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El Dorado County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

Economic Development

By Al Vargas

Candidate for County Supervisor; County of El Dorado; Supervisorial District 4

This information is provided by the candidate
Economic Development is necessary to supplement revenues to fix the infrastructure and provide for services e.g. police protection, emergency services, etc). With a rapidly growing senior population, residential development placing stress on local roadways, and a looming financial crisis of unfunded retired county health benefits, additional revenues will be necessary. But there are major obstacles to attracting business to El Dorado Co.
A regional plan is being developed to bring "technologies of the future" to the region. We need to get our fair share of those businesses to provide tax revenues. But the cost of doing business in El Dorado Co is a major obstacle to attracting new businesses. We simply cannot compete with our neighbors who have much lower water, sewer, and electricity rates.

SMUD generates 20% of its electric power (1.86 billion kilowatt-hours) from El Dorado Co. Nearly a $200 M value and not one kilowatt stays in El Dorado Co. Now through the Iowa Hill project, SMUD wants to scar up one of the most scenic parts of our county, which we depend on for tourism. Our political leaders lacked vision during the SMUD re-licensing. My vision is to be on an even footing with our neighbors by annexing El Dorado County into the SMUD service area. SMUD rates are on average 20% lower than PG&E's.

Here is how we should do it:

  • EID, SMUD and El Dorado County to form a Joint Powers Authority.
  • EID to market its power through SMUD and for the benefit of El Dorado County residents.
  • EID to wheel its own power through SMUD transmission to meet its own high-energy needs in the western part of the county (e.g. Folsom pumping). Tremendous cost savings.
  • EID and SMUD to share operations of power houses, which will provide additional cost savings.

The rural economy also needs to be strengthened. This economy is based on tourism, natural resources (logging), and agriculture. The county can improve the road infrastructure, such as Highway 50 improvements to remove bottle-necks through Placerville. This traffic congestion discourages tourist from coming to El Dorado Co. The county also has a role in promoting the county for its tourism value and for its agricultural products, primarily, wines.

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ca/ed Created from information supplied by the candidate: June 4, 2006 08:22
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