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Letter: El Dorado Hills Fire Board candidate makes case

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I am disappointed I missed the opportunity to be interviewed by for the article on the candidates for El Dorado Hills Fire Board of Directors. I was out of the country when the Telegraph attempted to contact me.

I encourage the residents of El Dorado Hills to visit the website. The site contains the Grand Jury report, EDHFD budgets, comparison fire dept. budgets, and the State Controller’s information on EDHFD employee compensation.

The website contains objective information from independent sources. I believe strongly in conservative fiscal management and have limited my campaign costs (<$1,000) to reflect this philosophy. In contrast, the EDH firefighters union has spent approximately $100,000 on mailers, signs, and flyers to re-elect the incumbents.

The Grand Jury pointed out that the current EDHFD Board of Directors elections were primarily financed by the firefighters union. I believe it is unethical to accept support and funds from the individuals with whom you will be directly negotiating salaries and benefits.

The website addresses much of the misinformation in the firefighters union flyers. Below, is an abbreviated response:

Maintained Balanced Budget: FALSE – A balanced budget (particularly that of a government) is a budget with revenues equal to expenditures. The Board of Directors has used reserve funds for the last four years to “Balance” the budget.

Worked with firefighters: TRUE – The employees at the EDHFD have the highest pay, free health care for all, and the lowest pension cost share.

Keep in mind, California state employee’s new pension reform requires 50 percent-50 percent pension cost share. We have 10-90 percent. Yes, the taxpayers are the 90 percent.

Used tight-fisted fiscal management: FALSE – The EDHFD budget is 50 percent greater than comparative communities, we annually spend $1.5 million on overtime and we have $13+ million in unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities.

I am asking you to vote for me so El Dorado Hills has a new voice on the EDH Fire Board — someone who represents taxpayers.

Sherry Petersen, El Dorado Hills