Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Planning director chased away

EDITOR:

The CAO’s office, and more specifically Terri Daly and Kim Kerr, have chased away another valued and experienced county department head. Peter Maurer announced he has taken the planning director position with Calaveras County after serving El Dorado County for 28 years. Calaveras County snapped him up in a heartbeat.

What a huge loss for El Dorado County. Another experienced department head position vacated and a lot of institutional knowledge gone out the window due to the poor work environment and culture our CAO and assistant CAO have created. This should come as no surprise, as the CAO’s office has done the same thing with several other county departments recently.

It was Kim Kerr, the assistant CAO and so-called county development czar that went and hired another lower-level Sacramento County staff planner with much less experience and brought him in as an equal to Peter Maurer as the head of long range planning. Kerr herself knows nothing about planning other than how to illegally circumvent it on the county’s own special projects. She has been caught red-handed circumventing local ordinance, regulations, CEQA, building codes, etc.

One of my favorite Kim Kerr quotes last year was when a long-time, 20-plus-year DOT employee and licensed civil engineer was told by Kerr, “don’t bother applying for the position, you won’t get it.” Many of Kerr’s appointments have left many county employees scratching their heads as Daly and Kerr’s choices of personnel severely lack experience and don’t really have exemplary qualities that stand out.

This is all part of the CAO’s strategy to dumb down county department heads as they have done in other departments recently. It creates an inner fiefdom of direct reports that buffer the rest of the county employees from seeing that the CAO and assistant CAO are completely incompetent and the emperor has no clothes.

JAMES SMITH
Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 33 comments

  • Ernie LouisFebruary 17, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    We have “Out of Control” County Departments and “Out of Control” Department Heads. The CAO is doing what she is told to do by the County Board of Supervisors or she is doing what she can get away with. Either way, the residents can’t fire County Employees for not representing their interest, but they can vote for candidates who will. Ernie Louis

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 17, 2014 - 8:10 pm

    Read everything you can this next couple of months--watch all government videos that you can...come to a couple meetings...go to some of the unelected peoples meetings. CEDAC would be one...just show up to advisory comittee meetings and their subgroups. Learn the issues and the candidates--this is an important election. New supervisors get to chose new people for their districts...get rid of some of the problems. All you need is one City Council meeting--unless they have cleaned up their act--some of them are just rude to the public. Read pettions...read articles..online from a variety of places. Stand up and be heard. Dont wake up and ask "what happened?" wake up and say, "I did something to correct many wrongs." When some groups tell you "no." dont ask why--go out and find the answer yourself--you might want to say --yes. Hold on to your donations...until you know for sure that your money is going to represent something you believe in. and not to something you never would have supported. Go to a town meeting...to a workshop (there is a huge difference between the two right now.) and last...get to know the names of the players and their friends...how many boards are they on or in. Good luck...some of the information is going to make you very very mad. And Im sorry for that. I know--because I am still furious at people thinking they have the right to decide for me.

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  • M.W.February 17, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    Peter - best wishes on your new path and well-deserved new position. You are the best supervisor I've ever had and Calaveras County is very, very fortunate to get you, and it is El Dorado County's loss. A great deal of institutional knowledge walks out the door with you. I learned so much about long-range planning and policy implementation from you, including how to report out all sides of the puzzle and base my staff reports on facts and consequences to actions (although certain special interests may disagree because I didn't include their lobbying white papers in my staff reports as they told me to - hello JB). I was fortunate to move on to the Governor's Office and to other state government agencies, working on policy implementation and long-range planning and project management, and I owe that to what I learned from you. It is very interesting to view what is happening now with the perspective of an outsider who was once an insider. James Smith - I don't know you, but you are spot on. This "new" Long-Range Planning group is mostly outsiders, or those who work very, very well with the developers. I don't think the powers that be are interested in neutrality, and making sure that planning is balanced amongst community, environmental, and developer interests. I am not at all anti-growth...I am reasonable growth, I am anti-upzoning to profiteer on land on the backs of the neighborhood who did their due diligence on land use and zoning when they moved in...I am anti-monopoly, and it surely seems like the developer interests in this county have a monopoly on convincing the BOS, as the community and the environment get shunned Just as CEDAC and the Regulatory Reform sub-committee is weighted heavily with developer interests. Just as community groups are waved away and not taken seriously, or bullied, by these committees and the BOS. We now have another layer of expensive government with this new "division" and expensive division head, duplicating what was already done in the Planning Department. Where are the funds coming from to pay the salary of the new division head and ELEVEN new planners???? County residents, did you know that you spent probably about $1.5 MILLION dollars+ on an Oak Woodland Management Plan (OWMP) and Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), and consultants working on the Pine Hill Plants....and the OWMP got sued because of actions of the Board of Supervisors (listening to the developer lobbyists), the INRMP is shelved and did nothing (because Sup Sweeney supported a developer's rewrite of the Scope of Work - hello CS), and there are still rare plant issues...that won't get resolved any time soon due to the County BOS' reputation (and because they have no idea what "consultation" with the State and Feds means)? Did you know that the BOS turned down a $600k grant for a plan that would have solved the Pine Hill rare plant issues? Did you know that the County (taxpayers) are paying for a NEW OWMP??? Oh, and the Missouri Flat Design Guidelines, prepared by a consultant, were made voluntary by the BOS at the time, due to the lobbying by developer interests (hello AM) - so basically shelved??? What is being done with the funds collected for in-lieu fees from the OWMP prior to the lawsuit??? EDC, you are pretty darned messed up. No wonder many of my planning colleagues left, and the ones that remain are treated to a hostile work environment. The developers run this county - not the Planning Dept of old - and the BOS have always listened to the bully developers - and still do, as I hear that community activists are not getting meetings with the BOS. Be aware, BOS, that many different community groups are watching your actions, and they are tired of being railroaded. Ballot initiatives and lawsuits are the results of ignoring the community and environment, and favoring developers, with a lack of neutrality. Did you read that recent advertisement by the Chamber of Commerce??? Really???? What a way to tick off residents whom you want to support Chamber businesses. I support BOS candidates who favor sunshine in government and doing what is best for the community they represent; not those who have a clear agenda to represent their business interests. Remember that on election day, and let's get some BOS leadership that actually represents the community.

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  • EvelynFebruary 17, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    M.W.: Every one of your 735 words resonates with the truth. And . . . James Smith: Thank you.

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  • M.W.February 18, 2014 - 5:44 am

    Thanks, Evelyn. It is all truth. I was long winded, but it had to be said...

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  • EvelynFebruary 18, 2014 - 6:41 am

    M.W.: Long? Yes. Long winded? No. My 735 word notation was only because comments exceeding +/- 200 words rarely seem worth the bother.

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  • James E.February 17, 2014 - 11:15 pm

    Why EDC hasn't been investigated by the Feds is beyond me. A case book study of corruption.

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  • cookie65February 19, 2014 - 5:29 am

    You must be joking James. Call eric holder.

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  • cookie65February 19, 2014 - 5:53 am

    James, the fed is busy promoting their own corruption. The global warming fraud is the only "phony scandal" this regime is involved in. All the rest aren't phony. http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021814-690353-kerry-delusional-to-say-climate-change-is-nukelike-threat.htm

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  • EvelynFebruary 18, 2014 - 8:05 am

    THE PREROGATIVE STATE: It rules according to its own arbitrary whims and prerogatives. The outward forms of democratic participation … are hollow, political stagecraft. Ernst Fraenkel called those who wield this unchecked power … “the prerogative state.” - HERE

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  • Truth is RealFebruary 18, 2014 - 9:08 am

    Flatlander outsiders Terri Daly and Kim Kerr make $194,937.60 and $165,692.76 plus benefits per year of the backs of hardworking El Dorado County citizens.

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  • EvelynFebruary 18, 2014 - 9:11 am

    To SOMEONE they're worth every penny of our money.

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  • Sue TaylorFebruary 18, 2014 - 10:36 am

    Thank you James Smith & MW. Many of us are working super hard to shine a light on the corruption and waste going on at the county. It is mind boggling to watch the Board of Supervisors (BOS) blindly follow the CAO and her friend Kim as they take over every aspect of the county’s functions. Meanwhile, good people are being pushed out of positions as the CAO continues to bring in their own private soldiers. Did we in this county not vote that we did not want a powerful CAO? (It was on the ballot as to whether we wanted to change the office to a CEO - executive position versus CAO which is an Administrator that serves at the pleasure of the BOS.) The big question is why are these 2 being allowed to do this, by what authority and for what purpose?

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  • JimBoFebruary 18, 2014 - 9:54 pm

    Current BOS is totally CORRUPT. Daly & Kerr are CORRUPT. Amador Crew needs to be ejected.

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  • Michael KobusFebruary 19, 2014 - 6:59 am

    Yes Ms. Taylor, several years ago there was a ballot initiative to change El Dorado from a Charter County to a General law County. Out of the 58 counties in CA, 14 are Charter Counties. The initiative did not pass and EDC remains a Charter County. Charter counties, in a nutshell, have more of a home rule status as opposed to General law designation. A General Law county adheres more to state structure of laws and regulations.Depending upon how a charter is written, EDC charter was adopted in 1994, it can give the BOS more, "home rule", and thus more executive power in the decision making process of the county.As it stands, EDC has a CAO.as opposed to a CEO. Most decisions about hiring, firing of department heads must be brought to the BOS for approval. Whereas a CEO would in most instances, have the ability to hire and fire certain department heads without the approval of the BOS. A CEO of a General Law county is much more powerful than a CAO of a Charter county.

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  • Michael KobusFebruary 19, 2014 - 7:17 am

    sory abot the tipos in me last post!

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:15 am

    Michael Kobus, interesting...many times I have said that the responses in the BOS meetings are "staged" by the supervisors themselves...could it be? However, I have watched staff..look for answers to questions on their comps--before responding. I watch faces, body language...and a couple times..a couple of them are not even listening...they are reading something else. I have also watched where a "question" is brought up (maybe by accident) and we get to break. I have been at those meetings where breaks are far apart. So Michael...who do you think is in charge? I have nothing against anyone...I have heard staff give the correct answer--only to have the BOS double speak :) I have seen the CAO, and assistant answer--making the BOS look "stupid"--knowing they are not. Allowing LUPPU to move forward with bloated numbers? Dancing animals, and fruits--come on. I know some of these economic people...they are "leaders"...just people playing along for the pats on thier heads. So who is in charge? I let people play around me--just so I can get a feel for their honesty. On this wall--when things get tense...trolls come on..or articles about weed and guns surface...lololol

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  • EvelynFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:24 am

    Hey Fran: That last line of your feels like a direct hit!!!

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  • Sue TaylorFebruary 19, 2014 - 11:06 am

    Thanks Michael for explaining that!

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  • cookie65February 19, 2014 - 5:40 am

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. The answers don't exist in replacement of individuals. Let me know when we run out of letters to signify individual bodies of government. Then we can start numbering them.

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  • ObservationFebruary 19, 2014 - 7:46 am

    The loss of institutional knowledge is an issue if management has not done it's job. Successful teams are built through a mix of career stages and career paths, but not through longevity alone. While the complaints are that Mr Mauer was run out of his position, that is clearly not true. I suspect he applied for, but did not secure, the lead of the long term planning position. It went to an outsider. Now fast forward to Calaveras County who chose Mr Mauer, an outsider to their organization, to lead their group because of the need for a different approach. Same thought process in both counties. Congratulations to Mr Mauer on his new job and promotion.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 19, 2014 - 8:15 am

    James Smith, after reading your letter and all comments I remain unconvinced that, "Terri Daly and Kim Kerr, have chased away another valued and experienced county department head." It seems to me that Mr. Maurer has made a career move pure and simple. It also seems that Mr. Maurer's career move is being exploited by those who maintain an agenda against Terri Daly and Kim Kerr. Seeking and accepting higher level employment and upward mobility seems to be the story here coupled with ax-grinding against Terri Daly and Kim Kerr.

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  • Sue TaylorFebruary 19, 2014 - 11:03 am

    Hi Phil, There are few, if any, government employees that will go to the Board when being pushed out that will say, "thank you for the shove". Especially when moving on to another government position. But if you would rather believe that Kim and Teri have the County's best interest at heart after reading Ione's Grand Jury report against Kim Kerr, then there is not much more one can say.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 19, 2014 - 1:55 pm

    Hi Sue. In the absence of any information from Mr. Maurer concerning his motivation for accepting a better position in Calaveras County I remain skeptical of James Smith's supplied speculative motive. I also continue to adhere to my theory that Ione's Grand Jury report is politicized cover for Ione's GOB City Fathers at Ms. Kerr's expense. The crash of 2008/2009 left thousands of municipalities in dire straights. Ione's GOBs used the GJ process to scapegoat Kim Kerr. If there is testimony from Mr. Maurer that he was "chased away" then I will reevaluate my theory.

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  • Leslie DavisFebruary 19, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Now Ms. Kerr can do her deeds in EDC with no fear of a Grand Jury bringing her in check. We don't have any Grand Jury in EDC. Can we all say that we all might be in deep trouble with Kerr and Co. and the BOS who are bought and owned by developers.......makes one want to sell their home and move away......just a thought.

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:31 am

    Good Morning Miss Evelyn :) I always look for the patterns in life...sometimes they jump out at you...sometimes not :(

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  • cookie65February 19, 2014 - 10:08 am

    What do you suppose the chances of a light going off for the dumbdown masses if instead of giving all these government agencies acronyms and titles we just numbered them numerically? Let's make the DMV #716 and Franchise tax #206 and just maybe people will start to figure out what the problem is.

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  • Melody LaneFebruary 19, 2014 - 12:16 pm

    At least Peter Mauer had the guts to respond truthfully to a recent CA Public Records Act Request (which is out of the norm for EDC.) Funny how the 'sunshine of truth' comes out when the door of opportunity for another EDC employee to escape the culture of corruption opens up. I wish Peter the best in his new career path. HR Director Pam Knorr has her work cut out for her, but then again I heard it through the grapevine she was also recruited by her CAO friends.

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  • JimmyFebruary 19, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    @Leslie Davis, we do in fact have a grand jury. The current grand jury was empaneled in July 2013, and their term expires in June of 2014. You can submit a complaint through the grand jury's web page.

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  • Leslie DavisFebruary 20, 2014 - 7:26 am

    Jimmy........good news, I didn't hear that as it was certainly not reported in the MD. Hopefully the new GJ will find out and report to the public what happened to the old GJ.........

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  • Foaming at the MouthFebruary 19, 2014 - 10:20 pm

    Leslie Davis - move any time you like. We'll just say the CAO pushed you out.

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  • Leslie DavisFebruary 20, 2014 - 7:16 am

    Foaming.......actually last night I was at the Shingle Springs Community Alliance meeting in Shingle Springs. We are staying to fight the powers of El Dorado County and stop the BOS/Developers from taking our rural county. Please come by my house any time if you would like to sign our petition or look outside at many businesses that will have people that will have petitions to sign in order to get on the ballot measure in November. We plan to save our current zoning and remove the loopholes from the current Measure Y. It's time the people took back control of EDC and out of the hands of the current power brokers and developers.

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  • Foaming at the MouthFebruary 20, 2014 - 9:05 am

    Leslie - You said you wanted to leave. I offered an exit strategy. And by the way, every county has a grand jury every year and grand jury proceedings are secret. Got it?

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