Today, I learned that the Amador County Business Council has a new executive director, Kevin Walker. Until recently, Walker worked for subdivision developer JTS. He may still be working for them.
I have asked an ACBC officer where Walker lives and whether he still works for JTS. No reply yet (the former ACBC ED was from Stockton).
JTS owns the Castle Oaks Golf Course subdivision in Ione, and its principal has been sued by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee in relation to a huge Ponzi scheme that defrauded a number of investors. JTS is also developing the old Greilich Ranch outside Plymouth into a wedding venue with exclusive vineyard homesites, called Rancho Victoria. It's near the intersection of Highways 49 and 16. Walker has been the project manager.
In 2014, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control board ordered JTS to perform a technical report for Rancho Victoria. Neighbors and a state investigation had earlier reported and documented sediment from the project flowing into and polluting local streams and creeks. The developers had mass-graded large hillsides in the summer and fall with few provisions for erosion control from the winter rains.
Here's page one of that letter.
I have said for years, the ACBC is a "pay to play" organization that's largely a front for the construction and development industry. And now they're being led by a guy who's directly from that industry.
That's not all, though. Back in the summer, the "Friends of Agribusiness" set up a political action committee to help re-elect incumbent county supervisors. Walker was one of the largest donors, making a $2,000 donation to pay for polls and mailers for incumbent supervisors Richard Forster and Louis Boitano. Here's what radio station KVGC had to say about that.
If you don't think big-money developers are attempting to shape our county's future, I would urge you to stop and think again.
And then there's the recently released special grand jury investigation report, which makes three of our sitting supervisors appear to be either incompetent or corrupt. Perhaps I'll find time to write about that soon, too.
Who says life in Amador County is dull?