The Cambrian

Here’s how Cambria’s services district will fill vacant seat

The Cambria Veterans Memorial Building will be the site of a special meeting to appoint a director to fill out the remaining year of Michael Thompson’s term. That meeting is set for 3 p.m. Sept. 19 at 1000 Main St.
The Cambria Veterans Memorial Building will be the site of a special meeting to appoint a director to fill out the remaining year of Michael Thompson’s term. That meeting is set for 3 p.m. Sept. 19 at 1000 Main St.

The four remaining members will appoint a replacement to the seat being vacated as a result of Michael Thompson’s resignation from the Cambria services district board.

The board voted 4-0 at its regular meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, to fill the seat by appointment, instead of by special election. Thompson abstained from the vote. The board will likely appoint a successor to Thompson at a special meeting set for 3 p.m. Sept. 19.

Directors had three options: to fill the seat using a special election, by appointment or by allowing the county Board of Supervisors to choose Thompson’s successor.

Director Jim Bahringer argued that the board act “with all due haste” to find a replacement. “An election would be expensive, and we’re going to have one here in just about 14 months, anyway,” he said.

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.

Bahringer suggested that Thompson offer up names of possible appointees, adding that, “I’m sure that he knows some folks that would carry on the types of duties that he would like to see represented, and to me, that would be an endorsement that I would seek.”

The board also filled its most recent vacancy by appointment, naming Greg Sanders (now the board vice president) to replace departing member Muril Clift in 2015.

Thompson announced this month that he is resigning from the board effective Aug. 31 and plans to move to Texas.

At Thursday’s meeting, he offered a brief farewell, saying “I’ve enjoyed all my interaction with various folks in town.”

He cited the progress on building a community park and the hiring of William Hollingsworth as fire chief among the highlights of his tenure. In an earlier interview, he mentioned construction of the Sustainable Water Facility as the signature achievement of his seven years on the board.

The Cambria Community Services District board’s next regular meeting is set for the fourth Thursday in September, which would be Sept. 28, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. The special meeting will be held at the same location.

Also at Thursday’s meeting:

▪  General Manager Jerry Gruber announced that the district won’t be running the $13.2 million Sustainable Water Facility this year, adding that, “with the rains we’ve had, we feel like we’re in pretty good shape” in terms of water supply.

▪  Gruber said progress on the first phase of the Fiscalini Park Project was “ahead of schedule.” He said grading and drainage work are ongoing at the old rodeo grounds site, where about three acres of eucalyptus are being cleared away.

▪  Fire Capt. Emily Torlano reported that about 15 percent of the fire hydrants in town have been inspected, and that the district is on schedule to have all of the approximately 365 hydrants completed within a one-year time frame. Gruber said that process includes clearing weeds, sandblasting and painting the hydrants and making sure they’re operational. So far, none has failed a test.

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