Vote local on November 8, 2016

Save Our County has worked with communities throughout El Dorado County to protect our picturesque landscapes and quality of life.  Efforts include organizing and collaborating with:

  • Friends of Historic Hangtown – Stop the roundabout in Placerville
  • Shingle Springs Community Alliance
  • No San Stino
  • Stop Tilden Park
  • RIPP – Residents Involved in Positive Planning
  • GPS – Georgetown Preservation Society
  • Rural Communities United
  • Green Valley Alliance
  • Save the El Dorado Canal
  • SHRED – Save Hangtown from Redevelopment and Eminent Domain
  • Citizens for Sensible Development in El Dorado Hills
  • Placerville Historic Preservation League – Save the Courthouse
  • Land Use Ballot Measures O, E and G.

As such, we endorse the following candidates who will stand up against special interests and represent constituents.

Please vote for the following candidates on November 8, 2016:

John Hidahl, candidate for El Dorado County Supervisor, District 1:

Alan Day, candidate for El Dorado Irrigation District Director, Division 5:

Craig Schmidt, candidate for El Dorado Irrigation District Director, Division 3:

Watch this video to see why we need better representation than Bill George on the EID board:


Show Your Support with a Schmidt Campaign Sign

schmidt-signageTired of EID putting the cost of new development on existing ratepayers?   How about voting for someone that is truly fiscally responsible and has the past to prove it, unlike the other 2 candidates.  Big spender, incumbent Bill George has served long enough.  Don’t expect much different from Mike Rafferty.

Craig has been a watchdog for ratepayers, being the author of the webpage to keep the public informed regarding irresponsible spending habits by the Board majority.  Craig is also a defender of agriculture and will protect their historic rights to affordable water.

Check out and Vote for Craig Schmidt El Dorado Irrigation District 3.

Help Craig win the District 3 EID seat by posting a campaign sign.  Send an email to to get a sign.



Support Craig Schmidt for EID Board, District 3

Finally! Someone who wants to be fiscally responsible running for EID and not give away all our resources to large developers.  He has our support.

Sue Taylor
Save Our County

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Craig A. Schmidt <>
Sent: Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:11:23 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: tops 25,000 visits!

Hello Friends;

Two quick items:

1. Our web site has just topped 25,000 visits. Wow!

2. If you haven’t read the “One Minute News” summaries for June/July, August and September 2016 at (i.e. just under my candidate statement), I would like to encourage you to do so. These past four months of EID board meetings have revealed a lot of new/critical information. It will probably take you 3 or 4 minutes (only).

Thanks for all of your support, encouragement and campaign funding. It is truly appreciated 🙂

Please SHARE with your friends and neighbors!

Best wishes,

Craig A. Schmidt
Candidate: EID Board, Div. 3
Putting ratepayers first!

New EDWPA water rights are a mirage

My Turn: New EDWPA water rights are a mirage

By Greg Prada – Special to the Mountain Democrat
From page A4 | July 06, 2016

All of us who have driven across the desert or the Great Plains on a hot summer day often have experienced certainty that we have seen water on the highway ahead only to see that water magically disappear when driving closer.

Well, at $11 million of taxpayer expense, the El Dorado Water and Power Authority is chasing 40,000 acre-feet of new water rights that are as real as that mirage on the highway.

At the El Dorado Irrigation District’s June 27 board meeting EID staff presented a 30-year water demand forecast through the year 2045 that demonstrates that even in the third year of a drought, EID already has more than enough water rights to: a) serve its existing 40,000 customers even if they use 48 percent more water, b) serve 17,000 new residential customers, and c) triple agricultural use.

Even if the State Water Resources Control Board inexplicably was to have a brain meltdown and somehow award EDWPA more water rights when water rights statewide already are substantially over-subscribed and not backed by real water, there is no plausible way for EID or El Dorad County to put more water rights to legally required, beneficial consumptive use until well after the year 2045.

So, who in their right mind thinks that future residents of El Dorado County will ever gain any real water by current county taxpayers and current EID ratepayers spending $11 million to pursue a new water rights mirage?

The next problem is that for El Dorado County to put the additional water rights to legally required beneficial use would require $200 million of new transmission and other capital infrastructure to bring that 40,000 acre-feet of new water to South County and the Divide. But would new water users in South County and the Divide pay $200,000 or more up front to hook up to the new water supply? By Article 13d of the California Constitution, neither existing EID ratepayers nor developers can be forced to pay for $200 million of new water infrastructure that is of absolutely no benefit to their property.

EDWPA’s 10-member board is comprised of five county supervisors and five EID directors. At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13, at the El Dorado County Water Agency, 4110 Business Drive in Shingle Springs, these 10 elected officials will vote on EDWPA’s 2016-17 budget, which includes continuing to spend millions of dollars on this water rights mirage.

Greg Prada is a member of the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors, serving Division 2.

Stop EID Rate Increases – Write Letter to EID Today AND Attend January 11, 2016 EID Meeting

EID Customers:

Water rates are going up 20%!

Sewer rates are going up 15%!

Small farm rates are going up 60%!

You have a “say” if you act today!

It’s your money and your choice!  Protest the rate increases by sending a Protest Letter AND attending the January 11, 2016 meeting.

A majority (50% + 1) of the more than 40,000 ratepayers MUST send in a Protest Letter before January 11, 2016 to stop the rate increases.  

These rate increases come on the heels of pay raises for EID General Manager Jim Ambercrombie and EID Attorney Tom Cumpston – see Village Life article for more information:

Attend the EID meeting:
Monday, January 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

EID Headquarters – Board Room
2890 Mosquito Rd.
Placerville, California 95667

SAMPLE Protest Letter
Below is a sample protest letter.  Please copy/paste the letter below into your word processing software, print, sign and mail your letter to EID today.  Remember to include your Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) from your latest property tax statement into your letter. Thank you!

IMPORTANT: Only include the EID services that are specific to your parcel (i.e. water, wastewater and/or recycled water) in the first sentence below. Only small farmers should include the second sentence (below).

January XX, 2016

El Dorado Irrigation District (EID)
c/o Clerk to the Board
2890 Mosquito Road
Placerville, CA 95667

Dear EID Representative;

I object to EID’s proposed [choose your service(s):  water / wastewater recycled /  water] rate increases per your recent Proposition 218 Notice.   [only small farmers use this sentence: I object to EID’s proposed rate changes to the “Small Farm Irrigation Rate” water program per your recent Proposition 218 Notice.]



Street Address
City, CA Zip

EID Employee Benefits Increasing at 10-13-15 Meeting

In both the U.S and in California, average employee portion of family health premium is proximately 30 percent:

EID employee portion of their health premium costs…15 percent for family coverage and 0 percent for employee only coverage… currently is substantially lower than U.S. and California averages

EID employee and retiree health benefits cost EID ratepayers $4.5 million annually; Ratepayer rates are $600,000/1.2 percent higher than they otherwise would be due to past boards granting of substantially more generous than average employee health coverage benefits.

Consent Item 4 on the EID Board Agenda for Tuesday, October 13, 2015 is asking the current EID Board to reaffirm continuation of substantially more generous employee health coverage benefits:

Note: EID employee benefits average more than $50,000 per employee annually with 80 percent attributable to ratepayer-paid employee pension and medical benefits. Fast-escalating debt service and employee benefit costs account for virtually all of EID Management’s proposed rate hikes for 2016-2019.

Questionable Decisions at Water Agency 10-14-15

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.
4110 Business Drive, Suite B
(at corner of Durock Road and Business Drive

Shingle Springs, CA 95682

See the transcript from the 9-9-15 EDWPA Meeting below.

As per the following link, EDWPA’s October 14, 2015 agenda includes a planned Board vote as to whether EDWPA should partner with the City of Folsom in pursuing Folsom’s needs for more water rights to serve their growth; EDWPA’s Interim General Manager and consultants further have proposed that Folsom contribute $25,000 toward the projected $11 million cost to El Dorado County and EID for the new water application.

Transcript from 9-9-15 EDWPA Meeting:

Coco:  Snapshot of that particular point in time of how many users are affected.  It’s not for planning purposes.  It’s if the Integrated Water Resources Control Plan is for planning purposes.  Now, to reevaluate those numbers, I agree, it has to be reevaluated.  And we have to come up with appropriate projections.  But back to the business plan part of it to qualify that.  We just finished transferring water, selling water, EID did.  Placer County has been selling and transferring water for years now, they make about $8,000,000 a year from their water transfers.  Now, what you have to understand is, and I’m going to take this out of their terms and try to put it in our terms, you cannot obtain a water right unless you can demon-  once you retain a water right you have to demonstrate beneficial use.  If you don’t demonstrate beneficial use, you have about 3 years to demonstrate beneficial use.  Now for long term planning you get, you can say, no, I’m going to use this water 30 or 50 years, that’s ok, you can work with that, but you still have to demonstrate beneficial use.  Water transfers to districts that need water IS a beneficial use.  Now, what you cannot do is obtain water to sell it.  Now this all gets tangled up in California water law, and it gets tangled up on semantics.  So you can’t go out and say, I’m going to obtain this 40,000 acre feet of water and I plan to sell 20,000 acre feet of it.

Frentzen:  That’s what we’re doing.

Coco:  But you can’t say that. [laughter] You can’t say that. We just obtained 8,500 acre feet of water in Folsom Lake, ok?  We basically could sell all of it, but we can’t do that.  We can’t go to the agencies that we deal with and say, Ok, we’ve got 8,500 acre feet of water in Folsom Lake right now that we don’t need, so we’re going to sell it.  They’ll say, ha, sorry, no, we’re taking away your water right.  This is California water law, which is a book that’s 2 inches thick, in tiny, legal print.  What you can do, is say, I’m gonna obtain this water, and then, and I don’t know what kind of a word to use, but you say, I’m going to use this, what we’re doing is we’re using the 8,500 acre feet of water in Folsom Lake for El Dorado Hills.  We’re selling water from up the hill, but we couldn’t be doing that if we didn’t have the 8,500 acre feet of water in Folsom Lake.  So, when we start to do this, when we start to put together this plan, we’ll be moving water and groundbanking water and partnering with people for this 40,000 acre of water or 20,000 acre feet, however much we’re going to utilize and however much we’re going to store.  That will then free up water that we can sell.  It becomes a complex process.  We just walk through this process at EID.  And it can be done.  And as far as competition or the ease of selling the water, Westlands and Southern California will buy all the water they can get any year at any time.  They buy it in huge blocks, they buy it in 20 and 30,000 acre feet blocks, and they do it all the time.  Now, the process, you, it depends on how you move the water.  You have to deal with other agencies, you have to deal with the State Board, you have to deal with DWR, and there are hoops that you have to jump through.  But if you start to have a business plan for this water, then you’re dead in the water, because that’s the State Board will definitely not grant you the right and they’ll take the right away if they do grant it, and you’re obtaining the water simply to sell it.  So it’s a complex process.  It’s taken me a long time to figure it out and understand it, and I’m going to attend conferences this week, two day conference, more on water law in California and these types of issues.  But, I think one of the things that we’re stumbling with here, and I’m sorry to put this in blunt terms, is a lack of understanding of how the process works and what we’re dealing with.  And I think that we need to have maybe a more in depth educational process for the Board to understand the process, because you guys are doing an excellent job of presenting the data, but I’m not sure everyone understands the nuances that are involved.

Frentzen:  So, when we talk about spending $11,000,000, it was all the talk at this level was, we’re going to sell this money, we’re going to make more money from the water that we sell.  So, I don’t think there’s a misunderstanding of the project.  I think there are some other details that haven’t been talked about.

Veerkamp:  But I think those are the unknowns that these MOUs start laying the groundwork, and if we don’t get anywhere with those MOUs for laying that groundwork, we may be done.

Coco:  We can’t go farther.

Veerkamp:  Yeah, and that’s not only on the water use, but it’s on the environmental side, because remember, this is a multi-faceted approach to try to get it through the State Board in a complicated time that we’ve never seen before.  Director Ranalli, you’ve been patiently biting your lip.

Ranalli:  Well, you know, I’ve just, I want to kind of thread together some things that Commissioner Mikulaco said, some things we heard from Dr. Coco, uh, that which has been presented.  Um, you know, the public, we have had the opportunity of having similar discussions a couple of months ago when we discussed the MOU for the Rio Linda agreement.  And again, this seems very consistent, while I didn’t do a word match, it seems to be pretty much the same arrangement and MOU that we authorized for Rio Linda.  And again, I think Commissioner Mik said it, it allows, enables a dialogue on the use of applied-for water.  I think what we saw in the presentation today, speaks to some of the benefits to regionally connecting our watersheds, connecting together because some of our neighbors to the east have some, not only some needs, but they have some environmental imperatives that they can’t solve on their own.  And at the same time, we benefit from having the ability to connect the watersheds and do some banking and do some transfers until our needs kick in.  So, when you think about the infrastructure needed east to west, obviously you’ve got to overcome a lot of topography, you’ve got to pump it uphill.  I think that there’s more flexibility west to east.  We’ve got the benefit of gravity, you have some of the infrastructure that, the underpinnings of much of the infrastructure already in place, and I think it’s been identified that there’s a difference between diverting the water and stored water.  And so I think that there’s significant opportunities moving the water east to west, rather than west to east to connect the watershed, and the term ‘give it to Folsom’ was used several times, I believe that you meant ‘to Folsom Lake’ where the connectivity actually exists through some of these other regional partners, not ‘give it to Folsom’ for specific projects.  I just think that was something that needed to be made clear.  So, you know, if I’m incorrect in any of those remarks, then I sure would appreciate that.  I’m anxious to hear from the public.

Veerkamp:  I think one other point, too, and I’m open to take another look at it is SACOG’s 2036 projection of the MTP, which I sent to you guys draft to take a look at.  They’re calling for 811,000 population increase in the region in that time period.  I don’t see that obviously in El Dorado County, or a big chunk of that in El Dorado County, but if we don’t control this piece of the water, we’ll never see that water again, and if we ever want to do anything, we won’t have the ability to do it, and this water originates in our county.  I don’t know if that helps in a simplistic term and I know it’s your guys’ concern, but again for me, this water is our water and we should lay claim to it and we should get our hands on it and we direct how and where it goes.  Director Mikulaco.

Mikulaco:  Thank you, Chair.