Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

At his own expense

EDITOR:

I’m not sure how or why Ray Nutting qualified for grant money to pay for making his property fire-safe, but there is something very wrong here. Why is Mr. Nutting — or anyone else for that matter — not required to keep his property fire-safe at his own expense? If he cannot afford to keep up his property, he needs to sell it to someone who can and will, simple as that.

And it is even more egregious that the money went to his own company. In this day of the especially Republicans screaming “personal responsibility,” why do we give thousands and thousands of dollars to people such as Ray Nutting who are land-rich and well off? Time to take that grant money and put it to better use — not enrich those who know how to game the system.

Here’s a thought: Instead of charging homeowners in rural areas an additional fee for fire protection, use the “grant” money. Mr. Nutting should not only be made to return all money given to him to keep his property fire-safe, he should have to pay all expenses associated with the out-of-control fires on his property.

EILEEN JOHNSON
Pollock Pines

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 17 comments

  • 1036-FrankAugust 20, 2013 - 6:21 pm

    Agreed. I and many others last fall said to reject Nuttin and his crony Knight, the "Developer's Duo" who at that time were running for re-election and information was just starting to come out about some strange happenings, developer's contributions, their votes against it then for it, the SACOG debacle, the low income section 8 housing debacle, the illegal fires and grant funds "missing" that were taken for "fire prevention and land clearing." There are now scores of their supporters who wish they would of listened and voted accordingly.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 20, 2013 - 8:04 pm

    All grants have a definition of what they are for. The grants you are referring to are for fire safety...any one was allowed to apply for them. If one looks--there are grants for everything. The people putting up the money-- get to decide where their money goes.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 20, 2013 - 8:07 pm

    What you need to do is find someone with money and ask them to put out grants for "fire fees."

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  • RailroadAugust 23, 2013 - 7:10 pm

    You cannot apply for grant money and vote as a county supervisor for the same money.It's against the law!

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  • Fair TrialAugust 24, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    RAILROAD: a transitive verb, meaning: "to convict with undue haste and by means of false charges or insufficient evidence". (Webster's Online) Being open-minded, I'll assume that you collect trains as a hobby, and you didn't intend to imply that Ray Nutting should be convicted with undue haste of false charges based on insufficient evidence. From what I have read, though, it seems your facts are wrong. He received grant funds from Prop 40, a state bond measure approved by California voters about 10 years ago. That's where the money came from. The board of supervisors doesn't control that money and the grant didn't come from the county. The money given to the resource conservation districts, according to the legal documents from Nutting's attorney, funds the operations of the two districts. Things like salaries, overhead, office supplies. The attorney also says the Board has been approving that funding in the same way for 25 years. It's hard to see how his receipt of a grant could be considered a criminal act.

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  • Fair TrialAugust 24, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    @Frank. You say "missing" grant funds. I haven't seen anything to suggest that grant funds are "missing". What are you talking about?

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  • WhattheheckAugust 26, 2013 - 7:53 am

    and one more thing........Nutting needs to resign NOW and save EDC tons of money for a trial......... But I don't think he has that much decency or balls to resign..........

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  • George WashingtonAugust 26, 2013 - 9:25 am

    Whattheheck ........... What the heck, trials are such a waste. Cancel 'm all and back to the plantation.

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  • George WashingtonAugust 26, 2013 - 9:28 am

    Speaking of balls, WTH ................. are yours in the usual place?

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  • Gerald LillpopAugust 26, 2013 - 9:40 am

    Dear Ms. Johnson: If you believe that all of the grant money for clearing fire hazards on private property should be used for another purpose that is fine. However, unless or until it is proven the Supervisor Nutting violated the policies regarding the grant money he is entitled to it as per the grant rules. To demand that he or anyone else who has taken advantage of these funds return them is absurd.

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  • 1036-FrankAugust 26, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    For those still pretending to be wondering about Nuttin's guilt or innocence it is interesting in that he has admitted the charges that are documented with his signature on the papers in question, from what I have read, every charge the DA has made, every one. Kind of like guilty with an explanation as if he did it but didn't know it was illegal type of story that the law doesn't recognize. He either did it or didn't and he said. from what I read, he did. His defense is throwing out a new story a week trying to find some naïve people to go with it. Some of these duped people write in and say they are still duped, others want a trial before they are convinced, even after his admissions, which is the legal process and he will have his trial and it will again be shown he admitted to what he did. Can anyone point out what he is claiming he didn't do? What isn't documented?

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  • Just the facts...August 26, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    The source of Prop 40 grant funds is a $2.6 Billion statewide bond measure approved by the voters in 2002. A very small portion of the total was made available for grants for fuel reduction. Some of these grants were available to individual landowners and other grants, called "Community Assistance Grants" were available to public agencies and non-profits...Prop 40 funds cannot be redirected to pay the SRA Fire Tax, because that's not what the voters approved...Under a Prop 40 grant, the landowner decides who to hire and may do the work himself/herself. A number of CAGs and private landowner grants have been awarded in El Dorado County since the program inception. Do you want to make everyone give the money back, or just Ray Nutting?

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  • John StevensAugust 26, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    Any individual who receives taxpayer funded grant monies for a defined purpose and then does not use the funds as defined by their own grant application should have to return the money. The fact that the grant funds were to be used to reduce fuels to prevent wildfire on his property and yet there were four wildland fires at his ranch that required mulit-agency response should be enough for some to at least pause and wonder how those funds were spent. Factor in the cost to the taxpayer for the multiple calls for fire suppression service at his ranch. How many other Prop 40 recipients have had wild land fires on their property after performing Prop 40 funded work to reduce fuels? Is there any other address in this county that has required multiple calls for fire suppression? Tally the bill for the numerous calls for fire service and the awarded Prop 40 funds. Not sure the taxpayers can afford to maintain the ranch much longer either.

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  • Fair TrialAugust 26, 2013 - 9:32 pm

    @Frank...what are you talking about? You say "...he has admitted the charges...every charge the DA has made, every one..." Apparently you haven't read the motion to dismiss the indictment filed by his attorney. (Evelyn posted this on a different thread earlier.) He not only disputes the charges against Ray Nutting, he argues persuasively that the DA manipulated evidence and played 'hide the ball' with the grand jury, including failing to call a key witness and not advising the grand jury that this witness would dispute the DA's "version of the case"...It also appears (my interpretation) that the DA is overcharging Nutting, determined to find a felony -- any felony -- that he can make stick. You see, if you want to force an elected official out of office, it takes a felony conviction. A misdemeanor won't do the trick. But then, you already know that, don't you Frank?

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  • EvelynAugust 27, 2013 - 6:41 am

    This is the above-referenced Motion to Dismiss, filed August 15, 2013.

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  • Just the facts...August 27, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    I don't know the facts about the fires on his property, but it would seem that is an issue between Nutting and Cal Fire or other responders. If they think he was irresponsible or negligent, they can take appropriate action....Prop 40 grants pay for a portion of the cost to reduce the fuel load on property. Cal Fire inspects the work to verify it is complete before paying. The goal is not to eliminate all fuels, but to reduce the fuel load so that fire, whether started by an act of God or an act of negligence, can be contained and stopped....To be clear, I do not condone irresponsible behavior if that is what led to the fires. However, your suggestion that the fires are proof the grant funds were misspent is too far a stretch.

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  • Walking TallOctober 23, 2013 - 7:47 am

    "Say it isn't so Ray" that's his spin on everything as we have seen on the news and in the local papers. Ray won't tell the truth because he never has, it;s all about Ray and his spin.

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