Mountain Democrat Endorses Pat Dwyer 4 EID Division 2

Pat Dwyer is the best candidate for Division 2 director.

Although a newcomer to the EID board, Dwyer has a lot going for him. He’s well-educated, an Air Force veteran and has served as the civilian director in charge of 1,500 personnel with an annual budget of more than $100 million at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center on McClellan Air Force Base.

Mt. Democrat picks for EID board

Two seats on the El Dorado Irrigation District board are up for grabs this November. Of the four candidates running we believe Pat Dwyer and Dr. Dale Coco are the best suited for the job.

Pat Dwyer

Pat Dwyer is the best candidate for Division 2 director.

Although a newcomer to the EID board, Dwyer has a lot going for him. He’s well-educated, an Air Force veteran and has served as the civilian director in charge of 1,500 personnel with an annual budget of more than $100 million at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center on McClellan Air Force Base.

Dwyer understands the need to invest in EID’s infrastructure and with a master’s degree in accounting, he can be a good financial watchdog on the board. Dwyer also makes a good point when he stresses that EID is a consumer owned operation and when we invest in its infrastructure we are investing in our own future.

Supportive of the county pursuing additional water rights and of protecting the county’s agricultural heritage, he knows better than anyone that quality of life is a big reason people move to this county and love living here.

He would also be a more rational voice on the board with a clearer focus of advocating for residential users without jeopardizing the progress EID has achieved on infrastructure or alienating other non-residential ratepayers.

We believe Pat Dwyer is the right choice and has our endorsement.

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Pat Dwyer Endorsed by El Dorado Hills Chamber

Dear Mr. Dwyer:

I am pleased to inform you that the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce Business and Community (BACPAC) has voted unanimously to endorse your 2018 campaign for reelection to the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors.

As you are well aware, the El Dorado Hills Chamber BACPAC advocates and promotes an agenda favorable to El Dorado Hills’ businesses in an attempt to spur economic growth, increase employment opportunities and hopes to enhance the region’s business climate.

It is readily apparent that you have been building a record of successful business management and public service for more than 40 years and will use your skill, knowledge and background to protect this County’s ratepayers. We also agree and further endorse your statement that the retention of our region’s water rights is key to keeping rates affordable, protecting our health, safety, economy, agriculture and economic environment.

Of all the candidates for EID Division 2, we wholeheartedly agree with your goals of bringing civility back to the EID Board and believe these consensus building efforts will only serve to enhance our region’s business climate.

Thank you again for taking the time out of your schedule to meet with our Board of Directors. Please feel free to contact me with any questions whatsoever. We wish you the best of luck in your upcoming campaign.

Very Truly Yours,

Dave Williamson

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Another View: Will Apple Hill family farms survive?

By George Wheeldon

I’ve spent years studying and teaching geology and the history of the Mother Lode. Today, however, I’m switching to a different history, the history of agriculture in El Dorado County, and why our county agriculture may suffer a devastating setback, worse than the pear blight or prohibition.

In 1904 our county grew 2,100 acres of wine grapes. Prohibition, however, killed the wine industry. By 1966 only 11 acres of wine grapes were grown in our county. The early 1970s began a rebirth of county grape growing. Greg Boeger purchased Lombardo/Fossatti Winery in 1973. Our county has been adding grape acreage and wineries every year since, reaching nearly 100 wineries today.

County farmers began growing pears around 1900, with production growing to 52,000 tons in 1958. Then pear blight killed that industry, reducing county pear production to just 8,435 tons in 1965. The death of the pear industry started the next chapter in El Dorado County’s agricultural history, the birth of “Apple Hill.”

In 1964 Gene Bolster, Dick Bethell, Ed Delfino and Bob Tuck formed an apple growers association, naming it “Apple Hill” and marketed it aggressively. Today visitors come to Apple Hill from all over northern California to sample apples and all things made from apples and to have a fun family outing. Christmas trees and other farm operations add to the mix. Today Apple Hill farmers are a major economic force, generating $255 million in 2015 from all sources.

A new development now threatens to virtually wipe out Apple Hill farmers. This time, though, it’s not blight or prohibition. It’s a lawsuit. If successful the lawsuit will make irrigation water so expensive that only a very few well established farmers might survive. Local farmers will pay thousands more for their water, some paying more than $100,000 extra each year, while the average residential ratepayer will save only $36 annually. Over time that $36 savings will diminish as farmers go out of business and sell their land. Eventually developers will swoop in to buy the empty land for pennies on the dollar, replacing our beautiful vineyards, orchards and Christmas tree farms with housing developments. It’s hard to fathom why anyone would willingly destroy a profitable industry, a way of life and scenic open spaces which our farms and ranches provide — all to save residential ratepayers as little as $6 on their EID bill.

In a misguided effort Darwin Throne, of El Dorado Hills, is suing to force El Dorado Irrigation District to charge the same rates to all classes of water customer, residential, schools, parks, farmers and ranchers. EID Director, Greg Prada, has been arguing to increase farm water rates since before he joined the EID board. He even pestered Howard Jarvis Taxpayers to sue EID until they ordered him to stop asking.

On Aug. 28, 2017 Prada put on a presentation at an EID board meeting, which included some very doubtful legal reasoning, claiming that EID’s rates violate Prop. 218. A few weeks later Darwin Throne, a Prada supporter, filed a claim and then a lawsuit against EID for violating Prop. 218. Amazingly, the lawsuit used the very same legal arguments Greg Prada had just presented. Coincidence?

To date EID has spent 40,000 ratepayer dollars fighting the lawsuit and expects to spend another $200,000 to $300,000, with Prada refusing to vote to authorize even the $40,000. EID feels confident about its chances of winning in court, although it’s not guaranteed. Losing the lawsuit could cost EID ratepayers millions, paying EID’s legal costs as well as Throne’s. How ironic, that a board member who masquerades as a ratepayer’s advocate is costing EID’s ratepayers so much.

Throne’s lawsuit, supported by Director Prada, presents a clear and present danger to the county’s agricultural industry and way of life. Failure to fight the lawsuit would have the same effect as losing. EID directors hold the fate of Apple Hill in their hands, deciding whether or not to fight the lawsuit. It’s critical to elect EID board candidates who guarantee that they will fight the lawsuit to preserve local farms and ranches. Director Prada has made it clear that he will not fight the lawsuit and supports ruinous water rates for our local farmers.

If you live in EID Division 2, please vote for Pat Dwyer, Greg Prada’s opponent. Pat is extremely well qualified and promises to fight the lawsuit to save Apple Hill. If you live in EID Division 4, please re-elect Director Dale Coco. Director Coco has done a great job as an EID director and guarantees that he will continue his fight to save agriculture in El Dorado County.

EID’s chances of winning the lawsuit are pretty good, but winning requires at least three EID board members to fight it. Dwyer and Coco are two who will fight to save Apple Hill.

George Wheeldon is an emeritus professor of Geology and 12 year member of the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors

Another View: Will Apple Hill family farms survive?

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A Proven Ethical Leader for EID


We need a fresh face on the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors, a proven problem solver who brings people together, a constructive voice representing our interests, a person who understands operations as well as finances. Above all, we need an ethical leader with a proud history of serving his community and his country, one who makes decisions based on facts, not politics. Thankfully we have such a person running for the EID board, Division 2, this November.

Let me tell you a little bit about this amazing person who would who would represent us with integrity and professionalism on the EID Board of Directors. Pat Dwyer considers serving on the EID board a way to give back to his community, similar to his serving on the Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises Board for eight years and serving on El Dorado County Fire Safe Councils for 12 years, all without pay, of course.

Pat Dwyer is a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force moving through enlisted ranks, ultimately becoming an officer. Pat was put in charge of aircraft maintenance and repair at McClellan AFB, where he directed over 1,500 workers and managed a budget of over $100 million. Later, Pat, as a civilian, directed the transfer of McClellan from military to civilian use, a huge undertaking, which was accomplished on time and under budget. This is a leader who knows how to work with others to get the job done.

Pat has master’s degrees in business and accounting. As adjunct professor he taught operations for 16 years at Golden State University, being named Outstanding Faculty Member.

I know Pat and I’ve known a number of EID directors over the years. No director has been better suited to the job than Pat. He will bring professionalism and effective leadership to the EID Board of Directors. You can learn more about Pat on his website at and on Facebook. Please support and vote for Pat Dwyer, El Dorado Irrigation District Director, Division 2, on Nov. 6.


A proven, ethical leader for EID

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EID and the lawsuit


El Dorado Irrigation District Director Greg Prada claims that EID’s agricultural water rates violate the law. Last year, he presented his arguments publicly at an EID Board meeting. Within weeks after that, his supporter Darwin Throne initiated what’s now become a lawsuit against EID on the very same legal theories. Coincidence?

I’m an EID ratepayer, and I wanted to find out. I requested public records from Prada’s private email account to see if Prada orchestrated Throne’s lawsuit. Prada stonewalled my first requests. Eventually, he swore in writing that he’d deleted all such emails.

A Grand Jury condemned Prada’s behavior and recommended that the EID Board censure him – which it did. But that can’t bring back Prada’s missing emails.

EID has spent $50,000 of ratepayer (our) money defending the lawsuit so far, and it will probably cost at least $200,000 more before it’s over. EID should win, but there are no guarantees in court. And if Throne wins, EID (we) will be on the hook for millions, plus Throne’s attorneys’ fees.

Four out of five EID Board members voted to fight this lawsuit: everyone but “ratepayer advocate” Greg Prada.

Now, Greg Prada want to be re-elected! I support his opponent, Pat Dwyer. Pat is a breath of fresh air, and he wants to earn your support. Go topatdwyer4eid to learn more about him, and please vote in November.


Placerville, Retired EID General Counsel

EID and the lawsuit

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