Shiva Frentzen ousted as county chamber president

Shiva Frentzen, president of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, was ousted at a special board meeting on July 9, officials citing a conflict over her membership on different elected groups.

Frentzen, who currently serves on the Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Directors, LAFCO and other boards, said the action followed her signing a letter, along with former El Dorado County supervisors Sam Bradley and Bill Center, opposing the Marble Valley-Lime Rock development. The letter hit Cameron Park and Shingle Springs mailboxes in May.

The letter states that Parker Development proposes to build 4,035 homes on 3,100 acres, which would increase the Cameron Park area population by 60 percent. The letter expressed concern over the amount of traffic the development would generate and how it would change the existing land zoning, which is currently 5-to 20-acre parcels.

“The county needs more jobs — not rooftops,” reads the letter. “The county should be planning to use our remaining Highway 50 road capacity for new job projects — not large housing projects with even more commuters.”

The letter urged residents to lobby the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to schedule an advisory vote on the project as soon as possible to give Cameron Park residents “a voice in the plan.”

Frentzen said she thinks her opposition to the development was the basis for the chamber vote to remove her. “I believe my duty as an official is to protect the community. I’m in favor of bringing more jobs to the county, but not more rooftops,” she said, adding that she was surprised by the chamber’s action.

She claimed that since the county chamber board had not taken a position on the development, she didn’t feel constrained in voicing her opposition to it.

“I stand for what’s right in the community and if that’s the outcome, I’m at peace with it,” Frentzen added. “The community comes first and I stand up for what’s right.”

Chamber officials say Frentzen placed herself in conflict of interest position by not checking with the board before signing the letter, since as president she is the face of the chamber. El Dorado County Chamber CEO Laurel Brent-Bumb said there was an incompatibility of offices with Frentzen trying to represent both the chamber and the Cameron Park CSD.

When Frentzen was offered the opportunity to resign rather than be removed, Frentzen remained adamant in her position, according to Brent-Bumb. She was subsequently removed in a unanimous vote.

Brent-Bumb said the chamber is now in the process of changing its bylaws so people aren’t allowed to serve as an elected member of two boards at the same time to avoid conflicts in the future.

“It was a difficult decision because she’s a very committed community member,” said Brent-Bumb. “She will continue as a valued and respected member of the board, just no longer as an officer.”

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Posted by on Aug 1 2013.
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