Think before you vote for the Petersens


Sherry and Craig Petersen are running for the El Dorado Hills County Water District Board (El Dorado Hills Fire Department).

Two people living in the same home and serving as elected officials on the same board are one step away from violating California’s open meeting law, otherwise known as the Brown Act. The Brown Act attempts to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in open session, and not behind closed doors. It would be fallacy to think that they would not discuss the public’s business privately. While it may be technically legal for them to run, it is ethically bankrupt.

The Petersens advocate that the department staff “ambulance-like vehicles” with fewer people to respond to medical aids. The El Dorado Hills Fire Department cannot unilaterally provide additional ambulances without violating a complex state law. Sending fire apparatus to medical incidents has always been controversial. It is done nationwide so the fire department can fulfill its primary mission should another incident occur.

The Petersens have issues with buying fire apparatus. El Dorado Hills has a healthy reserve to replace apparatus and meet most other contingencies. Fire apparatus are expensive everywhere, not just in EDH. If I experience a fire, I want the fire department on scene as quickly as possible with the tools necessary to protect me. A replacement ladder truck is a good example. The longest hand carried ladder generally being used in the fire service today is 35 feet long. Many residential and commercial buildings in EDH are too tall to get firefighters to the roof with a 35 foot ladder. A new truck will have a service life of 15 to 20 years and be able to deploy a 100-foot turntable-mounted ladder.

The El Dorado Hills Fire Department is the only adequately staffed fire agency on the west slope of El Dorado County. Staffing is based on available funding and potential, not on call volume. The fire potential in EDH is huge.

Do you really want to give two-fifths of the voting power for running your fire department to one couple with a clear agenda to reduce fire and life safety?

James Christian
El Dorado Hills

This story falls on page "5"
Posted by on Oct 9 2012.
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