After campaigning on a platform of transparency, a 33-vote advantage gives Harry Farmer a seat on the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) board, while incumbent board President Gail Robinette gets the boot.
Robinette has served on the board since she was appointed to fill in the remaining year of Frank DeMicco’s term in 2011. She was elected to a four-year term the following year and has served as president for the past two years.
Cambria’s voters opted to keep incumbents in the other two available board seats, but Farmer believes he was voted in to provide the district with a different perspective and change.
In 2010, Farmer ran unsuccessfully for a board of directors seat. His decision to run again was mainly caused by the district’s lack of transparency, which he said is a concern he’s heard from many citizens.
“When I was running, people would tell me, ‘Harry we want you to be elected because you’re honest, and we want you to tell the truth,’” he said. “There’s a feeling that the people on the board right now aren’t honest about what’s going on in the district.”
Farmer told New Times that he has been a Cambria resident for 30 years and has a strong presence within the community as an astrologer, a gardener, and a volunteer disc jockey for The Rock 97.3.
Once Farmer is officially on the board, he said, he is going to follow through with his promises by learning more about the projects the CCSD is working on and giving that information to the public.
“I’m going to make every effort to be as diplomatic as possible when working with the others on the board,” he said, “but what I will ultimately need to do is state the facts as I see them because this is what I was elected to do.”
Although all the CCSD’s ballots have been counted, the results are still unofficial. With three seats to fill and eight candidates, Farmer received 1,438 votes, putting him in third place. Incumbents Greg Sanders and Amanda Rice held on to their seats, receiving 1,556 and 1,654 votes, respectively.
Rice told New Times that she is sad the CCSD’s board is losing Robinette. She said Robinette has plenty of knowledge and experience within the district but while she can’t speak on behalf of the Cambria community, the public seems to want change while also hanging onto experienced board members.
“He [Farmer] would definitely be the person who has been in Cambria the longest, and he has a real deep love for the community and the environment,”