Lately we have a new issue making us wonder what is going on. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the Cambria Community Services District, although I was distressed to see that we have already spent $100,000 litigating issues that do not belong in court.
The current dysfunction seems to be with the Cambria Community Healthcare District board. Back in May, I was delighted when CCHD Vice President Barbara Gray sent me an email that included a series of questions on what needed to be improved with health care in our community.
Since I am a caregiver for a disabled spouse, this made a lot of sense to me. I sent my suggestions to her and recommended that we try to spread the word to as many people as we could. I am a past commander of the American Legion, so I sent this information out to several hundred members of the American Legion family. I also asked former Honorary Mayor Kim Maston to send it out to her large email list.
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Now some on the CCHD board are trying to oust Gray and Michael McLaughlin from their elected leadership positions. I am saddened that people who were elected to work for us are more interested in wasting time and money bickering instead of supporting forward-thinking leaders on the board. This sounds exactly like the nonfunctioning Congress in Washington.
Does our CCHD want an approval rating like Congress? Someone open the window for their next board meeting. They need some fresh air.
Visitors should save
After reading the Cambrian article about a drop in our wells following July 4 events, I wonder what incentives are being offered by our Lions Club to visitors of the upcoming Pinedorado celebration.
The article clearly states that these “celebrations” are significantly impacting our water resources, and we Cambrians need to try harder to conserve in every way possible so local clubs, businesses and organizations can benefit from our conservation and enable out-of-town visitors to consume freely.
Why can’t the Lions Club offer a reduced barbecue lunch price or free tickets for kids to play games in exchange for signing a pledge to conserve while visiting Pinedorado? Why not provide a large banner heading up the parade, asking visitors to “Please help us conserve water during Pinedorado Days”?
Why not banners across the parade route? Why not require parade participants to advertise “Please conserve water” attached to every entry? Why not offer a parade entry prize for the most creative conservation message?
These could be simple, cheap and effective reminders to visitors that they, too, can help keep such fun events going by conserving water.
Where are all those creative minds among our businesses, community clubs, schools, chamber, CCSD and Pinedorado booth money-makers who could address the water shortage in a proactive manner?
Is it ‘we’ or ‘I’?
In response to Cambria Community Services District General Manager Jerry Gruber’s letter dated June 29, 2015, I would like to make comments about some of the items contained in the letter.
CCSD promote from within: I have a problem with Mr. Gruber’s use of “we” decided that it would be less disruptive. Mr. Gruber very clearly stated on the public record during the board meeting June 25 that human resources issues and decisions are his, not the board’s. The reference should have been “I” decided. In addition, if the decision were made to appoint an interim chief from within Cambria Fire Department, the individual involved would assume the appointed position. CFD has in place a policy for making temporary promotions. This would have been more than adequate to cover the department’s responsibilities and at a cost savings to the citizens of Cambria.
Cal Fire Contract: From Mr. Gruber’s statement, Chief Mark Miller’s retirement required a decision to be made quickly. In fact in the strategic plan submitted to Mr. Gruber early in 2014, the replacement of Chief Miller was clearly indicated, citing a retirement date of May 2015. This notice was 18-plus months ago. This appears to me to be a conflict with Mr. Gruber’s statement in the letter.
Mr. Gruber, you need to be honest, truthful, accurate and open in your position as General Manager. Failure in any or all of these areas is, to say the least, deceptive to the citizens of Cambria and cannot be tolerated.
Before it’s gone
Many years ago (circa 1973) I was sitting in a freshman elective class called Urban Geography. During one lecture the professor stated that one day in the future the California coast would be one contiguous city from San Diego to Eureka. At the time I scoffed at the prediction. But after seeing the unbridled growth of California cities and suburbs, I know that prediction will come true.
I have an anti-growth bias. However, whether I join the battle against development or not, I know that ultimately the Central Coast will eventually be one large city.
We are in the process of “cementing out” the natural environment. Because of course, if you can’t build on it you can’t profit from it. The more we build, the greater the population, the greater the pollution, the more water that is needed.
How long will that paradise last if we continue to build? Fifteen to 20 homes per year does not sound bad, but 100 homes every five years does.
Small incremental growth can eventually cause as much damage as the large projects.
In the movie “Dancing with Wolves,” a Civil War U.S. army officer is asked why he is requesting to be sent to the most distant western outpost. The officer simply answers “I want to see it before it’s all gone.” I would like my great-grandchildren to also see it before it’s all gone.
Daniel de la Rosa
Nature has conspired to present the Central Coast with a historic challenge, surviving fire season in the fourth year of drought.
This is an appeal to San Luis Obispo County, local service district boards, service organizations and the State of California to help residents prepare.
The ongoing fire department “defensible space” and safety information programs are a must, but we should do more.
In Cambria for example, where the dying forest has exacerbated the peril,
Perhaps the new C4H20 (Cambrians For Water) that mobilized to elect a pro-desalination board can take the lead in marshaling funds and resources. Groups like the Odd Fellows, Lions, Rotary and others could assist with donations, but more importantly leverage state and local government to move water tankers into strategic locations now. Experts have said should the need arise, firefighting efforts would rapidly drawn down the communities’ already limited water.
Lack of pressure and water could stymie even the most heroic efforts to stop fire from becoming inferno.
So, as a precaution, why aren’t water tankers in place now, in reserve, “just in case?”
The emergency reserve water could give first-responding units a chance to be effective before back up units arrive. Better safe than sorry.
Wouldn’t insurance companies rather help subsidize emergency water storage than astronomical settlement costs?
In addition, the coalition of community groups could buy or help underwrite the purchase of supplies of fire retardant foam by residents and businesses.
A public and private effort could go a long way toward helping the Central Coast survive.