Candidate Tobin talks goals, challenges facing El Dorado Hills CSD boardBy: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
EL DORADO HILLS CA - As the past president of the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills , organizer of the Blues and Brews Festival and an ambassador for ShelterBox USA, most might think Bill Tobin has his hands full, but he welcomes the challenge if elected to the El Dorado Hills Community Services District Board.
His first foray into politics, Tobin said it's a natural progression for his time in volunteerism.
Why are you running?
"I'm running because I feel this is a natural extension for me from the large amount of volunteer work I've done. I've reached out to all different people in the community, including at-risk youth groups, veterans and seniors and I have a lot to bring to the plate."
Why should people vote for you?
"I think I have a track record of community service. My vocational background is very policy and procedure oriented. It reflects back to that first question. I've always proven myself in the community through volunteerism which results in (projects and enhancements) like the Jeff Mitchell Memorial Field, the Teen Center and the planned Veterans Memorial Park. The incumbents like to say they are running on their record, but I'm running on my record, too. ... The CSD mission is to make a better El Dorado Hills through leadership, parks and programs. It's the next step for someone who makes a difference in the community."
What is the biggest challenge facing the CSD?
"I think there is a misconception that fiscal responsibility means simply involves balancing the budget, but if you look (closely) at the budget The board approved $225,000 for a foot bridge and a four-stall bathroom. That's $50,000 toilet. That's ridiculous. That is just one example of spending that isn't done very wisely. I'm adamantly opposed to raising taxes and fees. What I saw was the programming was so dismal regarding programming, and I'm a good listener to what people want. Another revenue resource is what's been overlooked is partnering with a solar company for covered parking with solar panels that generates revenue. We need to look at revenue generation, thinking outside the box and fiscal responsibility. All the surveys they've done point to poor communication. ... There have been a lot of walls put up and it's time to take them down. I encourage a philosophy of teamwork and togetherness. It starts with the board."
What are three goals you hope to accomplish?
"One goal would be improved use of the money we have, when it drops such as when property assessments have dropped. Another is increasing our revenues through programming, not through fees and taxes. To lower our water rate through the district. We'll dealing with less money coming in and increased cost for that water. Taking some of the turf area in some of our parks could be converted to pathways and walkways for our residents to use that could reduce our water usage."
Tell us a little about yourself.
"Being co-chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park takes a lot of time. We're ready to go. I've been married for 29 years to Sherie, my high school sweetheart. We have two boys. Our oldest is married and serves in the Air Force. He's getting ready to deploy in January to the Middle East. Our youngest graduated Oak Ridge and now attends college. I love attending live music, especially the blues. I'm a big fan of the blues. I've even been known to go to blues jam and belt out a tune or two. It's fun."