Let’s fix what is broken - Political Opinion

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 23, 2018 / comments

[By NICK MILLER]

The hottest buttons in our county and country is growth and outside influence on our election process.

As an El Dorado County small developer for 30 years I follow the rules and ensure that our county’s resources are protected while I build single-family homes on appropriately-sized lots.  But when I look to the western edge of the county I see dirt being moved in preparation for apparently massive development projects.  These projects create jobs and profits for out of the area developers, leaving our county with more congestion and traffic.

To understand what is afoot I reviewed the donations to our current slate of political candidates using the 460 forms at county elections department. Anybody can review them.

The District 4 Supervisor’s race has the two candidates receiving equal percentages of current funds from outside influences – about 10 percent of funds raised as of Dec. 31, 2017.  The recorder-clerk race has the two candidates who have raised funds both at around the 60 percent range of contributions from within our County.

Then, an enormous disparity shows up in the auditor-controller race.  Joe Harn, received an astonishing 95 percent of his funds for this election period from Out of the Area Developers.  His opponent obtained 99 percent of his contributions locally.  Going back to the 2014 race, Harn has received a stunning amount from developers in the last four years.

It is important to note that Joe Harn is on the County’s Development Agreement Negotiation Committee.  That appears to be an odd role for a county auditor, who should maintain an independent viewpoint to do the job.

So that means:

- Out of control growth at the western edge of our county;
- $100,000 in campaign contributions to a public official who negotiates developer agreements;
- Outside influence on our election process;
- A glaring example of pay to play – right in our back yard.
- This is a classic case of follow the money.  Do we want to continue this unethical and cozy situation?

My vote is for Mike Owen for auditor-controller.  Let’s fix what is broken.

NICK MILLER, Diamond Springs.