Cambria CSD to remove its general manager

September 6, 2018

Cambria General Manager Jerry Gruber

In a closed-session hearing last week, the Cambria Community Services District board decided to enter into negotiations on a separation agreement with CSD General Manager Jerry Gruber. [Cal Coast Times]

On Aug. 31, the CSD board of directors met in a special meeting to discuss Gruber’s employment status. Board members did not disclose a reason for doing so, but following closed session, it was announced that the CSD directors voted unanimously to negotiate a severance deal with Gruber.

Gruber has served as the Cambria CSD’s top executive since 2011. Over his tenure with the district, Gruber has come under fire over a variety of issues, including an expensive water project and multiple water and sewer rate hikes; discrepancies in CSD accounting; and Gruber’s high pay.

In 2016, Gruber received $237,843 in total pay, according to Transparent California. Three years prior when his salary was lower but he collected more than $75,000 in benefits, Gruber received $267,503 in total pay.

The Cambria CSD is currently in the process of hiking water and sewer rates. Next month, the district will hold a Proposition 218 hearing which, if a ratepayer protest fails, will clear the way for the latest rate hikes to take effect in November. The district has already had to postpone the Proposition 218 meeting and resend notices about it to ratepayers because of CSD mishaps while notifying the public.

During last week’s meeting, public commenters split for and against keeping Gruber as the CSD’s general manager. Commenters also criticized the lack of disclosure as to why Gruber’s employment status was being discussed.

Jorge Estrada

This week in Santa Barbara County a veteran of 31 years was promoted to Fire Chief to replace the retiring Fire Chief of two years. Does this mean that in two years they will be getting another Fire Chief? The word is that these promotions across all government agencies are for that very large pension boost, is this ok?, is this ever news? Pension don’t have a severance package, they go on and on then survived by their much younger spouse in some cases. Compared to this scam, the Cambrian give away is like shop lifting mouth wash.


It is also possible he is “retired” from his previous work and now collecting his 100%+ pension already and now will also collect a salary for his “new” job with no reduction in his pension, plus yes when his new “retirement” hits in a few years he will have a higher pension. It’s the government way.


It is just plain bad business practice to hire this fire chief when everyone knows that he is already retired and will more than likely retire in another 2 years like the existing chief. I winder if he is getting moving expenses and other benefits. How in the world do you ever get any stability within a department when these chiefs just come and go. It just happened in Morro Bay too.


Ahem…Another Wallace Group flunkee. Anyone wanna lay odds as to how long before Paavo Ogren gets “paid off” and “released”


Over a quarter million bucks a year. Guy made off like a bandit.


In the private sector you fail at your job you are just fired, there’s the door do let it hit you on the way out. In the public sector when one fails at their job they have to “negotiate a severance deal”, WTF, and come on over a quarter of a million in salary and benefits for Cambria…. again WTF. Clearly the government doesn’t need more of our money in taxes and fees, if they can pay those types of salaries, in fact they need to have a lot of it taken back.


What really needs to be investigated is the Cambria Community Service District. How in the world would anyone in their right mind pay someone this kind of money in a mini district? Oh yes, I forgot it’s SLO County and this stuff goes on all of the time with no repercussions. If the CSD had any huevos at all they would fire the guy with cause and not buy him off for his silence of what they all are doing.


Gee who could have ever imagined this would happen Somebody needs to hire a movie producer to make a soap opera showcasing SLO counties pitiful goings on. Perhaps a new Guinness record for pay offs of gov employees also.