Shakeup at Placer County development agency follows building bust

Kirk Uhler takes on supes chairman’s role; D.C. visit in February OK’d for three supervisors; Rich Gresham lauded on his retirement
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County’s building downturn is giving the hard-hit Community Development Resources Agency a new look that could save the county $125,000. The net savings will come from downsizing building and planning departments to the lower, divisional status and juggling upper-tier management positions. That will mean the two managerial planning and building inspection posts will be bumped down a notch to divisional directorships. Those divisional heads – the chief building official and deputy director of planning – will report to Community Development Resource Agency Director Michael Johnson. County CEO Tom Miller requested the shift at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting and found support from all five supervisors for what is now being termed a conceptual plan. Miller said the “contraction” of the agency comes at a time when development applications are dramatically down from the boom years of the mid-2000s and many large projects already approved are on hold until real estate market conditions change. Miller said the net savings for the county from the changes would be $125,000 this fiscal year. The downsizing in the agency was also facilitated by the retirement of Bob Martino, the head of the building department for the past six years. Martino was presented with a commendation Tuesday at the board meeting praising his work during “the most expansive growth period Placer County has ever experienced – while still assuring that timely inspection and the highest level of customer service was still provided to the residents of the county.” A new post – assistant director of the Community Development Resources Agency – was also approved by the board. But the agency will receive no additional funding for the position and the job will be filled from within the department. New or modified salaries will be established by the county staff, who will return to the board for approval to implement the reorganization. In other board business Tuesday: - Kirk Uhler was sworn in as chairman of the board for 2010. He has represented Granite Bay’s District 4 on the board since late 2006. Lincoln-area District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt is vice chairman. - The board voted in favor of authorizing four county government representatives to travel to Washington, D.C. Feb. 1 to Feb. 4 to discuss issues affecting the county with U.S. elected and appointed officials. Discussion items include regional wastewater, law enforcement communications, transportation and Placer Legacy funding. Travel, lodging and other costs per person pencil out at $1,625. Slated for the trip are supervisors Uhler, Jim Holmes, Robert Weygandt and CEO Miller. - Supervisors presented a commendation to Rich Gresham, Placer County Resource Conservation District manager, for his 33 years of service. Gresham retired in December. He had served since 1976 as manager of the natural-resource-management district.