The Cambrian

Three have applied for Cambria CSD board seat so far

Take a deep breath — there are now, count ’em, seven Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors meetings and workshops scheduled during the next five weeks. 

It’s no wonder. District staff and board members are juggling a daunting set of issues, many of which must be solved or concluded by year’s end or before.

By then, the district needs to: 

  • Complete and approve a groundwater management plan, actions that must be completed before the district can dig its way out of a fiscal hole by receiving the $4.3 million drought-related grant it was promised toward building a $13 million emergency water-supply project. 
  • Go through a strictly prescribed Proposition 218 process increasing water and sewage-treatment rates, a state-required process that allows members of the public plenty of time to formally protest the proposal. The district hopes the new rates will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Fill a board vacancy left when former director Muril Clift resigned, effective Oct. 1. The appointee will fill the slightly more than the one year remaining in Clift’s term, until those elected in the November 2016 election are sworn into office.
  • Applications are available at and must be submitted to the CCSD office, 1314 Tamsen Drive, Suite 201, by 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15. 

At the meeting that starts at the same time that day, the board is to consider how to fill the vacancy (appointment by Nov. 30, election or by action of the county Board of Supervisors). 

As of late afternoon Tuesday, Oct. 13, applicants included:

  • Jeff Hellman, 70, a 2014 CCSD director candidate and retired business owner who moved to Cambria in 2005. He received 1,089 votes (20.35 percent of votes cast) in his 2014 bid for a seat on the board; however, the two seats up for election were won by incumbents Jim Bahringer (1,557 votes, 29.09 percent) and Mike Thompson (1,541 votes, 28.79 percent). 
  • Melvin Dorin, 73, who has owned a Cambria home since 2010 and moved here full time in May 2014. He’s a retired high-level federal law enforcement officer, now a professional photographer, as is wife Patricia. They are participating artists at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
  • Jade Lehrmann Bodine, 32, a third-generation Cambrian who was raised on the Central Coast. She’s a computer and business consultant who’s on the board of the American Legion Auxiliary.

The board has a later deadline for deciding the fate of Cambria’s stand-alone Cambria Fire Department. That process has been complicated somewhat by Clift’s departure, since he and Thompson comprised the ad hoc committee studying the possibility of contracting with Cal Fire for urban fire-protection services. The district’s current $288,856 contract with Cal Fire, to manage Cambria Fire operations, runs through June.

As of Oct. 7, the district’s meeting schedule through year’s end included:

  • Thursday, October 15, 4 to 6 p.m. Special board meeting to consider how directors will replace Clift on the board and the ad hoc committee on fire services, and to hold a formal public hearing on the district’s intention to prepare a groundwater management plan.   
  • Monday, October 19, 12:30 p.m. Special board meeting to interview candidates who’ve applied to fill Clift’s vacant seat; the board also could select the new board member at this meeting. 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2 p.m. Workshop related to preparing the groundwater management plan. District Engineer Bob Gresens will lead the workshop.
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 12:30 p.m. The Board of Directors’ regular October meeting.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29, 2 p.m. Second workshop related to preparing the groundwater management plan. Again, Gresens will lead the workshop.
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 12:30 p.m. Special meeting to adopt an ordinance for the groundwater management plan, and for scheduling the Proposition 218 hearing/special meeting for raising the water and wastewater rates. 
  • Thursday, Nov. 19, 12:30 p.m. Board of Directors’ regular November meeting, a week early because of Thanksgiving.
  • Thursday, Dec. 17, 12:30 p.m. Board of Directors’ regular December meeting, held a week early because of Christmas.
  • Whether the meetings will be recorded on video will depend on the availability of AGP Video, according to information from the district, which has requested the service. 

And be forewarned, more meetings could be added to the list, including a special ad hoc workshop prior to Nov. 12 on the proposed rate increases, according to General Manager Jerry Gruber.