I attended the EID board meeting on Jan. 13 only to find that George Osborne, Bill George and Jim Ambercrombie believe that business as usual at EID is OK and that new board members can be intimidated into agreeing.
First, the board couldn’t agree on a vice president to preside when Alan Day is not able to conduct the meeting. Both George and Osborne seem to want to control the meeting agendas to maintain the status quo when president Day is not present.
Secondly, both George and Osborne expect newly elected directors to defer to them. They treat the newly elected directors with disdain if they question any proposals presented that they would adopt with no discussion. Dale Coco and Greg Prada were elected by the voters to not rubber stamp staff proposals.
Consent Calendar items don’t require lengthy discussion but director Prada requested to move two consent items that needed discussion to the regular agenda.
First was a request to approve an application for a $1 million federal grant for a low priority project that has been in planning for many years. Prada’s concern was that if the district were to receive the grant, it would have to raise an additional $3 million in debt to fund the project. No documentation was provided by staff regarding additional EID money. Director Osborne chided Director Prada for raising the issue. Is this how representative government is supposed to work? Intimidation by entrenched politicians when newcomers are raising questions?
Second was a disclosure policy that requires disclosure of material information relating to credit ratings, etc. that complies with securities laws. Not an insignificant issue, yet it apparently hadn’t been discussed prior to this meeting. EID has been selling bonds for years. Has the district not had a policy in place and if so why not? Director Prada was exercising the discretion that voters want. Understand what you’re voting for; don’t rubber stamp staff proposals.
Kudos to Prada for doing the right thing.
El Dorado Hills