Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, May 19, 2016

CCSD should answer the phone

Not living in Cambria full time means long-distant phone charges for me to Cambria Community Services District. One last Friday and two on Monday, only to be told they did not answer phones except for Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An answering machine could have told me that and saved me three long-distance charges. I could have left my name, number and question so someone could call me. So inefficient on their part since someone answers the phone to tell you they cannot answer the phone.

Maybe we don’t pay them enough to think? Or some of them have giant salaries that make it impossible to hire someone to answer a phone.

Chris Kratt, Cambria/Clovis

Gruber got EWS where it is today

Jim Bahringer’s Viewpoint article (May 12 Cambrian) was excellent! I’d like to add a couple of comments.

Regardless of how you may feel about EWS, you have to admit that it took a great deal of talent in a variety of areas to get the job done. No details here because you could write a book about the obstacles that Jerry Gruber and a lot of others faced in getting the EWS to where it is today! Amazing!

The other issue is the amount of money Mr. Gruber is paid versus the amount others made when they were directors, chiefs or whatever. Keep in mind that college grads in 2015 in the technical field were offered an average starting salary of $65,000 a year. You also must keep in mind what year you are using for comparison. If you were earning $100,000 in the year 2000, it would be equivalent to almost $140,000 in the year in 2015 just because of inflation.

Wayne Smith, Cambria

CCSD needs to provide more facts

In his Viewpoint, “CCSD not tone deaf; Gruber raise likely cheaper than finding replacement,” (May 12 Cambrian) Director Jim Bahringer cautions the public to “be mindful of the facts” as the board considers General Manager Jerry Gruber’s future compensation. In order for Cambrians to be mindful of the facts, the CCSD board and staff need to provide us with the facts.

One fact many of us would like to know is how much Gruber is currently making. Is Gruber’s total salary $162,900 as stated in his 2013 contract, which is still in effect? Or is it $177,902 as reported to the state controller in 2013? Or is it $197,429 as reported in 2014? Finance Manager Patrick O’ Reilly told The Cambrian he made a mistake in reporting the 2014 figure, but did not say he made a mistake in 2013. Perhaps the CCSD should list all employees’ correct salaries on its website through 2015, instead of only through 2012.

Another fact is why we are paying so much for other professional services in addition to staff salaries. Bahringer says “Gruber is fully licensed and experienced, and it avoids having to retain costly consultants to do the job.” The $160,000 Bahringer says is budgeted for all professional services is only in the Water Department budget. Professional services are peppered throughout the budget: $68,000 for the Wastewater Department, some $560,000 for the Sustainable Water Facility alone, and so on.

It is time for the CCSD to provide us these facts and more. It is all we ask.

Susan Ladrie-Mackey,