Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

CAO’s inner circle of incompetence

EDITOR:

We are witnessing very poor governance in El Dorado County government. I will skip past the problems of the current corruption on the Board of Supervisors to discuss the Chief Administrative Officer and her assistant “sidekick,” Kim Kerr. For those of you who haven’t read the City of Ione mayor’s response to the Amador Grand Jury about Kim Kerr’s prior job performance, you really need to Google it and read it — the evidence is damning, although there are a lot of tantalizing details and facts missing that only Amador locals can tell you.

CAO Terri Daly’s county management skills are also very suspect. We know from recent experience that the CAO and her assistant are completely void of experience in the professional areas of the county they attempt to oversee, yet they try to micromanage the county department heads on a regular basis with about a third grade understanding and mentality that is childish and incompetent, leaving professional staff bewildered. The county $5.6 million IT ERP software debacle that Terri Daly took a far too simplistic seat of the pants flier on with your tax dollars is a prime example — she has a far too simplistic viewpoint and lacks a true understanding of the complexity.

The CAO and her assistant have surrounded themselves with new, incompetent, inexperienced department heads and out-of-towners void of any local experience. They have driven away many of the longtime staff with institutional knowledge and relevant professional credentials only to seek to demote them or replace them with out-of-towners with no institutional knowledge and often devoid of the proper professional credentials and experience. This is being done by the CAO to create a management buffer.

We are witnessing poor long-range county decision making, a culture of incompetence, lack of responsibility for poor decision making and passing the buck for mistakes. One has to wonder about a couple CAOs with no real longtime vested roots in our county and their ulterior motives. It is quite common for these bureaucrat executives to move jobs in a year or two for the next higher paying job down the hill, just as the move up the hill from Amador was a promotion — your past CAO was a prime example.

It seems like we are about to see the train derail and leave the tracks headed toward another Amador-style disaster. Yes, history does repeat itself and we appear to be headed down a similar path of problems that occurred in Amador. You can watch it play out daily.

We are slowly finding out that Kim Kerr, aka the County Czar, is highly inexperienced in the fields of expertise for which she now oversees. Why would the Board of Supervisors grant such an inexperienced person with a bad track record such broad powers? She meddles in trivial, non-essential micro-management duties, driving county staff with decades of experience insane with what comes across as childish, third grade level non-understanding, unnecessary and misguided oversight. She buries half-million-dollar mistakes, soon to be multi-million-dollar mistakes without owning up or taking responsibility. She will go across the country to find department head replacements, but neither will promote from within other qualified personnel who have decades of experience with the county and a much greater hands-on understanding of what really needs to be done locally. What kind of culture does this create? It creates a deeply rooted culture of employee distrust, turnover and incompetence. There is a deep-rooted dishonesty and distrust by the public and employees in their governance of the county.

Why would these two supposed leaders go to great lengths to find people outside? Because they want to create a management buffer and inner fiefdom of new people who report solely to them and who do not reveal to the experienced staff that they are inexperienced and incompetent.

JACK DUFFY
Diamond Springs

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 55 comments

  • EvelynAugust 13, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    This is the City of Ione’s response to the Amador Grand Jury about Kim Kerr’s prior job performance, referenced in the first paragraph (above).

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  • Ernie LouisAugust 14, 2013 - 4:06 pm

    Jack, I think you're on to something. Community Development Agency letter head, is signed by Kim Kerr, assistant chief administrative officer. Addressed to Barbara Shanley at the U.S. Forest Service South Lake Tahoe office, Kerr tells the federal agency that El Dorado County government has taken a number of specific steps to ensure that Supervisor Nutting will have no role and no participation in any issues dealing with state or federal funds. The letter further notes that Nutting has and will continue to voluntarily recuse himself from any and all matters that may affect or be affected by state or federal funds, "contracts or other funding assistance during the pendency of the criminal matters against him." Additionally, Kerr states that the county has also restricted Nutting's and his administrative assistant's access to other county departments "so that they cannot enter into any other county offices except through public entrances and during hours those offices are open to the public." The pot and kettle saga goes on. Ernie louis

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  • AmusedAugust 19, 2013 - 7:36 am

    This writer is absolutely correct. Whats happening now is exactly what happened in Ione. We were finally able to get rid of Kerr's trigger happy cop imports, and their new adventures are already well documented in the Anderson Post and Humbolt Times Standard. She surrounds herself with discredited/disgraced professionals that will do as she tells them, not what is best for the taxpayer. Her two cop imports from Eureka were on a SWAT team that shot a 49 yr old despondent female nine times. Kill shot from AR-15 to the BACK of the neck. The bright orange plastic flare gun she was either reaching for or had in her hand,(differing accounts), would not have presented any type of threat to a fully armored SWAT cop. Four shots 00 Buckshot, five times AR-15.

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  • EvelynAugust 19, 2013 - 8:17 am

    Amused - So the question becomes: What are Kim Kerr's personal PLUSES that make her so attractive to those who hired her and keep her on. Terri Daly and each of the Sups knows precisely who Kim Kerr is. But as former Sup John Knight said (approximately): "I've heard about the Amador County GJ Report and am not interesting in reading it."

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 19, 2013 - 8:22 am

    What I dont understand is that at the BOS meetings these people (Kerr/Daley) give advise and recommendations (such as proceeding with CEDAC s LUPPU) and the board votes "yes"...even if the numbers dont match up--it makes the whole BOS appear like they have no clue what they are doing. I respect the system...but I also expect people to know what they are doing. I am going to yet another meeting tomorrow...the subject--being able to take peoples land...Harper was caught laughing about this issue...eminent domain...to put in a restaurant. Tomorrow-the BOS room 2 pm Tuesday AUG. 20. " Good opportunity for residents to voice concerns over regionalism and especially this new redevelopment bill that will allow eminent domain near transportation hubs..." Come--I invite you to "see" what you are reading here.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 19, 2013 - 8:24 am

    "...in the Los Angeles Times' PolitiCal blog, Patrick McGreevy provides an alternative perspective. "Denounced by one property owner as a 'communist land grab,' a bill is advancing in the California Legislature that would allow local governments to spend tax money to seize land from residents and provide it at a discount to private developers," he writes." http://www.planetizen.com/node/64684

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  • EvelynAugust 19, 2013 - 8:32 am

    A most interesting 1978 presentation by the U.S. Dept. of Justice: PREVENTION, DETECTION, AND CORRECTION OF CORRUPTION IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT - HERE. Note the Table of Contents. Now, in 2013, nobody at all aware of the state of local government would expect to find a current presentation like this by the Dept. of Justice.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 19, 2013 - 8:32 am

    DéJà VU ALL OVER AGAIN AS ‘REDEVELOPMENT’ REAPPEARS "Marko Mlikotin, president of the Folsom-based California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights, believes eminent domain could be more easily invoked under SB 1 than before given the broad blight definition." http://tinyurl.com/kktcwda

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 19, 2013 - 8:37 am

    PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES EPA-HUD-DOT http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/SCP-Fact-Sheet.pdf

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 19, 2013 - 8:40 am

    http://tinyurl.com/42k2nuy

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 19, 2013 - 8:52 am

    SB 1 (Steinberg): Sustainable Communities Investment Authority. http://www.legtrack.com/bill.html?bill=201320140SB1

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 20, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Finally!!! The GOBs are off the hook. Thank you, Jack! - "One has to wonder about a couple CAOs with no real longtime vested roots in our county and their ulterior motives." . . . "The CAO and her assistant have surrounded themselves with new, incompetent, inexperienced department heads and out-of-towners void of any local experience. " . . . "Why would these two supposed leaders go to great lengths to find people outside?" ~~~~~~~ Allow me to posit an answer, Jack. The Board of Supervisors have listened to this forum. The BOS agrees with this forum. GOBs are a pack of self dealing insiders. The BOS has hired some outsiders to kick a$$ on the GOBs. Would you be happier with a GOB as CAO, Jack?

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 20, 2013 - 7:33 pm

    Somebody refresh my memory. Isn't there a credible theory floating about that Joe Harn is the wizard who blesses us with this $5.6 million IT ERP software white elephant? Did Kim Kerr bring Harn up from Ione? I don't think so.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 7:48 pm

    Phil, or the reverse: Did Harn bring Kim up from Ione?

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 20, 2013 - 7:49 pm

    In 2008 Ione's finances were shredded. The city fathers had a Grand Jury. Shezam! Kim Kerr did no provide the city fathers with reliable forcasts regarding the 2008 crash. The city fathers scapegoat KIM KERR ~~~~~ LINK - "‘current indictment procedures create what can only be characterized as a prosecutor's Eden: he decides what evidence will be heard, how it is to be presented, and then advises the grand jury on its admissibility and legal significance.’”

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 8:07 pm

    Phil, it has long been said that a prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich. This because members of Grand Juries are often intimidated by the "power" of the prosecutor and his control of the proceedings. Lawyers of those called before the Grand Jury cannot bring their lawyers in with them, and following questioning the prosecutor can close the door and advance any theory we wants. Try not to be called in front of a Grand Jury.

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 20, 2013 - 8:11 pm

    YES, James. Presenting Ione's GJ report as evidence supporting the lynching of Kim Kerr is . . . lame.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 8:11 pm

    Phil, I'll pop out around 10PM and check out the moon. Thanks for the heads up. Will it be Navy blue? Chuckle, I crack myself up sometimes.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 8:14 pm

    Phil, you do recognize, I hope, that I have never quoted the Grand Jury Report reference Kim Kerr. I once asked about her being in the military, but that's it.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 8:16 pm

    But, there is a world of difference between a criminal and a civil Grand Jury.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    Is this the 7th Inning stretch?

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 10:12 pm

    Blue moon observed at 10PM. Mission accomplished.

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  • cookie65August 21, 2013 - 6:44 am

    It is the system within the system where these culture of corruption lifetime bureaucrats float from one unaccountable position to another. They feed at the public trough for life, out of reach of the citizens who pick up the tab for their incompetence and cronyism. The entire process has become entrenched into the American political system through years of apathy and lack of diligence on the part of the citizens. You could hardly throw a rock without hitting an incompetent, corrupt, untouchable government bureaucrat. Their free-ride on the back's of the taxpayers have cost us untold billions. They are the parasites we are the hosts.

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  • AmusedAugust 21, 2013 - 7:14 am

    As one that actually attended the majority of Ione City Council meetings during Ms. Kerr's tenure, I would like to point out that the Grand Jury report was very accurate, with as many as five Grand Jurors at the meetings for a two year period. Kerr was by no means a "scapegoat". As one very small example a consulting firm conducted a series of water percolation tests proving beyond doubt that Kerr's disposal plan would not work. The firm wrote a two paragraph executive summary documenting that data. When the information was buried in the consent calendar Kerr told the council "they are having a little trouble with the computer model." just prior to paying $40,000 for the study. Kerr was in Ione 90 days before she was caught submitting false and misleading information to the Regional Board re: groundwater monitoring well results. This very small example of Kerr's professional behavior was what Ione had to endure daily because of a weak and corrupt council, one of which has decided to leave the community. Kerr spent millions on sewer projects that would hammer every ratepayer but put her in the position of being wastewater "czar", thus controlling all growth in western Amador County. Any of this behavior sounding familiar? But then again maybe Hitler was merely a scapegoat for that little disturbance we had in the forties.

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 21, 2013 - 8:00 am

    Amused, what an amusing account! You along with a majority of the Ione GJ GOBs attend the majority of the Ione City Council meetings. This suggests that you and the 5 GJ members were regular participants in Ione affairs. Why did you guys hire this OUTSIDER, Kim Kerr? Why didn't you hire one of your own GOBs who had resident knowledge of County soils, perk rates, grades, topography. As far as this "false data" submission, Kim Kerr generated the false data??? Kim Kerr falsified the data??? Or did Kim Kerr trustingly submit data handed to her? After all 90 days is only a break-in period for most jobs. If you and your 5 GJ regulars had hired a GOB perhaps a GOB might have recognized the false data. What an amusing account you relate . . . five (5) GJ members are regular participants (GOBs) at Ione City Council affairs. WOW! The outsider did it . . . Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha . . . Good morning America!

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  • not amusedAugust 21, 2013 - 8:14 am

    Veerkamp defends insiders. Veerkamp defends outsiders. Veerkamp defends local government. Always. Veerkamp does this without studying documents, attending meetings, or doing any primary research. In this case he lets off Kerr because she was Ione's new girl on the block and couldn't be expected to know what she was doing. Maybe Veerkamp holds that when Kerr left Ione she destroyed all computer records and "disappeared" computers because by that time she had become an old girl and just thought those old computer records couldn't possibly interest anyone other than herself.

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 21, 2013 - 8:51 am

    not amused implies that he/she has studied documents, attended meetings, or done primary research. Perhaps it would be amusing to produce factual documentation FACTUALLY ESTABLISHING Kim Kerr's alleged destruction of evidence - i.e. computer files and hardware. Show me. Substantiate your accusation.

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  • 1036-FrankAugust 21, 2013 - 8:59 am

    Guess who appointed her? Yes, the BOS. You know, the ones who left, were beaten in the last election, and are now under indictment. Same ones who didn't do their homework and didn't background check and vet the employees properly. I do have to say the shooting in Eureka has nothing to do with this at all and is a false charge to connect the two by someone who is wasting their time trying to invent vast conspiracies.

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  • not amusedAugust 21, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Frank says connecting Kerr to importing into Ione two killer cops from Eureka is a false charge. Does he mean that they weren't killer cops or that Kerr didn't bring them with her or that it doesn't matter if she did or that it's just plain irrelevant?

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  • 1036-FrankAugust 21, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Yes, you answered your own question. A shooting hundreds of miles away has nothing to do with this and you weren't there in Eureka I take it to know the facts, but you write an accusation that it is somehow connected as if this Kerr ordered it. Are you the same dim bulb who wrote Pierson was involved in the Womack case in Amador when he didn't even work there at the time?

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  • not amusedAugust 21, 2013 - 10:18 am

    That was a different dim bulb Frank as the district attorneys were first Cilenti and later Todd Riebe. Stop the hyperventilating, 'cause it hasn't been suggested that Kerr ordered the killings, but it is just a little bit interesting that she would choose these two cops over all others to accompany her to Amador County.

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 21, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    not amused - regarding your August 21, 2013 - 8:14 am - accusation of Kim Kerr having destroyed evidence and hardware on leaving Ione - I repeat. " Perhaps it would be amusing to produce factual documentation FACTUALLY ESTABLISHING Kim Kerr's alleged destruction of evidence - i.e. computer files and hardware. Show me. Substantiate your accusation."

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  • James E.August 21, 2013 - 1:57 pm

    Phil, if you are requesting a video/audio of the alleged destruction, or a sworn confession, it probably isn't going to happen.

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 21, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    James, a charging document would be nice. A witness' assertion might help. A news paper account would be interesting.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 21, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    The Rules on Naming Your Baby...this is where we are....wake up please--read. http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/rules-naming-baby-201600478.html

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 21, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    guns...names...balloons as signs...what you can do in your own home...censorship...health care...New Economy...no jobs...bike trails....what will we leave our children?

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  • AmusedAugust 21, 2013 - 2:52 pm

    My my, step away for a few hours and all kind of stuff gets read into things. I did prove to the council that she purposely used the results of a different monitoring well to pass off as those being compared to other local water wells. They acknowledged the problem and she was instructed to send a correction letter to the Regional Board. She still refused to change the premise and conclusion of the report despite admitting using the wrong well. It was about a year after that Regional sent its first letter threatening a multi-million dollar fine for failing to submit quarterly reports for over one year. She quit filing those reports shortly after she got here. I'm sorry if this information causes some irritation but it is what happened. I'm a bit concerned about one thing though. Bringing the two shooters in from Eureka was merely one of many examples where Kerr surrounds herself with flawed career people as a buffer, you are correct it has nothing to do with El Dorado County directly, but the only accurate gauge of future behavior is past behavior. Kerr had her rabid supporters here too, they just don't come out much anymore.

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  • James E.August 21, 2013 - 3:00 pm

    Phil, many crimes are never brought to light due to multiple factors. However, I agree with you that allegations should be based on more than just wild conjecture.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 21, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    another newspaper--I like reading the comments of other papers....going down memory lane...Proposed County Czar System - CAO Empire Building http://www.inedc.com/1-2921

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 21, 2013 - 4:30 pm

    Long document....the remarks about the numbers being used to project growth in this places "general Plan" is interesting...money spent on false numbers....recommendations are good to read. Just saying. False numbers pertaining to growth--now where have i seen that before? Those numbers are used for projects...ahhhh in transportation...housing...water....should I go on? http://ionepd.com/Documents/CityTreasurerResignation.pdf

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 21, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    Some people just dont like any one..http://tinyurl.com/lzox3cq.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 21, 2013 - 4:41 pm

    sorry last link didnt work...try original. http://amadorcountynews.org/2012-02/Ione%20Recall%20-%20Why%20vote%20for%20Ione%20city%20council%20Dave%20Plank.html.

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  • Laurel StroudAugust 21, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    Jack Duffy---you wrote one of the best letters I have seen in a long time. From my friends in Ione I have learned that Kim Kerr's name is held in very low regard, as is her capability. And I have learned from personal experience that she dodges questions, cannot back up facts, and generally treats the public like they are the poor unwashed. What you say about many of the new department heads is true--they follow blindly without adequate information. But that is not limited to new ones. There are some who have been there for years and who should be let go for just being either lazy or stupid, but are kept on because they are "yes men." With so many good competent people looking for jobs, how did we get the bottom of the barrel? Answer: sadly so much corruption in government, with the egos of ignorant people running the show.

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  • taxpayerAugust 21, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    Laurel Stroud - Lazy stupid "yes men/women" rule, but having killed no one with a gun they get to stay. They also get promoted. Good people get the sack or keep their mouths shut. That's the way it works in good ole EDC.

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  • mike rejtmarAugust 21, 2013 - 6:08 pm

    who are these people? You want corruption? my dad worked for the mob, I grew up in Joisey. we called them pin heads. most ended up in the trunk, in the hudson, or at the crusher. here they collect a big fat pension, for making huge mistakes. I am not quite getting this. if you mess up , you pay. one way or the other. And you get paid to mess up? and you collect salary, benefits, moving expenses, auto expense, med and dental, and friggin goat food? I guess that living here for 23 years does not make me a GOB. I reiterate, who are these people?

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  • escapeeAugust 21, 2013 - 6:15 pm

    Mike, in your line of work maybe you run into some of them from time to time. Just like Joisey ........ only respectable.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 22, 2013 - 8:26 am

    WHAT IS CEDAC UP TO TODAY?Community & Economic Development Advisory Committee Agenda status: Final Meeting date/time: 8/22/2013 1:00 PM Minutes status: Draft Meeting location: 330 Fair Lane (Building A) Lower Level, OES Conference Room Placerville, CA Today they will be going over "sign" draft prsentation...the El Dorado County Economic Development Action Plan 2012..picking people to be on the "grant" program...and the "web portal" panel... hope some can get there today...I would like to know who gets to head the grant program...please remember...the web portal may use advertising...even the MD was insulted..http://tinyurl.com/n2gwrx4 START THERE--THEN HIT ALL BLUE LINKS TO GO ON AN ADVENTURE. Who watches over CEDAC...the CAO office.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 22, 2013 - 8:27 am

    should be a good meeting. Maryann Argyres recommending the Committee have a discussion on the future of CEDAC and what roles community representatives can play on the Committee as community plans are coming together. http://eldorado.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=2597590&GUID=0A21CA80-147B-4DD1-8654-2E58A6469596.

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  • barbercAugust 22, 2013 - 11:20 am

    Hey Amused, I think the 150,000 dollar bathroom is a good example of many of how Kim Kerr likes to spend money. Heads up EDC

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  • Compass2TruthAugust 22, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    As Sheriff D'Agostini said during one of our meetings, "...Hold their feet to the fire. Mine too. I work for you." Kerr was the guest speaker for Taxpayers Assn. last year. That's when I read portions of the Amador GJ report and asked Kerr directly "If you had problems managing the city of Ione, how do you propose handling the challenges that come with the entirety of EDC?" Bernard Carlson came unglued for posing a valid question. A member of the EDC GJ witnessed the entire episode. Denny's restaurant on Monday mornings is where you can learn how the GOB politics really work in this county. It's a circus act that is bound to keep you entertained. Melody Lane - Founder, Compass2Truth

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  • County employeeAugust 22, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    Chuck Holland explains away nepotism on behalf of Supervisor Briggs nephew and the Walt Millers letter goes dark and just disappears.

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  • MartinAugust 22, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Change a few names and I would swear you were talking about our great government. The crimes are the same only the names are different.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 22, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    http://www.voiceinione.com/Documents/GrandJuryReports/2011-2012/2011-2012GJR-Response.pdf

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 22, 2013 - 7:47 pm

    http://tspntv.com/item/19192-ione-mayor-appoints-a-committee-to-draft-an-answer-to-the-latest-grand-jury-report

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  • Fran DuchampSeptember 20, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    :)

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Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments