County eliminates RMA director

Tiffany TuellFebruary 7, 2013 

The Madera County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to approve the restructuring of the Resource Management Agency Jan. 15 by eliminating the RMA director position. Instead, the RMA director's tasks will be divided between the planning director and the road commissioner.

Due to the recent resignation of the part-time RMA director, Doug Papagni, the county decided to reexamine whether or not the RMA director position was even necessary. In 2011, the MGT Organizational & Operational Study recommended some changes be made by the county to save money and a significant amount of those changes were recommended for the RMA administration.

Dissolving the department was not recommended but dividing up the RMA director's responsibilities between Road Commissioner Johannes Hoevertsz and Planning Director Norman Allinder was recommended with coordination, as needed, from County Administrative Officer Eric Flemming.

The RMA Departments will be divided into two main areas as follows:

Road Commissioner - Public Works

Roads

Engineering

Special Districts

Solid Waste

Planning Director - Community/Economic Development

Environmental Health

Planning

Fire

Building

In Fleming's board letter he stated that by eliminating the part-time RMA director's position, the net result would be an estimated annual savings of $50,638, even with additional compensation being given to the road commissioner and planning director. No additional compensation will be given to the CAO. The annual savings will benefit the 3-year Cost Reduction & Containment Plan.

Both Hoevertsz and Allinder assumed their added responsibilities Jan. 15.

"I think it's a good decision to save the county a lot of money," Hoevertsz said. "It's an opportunity to do some new and exciting things. No doubt it will increase my work load, but I'll have had six years to work with the road department staff and we have a good management team that's very efficient and that will allow me time to concentrate on the new tasks that I have with the engineering department."

Hoevertsz said that through mutual aid, combining departments and utilizing resources, the county will not only save money but also better serve the people. Allinder said the only changes the public will see is greater efficiency and better service because of the new organization of departments.

"It's really a great savings for the taxpayers and an efficient way to manage the work load in this economy," Allinder said.

Even though his supervisory role moved from 10 to 80, Allinder thinks it's a positive change for the county and is happy to be part of it.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity," Allinder said. "It's a new challenge for my management skills. It makes sense from an organizational standpoint and lines up with how other jurisdictions do this. It's also helpful that Johannes and I work every well together."

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