The Cambrian

Outgoing Cambria CHD administrator called ‘real treasure’ as board begins transition

Former Cambria Community Healthcare District director Bob Sayers.
Former Cambria Community Healthcare District director Bob Sayers.

Bob Sayers, the administrator who has led the Cambria Community Healthcare District for four years, is resigning from his $98,000-a-year job.

Sayers’ last day will be Sept. 25, he said in a phone interview, although, “I will offer my services beyond that if the board needs them.”

According to information released to the public Sept. 11 by board President Jerry Wood, “Bob came to the district at a pivotal point” in May 2014, and “his leadership has contributed to the high quality of emergency services the district provides” to residents of and visitors to the North Coast.

District trustees met Monday, Sept. 10, to consider how to handle the loss, and they’re to meet again Wednesday, Sept. 19, to officially receive Sayers’ resignation and “discuss steps toward the recruitment and hiring of an interim and permanent” replacement administrator. The district’s new general counsel, Jeffrey Minnery, will help guide them through that process, Sayers said.

It’s unlikely the final selection will be made until after the November election when three of five board seats are in play, with four candidates on the ballot. Only one candidate is an incumbent (Bob Putney).

Fiscal challenges

In recent years, the district has had fiscal challenges, including costly mudslide damage to a CCHD-owned Main Street building and the need for the recently purchased used ambulance bought with a grant.

The Nov. 6 ballot includes a CCHD measure designed to raise about $237,000 a year to help offset cutbacks in Medicare and insurance payments toward ambulance and other services that the district provides.

The measure would levy a special parcel tax of $35.04 per year per parcel for six years. According to the measure’s description, funds would go only toward repairing, replacing or upgrading the ambulance fleet and healthcare facilities; none of the money would go toward salaries.

Retirement time

Sayers and wife Lynn had long planned that he would retire at the age of 65, he said, an age he reached in May. The Arroyo Grande residents have two grandchildren and another on the way, and want to spend more time with them, the rest of their family.

His position was slated for 32 hours a week, but he said it rarely worked out to be that few.

“But it’s not an easy decision,” he said. “I love my job. I’ve enjoyed serving the residents of the district and I will miss it.”

What he probably won’t miss is his 55-mile commute, even though it’s through some gorgeous scenery.

As Wood wrote on behalf of the board, “We wish Bob all the best in this new stage of his life, and we are grateful for the work he has done on behalf of the district.”

In a phone interview, Wood added that “Bob’s been a real treasure.”

CCHD Trustee Shirley Bianchi said, “I don’t know anybody who isn’t sorry that Bob’s leaving. He will be missed.”

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