Why I'm Running for Supervisor by Dave Souza
I am running for El Dorado County Board of Supervisors because I believe in local government and I have seen it work. My experiences have shown me that local government can produce tangible results for our families, schools, and community.
As a retired law enforcement official and part of a longtime ranching family in the county, I know how the actions taken by our elected leaders can affect our everyday lives. It is critical that we have representives on the Board who translate their principles into solving the everyday issues that affect all of us. I will be that representative for you, our community, our District, and our County. Together, I know we can make El Dorado County an even better place to live, work, and play.
As your Supervisor, I want to focus on making local government work at the county level, providing social services that serve as a critical safety net for El Dorado County. I want to ensure that in these difficult economic times, no one falls through the cracks.
Budgets for all local governments are shrinking rapidly, and given that we expect reductions in the State budget throughout the foreseeable future, we need to figure out how to do more with less. I am proud of our track record in the County, from the Sheriff's Office and Fire Districts, to our Auditor's Office and CAO. Even in challenging times, we are one of the most financially-stable counties in the state. I will work to sustain fiscal stability and provide top-notch services despite tight finances.
I've been listening to what people are saying about what they want from our county’s leadership. I have the management and leadership skills that El Dorado County needs. It takes an open ear, open mind, and working with others to get things done. As a Board of Supervisors candidate, I need your support. I will proactively listen to all parties, understand there are no simple solutions or room for ridged ideology, and work as part of a team that gets the job done efficiently and effectively. Regional advocacy is also a major responsibility of a County Supervisor and I will ensure my involvement covers countywide issues.
Join me—we can keep El Dorado County on course and begin to reach to new heights as an example to our nation and as a community that we continue to be proud of. Let’s establish the benchmark for County success together! I look forward to being your next District 4 Supervisor as we work together toward a stronger future for El Dorado County!
You will never miss this cowboy hat-wearing, big-mustached, and always smiling cowboy. Dave Souza’s candor is straight-forward. With ranching family roots in El Dorado County and other counties, he is passionate about upholding the longstanding way of life in El Dorado County and is committed to watching over public safety, education, agriculture, and “plain ol’ common sense."
Dave was born and raised in a Catholic and Republican family with respected values. His ancestry is Portuguese and Hawaiian. He has two sisters.
When he turned 17 years old, he joined the Sheriff’s Department Cadet Program and rose to be a Cadet Lieutenant. He was a volunteer Firefighter/EMT in the late 1970s to 1980s, and was Firefighter of the Year in 1983.
In 1980, Dave was hired by Intel Corporation where he was a Safety and Security Officer. He also taught CPR to the employees at the Folsom sites.
Later, in 1982, Dave began a great career with the Placer County Sheriff's Department. He held many positions within the Sheriff’s Department including: being a hostage negotiator, participating in mounted patrol duties on his horse “Rusty,” overseeing the Inmate Trustee Workers Program, working with the Sheriff Posse, and acting as an Administrative Support Officer.
Dave retired in 2006 and went back to running Souza Ranch full-time. One of Dave’s hobbies is going around California and participating in events with his draft horse wagon team.
Beginning in 2009, Dave became involved in the community as elected official. As a Fire Board Director, initially appointed by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, and later elected #1 out of five candidates for the position (when he had to run for a full four-year term), he has a proven record of thoughtful leadership. He helped the Fire District attain a budget surplus, received a Department of Homeland Security grant for a new water fire truck/water tender, and received another Homeland Security grant to hire additional firefighter/paramedics. As he is strongly opposed to property tax hikes (as demonstrated by voting “no” on a tax increase), Dave found different ways to budget and fund the needs of the District.
Dave has also served the community through a variety of local organizations and committees, most notably with the Native Sons of The Golden West and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a member of the Cameron Park/Shingle Springs Chamber of Commerce. He is also a strong supporter of 4-H Clubs, the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association, the Grace Foundation of Northern California, and Future Farmers of America.
There are three mentors in his life that have contributed to the well-being and prosperity of El Dorado County over the years:
Gene Chappie was a former Congressman/Assemblyman and El Dorado County Supervisor. He was known as a salty and savvy California Republican. Dave says, "I knew Gene in my younger years living on the Georgetown Divide. Gene proposed landmark legislation AB 2342 in 1971. It was designed to identify and set aside areas specifically for the use of off-road vehicles. His vision and foresight allowed for the hundreds of thousands of trails have been set aside for off-road recreation. He helped create safe and environmentally-appropriate areas for generations to enjoy.”
Norm Waters was a seven-term California Assemblyman. He was a third generation Amador County resident and grew up on his family's cattle ranch in Plymouth. He believed in protecting agriculture and our water supply. Norm enjoyed flying his plane around El Dorado and Amador Counties. Dave describes his relationship with Norm, "I knew Norm from our ranching family heritage and will never forget how he was all over the county, how we could chat with him at the feed store, and that he always had his dogs in his truck.”
President Ronald Reagan is another influence in Dave’s life. "I met him when he was running for Governor of California. He was riding his horse in the Coloma Days Parade. I was a young child and ran up to him and shook his hand. I was pulled back by my dad after the hand shake. Thankfully I was not pulled back by the Secret Service. I guess that's when I got involved in the ‘political scene.’ I followed his career throughout his life. I never guessed that years later I would be involved with the Rancheros Visitadores around his ranch in Santa Barbara.”
Dave, his family, two dogs, and four horses, reside on their 162-acre Souza Ranch in Garden Valley, California (along with many cows, deer, mountain lions, and bears).