Council meets interim public works, economic development leaders

November 29, 2002
Santa Paula City Council
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe City Council met the man who is being asked to temporarily fill the big shoes left by the retired Public Works Director/City Engineer Norm Wilkinson. Also introduced was the new consultant, who is being charged with kicking economic development into gear.At the Nov. 18th meeting, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz introduced Joe Lope, the interim Public Works Director, and Charmaine Stouder, an economic development consultant.Bobkiewicz noted that Wilkinson’s last day was Nov. 15th, and “since it will be several months before we’ll be able to replace him, I thought it prudent to bring on another director rather than burden staff,” with added responsibilities and decisions.Lopez will start filling in for Wilkinson on Dec. 2nd, Bobkiewicz added.Lopez, a resident of Simi Valley, will be with the city for approximately three months, Bobkiewicz wrote in his report to the council. Lopez, the former director of public works for Simi Valley with extensive experience as a consultant for other cities, “has a lot of experience to bring to the table,” said Bobkiewicz.“I’m looking forward to working the city and hope I can be of some help during my tenure,” Lopez told the council.
The council approved up to $30,000 for the interim public works director’s salary, with the funds drawn from the wastewater (50 percent), solid waste (15 percent), street (10 percent) and water (15 percent) enterprises, as well as 10 percent from the city’s General Fund.Bobkiewicz also introduced Stouder, noting that economic development director Ken Cott, “is again off of work and it’s unclear when he will return. I feel in order for me to carry out your economic development mandate, a highest priority,” an experienced person should be at the helm of economic development.Stouder has considerable experience in the Northern California area, Bobkiewicz said, where he became acquainted with her initially, and she was an Olympia, Washington planning commissioner.Stouder, who has a master’s degree, will “be with us at least through the end of January,” Bobkiewicz noted.“Give me a call and let me know what issues you are concerned with,” Stouder told the council. “I’m eager to talk to you.”

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