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Supes shouldn’t take donations from anyone going before board

By: Sandy Campbell
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Our local newspapers just reported the Placer County Board of Supervisors “approved a revised plan for the 1,890-unit Bickford Ranch residential development.”
Well, of course, the supervisors approved it because the board received a “donation” for $5,000 from Bickford Ranch for the supervisors’ campaign to increase their pay 139 percent plus benefits. You don’t “donate” $5,000 and expect nothing in return.
Imagine how that conversation must have started: “You want your project approved and we want a 139-percent pay increase; we can work together.”
Can you prove that? Yes, the mailers for the “Yes on Measure B” (the supervisors’ 139-percent pay increase) contained the disclosure of “Paid for by the Placer County Taxpayers for Common Sense.”
Go to the Placer County Elections website at placerelections.com, then to “Running for Office” and to “Campaign Finance Disclosure.” Click on “Public Access Portal” and in “Search By Name,” type in “Placer County Taxpayers for Common Sense.” Click the result of that search, “Placer County Taxpayers for Common Sense – Yes on B”, and you will find all their required filings. Go to the 10/6/2014 FPPC 460 and click “view filing”—you will find the two Bickford Ranch “donations” totaling $5,000.
A couple of the Measure B “donors” were privately asked why they “donated,” knowing full well they opposed the 139-percent supervisor’s pay increase. The response was, “You have to donate, it is part of doing business, things go smoother.”
It should also be noted in those filings that Placer Vineyards “donated” twice, once for $5,000 and another for $10,000.
In addition, if you plug the supervisor’s individual campaign into the Placer County Elections website “Search by Name,” you will find Supervisor Weygandt received $16,000, Supervisor Duran received $5,000, Supervisor Uhler received $21,000 and Supervisor Holmes received $2,500.
Bottom line, Placer Vineyards has “donated” $59,500 to the supervisors; what will Placer Vineyards get for that?
Common sense tells us the supervisors should not take “donations” from any person, business or entity that has or will have a project before the board. This practice of receiving “donations” and approving projects certainly is unethical and should be illegal.
Sandy Campbell, Lincoln