Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor: October 11, 2018

I support Howell and Perry for CSD

Two positions on the Board of Directors of the Cambria Community Services District are open in this election.

Who should direct the CCSD?

Directors who:

listen and reply;

do serious research and take risks;

who see connections among fire protection, park maintenance, water and sewer flow;

can see a whole community and compromise;

know Cambria for many years and have open minds;

do careful financial analysis and understand balanced budgets;

question costly assumptions but know projects aren’t free;

understand the need for conservation of water and forest;

have the courage to oversee the district and evaluate management regularly — people so qualified have my support.

I am voting for Donn Howell and Dennis Perry. They are qualified for public service as directors of CCSD. They also bring new perspectives and a sense of humor.

Elizabeth Bettenhausen, Cambria

I support Howell for CSD

I am voting for Donn Howell for the position of CCSD director because of is his conscientious intelligence. He is qualified in financial and business analysis, programming and problem solving and enjoys a background in the humanities.

In my acquaintance with Donn, I see that he has the interest and ability to listen patiently and learn. He researches information well and communicates kindly with people. Donn has attended CCSD meetings for years, and participates in standing committees on finance and infrastructure. His immediate goals are to address our aging water and sewer infrastructure, as well as to complete the final permitting for our new water treatment facility.

Donn is retired. He is devoted to serving you well as CCSD director. Please vote for Donn Howell.

Thank you.

Lori Slater, Cambria

I support Howell, Perry for CSD

If you’re not aware that the Cambria Community Service District is in crisis then you’re not paying attention.

The philosophy that got us here is summed up by the 1960s song that goes “we’re neck deep in the Big Muddy and the big fool says to push on.”

The symptoms of a malfunctioning CCSD are everywhere: the constant turnover of employees, the firing of the general manager, the decaying infrastructure, the lawsuit against the $13 million water facility’s contractor and the quick getaway of directors responsible for the current crisis.

We don’t need more of the same.

Fortunately, there are two CCSD candidates who have the necessary vision, determination and dedication to get the CCSD out of its hole — without digging it deeper — and without being tied to prior failed policies or being hand-picked by exiting directors.

Donn Howell and Dennis Perry bring with them the necessary problem solving skills along with a passion for this community and its residents – put simply, they bring a breath of fresh air. Donn and Dennis offer the CCSD the crucial oversight, transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility that has been so sorely lacking.

If, like me, you’re not happy with CCSD’s business as usual, please support Donn and Dennis in November.

Donald Archer, Cambria

I support Howell for CSD

Would not a regional effort toward more water availability make more sense than one small area trying to develop its own new water source, both from financial and physical points of view?

For example, San Diego County is building a $1 billion desalination facility Carlsbad. The water will be available to the whole county.

The city of Santa Barbara built a $100 million desalination plant to deal with shortages created by climate change droughts. But of course, with a much larger population and much larger tax base than Cambria.

Water recapture/recycling has a limited amount of water that the community can create. How much water can be created through recapture/recycling remains to be seen.

The ultimate cost to Cambria and the ability to get through both county and coastal commission scrutiny remains to be seen. In any case, we will see the ultimate outcome sometime in the future as Cambria continues to develop its new facility and seeks approval.

At this point, we can only hope that the increased cost to current users will be affordable.

I discussed this letter with Donn Howell, and he very much agrees with this point of view for that reason I am voting for Donn for CCSD director.

Lee Bailey, Cambria

I endorse Howell for CSD

Our Cambria CSD is at the crossroads of challenge and opportunity. We will soon be hiring a new general manager. At least one new person will be sworn in as board director come December. The potential to have the most balanced representation of the varied interests and concerns of the citizens of our community has never been greater.

Donn Howell, retired after decades of experience involved in financial and business analysis and problem solving, has been attending and participating in CCSD meetings for years. He does his research beforehand, comes prepared and speaks knowledgeably and thoughtfully regarding the topic at hand.

Donn is known for his calm, friendly and balanced demeanor. He listens attentively, and always has a smile to brighten the day. He would make an ideal director, a major participant in responsible decision making, and in creating a more trustworthy, practical, imaginative and forward looking board and services district that truly reflects and represents the creativity and diversity of the citizenry of our special home known as Cambria.

Someone with the quality of intention to do right for all concerned is needed at this time. Please join me in voting for Donn Howell this November.

Harry Farmer, Cambria CSD board member

I support Steidel for CSD

In the election this November, Cambrians will vote for candidates for CCSD director to help to lead us through the challenges facing our community. For me, one of the most important of these is the need to assess our infrastructure needs and develop a cost-effective plan to meet those needs. Cindy Steidel has the requisite skills and experience to meet all our challenges.

As a business and finance manager, Cindy’s professional responsibilities for over 30 years included project management and financial guidance. She has experience in budgeting and managing costs, defining risks and assessing and solving complex project problems. This experience will benefit the CCSD, as well as ratepayers, by strengthening transparency and control of operating expenses as we confront our infrastructure needs.

Cindy is not new to community service. She represents Marine Terrace on, and is vice chair of, the NCAC, and she’s a member of the CCSD Finance Subcommittee. In addition, she was a member of the Buildout Reduction Program Citizens Committee and is a member of the American Legion Past 432 Auxiliary. She’s also an artist and has served on the Allied Arts Board.

I will vote enthusiastically for Cindy Steidel on Nov. 6, and I hope you will, too.

Karen Chrisman, Cambria

I support Howell, Perry for CSD

Cambria is lucky to have Donn Howell and Dennis Perry running for the CSD Board.

They bring financial smarts and sensible management skills — we need them now!

The board built an Emergency Water Plant as a supplemental water supply — they may have been well-intentioned, but:

Our system only functions as a Stage 3 emergency system, not a sustainable system; Cambria is deeper in debt than ever – how will the new rate increase be spent?; there is no reasonable plan for contaminated waste disposal; CSD is suing the contractor – what are the legal fees?; the system leaks an average of 13 percent and the treatment plant is literally rusting away; there have been no improvements for fire suppression water, with only two hours of water for fire-fighting; the dismissed general manger received a large golden parachute.

These candidates are ready to sort out the financial and legal tangles, using the forensic audit to: eliminate unnecessary spending, set new contract guidelines, prioritize repairs, and focus on infrastructure and forest management. We have the opportunity to work toward modern, functioning water and sewer services.

Donn and Dennis will be at the Forums and the Farmers Market — stop by to meet them — it’s for Cambria’s future!

Ted Key, Cambria