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Sometimes you read something and you just wonder what planet the writer is living on. Take the writer, Barbara Zagaris, of “Mutual respect in EDC” and her uneducated claims (I am being nice, I could say, misleading or just plain untruths). Her first claim is that she and her sympathizers are “We, the Community.” I think she left out about 75 percent of the residents of El Dorado County. Then she uses terms like, “big development trying to come in and mow over El Dorado County and urbanize it like Folsom…” Personally I would like to see a Trader Joe’s in EDC.
Let’s talk about “big development.” That would be Parker Development and AKT who developed national award-winning Serrano and Blackstone and other well-regarded communities. These communities house the dreams and aspirations of a lot of families. Future doctors, teachers, engineers and scientists will come out of our schools and be a blessing to all of EDC as well as to America. These American families have as much right to be in EDC as any other and the prosperity that those dream maker developers brought to EDC has not gone unnoticed. The only issue that the writer left out is that those communities were planned in the 1990s and given their “entitlements” prior to 1998. What has happened since 1998? There have only been 237 residential units given county entitlements since 1998. Folks, that is a period of 16 years or 15 units per year. And Zagaris wants to add 20 more years to that record.
Now, what does this initiative movement want to accomplish? Do they want EDC to become a prison for inmates only? Get a furlough and go to Folsom to shop and then come back to EDC and close the cell doors behind them. Do we get visitors on Saturday and Sunday only? Should we govern by initiative where only a few understand the consequences of each proposal or by a General Plan voted into place by the public, then the implementing ordinances studied, debated and presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval, by 300 of your fellow EDC citizens?
The writer states that, “we want reasonable, sustainable growth that fits in with the existing community we all enjoy.” OK, the EDC General Plan calls for a 1.03 percent growth rate approved by the state of California in our Housing Element update. Caltrans suggested a growth rate of 3+ percent and the county was able to maintain the 1.03 percent growth rate because of the presentation of our county staff.
Zagaris says, “We are not anti-growth.” OK, then are you pro-growth? Which is it? At what rate do you want growth to occur? Do you think you can get the state of California to agree to your numbers? Until you give “We, the Community” the numbers that you would approve you are just using rules for radicals — i.e., generalizations that mean absolutely nothing.
You also mention that “out of respect, the local volunteers honored the businesses’ requests who asked them not to petition in front of their stores.” Why do you think businesses asked them to refrain? It is because those businesses survive day to day and stopping all growth would have a devastating effect on each of them not to mention the loss of the Measure Y tax that has already funded about $300 million of road improvements.
You complain about paid signature gatherers and at the same time promote the Bill Center initiative that used paid signature gatherers. Do you plan to fight the Fix Highway 50 First initiative because of its paid signature gatherers?
Last, I would implore anyone who answers this letter to stick to facts which include the numbers. Using Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” does not further the conversation or allow for the continuing flow of truth. Just say no to the poverty, potholes, and sprawl that these initiatives would bring.
El Dorado Hills