Monday, April 14, 2014

My Turn: The identity of Pollock Pines

From page A4 | June 21, 2013 | 14 Comments

What is Pollock Pines? It is a postal zip code; a census tract designation; a spot on the weather maps of the local TV stations; where the Jenkinson’s Lake recreation area is located; the last opportunity to buy groceries and fuel, etc. before entering the Eldorado National Forest on the way to South Lake Tahoe; and a key part of the historical richness of the western slope of the Sierra Nevadas, e.g. the Pony Express, immigrant and emigrant wagon trails, gold mining, lumber, water management and more. It is not a city or a town and is readily apparent to be rural in character. It at present does not have a political boundary. Its representation is, in fact, apportioned among three of the five members of the Board of Supervisors. But is it a community?

The answer is yes. However, one must understand that the answer to this question would depend on the definition of community and how the term is supposed to be used. Pollock Pines has become part of this definition issue, because Pollock Pines’ residents, since December 2012, have been conducting a series of meetings to define its Community Identity in order to set up a community advisory council consistent with the county’s General Plan. This has become difficult to do when the county Board of Supervisors cannot agree on what the term “Community Identity” means as it applies to the county’s General Plan for economic development (“Planning jargon stumps supes” — May 24 front page article in the Mountain Democrat by Chris Daley).

Specifically, the General Plan for El Dorado County allows “existing rural and urban communities” to advise the county‘s Board of Supervisors, Planning Department, Economic Development Committee, and a Design Review Committee specifically appointed for a community, on how to ‘maintain and enhance’ … both the natural setting and built elements which contribute to the quality of life, economic health and community pride of county residents.” Further, (Policy “The county shall develop community design guidelines in concert with members of each community which will detail specific qualities and features unique to the community as planning staff and funds are available. Each plan shall contain design guidelines to be used in project site review of all discretionary project permits. Such plans may be developed for Rural Centers to the extent possible. The guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, the following: Historic preservation; Streetscape elements and improvements; Signage; Maintenance of existing scenic road and riparian corridors; Compatible architectural design; Designs for landmark land uses and; Outdoor art.”

Those residents of Pollock Pines who took the time to participate in these meetings were told that this community advisory council process would allow our rural community to organize itself to provide coordinated and comprehensive input to the various county government agencies and officials whenever they make decisions affecting our economic health, community identity and quality of life. This council was not to be another layer of government and not a source of more rules and regulations.

At the last meeting in Pollock Pines on May 15, seven residents volunteered that they were willing be on this advisory council. This followed from the prior meetings’ identification of a common interest of residents in maintaining the area as “Nature’s Wonderland.” The discussions centered on our desire to live the rural life in an area of natural beauty with opportunities for employment consistent with the areas’ historical heritage and recreational opportunities; reasonable expectations for small businesses to succeed with local employment growth and interactions with government to maintain our public infrastructure, schools and levels of public safety without overwhelming rules and regulations.

This is not to say that there was not some level of disagreement during the meetings about whether the process used in conducting meetings would bias the results and whether the dates, times and purposes of the meetings were fully communicated to everybody in the area. My view is that when people stop looking at every action as a part of a negative conspiracy and focus on the results, not the process, then they will see that the definition and description of the Pollock Pines community that resulted from these meetings is honest, complete and positive. I, and several other residents who volunteered to be on the council, signed up because we believe there is now a workable base to identify our “Community Identity” as it applies to the county’s General Plan for economic development. Further, when one sees who is intended to be represented by this advisory council, there is no bias but instead an inclusive grouping of interests vital to the area. It was concluded that the committee could exist with volunteer members representing the interests and concerns of seniors/retired persons; educational and activities for our youth; local businesses and chamber of commerce; community-based service organizations; the faith-based community; residents of mobile home parks; homeowners’ associations; recreational and historical interest organizations; our Community Center and others (an at-large member).

Regarding concerns about effective communications, I believe that a regularly scheduled meeting of such a council, with its extensive representation, would provide a certainty of time and place for the various elements of our community to express and exchange views. This also would go a long way in improving communication about, coordination among and participation in community events.

Pollock Pines is already a place that celebrates July Fourth with a patriotic parade, along with historic celebrations of the Wagon Train and the Pony Express; has local businesses and community service and faith-based organizations providing charitable support via food kitchens, senior and youth activities including maintaining our community center; has volunteer beautification projects planting flowers in public areas; conducts community trash clean-up days and has demonstrated the capacity to organize projects supporting increased patronage of the local businesses that provide necessary services without having us “go down the hill” to the larger urban areas.

At 6 p.m. on June 24 there will be a local Pollock Pines meeting at the Community Center to discuss the establishment of the advisory council. We understand that the Board of Supervisors will have on the agenda a meeting scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on June 27 with a discussion on the role of communities in the General Plan which would necessarily include the definition of “Community Identity.” It is obvious that I believe that the development of a community advisory council to work with local government and other entities can only enhance our community identity. Those of us who complain about how various levels of government are unresponsive to our needs lose credibility with me if they don’t cooperatively participate when the opportunity arises. I see these meetings as an opportunity for our community to influence our future and I encourage Pollock Pine residents, with all points of view, to attend both meetings.

Tom Schulz is a resident of Pollock Pines, a former director at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and a volunteer for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). 


Discussion | 14 comments

  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 11:18 am is nice to see that Tom and others are finally learning a bit of history--I remember the meeting where Tom said--oh its much more than mills and trees (Mr. M. Ward had just said--sometimes one has to put history on a back burner.) is trails and things..(.this is the letter that was in Harper's email going to all the "big wigs"--maybe I should re-post parts of that e-mail...something to think about.) Although I have been off--I have still been researching many of the issues...(I know--gasp...lololol....who should go down first?) To quote Tom, " Those of us who complain about how various levels of government are unresponsive to our needs lose credibility with me if they don’t cooperatively participate when the opportunity arises. I see these meetings as an opportunity for our community to influence our future..." Democracy--4 out of 5? so one has five people in a room--four agree...I dont think so. Less than 1% come to these meetings--most have no clue whats going on--many do not even know what CEDAPP is...and when is Harper stepping down? None of these groups--none have the rights that they claim. Come to the Pollock Pines Camino Meeting on Monday at 6--community center...this letter is an answer to the last meeting where Harper wrote her letter--and she wasnt even there...go into the vid about 45 mins...we have 300+ hits...enjoy (maybe I should start posting the names that the e-mail went out to...shaking head)

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  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 11:36 am Less than 1%...well the rest of you can look at this site...there are several just like it--

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  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 12:11 pm

    When i first started posting--I gave you articles across the United States of places going bankrupt...I moved all the way back to California...Stockton going broke....sharing an article fro m Los Angeles... with all the new park restrictions--starting to feel like

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  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 10:51 pm

    Part of the email sent out by Harper...Brown Act? "I urge you to please pass Tom’s letter on to everyone you know and ask them if they can commit to being present at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Thursday, June 27 (a changed date from what Tom’s original date has been). We LL need to let our representatives that it just does not makes sense to stop any facet of the plans going on in the county: 1. Keep the General Plan moving forward for implementation (LUPPU) 2. Keep all of the projects that mean so much to communities moving forward at the same time, collecting data all the while 3. Analyze that date and come to decisions based on hard evidence. 4. BOS to make critical decisions based on empirical data gathered during that side of the process. EVERYONE WINS! Finally, I am certainly not the guru of this whole entire process, but I do know what the opposite of life is…..and that’s what we want in El Dorado County. Hope you enjoy Tom’s letter and I hope to see you in the BOS Meeting Room on June 27th. (Better stay tuned for another change of dates, though.) If that happens, we will alert you. J. Jeanne Harper, Executive Director Community Economic Development Assn. Of Pollock Pines" This was out before his article..." Below (and attached) is a letter written by our own Tom Schultz regarding this project. The BOS has suggested that the whole matter go back to a ballot measure – AGAIN!" From the vid--if you have to sneak it in--maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

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  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 10:54 pm

    The letter above is what was in the email--one of the names is now missing--not from the email...from this article. Harper does not want people to vote again...however was the public aware the time of voting...of these un elected advisory boards being formed?

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  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 11:27 pm

    I invite all of you to our town meeting tomorrow,,,Monday the 24th at the Pollock Pines Camino community Center. Over the last few months we have become the "deception" meeting born out of the Delphi technique--slanted information coming through articles by Harper and her meeting where a video showed she wasnt even there--yet she wrote an article about the meeting as though she was. The claim is the community comes--no it does not--.less then 1% come--many dont even know what CEDAPP is. Now we have possible "Brown Act" violations captured through emails and on Facebook...lolol come to listen--decide...these meetings are self appointed people that have no laws backing them...I was just told that this advisory board was going to happen--so it was just a matter of who was coming to the does that mean it doesnt matter if the public wants it or not? Good night--I bet youre glad im back...much respect. Fran

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  • James E.June 24, 2013 - 12:14 am

    Fran, we missed you.

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  • Fran DuChampJune 24, 2013 - 1:14 am

    Thank you James. I missed "ranting" on this wall...I still rant in other places--but it is just not the same...I seem to upset more people here--that makes it more fun. Im glad to hear your furry friend is well. You and Phil did a great job "ruling" the world...while everyone was gone...I hope others return...Cookie? Are you watching? On-line pay and play is $10.00 a month...pfffft...I may write an article a day for that price...lolololol

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  • Fran DuChampJune 24, 2013 - 9:35 am

    Meeting tonight--Pollock Pines Camino Community Center 6 the way...the "pink" bunny bill board on 50--gotta say--I laughed all the way home. I had just recently gone to a "design" meeting where they were suggested how the new stores sign should look--then a week or so later--Harpers huge royal blue visitor information sign appears--then coming up the highway from another meeting--I see the "pink" bunny feels like a test. If you dont do this--this is what we are going to give you...I like the sign better than the blue one in town. the "pink" sign makes me laugh...the "blue" one --not so much. People need to be careful using the word "design" around me...lolololol

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  • Fran DuChampJune 24, 2013 - 9:46 am

    From Harpers e-mail (to some interesting people.) "1. Keep the General Plan moving forward for implementation (LUPPU) 2. Keep all of the projects that mean so much to communities moving forward at the same time, collecting data all the while 3. Analyze that date and come to decisions based on hard evidence. 4. BOS to make critical decisions based on empirical data gathered during that side of the process." #2. "community"--lately at meetings--that would be me and ten other people. (doesn't matter up and down the hill) #3 Im thinking she meant "data"--what numbers are we talking? and about what subject? I would like to see the spread sheet shes referring to. #4 Empirical data--is she observing the "community" and reporting it back--because --im just not getting the idea here...people have been dropping from the meetings...they know the meetings are based on lies. The community is not there. and im not that interesting. When this falls apart--remember who brought it in--and the supporters that the video... Pollock Pines: The visioning

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  • Fran DuChampJune 25, 2013 - 9:29 am

    The meeting last night ended in a twist...most rejected the advisory committee altogether (there was not a huge crowd--many were from Camino--as it should be.)...what one resident (whose family goes way back) suggested was to have elected officials bring up the people the town wants to talk to. I voted for the Supervisor to do that. Any way...many wanted the Sheriff to come up to address how people in town can help do something about the "drug" problems in their neighborhood (though many of us dont see one--we have always had certain areas...I feel there is a "drunk" problem..and that includes wine...many of the wine events are sending people who have had too much alcohol, back on the roads.) Bars, in some cases, are not monitoring the drinks--it used to be where people were cut off...same with wine tasting...people can go all day-where those tiny "sips" add up. Speed issues are of interest as well. Ms. Santiago asked that we limited our list of questions--which is fair--the Sheriff is a busy man. I feel this type of town house meeting will suit our space better. We do not have a mayor--but maybe allowing a different person to lead each time will work. The only criteria that Ms. Santiago really focused on-- was having the group come away with a solution. Fair enough. I welcome the Sheriff. I felt Ms Sanitago was open to the idea--I felt for the first time that she was trying for a whole community--and not just one group...this will satisfy the general plans need to listen to the well as the need for all citizens to be heard. Im hoping the idea of an advisory board for Pollock is totally dismissed If and when people what to talk about "design"--i hope people are called that actually have design background--this is so far away from just helping a space heal. One has to heal the town first--before one dresses it up. I would like to see CEDAPP dissolve as steps. We have always done volunteer work in Pollock...each group organizing for itself...some wonderful things through out the years have been accomplished with individuals working together. My focus has been the little league field-- I was told, at the meeting, by Ms. Santiago that the baseball field is "safe"--YES!!!!!! She became the hero at that moment...hopefully she has listened to a community that believes in her to help us--she is elected, a long side the other supervisors--they are suppose to help us, not a small group of self appointed people, We have a new chapter...lets see if it works. Shingle Springs--you have started to inspire many up here--thank you!!!!!

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  • Fran DuchampSeptember 27, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    Right now...sept.27...2013 At this moment the new investor that bought the old market (chips old ceramic) factory has just treated the upstairs family like they are not even human. They called--said they were going to up the rent by Oct....tenants would have to pay utilities...there has been no formal papers. the tenants didnt even know the building had been for sale...CEDAPP this is how you and your group are preserving our history. The investor informed the young mom--that he was not her friend and did not care how she felt.... And so it begins...shame on all of you. That family has not lived there long at all--the bottom part where the investor said he wanted a store--was just vacated after 14 years. I told the young family to hire a lawyer. Anyone in Pollock Pines--do not ever let any one bully you. Investors and developers have arrived--thank Harper...CEDAPP..CEDAC.. El Dorado Chambers. Many know the tenants from this building--they are very respected...many are already talking about boycotted anything that tries to go in. What is Pollock Pines? well Tom it is a community that doesnt throw a family out of its home--because of illegally raising a rent without paperwork...or treating them like they didnt matter. Or fighting over who is going to give them their deposit back. People from Pollock Pines dont manipulate each others lives.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 02, 2013 - 7:56 am

    Waking up to email... Fran, It may not be news to you, but unpleasant disputes between landlords and tenants occur everywhere all the time. Pollock Pines is no different than any other community. I truly don't understand what twisted thought process you use to justify this situation as the basis for another of your "rants" against CEDAC, CEDAPP, El Dorado Chambers and Jeannie Harper. You are labeling anyone and everyone involved in investing or developing in Pollock Pines as bullies because of the alleged actions of one landlord. Your propensity for such sweeping and nasty rhetoric is like blaming Native Americans for their massacre at Wounded Knee. These public and rude outbursts appear to be attempts in manipulating public opinion towards keeping key elements of our community divided and thus are far from being helpful to our community and to some of the worthwhile activities you support. We seem to be mostly working together on Town Hall Meetings so lets agree to do that. My response next.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 02, 2013 - 7:58 am

    My response: I live by these people Tom...I know what has happened. I know that building really well (my best friend lived there for 14 years--she just moved as well--she was treated with respect by the previous owner)--I know the previous owner. I know those young people. This next meeting will give both sides of the coin---I chose the opposite one from you. doesnt mean I dont like you as a person. I just talked to yet another person who is going through a similar thing. I have also said many times --it is not everyone in your group. However...when talking about Parks and trails...two people knew about the new master over a year before--yet only nine came to the workshop....they did not do a very good job of getting the information out did they ? Maybe you are the one that doesnt know everything going on? Again I want both sides out there...for people to chose. One of the names on the report--Harper. This is exactly what happens at time--I was a asst. Manager in LA for a 64 unit building...while going to school. However I worked for the state on that building...five owners--five slum owners--lost their was removed in hand cuffs for treating people the way these young ones are being treated. They have moved--want their deposit...and were correct...they could have dragged it on for 90 days. Once again this oct meeting the other side of the coin. I for one hate manipulation of facts. By the 1st amendment--I am allowed to write anything I chose. If you do not like what I write--dont read it. These young people are not rich--but they work--pay their bills...AND DID NOT DESERVE THIS. Fran No one knew it was on the market...these are peoples lives.

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