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Grijalva asked to fill in for Housing Authority Executive Director Lupita Rios

August 03, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The Calexico Housing Authority Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to offer the position of acting executive director to Calexico Councilman Gilbert Grijalva.

Commissioner John Romo dissented.

Romo agreed with the rest of the board that naming an acting director was urgent but said the board should seek more candidates before making the decision.

Before the board voted to offer the position to Grijalva, Romo made a motion to wait a week and direct the authority's legal counsel to seek more candidates.

His motion was rejected by a 4-1 vote.

The board needs to fill the position because Executive Director Lupita Rios is on a month-long leave of absence. The reason for the leave of absence is confidential, according to Rivera.

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The interim legal counsel for the authority board, Eduardo Rivera, said the board had every right to offer the job to Grijalva but would have to draft a contract with the councilman and approve that contract at a special meeting before he could be hired.

Grijalva has worked for the Housing Authority board in the past and was the executive director of a non-profit housing development firm based in San Fernando.

The board needs to fill the position because Executive Director Lupita Rios is on a month-long leave of absence. The reason for the leave of absence is confidential, according to Rivera.

In the past when Rios has taken a leave of absence or vacation, the authority's administrative services director, Juan Ortiz, had filled in for her.

Ortiz said he turned down the position of acting director — and the bump in salary that came with it — because he thought the "demands of the board were unrealistic."

He said he would welcome Grijalva if the councilman decided to take on the job.

Grijalva announced his candidacy for the Imperial Irrigation District board on Monday and said he plans to leave the City Council when his term ends next year.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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