Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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EID: Election heats up

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From page A1 | October 23, 2013 | 19 Comments

The election for a seat on the El Dorado Irrigation District must be getting nearer because the political rhetoric is ratcheting up.

At the same time, one almost needs a scorecard to keep track of all the characters and groups coming and going in the election of two new board members to EID.

Earlier this month, a tempest in a teapot arose when a flyer advocating the election of one of those running for the EID board, Rich Englefield, went out using the return address of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce.

While the chamber has its own Political Action Committee and had already endorsed Englefield, the mailer was sent out instead by a different PAC with the lengthy name of the El Dorado County Farmers Businesses and Homebuilders For Responsible Water Policy (EDCFBHFRWP).

One of the entities supporting EDCFBHFRWP is Parker Development Co.

Noted for building master planned communities like Serrano, the company is also a member of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce.

The mailer then acquired a life of its own, drawing contrary opinions from county officials as well as criticism from Englefield’s opponent, Greg Prada.

Auditor-Controller Joe Harn called the flyer inappropriate, referencing Government Code Section 8314, subsection (a). That rule says, “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit other to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”

However, El Dorado County Counsel Ed Knapp took a different position. In an e-mail to the Mountain Democrat Knapp said, “In my view, Government Code Section 8314 does not allow the county to ‘permit’ a campaign activity on county property, but it does not restrict the activities of the Chamber of Commerce on property it rents. The county leases the 542 Main St. building to the Chamber of Commerce on a five-year lease. The chamber as the tenant can decide how it is going to use the building it rents, and once that building is rented out to the chamber, the county as landlord cannot control the day-to-day activities that take place there by the chamber. Section 8314 does not allow a county employee to ‘permit’ others to use county property for a campaign activity, but no one with the county ‘permitted’ the use of the 542 Main St. address as a return address — that was presumably done by someone with the chamber and 8314 does not govern the chamber.”

In response to the flyer brouhaha, Prada weighed in with his own e-mail to the Mountain Democrat.

In it he said, “(Richard) Englefield and (Dr. Dale) Coco played ball with Kirk Bone (director of Government Relations for Parker Development Co.) and for $34,000 of campaign contributions brokered by Bone, Parker potentially stands to gain a $35 million benefit on hook-up fees over time by getting Englefield and Coco elected … at the rate increase expense of EID ratepayers. Single-handedly, Parker/Bone brokered a 3-1 campaign funding advantage for Englefield and Bone … monies for signs, mailers and other things essential to a successful election campaign for which neither Englefield nor Coco put up one dime of their own money. Rest assured a far more accurate name than ‘Farmers’ for this PAC is the ‘Parker/Bone PAC’ … the money didn’t come from farmers or small businesses, but instead Parker Development and the Bone-controlled EDC Chamber whose biggest contributor is Parker Development.”

Asked about the flyer, Kirk Bone said it was the decision of Laurel Brent-Bumb, CEO of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, to use the chamber’s address on the flyer and not Parker’s.

He added that in-kind donations, but not cash, had been made to the campaigns of Coco and Englefield through farmers, businesses and builders PAC, mainly to cover telephone calling and mailers. As of Oct. 16, Parker had donated $35,000 to EDCFBHFRWP.

Brent-Bumb acknowledged that it was her idea to use the chamber’s address on the mailer, saying that since the chamber had already endorsed Coco and Englefield, she felt it was alright to use the chamber’s address on the mailer from farmers, businesses and builders PAC.

“It was my decision alone,” she said. “It was me and not my board or the chamber PAC that made the decision. I was just trying to be helpful. But perception is reality and once I realized it was not a good idea, I didn’t do it again.”
Both Coco and Englefield said they have received no cash donations from any developers although the in-kind support they get from EDCFBHFRWP includes donations provided by Parker as well as Realtors and the Building Industry Association.
So far, Englefield and Coco are leading in the amount of financial support received.
According to the most recent information, the Englefield campaign has received cash donations of $3,132. In addition he has received in kind donations of $31,984 from EDCFBHRWP.
The Coco campaign has received $6,200 in cash contributions. In addition, he has received $21,507 of in-kind contributions from EDCFBHRWP.
Prada said that through September, his campaign had received cash contributions under $5,000. He has also received $500 in non-monetary contributions.
Jake Flesher said his campaign has received around $5,600 in cash contributions.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

Last Login | Fri Apr 18 08:48:02 2014
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Discussion | 19 comments

  • Phil VeerkampOctober 22, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Bob Luca's puppet - LINK - EID GM says gadfly misguided ~~~ Greg Prada - Fifty Shades of Puppet

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 22, 2013 - 11:13 am

    To get better context on Prada's "handler", Bob Luca, insert "Bob Luca" into the Mountain Democrat's search box to the left and read some of the old Luka posts and information.

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  • Rosco_P_ColtrainOctober 22, 2013 - 8:49 pm

    Deer Mr. Veerkamp, Now I dont knoe eyether you or this Prada fella, but I do noe that there haz ben alot of trash talkin on this here Mountene Demokrat sight. I see a hole lot of attax from yu on Prada, butt see liddle reesponse bak in deefence. It is mighy tyering to see this sorda thang go on n on. Now, iffen tu candydates git a hole lot of moni from a deevelopur type feller, eye wood thank there is some form of hanky panky goin on. I am a simple man an don't noe all yu noe about inner werkins of the watur district, but eye do noe this. Iffin the outsyde of a garbege kan stanks to high heaven, ya dunt kneed to open the kan to sea if it stinks inside. Frum meye purspectuve, sumthang stanks in polyticks when a deevelopur stuffs muney in sumwons poket. Now, eye am shure you will lambayste me two, lack you do this here Prada feller n thats Ok effin it makes u feel gud.

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  • mrs pravdaOctober 22, 2013 - 8:59 pm

    deer mr coltrane u sound like a edukationed mr pravda onle mor so.

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  • S.R. WilliamsOctober 22, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    It's not surprising to see that Mr. Veerkamp would be happy to have Big Developers in control of EID. If you want to see LOTS of unrestricted, HUGE housing projects in our county, and the problems to go with them, vote for Parker Development's bought-and-paid for choices. If you do, don't be too unhappy when EID rates for current ratepayers skyrocket to provide low cost access to Parker, Gallo and others. If you'd prefer to see developers pay their share, please consider Greg Prada and Jake Flesher.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 22, 2013 - 9:36 pm

    S.R. Williams,my interest in Mr. Prada began early in 2012. ~~~LINK - Fellow committee members rip EID critic ~~~ I began reading statements attributed to him that I knew to be false. The basis for such a determination by me rests on my experience at EID, in the field, "under the hood" as EID's Sr. Distribution Operator. Mr. Prada is impervious to information contrary to his own. Based upon his behavior working with his colleagues on the Cost of Service Committee I have come to the conclusion that Greg Prada would be a disaster should it come to pass that the voters see Greg falsely. If the voter see Prada as a brave "Mr. Smith" speaking "truth to power" then the EID will be poorly served. The rate payers will be poorly served. We will return to the dysfunction visited on EID in 2000 by Bergmeister, Vargas and Kastan.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 22, 2013 - 10:07 pm

    Prada will return EID to the chaos of 2000 - - - LINK - ". . . The board members then were Bill Bergmeister, Dirk Gillmeister, Richard Akin, Howard Kastan and Al Vargas. Bergmeister, Kastan and Vargas were trying to dump the project. Arrayed against them were Citizens for Water, represented by the “Three Amigos” vs. the aforementioned “Troika” of Bergmeister, Kastan and Vargas. The Three Amigos were John Fraser, Doug Leisz and Joe Flynn. Fraser retired as general counsel of the Association of California Water Agencies. Leisz retired as chief associate forester in Washington, D.C. Flynn was doubly retired, first as Eldorado National Forest supervisor and then three terms as county supervisor. Kastan wrote a column attacking the Democrat editorials and the Three Amigos as well as the recently fired EID general manager. That latter attack brought a libel suit from the ex-GM. The whole ball of rubber bands was in Kastan’s column, including the complaint that Director Akin was working to have Director Bergmeister recalled. That 2000 board was chaotic. It had produced a complete turnover in staff, eliminating the key figures who had helped get Project 184 from PG&E. Kastan called them “so-called ‘elite’ staff members.”

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  • Jack PodsedlyOctober 23, 2013 - 6:26 am

    I just hope that all of this discussion gives the undecided voter more info on who to vote for. A developer makes money by buying land, building something on it and making a profit. If they can support directors that will give them a break on hookups or infrastructure that is where the money will flow. Money does not come from a developer without strings attached. Prada and Flesher are a threat to the good ol boy system also. Vote your wallet.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 23, 2013 - 8:43 am

    Jack, asserts, "Money does not come from a developer without strings attached. Please, Jack, describe the consequences of "breaking strings". Guido breaks kneecaps? loss of $1250 per month? Please, Jack, your theory on keeping Board members bought?

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  • CJOctober 23, 2013 - 8:27 am

    The EDC Chamber of Commerce Takes 100's of thousands of dollars from the county ( taxpayers money) each year. The Chamber should NOT be endorsing or paying for any candidates mailer. If they choose to, give back our money so it can be used in a more useful manner. The Chamber has shown, in past elections, that they do not represent the citizens or all the businesses in EDC. The CEO should be fired.

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  • VernOctober 23, 2013 - 11:08 am

    Oct.22, BOS Consent calendar: Chief Administrative Office, Economic Development Division, recommending the Board authorize the Purchasing Agent to sign Amendments to the following Promotions Contracts extending terms by 12 months to September 30, 2014 and increasing compensation by 15 percent over FY 2012-13 contract amounts: Amendment II - El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Authority $235,515.64; 4).This does not include additional programs they manage which receive additional tax payers funds. Now you know why they have so much time to work on political issues. Also, I would bet they havent paid their one dollar a year rent to the County?

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  • VernOctober 23, 2013 - 11:35 am

    Front page Mt Democrat- June 20, 2012: This is an example how the chamber helps their guy Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove). McClintock had harsh words for the solar industry in comments to the county chamber on June 14. PG&E’s local government relations spokesman Brian Jensen ( Rep. John Dolittles former aid) sat to the congressman’s left nodding in agreement. Jensen emceed the lunch presentation as the current chamber president. This event like many others like it is paid for out of the Chamber budget which comes from the tax payers. Additionally the County looks the other way when it comes to accountability of the funds.

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  • and his Dog FlashOctober 23, 2013 - 5:05 pm

    Mr Veerkamp, after following your comments and attacks on the EID candidates I have concluded that your about 50 shades of foolish. It appears that both Englefield and Prada has used miss information and false information in their running for office. And you choose to believe one of them! Time for you to wake up and see some truth instead of passing more bad info on from a one sided story .... Grind your Axe somewhere elso so the bigger community does not get hurt.....

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 23, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Yes, I focus on Greg Prada. My interest in Prada traces back to early 2012. I retired from EID December 2009 from a position that gave me "inside knowledge" with regard to EID water transmission capabilities. Greg Prada was making statements that were untrue. I attempted to correct Mr. Prada. As it turns out Mr. Prada is . . . uh . . . uncorrectable. I researched Prada. I discovered that his fellows on EID's Cost of service Committee also found him unreceptive and immune to correction. EID's rate payers are at risk of being taken in by a sort of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington appealing but false narrative from Prada. Prada does not "speak truth to power". Prada consciously and deliberately makes false statements. Prada asserts that farmers' water bills are 1/17 per cubic foot of residential rate payers. This is a false statement. Prada speaks of EID's excess capacity. There is zero excess water transmission capacity. Prada asserts that EID employees are receiving 7% pay raises. Most are topped out, do not receive 5% merit/performance increases and are limited to COLAs. Prada is uncorrectable.

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  • FTaylorOctober 24, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Regarding Mr. Veerkamp's last statement, what is meant by most employees are "topped" out. Does this mean that the majority of EID employees are at the top of their pay grade and are not eligible for merit increases? Also, what area is the EID COLA based on? Is there a COLA for El Dorado county?

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    FTaylor EID's negotiated MOU with the represented employees provides for five merit pay increases of 5% between steps. After receiving five merit increases then that position is "topped out" and is eligible for colas ranging from 0% to 2% ~~~ LINK - In 2013, 67 percent of the staff are not eligible for pay increases due to reaching the maximum salary within their respective salary band; thus the potential overall increase will be 3.88 percent (which includes a 2 percent COLA) if everyone that was eligible for an increase actually received one. In 2014, that percentage will rise to 79 percent; thus resulting in an overall 3.19 percent wage increase (which includes a 2 percent COLA) if everyone that was eligible for an increase actually received one. Prada consciously and deliberately misrepresents one of two things. 1) his understanding of EID's internals. - OR - 2) The facts.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 12:24 pm

    LINK - EID's MOU

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    LINK - EID, Employees Agree to Immediate Pension Reforms - Early implementation saves $3.1 million over next five years Posted Date: 2/25/2013 4:15 PM

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  • and his Dog FlashOctober 24, 2013 - 11:46 am

    Veerkamp translation... Yes I have an Axe to grind against Prada. I dont care what anyone else thinks or that other canidates are also using false information. Since I retired from EID 4 years ago I know all so you sould listen to me and no one else... News Flash: Your personel agenda is going to hurt more people then Prada can, he has already been discovered and flushed out into the open! Now you want to see another fox elected to run the hen house.....

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