El Dorado County election Tuesday
El Dorado County’s 84,115 registered voters will have the opportunity Tuesday to elect two supervisors and decide on six ballot issues including the controversial Measure A, a retroactive rollback of General Plan development densities.
Measure A may have more influence over the future of the county than any of the local candidates. If adopted, it will roll back all developments approved since the 1996 adoption of the county general plan, and impose limits upon the density of all future projects.
Measure A has been hotly contested across the western slope, but has generated less concern in the Tahoe Basin where the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency plays a prominent role in curtailing new construction.
Tahoe will have a new supervisor-elect after Tuesday’s balloting. Voters will choose between Tahoe Police Chief Dave Solaro, Tahoe City Councilwoman Margo Osti, or bail bondsman Dan Browne.
Voters will have no choice when it comes to electing Assessor John A. Winner, Auditor-Controller Joe Harn, District Attorney Gary L. Lacy, Recorder-Clerk William E. Schultz, Sheriff Hal Barker, Surveyor Dan Russell or Treasurer-Tax Collector C. L. Raffety. No one filed against the county’s elected staff.
Five proposed amendments to the El Dorado County charter have generated little public comment so far.
Measure B brings the charter into conformity with the consolidation of the executive officer positions of the Superior and Municipal Courts. It also reaffirms the concept that appointed members of boards and commissions serve at the pleasure of the supervisors.
Measure C adopts state language in defining county government responses to the Grand Jury, an issue highlighted by the stonewalling of the 1994-95 Grand Jury effort to investigate alleged Brown Act public meeting requirements by a majority of the Board of supervisors.
Measure D simply directs the supervisors to adopt a method of Grand Jury report distribution that exceeds the current procedure.
Measure E also conforms the local county charter to state regulations on assessment district taxes. The county traditionally has required an election and majority approval by property owners was required before a benefit assessment district is created and taxes levied.
In the 1996 elections, California voters created a different process. Under provisions of the “Taxpayers Right to Vote Act” the election, approval of determined by a majority of those voting, not a majority of property owners involved, and the votes are weighted according to the amount of the proposed tax.
If left unchanged, benefit assessment districts in El Dorado County would be put to both the state and charter tests.
Measure F focuses on the special circumstances under which the county has the authority to contract work to private firms rather than have the task performed by staff. The specific circumstances include emergencies, situations that might present a conflict of interest, work done by other governmental agencies on behalf of El Dorado County, if the work to be done is not sufficient to justify hiring full-time county employees, or if the work demands skills not possessed by existing county staff.
In the case of Measures E and F, there were no ballot arguments made against either proposal.
Overall, there are 824 precincts to accommodate voters Tuesday, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
While county races are non-partisan, El Dorado County remains in the Republican column with 39,775 registered GOP voters compared to 30,538 Democrats. Another 9,557 voters fall into the non-partisan column, followed by 1,903 members of the American Independent Party, 592 Green Party members, 564 Libertarians, and 303 Peace and Freedom devotees.
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