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On March 19 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved melding our county’s business goals with several other counties including Sacramento, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties through a process called “Next Economy” (NE) primarily funded by Silicon Valley millionaires Jim and Becky Morgan. I believe that this was a mistake and done without the proper community input. El Dorado County approved on March 25 the plan put forward by it’s Community Economic Development Advisory Committee. There was no indication that the goals of the Community Councils would ever have to comply with Sacramento and the other counties. In fact I don’t think that the supervisors really understood what they were going to implement with the vote for Next Economy.
There are tapes of the March 25 workshop where EDC’s new economic development plan was approved and I don’t think you will find any discussion about NE, however, I admit I missed the first 45 minutes of the workshop. I don’t believe there has been a discussion of NE at EDAC’s Regulatory Reform Committee and there certainly should have been if we are to abrogate our economic future to Sacramento.
The Next Economy would transfer policy-making away from the democratically elected, accountable, transparent, local governments to an unknown, unelected, unaccountable, non-transparent and distant regional governance structure controlled by stakeholders largely based in Sacramento. If this happens The People will no longer have a voice in the most important decisions that affect their lives and their communities.
El Dorado County is a special place with a tremendous history created by people with pride in their accomplishments. We have not gone away from being miners and timber people but have added to our economic fortune by adding Stem Cell Research and Robotics Development among other disciplines. We did not do this because Sacramento was helping. We did it because we are El Dorado County. Our supervisors approved the Next Economy in what I believe was just a common mistake, not understanding the potential power they were handing off to Sacramento County. No one is to blame but it needs to be fixed.
Therefore, I ask the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to rescind their approval of Next Economy and let the Community Economic Development Advisory Committee’s independent Community Councils operate as they were designed to do.
El Dorado Hills