Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, May 26, 2015

Jerry Gruber
Jerry Gruber

Cambria’s quality of life should count for something

This letter is in response to Viewpoint by Jim Bahringer regarding the proposed increased salary and benefits package for Jerry Gruber. Mr. Bahringer believes Mr. Gruber deserves a most generous increase in his compensation package, citing how much more it would cost to hire someone else qualified to do the job.

He ends his argument stating “let’s be mindful of the facts. That’s all I ask.”

I work for one of the largest specialty medical practices on the Central Coast. We recruit specialists from across America, and these physicians know that they will not make as much money and have the same generous benefits as one who works in a large city. What they do get is “quality of life” that cannot be matched in most of this country.

If working for Cambria is just not paying enough for Mr. Gruber, who I am told moved out of our town and across Highway 46, then perhaps he should consider going to a bigger municipality — he has worked for others before. The community simply cannot afford such “talent,” and the CCSD Board cannot tax/increase its way out of the fiscal mess we are in. To ask ratepayers to foot this proposal along with all of the other expenditures this board has incurred is absurd.

The board just raised everyone’s bills significantly, we are still in a Stage 3 emergency, we owe millions for the Sustainable Water Facility (formerly the Emergency Water Supply Project), and you now want to give General Manager Gruber a raise almost matching the increase in our rates. Mr. Gruber has stated repeatedly that we should fix our aging infrastructure; perhaps that’s were our hard-earned money should be spent instead of lining his pockets.

Mr. Bahringer, all we ask is that you and the rest of the CCSD board be mindful of reality.

Marilyn Kirkey, Cambria

CCSD should end upward spiral of competing salaries

In reply to Jim Bahringer’s thesis (“CCSD not tone deaf; Gruber raise likely cheaper than finding replacement,” May 11) of why it is necessary to award Cambria Manager Jerry Gruber a pay raise, I wish to disagree with the premise that any organization needs to engage in a competition for salary as a method of placating an employee who indicates that they need more money to be satisfied with their job, or hold it over the heads of management that it will cost more to replace them than to meet their salary demands.

Competing for salaries leads to an upward spiral that never ends and never satisfies anyone. If Gruber is merely kept as city manager by salary and not the great working conditions and other perks of his position, then he should be allowed to follow the money trail to happier employment with our blessings.

If we can replace the president of the United States, I submit that we can also replace Gruber, and I also believe there are many qualified persons who would love to have his job and do it as well or better.

The CCSD proposal to raise his salary is management folly, and Cambria should demand better government in the next election.

Melvin Dorin, Cambria