The Cambrian

Still no filings for school board seats

Candidates have filed paperwork for three of four elected local boards that have seats up for election in Nov. 6 — as of noon Tuesday, July 31, nobody had signed up to run for the school-district board — but one Cambrian says he’ll file Sept. 10 as a write-in candidate for two different agencies. And he hopes to win in both races.

Steve Kniffen, manager of the Sea Chest Oyster Bar and chairman of the Cambria services district’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission, announced his intentions to The Cambrian on Monday, July 30.

Although Kniffen still has time to register as a candidate listed on the ballot (open through Friday, Aug. 10), he acknowledges he’d rather be drafted than enlist.

“I’m making myself available to serve” on the Cambria Community Services District and Coast Unified School District boards, but “I’m not running for office,” he said in an interview the following day. He’s not a politician, he explained, and doesn’t want to be one. “I think people who want to be in politics are not necessarily the people who should be running the country.”

Kniffen knows the turf. He ran for the services-district board in 1989 and thoroughly detested the entire process. “I found there’s nothing more degrading than asking someone to vote for me,” especially when that person doesn’t know him.

For him, it’s all about serving his community and his country. “I’ve never served in a foxhole,” he said, “but I feel a huge obligation to serve my country.”

According to the county Elections Division website, as of noon Tuesday, July 31, people who had filed for local races were:

Trustees positions up for election are currently held by board President Cindy Fratto and trustees Robert Gong and Victoria Dandurand.

The deadline to file is Friday, Aug. 10. However, if no incumbent files in a race, candidates would have until Wednesday, Aug. 15, to file. Incumbents have filed in all but the school board race.

For specifics, go to

For an updated list of candidates, go to — Kathe Tanner