Shiva Frentzen, president of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, was ousted at a special board meeting on July 9 after a conflict arose over her membership on different elected groups.
Frentzen said the action was taken following her signing a letter, along with Sam Bradley and Bill Center, that was sent to Cameron Park residents in May opposing the Marble Valley-Lime Rock Development.
Bradley and Center are both former county supervisors. Frentzen currently serves on the board of the Cameron Park Community Services District, LAFCO and other boards.
The letter stated that the developer, Parker Development, was proposing to build 4,035 homes on 3,100 acres which would increase the population in the Cameron Park area by 60 percent. The letter expressed concern over the amount of traffic the development would generate and how it would change the existing zoning on the land, which is currently 5-to 20-acre parcels.
“The county needs more jobs — not rooftops,” said the letter. “The county should be planning to use our remaining Highway 50 road capacity for new job projects — not large housing projects with even more commuters.”
The letter urged residents to lobby the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to schedule an advisory vote on the project as soon as possible to give Cameron Park residents “a voice in the plan.”
Frentzen said she believes her opposition to the development was the basis for the chamber vote to remove her. “I believe my duty as an official is to protect the community. I’m in favor of bringing more jobs to the county, but not more rooftops.”
Frentzen said she was surprised by the chamber’s action and hadn’t decided yet how to respond. She claimed that since the board had not taken a position on the development, she didn’t feel constrained in voicing her opposition to it.
“I stand for what’s right in the community and if that’s the outcome, I’m at peace with it. The community comes first and I stand up for what’s right.”
However, chamber officials say Frentzen placed herself in a position of a conflict of interest by not checking with the board before signing the letter, since as president she is the face of the chamber.
Laurel Brent-Bumb, CEO of the county chamber, said there was an incompatibility of offices with Frentzen trying to represent both the chamber and the Cameron Park CSD.
She said when Frentzen was offered the opportunity to resign rather than be removed, Frentzen remained adamant in her position. She was subsequently removed in a unanimous vote of the board.
Brent-Bumb said the chamber is now in the process of changing its bylaws so people aren’t allowed to serve as an elected member of two boards at the same time to avoid those kinds of conflicts in the future.
“It was a difficult decision,” said Brent-Bumb, “because she’s a very committed community member. She will continue as a valued and respected member of the board, just no longer as an officer.”
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.