Supervisor candidates to appear in Meyers |

Supervisor candidates to appear in Meyers

Lauren Theodore

District 2 candidates for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will discuss issues facing the district Wednesday at a Meyers Roundtable.

The primary election is March 7. District 2 includes Meyers and the southern section of the county.

To win the election, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the primary vote. Otherwise the top two finishers will advance to the November general election.

Here’s a look at the candidates.

Ken Bush

Bush would like to see taxpayers get a fair say in county government. He thinks their views have been neglected partly because of the county’s general plan.

Bush, of Somerset, agrees with the board’s recent decision to open the bidding process for South Shore ambulance service.

“I believe that a fire-based ambulance service is the best ambulance service you can get for your tax dollar,” said Bush, an elected board member of the Pioneer Fire District since 1992.

Bush doesn’t agree with the proposal for a toll road on U.S. Highway 50. He thinks it would create an unnecessary bureaucracy that the toll would ultimately end up paying for.

“My position is to look at alternatives (to pay for road maintenance),” he said.

About asbestos in the county, Bush said it’s a concern and he believes the board acted prudently when it decided to let the state establish asbestos testing sampling levels for the county.

He welcomes tourism especially for the wine industry which he sees as a viable agricultural commodity that contributes to the economy. “You bet, bring ’em on,” he said.

Bush thinks he has the leadership skills to get the job done. Bush, 56, moved to the county after retiring from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department. He is married with grown children and he has grandchildren.

“I am familiar with county government. I have managed a patrol division,” he said. “And I know how to work with other departments.”

Tom Mahach

As a county systems manager, Mahach wants to look at every aspect of the community and wants more formal community input about county issues. As a member of the Taxpayers Association, he thinks smaller government would have less of an impact on taxpayers.

Since 1993 Mahach has been an El Dorado County Planning Commissioner. He has seen too much debate sparked between the “pave-it-all or save-it-all” growth issue. He thinks that growth should be approached realistically.

“Any way you try and stop growth it doesn’t work,” Mahach said. “I would like to preserve the area for the young and fixed-income seniors.”

Mahach says he is “an old trail nut,” and one of his goals is to address the need for parks and recreation on South Shore, an area that has the resources to accommodate its residents. People in Meyers say that they moved to the mountains for the trails not for the ballfields, Mahach said.

Funding shouldn’t have to come from the passage of Proposition 12- Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond – another March 7 decision for voters.

Mahach said he will base his decision on who should provide ambulance care to South Shore depending on the quality of service, not the cost.

He is not in favor of a toll road. He said that the county must learn historically who has had the best vested interest in improving the county. He wants the community to decide, not state and federal parties.

Mahach, 61, is a retired Air Force colonel who in 1986 moved to Pollock Pines, where he worked as a county administrative analyst. He and his wife have six grown children.

Helen Baumann

Baumann is a neonatal nurse who has lived in the county for 20 years.

“I represent a broad spectrum of my community,” she said.

As the owner of a wine vineyard, Baumann, of Mount Aukum, said tourism and agriculture are the gems of the county. Therefore, she thinks the issue of growth must be addressed so that people are able to move into the county without decreasing the current quality of resident life.

“I think South Lake Tahoe has a definite housing need,” Baumann added about the lack of affordable housing in the area.

Baumann doesn’t think residents should have to pay for parks and recreation. She would like to see money from county salaries redirected into community services.

Although she would like to be more informed on the ambulance service provider issue in South Lake, she believes her experience in the medical field gives her valuable insight.

“I know it’s a huge issue in the Lake Tahoe area,” Baumann said. “First responders are hugely important. To give people the choice is key. You need to take a look at what best serves the community.”

Concerning the asbestos issue, “Anything that has to do with public safety is a huge concern of mine,” she said.

Baumann commended Supervisor J. Mark Nielsen on his efforts to find ways to pay for road improvements, but said, “I don’t think (a toll road) is the answer.”

She is serving her third term as board member for the Pioneer School District.

Baumann is married with two children in college.

Ellen Day

Day moved to El Dorado in 1979 from the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked at the county juvenile hall from 1980-86 and became active in the Taxpayers Association, in which she served as president.

Day said she has spoken with Suzanne Kingsbury, presiding judge of El Dorado County Superior Court, who believes there should be a facility at South Shore.

“I would like to see the courts come together with a plan that will serve both communities,” Day said. “It’s almost as if no one is responsible.”

Day is optimistic about South Shore’s acting as a village against the giant Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “I see a community up there that has really come together,” Day said.

She would like there to be more county money funneled back into parks and recreation, for which the money was originally designated.

Day protested the use of MTBE in 1996 and said that asbestos pales in comparison. She said that MTBE contaminants were found and proven to be harmful whereas asbestos still needs more state research because it is a state issue.

Day said that the ambulance issue is worrisome for situations like multi-car accidents which require patient extrication and stabilization. Day was involved in securing fire-based ambulance service on the West Slope where she said everyone was allowed to participate.

She also supports Proposition 13 which required a two-thirds vote to pass new levies and taxes.

“Proposition 13 is not a bad thing,” Day said. “It just took a long time to transfer power to the people.”

Day is a real estate business owner who has three children who are all college graduates.

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