There is something is wrong with the model of a public agency that can’t afford to operate without levying fines on businesses. That apparently is how the local Air Quality Management District operates. It depends on fines and fees levied on businesses just for being in business.
As explained by the Air Quality Management District’s director to our reporter, the district depends on fees and fines for half its income. This seems like an incentive to be overzealous.
When the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors considers its budget this summer it should take a magnifying glass to the Air Quality Management District and ask it to justify its fees and staffing level. And the supervisors should consider what effect this district’s modus operandi is having on business formation or lack thereof. This county needs every business it can get. A 9.6 percent unemployment rate for El Dorado County is not good enough. The best the Board of Supervisors can do is make sure it or any of its bureaucrats is not standing in the way of legimate and tax-paying new or existing businesses.