CCSD director responds to letter
I would like to set the record straight with my comments directed at candidate for CCSD board Dewayne Lee. Ms. Tina Dickason did point out that the comment: “If you want to live here then buy a home. There are 72 on the market now.” should have been attributed to Tom Kirkey. However after 14½ months both Dewayne’s and my memories were a bit fuzzy surrounding the exchange, and we both acknowledged this. I did apologize to Mr. Lee during the special meeting Dec. 11 and offered up what he did say, which is the following transcribed from the video of the candidate forum:
“I agree with Tom, if someone wants to live here, it’s not like we are shutting them out. There’s plenty of homes for sale, and they can always take a home and, if they don’t like it they, you know, rebuild it, remodel it, so that is all I have to say about it.” (Source: http://bit.ly/2AwGZQS, about the 20:30 mark.)
I will leave it up to you to decide if in fact Mr. Lee does or does not support the Sustainable Water Facility, gently lifting the moratorium and allowing for some growth. Growth will provide a new revenue stream to help repair the aging infrastructure.
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Tom Gray did send out an email stating his views on various topics related to the CCSD. He stated that he intended to run and those who wished to support him could do so by writing a letter to the board as an entity, or to individual directors. Is Tom to blame that many members of this community rallied around him and showed support for the views he holds? He has not wavered from those views.
As a CCSD board member, I represent the community of Cambria and strive to do what is best. If what I hear is a majority for or against an agenda item, a public works project, or the purchase of the library, should I not heed those concerns from citizens? Do I disenfranchise the majority to appease the minority?
Lee issues apology to Aaron Wharton
Last Monday, I was asked a question by Director Aaron Wharton concerning a statement I made 14 months ago at the Ed Asner Forum during the last election. The question had to do with the water wait list and buying a home for sale in Cambria. I told Director Wharton that I didn’t make the statement, and informed him that the statement was made by Tom Kirkey. Director Wharton said, “No, according to my notes, you said that.” I told Director Wharton he was wrong. After the meeting, I found a video of that forum and watched the part in question. Director Wharton was correct — I did make a statement like that. So, for my lapse in memory, I’d like to extend my sincere apology to Director Wharton.
To answer your question, here are the two quotes:
Tom Kirkey said, “I’m not sure if we have any legal obligation to the people on the water wait list. If you want to live in Cambria, there are 72 houses for sale in Cambria right now. You should purchase one of those and move the (water) meter to your lot of your choice.”
What I said following Mr. Kirkey’s time to speak was, “I agree with Tom. If someone wants to live here, it’s not like we are shutting them out. There’s plenty of homes for sale, and they can always take a home and, if they don’t like it, they, you know, rebuild it, remodel it. So, that is all I have to say about it.”
I admit, I should have said, “I agree in part with what Tom said.” Because I would never knowingly render a legal opinion — I’m not a lawyer. And, of course, the people on the wait list should be able to build. However, until the water facility is up and running, and until the moratorium is lifted and until letters of intent are issued, anyone who wants to live here has to either rent or buy an existing house, from which they may move the meter, remodel or tear down and rebuild. There are no other choices at the present time.
I hope that answers your question, Director Wharton.
Dewayne Lee, Cambria
Wharton correct in his memory of exchange
Aaron Wharton was not “off base” (Cambrian letters to the editor, Dec. 7, Page 8). Tina Dickason was off base. She was correct on the quote from Tom Kirkey, but she evidently didn’t remember what Dewayne Lee said right after Kirkey spoke. Director Wharton was absolutely correct in his memory of what Mr. Lee said and the proof of it can be found online. Here is the link to DeWayne Lee agreeing to Tom Kirkey’s statement about buying a home and moving here (transcribed from the video (http://bit.ly/2iOldwM, about 20:26 into the feed):
“I agree with Tom, if someone wants to live here it's not like we are shutting them out, there's plenty of homes for sale and they can always take a home and if they don't like it they, you know, rebuild it, remodel it, so that is all I have to say about it...”
Bev Praver, Cambria
Editor’s note: The headline “Wharton off base in exchange with Dewayne Lee” was supplied by The Cambrian; it was not written by Tina Dickason.
Writer faults Rice, Farmer for deadlock
The CCSD board had two meetings to appoint a director to replace Greg Sanders. It failed in its responsibility. I put the blame squarely on President Amanda Rice and Vice President Harry Farmer. Tom Gray was the superior candidate based on his background and understanding of all the issues facing the CCSD, and he is an expert on the Sustainable Water Facility.
The deadlock for two meetings was between Tom and Dewayne Lee. Between these two good men, there was no doubt that Tom was the most qualified. Director Farmer became irrational and was visibly angry, hurling insults at Directors Aaron Wharton and Jim Bahringer. When Director Rice tried to calm things, he just talked over her in a reprehensible fashion. They tried to agree on two other candidates and remained deadlocked.
Finally they considered Mark Herrier. For about 15 minutes, he was grilled by Director Farmer, who kept asking redundant and ridiculous questions that Herrier answered very well. The audience seemed to think Herrier would break the deadlock. They voted again, and Farmer and Rice again voted no. There was an audible groan from the disappointed citizens present. Then Farmer whined that this time they should pick someone he really liked.
The future is unclear. Will the Board of Supervisors need to step in or do we need to elect a director in June? The CCSD is dysfunctional because of Director Farmer and the weak leadership of Director Rice. Maybe the Board of Supervisors needs to take over the management of the CCSD, as they do in other communities in the county.
Brian Griffin, Cambria