Comment on Board of Supervisors appointment of Director of Community Development Agency (CDA)

Re:  1/10/17 Board of Supervisors, Closed Session Item #30, File #17-0025, Appoint of Director of Community Development Agency

Dear Supervisors,

I ask that you do not appoint anyone to the position of Director of Community Development Agency. This Legistar item does not have information or attachments so we are left to assume that the action is to hire a CDA Director. This position is simply an additional layer of management that is not needed to serve the people of El Dorado County.

The #1 and #2 concerns of El Dorado County residents are public safety and road maintenance. The Director does not perform either of those functions.  Additionally, you have made it very clear at the last few Board meetings that you need to cut the budget wherever possible to balance the budget while maintaining critical services.

This is an excellent opportunity to start trimming the fat.

Thank you for your consideration,

Sue Taylor

Below are some of the suggestions we sent to Don Ashton and Roger Niello after meeting with them on November 14:

1. Eliminate Long Range Planning – it was created recently by CEDAC and has completed its mission of the TGPA/ZOU

2. Eliminate the CDA – too many layers of bureaucracy.

3. Put Environmental Health back under the direction of Health and Human Services to return the checks and balances for development.

4. Put Code Enforcement back under the Building Department.

5. Hire a Director of Transportation who understands the importance of maintenance on our roads, can oversee a crew for that purpose and not be a lobbyist for new growth.

6. Eliminate CEDAC. It lost its way long ago and the Board has suggested several times that it has outlived its usefulness. It has become a divisive force in the County and used for political purposes. At the very minimum Maryann Argyres should be removed from the committee given her lawsuit against the County. Also remove those CEDAC members who have benefited personally and in regards to land use by the actions they have taken while on this committee.

7. Split the Planning and Building departments. They have very separate functions and funding mechanisms.

8. Create an Ad Hoc task force to streamline the permit process. The task force should consist of local users of the County Planning and Building Department Page 2 of 2 System and not stack the task force with those that want to change our General Plan for their own benefit. That is what derailed the attempt 9 years ago. Through this task force, create an easy to read brochure or matrix to assist an applicant through the planning/building process and the Ombudsman position could/should be eliminated. The task force should be disbanded immediately after it completes its task.4

We appreciate your efforts to improve the relationships between the public and the County, and also within the County itself.

Thanks again for your consideration of our concerns,


Take Action – Millions at Stake on 12-28-16 BOS Agenda

On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether or not to sign documents to receive a loan of approximately $57,000,000 from the USDA to build a new Sheriff’s facility on Missouri Flat Road.

Here is a link to agenda item and documents:

While it is clear that the current Sheriff’s facility is in need of repair and/or replacement, the magnitude of this loan, in addition to other County infrastructure projects, has the potential to create a situation where the County’s expenses will outweigh its revenues.

Here are snippets from the Chief Administrative Officer’s Report:


On October 6, 2016, due to concerns arising from the new Sheriff’s facility, Save Our County sent a letter to Doug Colucci, Area Specialist of Rural Development for the USDA.  Those concerns include:

  • The County’s potential violation of the California Constitution due to the proposed indebtedness exceeding revenues (Article XVI, Section 18)
  • The potential for additional costs of road infrastructure required to accommodate the new location on Missouri Flat Road
  • The obvious disqualification because the County’s population exceeds 20,000
  • The potential for additional costs to clean up the former Superfund site
  • The concern for public safety by locating to a new site on a congested road that is distant from the highway corridor, and more.

The complete document submitted to the USDA is available here:  comments-regarding-sheriffs-complex

If any of these items concern you, please contact Doug Colucci, Area Specialist of Rural Development for the USDA at:, 916-212-5088

Additionally, you may want to attend the Board meeting or contact the Supervisors.  However, based on the Board’s past actions and lack of response, we encourage you to contact the USDA.

To: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject:  USDA Loan, 12-28-16 Agenda Item #2, File #16-0398

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10:00 am
Board of Supervisors – temporary location
2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville



Take action! Tell County to stop catering to special interests

At the August 16, 2016 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) presented a new Prop 90 report to the Supervisors.  The report clearly showed that the County will lose money by extending Prop 90.  This is the same conclusion from reports by previous CAO’s.

So why did 3 of 5 Supervisors vote to extend Prop 90 for 5 more years?  Those 3 Supervisors seemed more concerned about Lennar Homes selling homes to folks from L.A. and the Bay Area at a good profit margin than with protecting our County’s budget.

Should existing residents be burdened with the added cost of services needed for “affluent” seniors coming from other Counties?

Shiva-Frentzen-150x150Supervisor Shiva Frentzen tackles that question in an opinion piece posted today, August 23, 2016, on the Lake Tahoe News website:  Opinion: EDC caters to special interests

To date, Prop 90 has caused El Dorado County to lose a total of $3,246,664 in funding to the County’s General Fund (used for services and road maintenance) and to the County’s Special Districts:

Prop 90 Cumulative Calculation to General Fund

Prop 90 Cumulative Calculation to Special Districts

If Prop 90 was allowed to expire on September 30, 2016, and no more houses were allowed in the program, the County will still continue to lose annual funding:

Prop 90 Cumulative Calculation to General Fund 5 more years

Prop 90 Cumulative Calculation to Special Districts 5 more years

El Dorado County CANNOT afford to extend Prop 90 for another 5 years and add more houses to the program.

Take action and flood the the Supervisors with emails and let them know that they should be focused on finding ways to fix our budget, not catering to special interests.

And show up on August 30, 2016 to put the Supervisors on notice that they are charged with protecting the County’s financial well-being.

This item is on the Consent Calendar.  The public has the right to make comment on the Consent Calendar items:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 9:00am
Building C Hearing Room  (Temporary location during construction)
2850 Fairlane Court
Placerville, CA

To send in your comments via email, send to:

Supervisor Mikulaco <>,
Supervisor Frentzen <>,
Supervisor Veerkamp <>,
Supervisor Novasel <>,
Clerk of the Board <>

Subject: Prop 90, File # 16-0777, Agenda Item #3

If you would also like to make phone calls, here is that information:

Ron Mikulaco, Supervisor District I, (530) 621-5650
Shiva Frentzen, Supervisor District II, (530) 621-5651
Brian Veerkamp, Supervisor District III, (530) 621-5652
Michael Ranalli, Supervisor District IV, (530) 621-6513
Sue Novasel, Supervisor District V, (530) 621-6577
Please forward this email/post to everyone you know who is concerned about the financial health of El Dorado County.

Take Action – Shinn Ranch map extension

Shinn Ranch location map
Shinn Ranch location map

The Shinn Ranch project’s tentative map time extension is on the Board of Supervisors agenda for July 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm.  Many circumstances have changed since the original map was approved in 2007, and the surrounding community is asking for the map extension to be denied.  See detailed explanation below.

The County’s files are available here:

The proposed project includes 141 single-family houses on 167 acres, which will add approximately 1,400 car trips to Mother Lode Drive daily.

Please attend the Board of Supervisors meeting to request that the map extension be denied:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm
El Dorado County Board of Supervisors
330 Fair Lane, Building A
Placerville, CA 95667

To send in your comments via email, send to:

Supervisor Mikulaco <>,
Supervisor Frentzen <>,
Supervisor Veerkamp <>,
Supervisor Novasel <>,
Supervisor Ranalli <>,
Clerk of the Board <>

Subject:  Shinn Ranch, File #07-1802, Agenda Item #49

The Shinn Ranch map extension is being appealed to the Board of Supervisors based on the grounds that the project approval violates California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the applicable general plans and zoning laws, and that the comments submitted to the Planning Commission contained
accurate statements of significant legal violations that were not addressed by the Planning Commission at the hearing.

In addition to the legal violations not addressed previously, the following are additional facts which must be addressed regarding this time extension, approval of which indicates that these concerns should have been considered when the tentative development was approved in 2007.

1. Measure E approval (June 2016)
The approval of Measure E reinforces Measure Y, which should therefore have been applied and still applies to this project.

2. Fire safety for nearby properties-health and safety hazard
There is no water supply, fire hydrants, nor any egress on the narrow roads leading to the existing 38 homes/56 parcels on Kingvale Road, Concept Mountain Rd, Kingvale Court, and Wildcrest Road south of the planned development. This tentative development and the planned new homes increases the chances of a fire occurring. With the current plans using Kingvale road, this causes a huge bottleneck for all residents relying on Kingvale road as their only exit. The project should have mitigated the reality of fire for all the residents beyond the project on Kingvale road which have no way of protecting themselves from this hazard. The planners chose to use their only exit.

3. Indian burial sites
The local Native Miwok tribal Communities submitted the following comments to county planning: “We have serious concerns of possible burial sites that may exist and are purposely obscured. The tentative map does provide for ” … in the event of human remains are encountered … ” which would be considered inadvertent discovery. This is very different from original knowledge of same prior to any discovery during construction. This is not acceptable and disrespectful to cultural ancestors and the disturbance of any remains. There are not typically any markers with Indian burial sites, but, the area would be considered sacred and should be preserved as sanctuary. More time is needed to research and respond to this issue. The secondary problem is that excavation of these burial grounds will reintroduce Valley Fever and other ratified diseases to the surrounding community. This is a health and safety issue for the community. Apparently there is no study or plan to contain this disease once it is airborne.

4. Notification of affected properties
In 2007 when this tentative map was approved, notification was made in the newspaper, but a limited number of adjacent property owners were notified. At that time, notification was required if property was within 500 feet of the planned development. Currently, the requirement is one mile. Some residents claim they did not receive these notifications. We’re they sent certified? Tom Shinn owned 3 of the properties affected at that time, maybe more.  A full background would need to be done in order to verify. Many residents do not subscribe to the Mountain Democrat. Word of mouth is not an appropriate vehicle for notification.

5. Existing deed restrictions- Shinn Ranch Road properties
A deed restriction was attached to deeds signed by Tom Shinn and Linda Lou Fine when the Shinn Ranch Road properties were sold. These existing properties are adjacent to the tentative map. Restrictions include:
• Dwelling must be a minimum of 2600 sq. ft (exclusive of garage)
• Second dwellings not to exceed 1200 sq ft.
• No manufactured or modular dwellings except during construction
• No track or course for bikes, quads, motorcycles
• Only domestic livestock allowed (no excessively noxious or noisy animals)
Changes to these restrictions requires written consent of all adjoining property owners bordering a Shinn Ranch Road property. The 5 and 10 acre parcel owners on Shinn Ranch Road have concerns over how the tentative development is in opposition to these restrictions, especially the home square footage restriction. There are also similar deed restrictions for all properties north of old timer lane to Mother Lode. This development does not fit within the existing CC & R’s. Nor does it fit within the existing neighborhood.

6. Increased traffic Kingvale Road
Access is already difficult and dangerous at Shinn Ranch Road, Kingvale and on an already dangerous thoroughfare, Mother Lode Drive, especially when the sun glare is brightest turning west on Mother Lode off Kingvale in the late afternoon. Several have been injured or killed at Kingvale and Mother Lode Drive.  Follow up with CHP for data as it appears this was also not taken into consideration. The proposed deceleration and turn lanes added as part of this project won’t handle the added traffic. Mother Lode is a narrow two lane road. Apparently planning failed to study the impact to the existing residents already using Kingvale road. This development only makes this intersection more dangerous for the existing communities. This development should NEVER have access to Kingvale road due to the added risk, traffic and inconvenience to the existing residents who only have one way into their homes. It is also a private, maintained road by the residents of Gold Country, whom bare. the full cost of road maintenance.

7. County to pay for infrastructure?

Since the County has constructed an Animal Shelter at another location since the approval of this project, all references to the County reimbursing the developer, such as “The applicant and El Dorado County shall enter into a reimbursement agreement in the event that this development occurs prior to El Dorado County construction of the roads for the Animal Shelter,” should be removed.  The County should not be responsible for providing the infrastructure for this project. 

8.  Drainage

Much of the drainage mitigation is to be determined after approval of the project, which is a violation of CEQA.  It should have been required of the applicant to show that adequate drainage is possible with the amount of homes being proposed to ensure that the neighboring properties will not be impacted by future drainage issues.

9. Quality of life.

Noise, light and air pollution, crime. Destroys rural atmosphere we all enjoy.


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.