robert “Bob” Putney and Michael McLaughlin, and retired analyst Mary Anne Meyer) and three seats up for election.
A gray zone, however, is who will fill two available seats on the San Simeon Community Services District Board of Directors. Director Ken Patel’s re-election paperwork apparently arrived too late to qualify, and nobody applied to fill a vacancy that will be created when Chairman Ralph McAdams leaves the board. He opted to not run again.
Patel could be appointed, as could another candidate if one comes forward.
Candidates for the two available seats on the Cambria services district board all have familiar faces, at least for people who attend the board meetings or watch them via Web streaming or TV video broadcasts.
CCSD incumbents Jim Bahringer and Michael Thompson will face off against challengers Richard Hawley, executive director of Greenspace — The Cambria Land Trust, and retired business owner Jeff Hellman, both of whom have spoken frequently during public comment periods at district and other meetings.
The school board contest went on the ballot at the last minute, after 25-year Cambria resident Lesli Murdoch signed up on the final day to declare.
Other candidates in that race for two seats include incumbent Del Clegg, longtime owner/operator of Cookie Crock supermarkets who has been on the board since 2007, and Cayucos resident Michael Foster, a certified public accountant in Morro Bay.
Murdoch is a retired Coast Unified “lunch lady” married to firefighter Tim Murdoch, whose parents opened a stationery store in Cambria in 1980.
Their three-time Harvest Festival pie-contest-winning grandson Bennjamen Murdoch attends second grade at Cambria Grammar School.
Foster’s wife is Gretchen Ross, who was one of the petitioners seeking to allow Cayucos high schoolers to attend schools in San Luis Coastal Unified School District (most likely Morro Bay High School) rather than Coast Union High School, as has been the practice for about eight decades. Their children are 11 and 13.