County board rejects reorganization proposal

September 19, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday rejected a proposal for reorganizing the county into four super departments.

The reorganization was the brainchild of County Executive Officer Ann Capela, who, after the vote, said she would not seek to offer another reorganization proposal in the short-term.

"It's a moot point, isn't it?" was all Capela would say.

Capela's reorganization plan failed on a split vote.

Supporters were board Chairman Tony Tirado and Supervisor Hank Kuiper. Voting against the proposal were supervisors Wally Leimgruber, Joe Maruca and Gary Wyatt.

Maruca said he supports the idea of reorganization but that he voted "no" because of the costs.

"I just think the cost involved was a little more than we can bear," he said, adding that feeding senior citizens and cleaning the county are more important. "I want to make it clear, I agree with the concept of reorganization."


Leimgruber said he, too, supports the idea of reorganization and that the board has approved such moves in various county departments, but he felt the pay increases being proposed were out of line with those being offered to county employees in general.

"I voted ‘no' because of my responsibility to county tax payers as well as to other county employees," he said, adding that he'd discussed his concerns with Capela.

Leimgruber also said there was insufficient information on what would be the duties of new deputy county executive officers.

"I think the board's direction was clear," he said.

Wyatt said Tuesday's vote does not end the issue.

"To me the issue hasn't reached a conclusion," he said. "(Tuesday) was like an intersection. We haven't reached our final destination."

Wyatt said the reorganization is a work in progress and he supports the structure of the proposal.

He said his "no" vote reflects his concerns with the fiscal impacts of the proposal on the county's work force and the budget and that money is needed for seniors and for cleaning up the county.

"The vote did not finish the issue," Wyatt said.

In support of reorganization, Kuiper said he ran on a platform of better county efficiency.

He said such a change might not only save the county money but might result in making money.

"I was real happy when the previous board hired a CEO," he said, adding the board must complete the work begun by the previous board. He then moved the issue be approved.

Tirado seconded the motion for discussion, but there was no more discussion to be had, and the approval vote failed on a 2-3 vote.

Also speaking against the reorganization was Gil Perez, president of the United Taxpayers of Imperial County.

"I feel that the cost of your reorganization is unfair to the taxpayer and to county employees," he said, adding that the flowchart lacks information and is misleading.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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