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Knight and Mikulaco go another round

By From page A1 | May 23, 2012

A handful of people watched incumbent District 1 Supervisor John Knight and challenger Ron Mikulaco make their sales pitches to voters last Thursday at the League of Women Voters forum.

In this last stretch before the June 5 election Mikulaco has made himself omnipresent in recent weeks, attending public meetings nightly, knocking on doors and often standing at the side of road during commute hours.

Leaflets disparaging Mikulaco recently appeared around El Dorado Hills. Before the forum at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pavilion, Knight shook his head and said he and his campaign didn’t approve the message, and doesn’t condone it. “That kind of stuff makes us all look bad,” he said.

Betsy Kerr moderated the forum that approximately 15 people attended.

The issues
Knight emphasized his experience in government, his history of involvement in the community and the difficult budgets his board has balanced.

He committed to policies that address “sales tax leakage,” the flow of sales tax dollars into Folsom. “We need to ensure that growth is restrained and managed in an environmentally responsible way,” he said.

Mikulaco came out firing, repeatedly proclaiming that he was a “man of the people,” a third-generation plumber and “hard worker,” while portraying Knight as a career politician “beholden to the building industry.”

“Why wait until the election to address sales tax leakage,” Mikulaco asked. “Property tax revenues are down. Until home values come back or get reassessed, we’re faced with a real burden.”

Knight briefly explained the targeted General Plan amendment that recently began the approval process. “We’ve been living with this General Plan for six or seven years now and we know where it needs fine tuning,” he said. “The zoning code is woefully out of date and we need fix it.”

Most of El Dorado Hills will be unaffected, Knight said. The numerous specific plans, such as Serrano and Blackstone, have development agreements locked in. The original villages are largely built out, which leaves a finite amount of vacant land that will be affected by the update.

“The people who own some of that land can come to the table and have input into this,” Knight said.

Mikulaco replied, “Clearly John is the builder’s choice.”

He said he’d checked Knight’s campaign contributions over the last several years and found “a who’s who of builders and developers.”

Mikulaco committed to preserving the way of life in El Dorado Hills, and said any high-density projects would require “carefully consideration.”

Both candidates said that when the residents of El Dorado Hills were ready for cityhood they’d support it.

Knight said he voted for cityhood and ran for the city council last time. He warned that “money and intestinal fortitude” will be required next time. “That first city council will have a huge task in front of it, putting together a general plan and a budget.”

The candidates also agreed on the question “Does the El Dorado Hills Fire District receive a disproportionally high portion of property tax?”

“Clearly they do,” said Mikulaco. “El Dorado Hills gets 17 percent but places like Latrobe only get 6 percent.”

“The communities are different,” he continued. “We have a lot of retirees that rely on the district to take care of them.”

Knight, a former volunteer firefighter who later served on the El Dorado Hills Fire Board, said, “This will get me in trouble, but yes.”

He explained that the district was also responsible for water and sewer services when it was formed, which accounts for the inflated tax increment. “They do a wonderful job, but yes they are well funded.”

The candidates were asked for their position on immanent domain. Knight didn’t hesitate. “I took an oath of office to defend the constitution of the U.S. and the state of California,” he said. “Part of that is the right of the government to take property under just compensation. That right should be used with discretion.”

Mikulaco opposed the idea without addressing the legal implications. “I believe your home is your home,” he said. “If you work hard, buy property and support the American dream I don’t think it would be taken away by someone with political connections.”

In 2006 the county purchased a parcel in Diamond Springs for an animal shelter, the cost and complications of which have steadily increased. The purchase agreement required the county to improve an access road dubbed “the road to nowhere” by critics, apparently regardless of whether the shelter is ever built.

Mikulaco accused the current board of a “reprehensible decision” on a $2 million road.

Knight explained that the purchase was before he was on the board, adding, “I don’t believe we will go forward with the project.”

The candidates disagreed on whether Knight had voted for the road improvement.

Asked if some aspects of county government, such as the library, should be outsourced, Mikulaco asked, “Why push to privatize things? The library is not for profit; it’s for the community.”

Knight said he would always consider alternate ways to deliver a service at a lower cost. “Of course we have to look at how it would work, and what the impact is,” he said.

Asked if the county should disengage with SACOG, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Knight explained that SACOG is a metropolitan planning organization, and that every jurisdiction is legally mandated to participate in a regional “COG.”

If El Dorado Hills becomes a city it will receive an affordable housing allocation and would have to demonstrate suitable vacant land, he added.

“That doesn’t mean we’d have to build it, but it would probably be difficult for the new city to meet our allocation,” he said.

Mikulaco criticized SACOG. “We are not metropolitan. We are not Sacramento. We are El Dorado Hills,” he said.

“I don’t think SACOG should be allowed to dictate how we live, under what circumstances we live, in what neighborhood we live in,” he continued. “The citizens who live here should make those decisions.”

In closing, Mikulaco lamented the poor turnout and said he hoped his children can “inherit a community that’s similar to what we have now,” he asked “Help me help you preserve our community.”

“This is a big election. It will determine the direction this community goes in five years, 10 years and 15 years.”

Knight recapped his resume of community service and encouraged support of Measure C, which would let the county procure services less than $10,000 without a written contract.

Mike Roberts

Discussion | 21 comments

  • Rob VomundMay 21, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    Mr. Mikulaco came to my door, which I admire. He has spunk and effort. However he launched into his pitch with all the non-specific "sound bites" like, I'm a man of the people, it's time for change, and I'm not bought and paid for. I asked for his top three priorities. He said his top priority is water rates. He said he feels we pay too much and rates should not be going up. He lost me right there, and I asked if he was running for EID or the county? He had listed his number one priority as something that would not be managed by him as a county supervisor. His number two priority was to "bring the power back to the people," or something along that line. Very vague. Number three on his list of top priorities was to bring more of the road improvement money back to EDH. Finally and real issue! All the sound bites seem good, but I didn't sense he could back them up with knowledgeable debate about actual county business. It reminds me of when candidates for the CSD say that reducing traffic will be one of their priorities. People like to hear that, except the CSD does not manage traffic, thus that kind of answer shows the person's lack of knowledge or preparation for the job they are asking for.

  • M. DixonMay 21, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    This is the election of the candidate, Mr. Knight who was found to be the SACOG rep. which is an agenda-21 Govt. planning agency ready to force the county to comply with the U.N. mandates, once this was pointed out it was run and hide time for Knight and Nutting, same with their stance last year to tear out the historic railroad tracks until stopped by the Joint Powers Authority that owns the tracks, again run and hide and say they support them now as the voters found out their true intent. Mr. Knight is the developer's candidate which is opposed by voting residents but favored by all of the out of town developers. Mr. Knight has voted to dump 500-700 cars a day on rural two lane roads against an entire neighborhood organized to oppose it, the lsit goes on and on. "Mik" might be unknown and not politically experienced but he has worked hard to get votes and Knight hasn't. Time for change, no more ignoring the residents as Mr. Knight does.

  • Carol LouisMay 22, 2012 - 6:19 am

    Mr. Vormund hasn't connected the dots. No water no subdivisions. E.I.D. over extended its self on infrastructure improvements to accomodate new growth and subdivisions that did not happen. You and I are paying what developers have not paid. The board of supervisors cannot proceed to urbanize El Dorado County without the consent of EID with their services. I'm tire of paying for the developers profit - how about you? Each new house must pay for itself in infrastructure. I'm tired of subsidizing, as in welfare, to the rich and powerful. If you sit in the BOS hearing room all you hear is the "whine" of "It won't pencil for me". No one has ever subsidized any business I owned. If it didn't pencil I didn't do it.

  • James FlemingMay 23, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    In reply to Dixon, Knight doesn't have to work for votes? That's a bunch of BS! Mr. Knight has been serving this commuintiy for almost 2 decades, whether it's Rotary or Marshall Medical Foundation or what about volunteering as a fire fighter and putting HIS life on the line. What has "Mik" done? He has NO interest in this County and is so off base,arrogant and completley self serving. What has "Mik" done...absolutley nothing! Mik should start doing his own homework and thinking for himself. He does not represent District 1 in any shape or form. The voters are smart, it's obvious Knight is the one.

  • J MillerMay 23, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    When asked the hard question: Whether too much of our property tax revenue goes to the EDH Fire Dist. They both said yes!!!!!! Either way we will have someone representing our interests. Our fire district is way over funded and both our canidates acknowledge it!

  • M. DixonMay 23, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    A well connected politician always fishes service clubs for votes and plays the game of joining every service club around, this old ruse is really tiring, yes Knight also uses countless phtos of himself wearing a firefighter's hard hat, these pictures looked staged and who knows when they were taken they don't impress anyone. I have seen "Mik" all over town talking to people and walking neighborhoods, actually talking to voters, that's refreshing, never have I seen Mr. Knight do it. Knight not only ignores voters for his developer friends, he caused an entire neighborhood of around a hundred people to try to save their area from Knight and his cronies who want to destroy our rural areas. We are done with Knight around here.

  • Don CarltonMay 23, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    I've had the privledge of working with John Knight while he was on the board for Habitat for Humanity and is one of the most giving individuals I've ever known. He takes little time for himself, always involved whether it's his church or community he is a truly present Supervisor. To say he ignores the people is a flat out lie, Knight is everywhere he can possibly be to help others and has been for the past 20 years that I've known him. If Dixon (from previous comments) sees otherwise than maybe it's you Dixon that is doing the ignoring, wake up Dixon, you are very wrong.

  • M. DixonMay 23, 2012 - 1:57 pm

    You can ask anyone in the entire area North of Green Valley Road and Salmon Falls that fought Mr. Knight and his developer cronies over the dangerous subdivision after subdivision he voted for the last few years that will add 500-700 cars a day on a road that has a hundred a day now, one neighbor even had to hire his own attorney, Knight ignored all concerns . I am glad he works for habitat and all the service clubs as he can stay busy and have a good retirement, but his voting record, his campaign contributions are alomost all developers, he and his partner on the BOS Nutting both need new lines of work.

  • Sturart and Linda JohnsonMay 23, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    Knights experience is key. My wife and I have been to 3 forums and Knight has walked our neighborhood twice this year and 3 times when he ran in 2008. "Mik" has no depth on knowledge reguarding any of the county issues. He has no experiece in million plus budgets, lacks knowledge in zoning and planning and is oblivious to enviormental issues. I've watched Mik dance around questions, criticizing Knight on issues he himself knows absolutley nothing about. Although I don't agree with Knight 100%, he is well-rounded and has knowledge beyond anything Mik could even comprehend. Knight comes from decades of experience and that is the man I want in charge. I'm asking all voters in District 1 to join my wife and I in re-electing Knight for Supervisor. To vote otherwise show's lack of knowledge and common sense. Experience outweighs everything!

  • J MillerMay 23, 2012 - 2:18 pm

    Sturart and Linda, I hope you are just putting on some spin for "your" canidate and don't truly believe what you just said. What M Dixon says is spot on. Maybe Mik doesn't have the experience, nether did G. W. Bush. Don't know if that was a good example but since he carried this district 3/1 might be appropriate.

  • Perry ClarkMay 23, 2012 - 2:21 pm

    This is for you "Dixon", you're just as ignorant as "Mik". Although I suspect you are one and the same person. Here's some advice, stop commenting now, you don't have a case, no leg to stand on, get it? The more you talk the more obvious it becomes. If "Mik" wants to save the community Sacramento County has his name written all over, and I hope he takes you with him. Fake oblivious people like you make me sick!!!

  • Perry ClarkMay 23, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Mik DOESN'T have the experience, what does he have? A permanant restraining order against him from his former neighbor! That doesn't bother you Dixon? It bothers me!

  • M. DixonMay 23, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    Of course actual voting residents who have been up in P-ville at the BOS meetings know Mr. Knight and how he has voted for the developer every time and the citizen none of the time, that is his record. I don't know the other candidate very well, but he doesn't support high-density rezeone as Mr. Knight does, so he has my vote, I don't know anyone else that does want it. Also again an entire area had to organizre to oppose Mr. Knight and his developer cronies all will join me and vote out Knight, who is supported by mostly out of area developers. This restraining order I heard was filed by a marijuana grower after he was reported for it.

  • M. DixonMay 23, 2012 - 4:32 pm

    A couple of other points, isn't it concerning that Knight's answer about Eminent Domain shows a strange idea, he took an oath he says to support the state it sounds like, the concept is frightening. Who would order him to take land away from a citizen? A Govt. redevelopment agency? This is ridiculous and dangerous as is his suggestion that EDH has to adapt to SACOG orders to build low-income housing if ordered if it became a city. The people here oppose this thought process and oppose Knight for it.

  • Carol LouisMay 23, 2012 - 6:58 pm

    I attended the League of Women Voters debate. During the debate Mr. Knight was asked if he voted for the 2 million dollar road to nowhere. He said that was before he took office. Minutes from the Board of Supervisors Nov, 15 ,2011 shows Knight approving the go ahead for the road to the site of the new EDC Animal Control building. Also the purchase of the right-of-way to the site. What started as a guarantee for One million dollars for road improvements to Thomas Edson Shinn, Scott Lawrence Shinn and Linda Lou Fine soon became two million by a requested realignment by the seller. The county has abandoned the site but the three sellers were guaranteed a road by the BOS even if the facility was not built. The road will be to a future development by Shinns at taxpayer expense. Mr. Knight did not tell the truth. He also was on the planning commission before this and everything is voted on there as well. If anyone wants to check minutes, November 15, 2011 item 34-10-1235 Board of Supervisors. This was investigated by the Grand Jury, when brought to the board they were too busy to respond.

  • Carol LouisMay 23, 2012 - 10:25 pm

    According to John Knight the Constitution of the United States says that the government can take your property if the government feels it is in the best interests of the public with just compensation, his sworn duty. That's not what happened. A Diamond Springs rezone from ag to industrial was in the works. Along the way the project engineer convinced the planning department he had all the west end property owners on line to sell an easement to the developer/spectulator. But he didn't, and the project went forward. I thinks this falls in line with the phrase "Good Ole Boy Network". Fast forward to 2011 this project came before the board to be passed, ag to industrial. The engineer had no contract or transfer of money for the easements. One adjacent property owner , who just pruchased her home, was never notified by the county her property was to be taken by eminent domain. A community activist called her to tell her to be at the board meeting and she appeared. She testified , crying at the podium, that this was her first home for her young children. The only concerned supervisor was Ray Knutting. John Knight said very little he appeared to not care, he like Sweeney just wanted to get on with it. This seizure of land was from a private person to be given to a land speculator with partners in Helena Montana. When asked if he could purchase the easement he said he didn't have the money. The supervisors voted to take this young womens backyard so the developer would not have to go back to the engineer to rework the road alignment. What is constitutional about that? When Ray Knutting was telling Knight he did not believe in eminent domain, Knight was heard telling Knutting what do think we have been doing when we approve these projects. Where's your "Great Guy" that was my first introduction to John Knight. You be the judge of what kind of a person you want representing you- he wouldn't be my choice.

  • M. DixonMay 24, 2012 - 8:31 am

    Now we know why Knight answered a simple question the way he did. He never said he works for the people and that eminent domain shouldn't be used by Govt. unless it is an emergency, in fact he stated he took an oath to "defend the constitution" to use eminent domain if just compensation is given. This is the most concerning statement made by a candidate locally this year. This EM process apparently has been being used by the BOS and Knight voted for it to take private property for a developer. If you combine this with Knight ignoring concerns of people here in his district who had to band together, hire attornies, go to BOS meetings and fight Mr. Knight for their neighborhoods and the zoning in place as Knight ignored them and kept voting yes for the dangerous developments and developers who likely are his campaign contributors, see the dangerous conflict of interest pattern. Then there is the county railroad Knight wanted to destroy against the will of the people and history of the county. Knight needs to go, sooner the better.

  • Betty JanuaryMay 24, 2012 - 8:52 am

    Here we go again using that dirty word "developer". Lindsey was the first "developer' transforming the dying town of Clarksville into his dream of a "village concept" and named it El Dorado Hills. At that time we had a Folsom address and zip code and the real place to live was Cameron Park. So "El Dorado Hills drifted along...until..omg, more developers arrived! The Promontory and Serrano were started and you all flocked here. From just 3,000 population it has soared to 44,000. None of you would have come if it was not a desirable place to live and heaven forbid it was built by developers. The key to developers is smart building and growth. I hear all the time that those that have come here want to stop growth since they arrived. We have a beautiful community. We owe a great deal to the foresight of smart developers. We are at the county line, growth was bound to happen just because of where we are and the beauty of living in the foothills. We have been lucky that the "developers" had a grand design for El Dorado Hills. When "developers" started to come in I dreaded the intrusion but knew it would happen when I moved here in 1973..but as I saw what they did for our community I wholeheartedly approved. If growth was coming and it most certainly was, I can see no better "developers than Parker, McDougal and Mansour. Mik, instead of demonizing developers watch for smart and productive growth. The developers put El Dorado Hills "on the map" and made it a desirable place to live..isn't that why you are here?

  • M. DixonMay 24, 2012 - 10:52 am

    Ms. January, I am not speaking for "Mik" as he can speak for himself. You and I agree on a lot of things I am sure, good books, local history, Friends of the Library, the Library, good schools and a good community. But when I talk about what people have had to go through to preserve the zoning in place North of Green Valley road, this is as real as it gets. We have had to organize and fight terrible unsound dangerous developments supported by Mr. Knight, this is public safety, not "Smart Growth" but favors to developers assisted by the county planning dept. and their quid-pro-quos to unleash hundreds of cars a day, perhaps thousands a day onto Green Valley Road and Salmon Falls is very unsafe and unwarranted when all the residents asked to do was to keep the existing zoning in place and not grant the continual small-parcel rezones and bonus density to increase the profit to the developer. Knight ignored us the voting people who live there, and we will vote him out for it, it is that simple. His statement about eminent domain alone proves all we need to know as to who he works for and who he doesn't, the people.

  • Betty JanuaryMay 24, 2012 - 12:36 pm

    M. Dixon, Are you a relation to Lillian Dixon? I am assuming that you will go to the June 7th zoning meeting..

  • Betty JanuaryMay 25, 2012 - 7:14 am

    Let's see...Mik claims he is an ordinary person, a man of the people, unlike John who is a career politician. John's "political career is the last 3 and a half years. Is he younger than I thought? Prior to his "career" he received his degree in finance and economics and went into banking and real estate. Which might account for his "fiscal responsibility" approach to this county. It may be a surprise to many but EDC is within it's budget unlike our state and many other counties. County departments, BOS and employees "cut to the bone" to balance the budget including John who didn't accept many of the entitlements he could have received. John and his family have lived in EDH for over 30 years. He knows our area and has done and is doing much community work. He believes in the "process". I heard "Mik" say he was going to fight for lower water rates and better schools. Clearly, Mik doesn't know or thinks you may not know that these are separate areas not controlled by the BOS. And as a 'footnote' we have some of the best schools and it is why some families move here... What we need is not an ordinary man but an experienced, community savvy, family and extra ordinary man..John in my opinion is that man. Look up his service to the community [john4eldorado.com] and his qualifications..then look up Miks.... John is for cityhood, and WE would have control over our own issues. The vote failed when we tried years back..maybe we should try again!! John knows the law and what we can do unlike Mik who doesn't seem aware that we have to comply with the law.



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