Michael’s journey to becoming a Supervisorial candidate began with the creation of a business plan for his vineyard. Michael undertook an extensive study of the historic role of agriculture in the county, the evolution of agricultural market segments, trends, statistics and regulations. He was particularly struck by the steep and steady decline of the timber industry and he looked for those emerging segments that would replace that lost business.
He especially focused on the role of grape-growing in the county’s agricultural economy.
The realization that farmers and ranchers could not make a viable living hit Michael hard and it seemed the only people farming in El Dorado County were either families with generations of family tradition or people who had come to farming after some other successful business, hence “the gentleman farmer”. Commenting on his vineyard business plan, his brother quipped “well, that’s a nice hobby”.
During his research, he began to understand the relationship of different sectors of agriculture as well as the interplay of many other facets of El Dorado County, such as roads, jobs, law enforcement, education, and health services. “I came to realize that you can’t study all the regulations around just one aspect of our County, like agriculture, and think that makes you an expert,” reflects Mike. “For example, agriculture, recreation and tourism are one connected market segment. Agriculture is impacted by roads and water rights, both of which impact fire safety, which impacts residential development, all of which are impacted by jobs. The rings of impact grow and ripple out across everything.”
Recognizing this estate plan limitation and financial viability of an agricultural pursuit, the Ranalli’s developed a plan for an agricultural farmstead plan that would divide the property into four 20 acre parcels, with four home sites not visible from the river, from the road or from each other and to preserve larger lot sizes. An agriculture farmstead on this large geographically isolated peninsula, with multiple farming pursuits and one common barn, tractor and water source seemed to be a responsible plan. The plan met with resistance, and the county processes were too burdensome and costly, so he withdrew the plan.
Mike began attending Agriculture Commission meetings, Planning Commission meetings, Budget hearings and Board of Supervisor meetings to educate himself on the policies and processes that effect the economic viability of our county. He discovered that his experience was very common. At every opportunity citizens would go on and on about their devastating personal experience trying to get reasonable things done in our county.
Mike’s voluntary attendance at county meetings as an interested citizen in 2010 coincided with the mandatory 5 year review of the county’s 2004 General Plan. In 2011, Mike began reading and researching the history of prior economic plans for the county and formation of various committees. He became increasingly familiar with numerous aspects of the General Plan, Zoning and the interdependency with economic development. He and others also realized the need to remove significant regulatory barriers to economic stability and the difficulty El Dorado County has attracting high tech companies with greater revenues, higher paying management, scientific and production line jobs.
The General Plan was not in compliance with state law, and regulations and excessive fees were stagnating the economy, so he submitted his application to become a member of the Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC), and was appointed in 2012. CEDAC is an eleven member committee, advisory to the Board of Supervisors, which as prescribed by the Economic Element of the General Plan, is made up of Business and Industry people. His 22 years with Intel Corporation provide an ideal background to serve on a committee that advises our county on economic issues.
As time-consuming as his work was with CEDAC, Mike additionally became engaged with numerous other associations and organizations. He was asked to speak about regulatory issues with our General Plan at the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County in 2011, became a member in 2012 and was voted to their board in 2014. He joined El Dorado Wine Grape Growers Association in 2010, joined their marketing committee in 2011 and became a board member in 2013. He became a member of the Divide Chamber of Commerce in 2012, became a board member in 2013, and became a member of the El Dorado County Farm Bureau in 2013.
Michael is proud to serve in leadership or serve as a member on the following boards and associations
- Owner, Ranalli Vineyards, Wine Grape Grower
- 40 years of business experience including over 22 years with Intel Corporation
- Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County, Board Member
- El Dorado County Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC), Vice Chairman
- County Regulatory Reform, Coordinator
- Divide Chamber of Commerce, Vice-President
- El Dorado County Farm Bureau, Member
- El Dorado Wine Grape Growers Association, Board Member & Officer