Keep process public
T he Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors has taken actions recently which serve to curtail citizen involvement. One of these was the elimination of public comments from being recorded in the minutes of meetings. As a supposed “cost saving” measure, the board decided to only have the formal decisions made by the board recorded in the minutes.
The open comments of up to three minutes by citizens at the beginning of each meeting will no longer become part of the recorded minutes, nor will the discussions taking place prior to decisions being made.
The amount of money saved in secretarial time to record our commentaries is insignificant if looked at aside the enormous
amounts of funds spent on projects that citizens have little control, or no control, over, such as the amount spent on lobbyists who may even be working towards projects that citizens find questionable, such as the proposed desalination plant or the cutting down of eucalyptus trees on Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
There are other measures taken by the CCSD which limit their transparency and curtail citizen involvement. One of them is naming the budget or finance committee and the executive committees of the board declared “ad hoc.” This means that the public will not have access to these important committee meetings.
A third such measure with enormous implications for the future of our beloved Cambria was declaring the desalination project to be solely under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers. By making this declaration, the CCSD was giving away citizen access to a project which could have devastating effects on our environment and which would be extremely costly. By making this declaration, the CCSD hope to evade laws enacted by our elected representatives intended to protect our environment.
It is my hope that the CCSD directors will realize that they are there to increase and facilitate community involvement, not cut it off.
Valerie Bentz Cambria
Desal as insurance
There is a term in the insurance industry called “shared risk.” This term could equally apply in living our lives. It means that there are some risks in life we must assume, and other risks we pay companies to share the risk with us.
When we insure our homes, cars, lives, etc., we are paying for a company to “share” the risk with us. In our forested Cambria, with a limited water source, we are at risk of fire and drought. However, we can today share that risk with our planned desalination plant and its unlimited supply of water.
Our desal plant is our insurance policy. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have been around Cambria a few years will remember the 1980s drought years that lasted five years, with severe restrictions on water use. In addition, we are all familiar with the terrible fires that hit California every year.
I am not saying that a plant is the be-all and end-all of our water problems, but it will give us the insurance and “assurance” of a better system than we have now. To suggest that all we need to do is rely on conservation methods and “getting more efficient washing machines,” etc., is just not rational.
I think the majority of
Cambrians support the desal plant because they understand the rational, logical reasons for bringing it into our community. Remember, the desal plant is our “alternative” water source, never meant to be our main source of water.
And, together with the Buildout Reduction Program, all rampant growth concerns among Cambrians should be alleviated. So, maybe we should “pay it backwards” and look into the past for our directions to the future.
Ron Crummitt Cambria
On behalf of the California Highway Patrol, I would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the overwhelming amount of support we have received from the residents of San Luis Obispo County and the surrounding areas during the days following the death of our friend and colleague, Officer Brett Oswald.
Your heartfelt sympathy, words of support, and numerous contributions continue to overwhelm us. Officer Oswald touched many lives in the community through his service and dedication to duty. It is comforting to know that his legacy of commitment and loyalty will live on through the people he knew and those he protected daily.
Thank you again for helping us bid farewell to a hero.
Lt. M.C. Maples, commander Templeton Area CHP
Does anyone know the meaning of “haiku”? At one time I was fairly fluent in Japanese, but that was over 50 years ago.
Phonetically, “hai” means “yes,” and “ku” means “nine.” “Yes nine.” There must be a fuller meaning.
In any case, here is a 17- syllable phrase that came to mind: To military veterans, especially Marines: “Hey Rube.”
Brooke Harvey San Simeon