Wednesday, April 23, 2014

County’s role in Capital-Southeast Connector project discussed

From page A1 | March 11, 2013 | 4 Comments

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Briggs referred to the proposed Capital Southeast Connector road project as a “35-mile-long subdivision.” Beginning at Highway 5 in Elk Grove, skirting Rancho Cordova, brushing Folsom and then running through El Dorado Hills, the “connector” would merge with Highway 50 in the neighborhood of a newly built Silva Valley Interchange.

That is the plan that has been on the drawing boards of several jurisdictions since 2006. Sacramento County, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Elk Grove and El Dorado County are members of the Whiterock-Connector Joint Powers Authority that formed that year, though the idea for such a Sacramento bypass has been contemplated for decades.

As explained by Assistant County Counsel Trish Beck, the JPA “does not have any dedicated funds for this project,” and a number of “unresolved issues” need to be addressed. The two primary issues are determining El Dorado County’s “fair share” of the cost of construction and whether or not the county’s fair share should include credit for developing the Silva Valley Interchange.

The somewhat murky relationship between the county and the JPA drew attention last year when former supervisor Jack Sweeney challenged a perception that the JPA could exercise eminent domain proceedings over property owners in El Dorado County without the county’s involvement or authorization. In a related concern, several board members interpreted language in the JPA agreement suggesting the organization could “financially obligate a member jurisdiction without the consent of the member jurisdiction’s Board of Supervisors/City Council.”

Both of these issues prompted the board to approve a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting stating that the county would not allow any such limitations on its sovereignty and included an earlier request for an amendment of the JPA agreement clearly expressing that position. The JPA met Friday, and the intent of the board was to give District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco a portfolio to take to his first JPA meeting as El Dorado County’s representative. Former District 1 Supervisor John Knight represented the county at the agency throughout his four-year term.

The county’s piece of the Whiterock Connector project is limited to El Dorado Hills which comprises the county’s first supervisorial district — a bit under three miles altogether — plus the Silva Valley Interchange.

Beck concluded her presentation explaining that a financing plan on the JPA’s agenda represented “no obligation on any of its members including El Dorado County. The JPA can move on without any El Dorado County money,” she said and urged adoption of the resolution.

Briggs continued the point saying, “El Dorado County would like to see what the end product (financing plan) would look like and to know that the JPA won’t be throwing Mr. and Mrs. Smith off their property; and somewhere down the line, we want credit for Silva Valley.”

County Counsel Ed Knapp further clarified that the resolution created by his department to attach to a proposed amendment to the agreement includes the caveat that the JPA may not obligate its member entities to any future funding requirements.

At that point Mikulaco reprised earlier sentiments saying, “I want to make sure that everything on this side of the county line” remains under our control. The new supervisor discussed his mission to the JPA during a meeting with Mountain Democrat staff at his office Wednesday afternoon.

“Part of the funding mechanism is rather vague,” he said. “We just want to make sure we’re covered … Their people know what we want — preserving the right of El Dorado County to control of our jurisdiction.”

The relative merits of the project overall or the specific potential benefits to the county “are not the issue,” at this stage of its development, he noted, adding, “I inherited what’s already been done.” However, during Tuesday’s board discussion, District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp added his voice to that of Briggs in asking about the realistic value versus the long-term costs to the county.

“We need to look hard at Silva Valley and the connector,” Briggs said. “Do we really want either of them or are we just going to have a 35 mile-long subdivision? I’m not convinced that this is good for our county, but I don’t want to get in their way.”

Executive director of the JPA, Tom Zlotkowski, addressed the three supervisors in attendance. Norma Santiago of District 5 and Ray Nutting of District 2 were out of town.

“We’re at a point in time when we’re approving documents, and we want to include your resolution. We’re in no way committing you regarding indebtedness or eminent domain,” Zlotkowski assured.

El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn scolded the board Tuesday for what he called a “history of not cooperating with our neighbors. I urge that we continue to work with the JPA and participate (in this project which will) help a lot of people throughout the region.”

Sue Taylor of Camino expressed serious reservations about the project in general and potential financial risk to the county in particular. Citing the possibility of future “debt, debt, debt” to the county, Taylor finished her remarks calling for supervisors to “get out of this JPA.”

Briggs, Mikulaco and Veerkamp, however, all voted to send the resolution for the amendment with Mikulaco on Friday.

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or Follow @CDaleyMtDemo. 


Discussion | 4 comments

  • Sue TaylorMarch 11, 2013 - 8:31 pm

    Not sure that I understood this right, but I attended the JPA Friday and asked several questions. The JPA agreed to a financing plan obligating our county to "our fair share of the connector" someone said 7% of the project and Mikulaco corrected the speaker and said something like 5.4%... If I understood that correctly I'm amazed that our Board of Supervisors would obligate the county to help fund this $500+ million project which will only impact us by dumping the bay area into El Dorado Hills. Angelo should be very grateful for our contribution.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 33/3rdMarch 11, 2013 - 11:32 pm

    Sue, your awesome! Keep fighting...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMarch 12, 2013 - 7:54 am

    33/3rd: You are absolutely on the mark regarding Sue Taylor, probably the most dedicated and best informed person in the entire County on matters that concern residents. Her knowledge and integrity are indeed awesome.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • francescaduchamp@att.netMarch 12, 2013 - 8:10 am

    I also would like to thank Sue...thank you for your honesty. Thank you for providing us with choices. Thank you for your time.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 100 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3



Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 63 Comments




By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 11 Comments

Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 38 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments



Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery



4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5



Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate



Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8