Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, Aug. 4, 2016

Another round of CCSD ‘insanity’

I am a concerned Cambrian. Just when you thought we dodged the bullet of an outrageous raise and benefits package for our general manager, Jerry Gruber, here comes another round of insanity from our Cambria Community Services District Board.

We all know that virtually zero water has been delivered to any ratepayer in Cambria from the Sustainable Water Facility (formerly the Emergency Water Supply Project). With fewer than 4,000 ratepayers in the community, being saddled with over $13 million in debt for this project is daunting enough, but now the talk of upgrading the pumps, piping and other infrastructure begins with no specific costs presented for this — as if this small community can afford to take this on.

This board repeatedly shows an astounding disregard for money management/cost containment to all of the citizens of Cambria. The debt we are all looking at is simply unsustainable and will cripple residents — especially those on fixed incomes — and businesses alike. The notion that businesses can “just keep raising prices” puts them all at a disadvantage with the surrounding communities — one does not have to eat or sleep in Cambria with Morro Bay and Paso wine country beckoning.

Please step up today to work toward replacing three board members this November. Just as on the national stage, change must begin at home and YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

Marilyn Kirkey, Cambria

Is board working in town’s interests?

I am a concerned property owner and resident of Cambria.

The Cambria Community Services District told us we needed to build a “temporary emergency” water system because we were quickly running out of water. Suspiciously, this “emergency” system, now built, is being promoted as a permanent system. We now discover we were not really running out of water at all.

Cambrians have an expensive plant that is currently not pumping water.

And although we are now in a CCSD-issued Stage 3 water shortage, we’re free to wash our cars, irrigate outdoor plants, plus host thousands of tourists during seasonal events.

Cambria residents will continue to see big hikes in water use rates as time goes on, no matter how little we use, because we are obligated to pay for a system we didn’t need. Yet, the general manager gets a big raise (what did he do to deserve it?), and we are paying big bucks for a lobbyist (what exactly does he do for us?). To top it off, no one on the CCSD board is offering a reasonable explanation for any of the above decisions to the community.

Does this sound like the Community Service District Board is working in our best interests?

Gail Stevens, Cambria

Get involved for Cambria’s future

Over the past year, I have been attending the Cambria Community Services District board meetings held the last Thursday of every month at veterans hall. I have been disappointed with the lack of accountability that appears to be built into the majority of the current board.

Together with other concerned Cambrians, I have decided to encourage more citizens to run for local office and to speak up and speak out. I started a Facebook page called Cambria Currents which, in a few short months, has more than 450 members who are free to express their opinions and concerns with their neighbors.

Together we can elect board members who will be responsive to the needs and desires of the community. Together we can find the solutions to both short-term and long-term challenges that we face.

It is important that we become vigilant stewards of Cambria’s future. We must ward off those forces that would serve primarily developers and special interests. Mass development is on the rise, and without dissenting voices, will most likely be approved.

Eight years ago, I founded The Free and Equal Elections Foundation in order to promote citizen participation in local, state and federal elections. The more voices we hear, the more choices we have.

What can you do? Run for office. Campaign for those running for office. Attend the CCSD board meetings. Come to our forum discussions (TBA in The Cambrian and on the Cambria Currents Facebook page.)

We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful community. It is up to us to keep it that way.

Christina Tobin, Cambria

Rumble strips on Hwy. 1 save lives

Don’t know who put the flier under my door about removing the rumble strips on the highway but, after reading it, I immediately e-mailed the Caltrans people at the e-mail addresses you listed. I wanted to thank them for putting down the rumble strips in an attempt to stop all the carnage that has been happening on Highway 1. As for the noise you complained about, I live directly above Highway 1 and, if I hear any noise from the rumble strips, my immediate thought is “good, maybe a life was saved.”

With all the problems we seem to have here in Cambria, surely there are other issues that could use your energy and writing expertise. The idea that someone has tried to alleviate potential accidents is worthy of praise not censure.

Judy Butler, Cambria