Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Departmental county candidates file ballot statements

From page A1 | March 14, 2014 |

Offering us a preview of who they are and why they are running, almost all of the candidates for El Dorado County department head positions filed a statement of candidacy.

Joe Harn, 56, CPA, who is running to be reelected Auditor-Controller, said his top priorities are to continue protecting people’s tax dollars while ensuring the county stays debt-free. He notes when he was first elected, the county was $20 million in debt. The county now has no debt and closed the most recent fiscal year with a positive general fund cash balance of $54 million, he said. Citing other cost-saving measures he has implemented, Harn said he has saved the county $700,000 on a consulting contract, intervened when the county wanted to adopt a Cadillac retirement plan for employees, and most recently pushed to reduce residents’ DMV fees by advising the county to reduce its share of the DMV.

His opponent, Mike Owen, 52, CPA, said he previously worked as a CPA for high-tech and medical device companies and currently lists his occupation as winemaker and businessman. He claims that Harn, who has been Auditor-Controller for 18 years, has been in the job too long and it’s time for a change. Owen said his experience includes leading a public stock offering, auditing companies like Apple, Cisco and Ford Aerospace, and leading complex system conversions similar to the county’s planned transition from its DOS-based finance system.

“Our county is changing rapidly. What worked 18 years ago is simply not effective today,” he said.

In the race for District Attorney, incumbent Vern Pierson, 50, said he’s been a criminal prosecutor for over 20 years and has prosecuted hundreds of cases, including violent career criminals and sex offenders. He noted that he wrote the statute that forever barred sex offenders from working in classrooms. Pierson said he also started a successful cold-case homicide unit, created one of the first paperless district attorney’s offices and recently formed a regional economic crimes task force. Active in the community, Pierson, says he is a volunteer with programs that help children and veterans, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and CASA.

His opponent, Judson Henry, 52, cites his 10 years of experience as a business and bankruptcy attorney as well as extensive experience restructuring and reorganizing the administration of sophisticated organizations. Henry said he is running because, “Our District Attorney’s Office lost community trust by basing decisions on power, money and political alignments. I want to serve as your district attorney to change this focus to the proper mission of prosecuting actual crime — not wasting millions pursuing personal and political vendettas ultimately harmful to the economic, civic and personal well-being of all citizens.”

Henry registered to vote in El Dorado County on March 5. Previously he was registered in Placer County.

Running as the incumbent Recorder-Clerk is William “Bill” Schultz. Serving as County Recorder-Clerk since 1995, Schultz said, “The integrity, safety and accuracy of our election process is my No. 1 priority.” Noting that he has successfully conducted 35 elections to date, he citied as accomplishments the recently installed, fully electronic recording system for documents to save time and money for the public and improve office efficiency. He said the Election Department’s Website has been recognized for content, design and interactivity.

Running against Schultz is first timer Chris Amaral, who describes his occupation as businessman/program management. He said he is running because, “After 20 years of business as usual, it is time for a change.” Amaral said his qualifications include serving in leadership positions in finance, accounting and operations for medium to large corporations. Citing his experience working with government agencies to help them automate manual processes and implement effective technology, he promises if elected to “enhance our systems and processes to better serve the county and its citizens.”

Like Henry, Amaral only recently registered to vote in the county after relocating here.

Running as the incumbent Treasurer-Tax Collector is C.L. Raffety. She lists her qualifications as being a CPA along with having a master’s degree in Business Administration. Previously she served two terms as a Los Rios Community College Trustee and is past president of the statewide Treasurer-Tax Collectors Association. Describing her accomplishments as Treasurer-Tax Collector, Raffety said she doubled interest earnings her first few years in office, “while preserving the safety of the portfolio and maintaining cash flow for the county to pay its bills.” She notes she has also improved internal controls as well as electronic processes to save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Running against Raffety is county Supervisor Ron Briggs who terms out this year. He says that “keeping us rural” and “conservative fiscal management” guided his decisions as county supervisor and will do so as well as treasurer. As a county supervisor, Briggs said he opposed new and higher taxes, balanced every county budget and has paid off all county debts. He also helped end “pay enhancements” for some county executives, and passed an extension of Measure Y so new development would pay the cost of transportation improvements. As Treasurer-Tax Collector, he pledged to “oppose higher taxes, protect Proposition 13 and stop pay manipulation and pension spiking by elected officials.”

Running unopposed is John D’Agostini who is the Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator. D’Agostini manages a budget of $58 million and 405 employees and is responsible for law enforcement and service functions including patrol, investigations, corrections, civil, coroner, dispatch and public administrator. In order to save money, D’Agostini said his team has “audited every section of the Sheriff’s Office to identify duplication, waste and areas where we can improve financially.” In addition, his department has implemented a Total Policing Strategy that promotes professionalism. D’Agostini also commits himself to respecting the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights.

Also running unopposed is the incumbent Surveyor Rich Briner. Briner has worked in the County Surveyor’s Office for the past 14 years, including eight years as deputy county surveyor and three years as current County Surveyor. His first 21 years of land surveying experience was in the private sector. His job is to review and approve all survey maps and solve complex issues of land divisions. “I encourage my staff to develop expertise in their knowledge of surveying and Geographic Information Services so that, together, we can provide excellent service to our citizens and other county departments and public agencies.”

Also running unopposed are Assessor Karl Weiland and Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Meyers. Neither supplied a candidate statement.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.





Six file for Dist. 2

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

District 2 candidates forum Aug. 14

By News Release | From Page: B1

EID ditch customers get relief

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1

Veterans receive wildland fire training

By News Release | From Page: B1

Market data open for local biz

By Ross Branch | From Page: B1

Heard over the back fence: Attorney to warn about scams

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Volunteers clean up national forest

By News Release | From Page: A3 | Gallery



My turn: Special interests at EID

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4

Russian metastasis

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

By Gene Altshuler | From Page: A4



DA hogging Main St. parking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

CAO and staff hiring friends

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Altshuler’s hypocrisy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Small Farm compromise

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

EID and Dale Coco

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post



Roundup: July 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Dolphins ring up another title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sharks defeat Loomis Basin in season finale

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Celebrity golf at Tahoe

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Dodgeball: Not the national pastime but …

By Shane Theodore | From Page: A7 | Gallery



At a glance: Comets to meteors

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Taste the best at the State Fair

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Tractor Supply Store recognized

By Uc Cooperative | From Page: B3

Amador Fair honors cowboys

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B3

Arbor Day book helps to identify trees

By Arbor Day | From Page: B4

Learn about lavender and its many benefits

By Christian Women's Connection | From Page: B4

Lee’s Feed appreciates customers

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B5

My Time meeting in August

By Senior Day | From Page: B5

Builders’ Exchange honors scholars

By El Dorado Builders' Exchange | From Page: B5

En garde at Silver Screen Classic

By Auburn Silver Screen | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 8-10

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Walter Vali

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jean Lachelle Taylor

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur J. Funston

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




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, July 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8