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Ranalli: A man with reason, passion and patience

EDITOR:
In my late teens and early twenties, it was considered necessary not to trust anyone over 30. Since that time there have been many categories of proposed untrustworthy groups including, of course, any governmental agency. In our recent and current supervisorial elections, there seems to be a trend toward not trusting “developers” all of whom are cast as greedy and wanting to deplete our water and having some remarkable “influence” which must be put to an end. So much for capitalism and the very people who have settled (developed) our county and our country. These are the folks who provide the infrastructure of our society and must answer to multiple governmental agencies before they develop any project. They are probably already over-regulated as are many other industries in our state. These are the men and women who build our homes, our hospitals, our places of worship, our schools, our restaurants, our airports, our roads, our power plants, and all of the structure in our communities that we rely upon.
It is a simple thing to run a campaign that targets the fears of voters, many of whom have not the time or interest to research issues for themselves. “Keeping our county rural” sells well, and in fact, is in everyone’s interest as long as it is realistically balanced against the demands of a growing population. But creating an enemy out of the developers who do the work we need done to be a thriving rural county is short-sighted at best.
Those who campaign in this manner have only what they are against to offer while claiming to be for job creation. There seems to be a huge disconnect for them in not understanding that we need growth in this county to sustain our way of life, and that growth means housing for new residents. We cannot now close our doors to new residents — they are coming, just as we did, and they need places to live and places to work. Creating a clear plan, not just some notion that we need more jobs or better roads, or other infrastructure, takes some knowledge and education. It means rolling up your sleeves and serving on real working committees that are created to educate and inform our voters and influence our county supervisors in support of realistic and practical matters that will have a long-term benefit to the residents of our county. This kind of work is not visible and not glamorous and not a social event; it is sweat and late nights preparing reports and extracting exacting data in order to make a cogent argument that will inform residents and protect our water rights from unreasonable controls by the state.
We need leadership in our county that will see the big picture for the long-term and make the decisions, popular or not, that will keep us alive and well for the future while preserving the uniqueness of our county and rural way of life. We need informed leadership that will influence our developers and make it possible for them to make a living in this county and fulfill the will of the people. When our candidates vilify and attempt to disenfranchise the entrepreneurs who can make our lives better, we are in essence saying, you cannot participate in the free market; you cannot practice your trade or craft here. How utterly sophomoric to think that would eventuate in a benefit for the county. It is tantamount to telling our children: “When you graduate high school, you must leave our county and not come back! We are not going to provide housing, jobs, or enough goods and services to sustain you too. We need this only for ourselves.” So do these candidates believe that the rest of the country can grow and thrive and benefit from ending developers’ influence? Ask yourself if you want to be controlled by fear of something “horrible” that is undefined or ill-defined or if you would like to inform yourself and put new leadership in our Board of Supervisors that can influence others and is not afraid of the hard work it will take to preserve what we have.
I first met Michael Ranalli when he spoke at a meeting of an agriculture action group that was informally formed to consider how to influence the preservation of real agriculture in our county. His presence was strongly positive and he never demeaned those who ignorantly took uninformed positions on development and how to keep our rural lifestyle. Michael is a man of reason, passion, and patience. He is wise and experienced in business and in our county’s needs. As I have served on the agriculture council with him, I have observed his behavior and listened carefully to his propositions. He is also a kind man with dignity and respect for others.
Contrary to the signs and flyers of his opponent, Michael is not building 33,000 new homes, and he is not part of any conspiracy for massive growth in this county. Michael is a wine grape grower and an experienced corporate executive having served two decades with Intel Corporation. If you listen to Michael speak and understand his positions, you will discover that he advocates specific solutions to address the unique concerns of a rural populace, and he is in favor of careful, reasoned, controlled growth that will protect and preserve our rural lifestyle.
Is there room for our county to grow? Absolutely. The question is how to grow it in realistic and practical ways, not just advancing some notion that we should have all of these amenities without any means to pay for them or awareness of how they will impact our agricultural and rural lifestyles. No other recent candidates have Michael Ranalli’s qualifications and capability to stand up to “the way we have always done it” and work with that and other forces that would leave El Dorado County in economic decline. Vote for him and you will see effective leadership in our county.
JOHN E. ROE, Ph.D.
Cameron Park

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