It’s a new Day at EID!
And the winner of last week’s El Dorado Irrigation District election for Division 5 is … Alan Day?
Many people across the county seemed surprised hearing the news Alan Day beat incumbent board president Harry Norris. Not this casual observer.
With residents of El Dorado Hills experiencing water and sewer rate hikes in the midst of three years of an economic recovery dripping like a leaky faucet the sentiment for change was in the air. The district’s rationale for boosting rates and continued spending in a down economy didn’t sit well with folks struggling just to stay in their homes. Coasting to victory with a 60 percent margin is proof of that.
Two-term Harry Norris may have misread the mood of his district by relying too heavily on name recognition. His tactical plan of plastering 3-foot by 6-foot billboards around the district wasn’t successful. And erecting two identical signs at the intersection of Bass Lake Road and Serrano Parkway wasn’t very good strategy either. It simply begged the question why anyone would spend so much money on signs to retain his seat on the board when spending was heavily on the minds of most residents.
Perhaps a better re-election strategy would have been investing some of that sign money in Village Life to explain why people in Division 5 should elect him again. Even here the majority of the letters to the editor favored Alan Day. Only one letter supporting Norris was received and published in the newspaper.
Alan Day simply tapped into the district’s pipeline of discontent. His message targeted excessive spending and higher water and sewer rates. Contrary to Harry Norris defending why both increased.
As for the debates, Harry Norris attended every one in an earnest effort to get his position out. Alan Day, on the other hand, gave the appearance he was avoiding the incumbent. His reasons for skipping all but one debate left people wondering if he really had what it takes to get the job done. He couldn’t break away from his business he claimed. In the end, the debates really didn’t matter because attendance was minimal at best.
That’s water under the bridge now. Mr. Day will now be expected to attend EID board meetings and represent his constituents properly.
Residents of El Dorado Hills and Division 5 now have a new representative on the EID Board of Directors. His effectiveness will be scrutinized. And let’s not forget, he’s only one vote of five. It could be rather difficult to ebb the flow of higher rates for consumers in his district.
EID has taken some very positive steps in the right direction under General Manager Jim Abercrombie. The district is cutting expenses while keeping an eye on maintaining a water delivery system vital to the economy of our county. Alan Day will add a new voice and perspective to the district and this will be good.
If he’s unsuccessful in accomplishing what El Dorado Hills residents expect then perhaps they’ll explore more radical change by accepting and voting for a city charter. This may give them greater leverage in controlling their water and sewer rates.
It could be a watershed moment someday for the most populated area on the western slope. But for now the community must rely on Alan Day.
And come December everyone in El Dorado County will be declaring – It’s a new Day at EID!