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Calexico puts 30-day cap on hiring director for economic and community development

May 23, 2002

community, economic de

By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — While it's taken more than a year to hire a replacement for Juan Verdugo, the city's former economic and community development director, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to require City Manager Richard Inman to fill the position within 30 days.

To get the job done in that short span, city Human Resources Director Linda Nuñez will have to swiftly sift through resumes from at least six candidates who have not been screened while at the same time accept and evaluate resumes from those who still have time to apply. Her recommendation will be passed on to Inman, who will make the final decision.

At Tuesday's meeting, Inman said the position is being advertised. Personnel Department staffer Bertha Islas said Wednesday the position will continue to be advertised until it is filled. Past applicants have been rejected for not meeting the qualifications of the position.

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Islas said applicants must have a bachelor's degree in business or public administration, or related fields, and five years of increasingly responsible experience in grant writing.

In the year since Verdugo resigned, Ralph Morales has served as interim director of the department.

Councilman David Ouzan thinks the search for a permanent director has taken far too long.

Ouzan said during Tuesday's council meeting: "The director must bring businesses to Calexico and get involved in this growth. I don't think that we can just wait. The time is overdue! I believe the City Council, after one year and no one has been selected for that position, should take the burden and just like the Housing Authority, you guys (stood) up and took it to your hand; you got to take it to your hand! The growth of the future of Calexico is at risk if we don't do anything about it.,"

Councilman Alex Perrone said, "It's been a year and I think we're doing a disservice to the community and to the person in the interim position because there is not a solid job for him so the performance will not be the same. We need to decide, I think pretty fast, on who we are going to get in and make a decision."

Addressing his colleagues' comments, Mayor Pro Tem Frank Montoya said, "There is no question we need a director for the (department). However, I think this is a position that has had to be pretty well scrutinized and I think we have to get the right applicants to get the right job — again I'm not contradicting your thoughts or Mr. Ouzan's. Over a year's time is a long time and we should move forward and —"

"Time is of the essence!" Ouzan said, cutting off Montoya.

After a brief lull, Mayor John Renison asked, "Any other comments on this one? Is there a motion here?"

Ouzan said, "I'd like to make motion that the City Council would look into that more deeply and we'll make the decision on that position."

Perrone said there should be a time frame attached to the motion to make sure the position was filled promptly. A time frame of 30 days was agreed upon and the motion was approved.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or aclaverie@aol.com

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