Dale Coco, a retired physician, impressed us with his energy and his history of administrative accomplishment.
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Meeting with our editorial board, Dr. Coco outlined a good case for endorsing him for election to the Division 4 seat on the El Dorado irrigation District Board of Directors.
The other person running for this position declined to meet with the Mountain Democrat editorial board.
Being a chief staff at a hospital — Barton in South Lake Tahoe — is a responsibility that requires collaboration and consensus building with other doctors in order to advance a set of goals. To accomplish anything on the El Dorado Irrigation District board requires this same skill set.
We see Dr. Cocco as a strong advocate for the ratepayers, but also a sophisticated consensus builder, who has studied, in-depth, EID and its finances for two years.
Dr. Coco, a resident of Cameron Park, also served on committees at Marshall Hospital and spent several years as a sideline physician for the Oak Ridge High School football team.
Dr. Coco also spent 20 years working for Kaiser Permanente, where he participated in a “primary care delivery system remodel,” which wound up saving Kaiser millions of dollars “by decreasing costs while increasing efficiency and quality.” The outcome was that it saved Kaiser $10 million a year, which adds up to $100 million over 10 years.
Part of that savings came from using the power of group buying for drugs. Coco sees a future savings for EID by combining with other Northern California water districts into a buyers’ consortium to produce saving on the chemicals used to treat water and produce the correct pH balance.
We are convinced that Dale Coco can translate his administrative experience into “decreasing costs while increasing efficiency and quality” at EID. He believes there is another 5 percent of savings to be made on basic operational expenses at EID. That is one reason Director Alan Day has endorsed him.
He also sees money to be added to a capital improvement fund by selling miscellaneous surplus property EID has.
One reason he is endorsed by Camino farmers, winery owners, developers and environmentalists like Bill Center and Ray Pringle of the Sierra Club is that he will fight to keep EID water rights from being taken by the Delta Stewardship Council or the State Water Resources Control Board, both of which may try to grab EID’s pre-1914 water rights.
“If we lose control of our water rights we could see water meter shutoffs and a water tax,” Coco told the Democrat.
Coco, whose original bachelor’s degree is in biology, has an innovative way for restaurants to more effectively and cheaply trap grease, which should bring about a reduction in their sewer bills.
We believe Dr. Dale Coco has a plan to dial back, even freeze, water rates. More importantly, he has studied EID and brings a background of innovation and collaboration that will achieve savings for the ratepayers. The Mountain Democrat endorses Dale Coco for EID Division 4.