Interim GM takes helm at El Dorado Hills CSD

Ramirez, a former Sacramento city official, tapped for $11,787 per month post
By: Eric Laughlin, Telegraph Correspondent
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An interim general manager has been appointed to oversee district operations in El Dorado Hills, while the community’s board of directors conducts another nationwide search to permanently fill the position. Richard Ramirez, 59, of Sacramento, came to work on Monday. Assistant GM Sandi Kukkola said he has negotiated a contract with the district that will pay him $11,787 per month for up to five months, with the potential for an extension. The temporary contract is at-will and comes with no other benefits such as health or retirement. Ramirez has a long history of government service. He most recently held the position of city manager for a 100-employee community district in Napa County. Before that he was assistant city manager for the city of Sacramento, where he supervised more than 2,700 personnel. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. CSD President Guy Gertsch issued a press release announcing the appointment of Ramirez, in which he raves about his qualifications. “Richard is an experienced and highly respected local government professional,” Gertsch writes. “His proven management capabilities, strong analytical skills, and solid track record of implementing organizational best practices will benefit the community immensely.” Ramirez was reached by email last week and said he plans to spend the next several weeks “consulting with the board, staff and community with respect to both the challenges and opportunities in 2012.” “My initial suggestions to the board for 2012 will be a result of those conversations,” he writes. But as Ramirez takes the reins, there is still anger boiling out of the community over the termination of John Skeel, who was brought on last January, only to be placed on paid leave for half the year, amidst allegations that he retaliated against a whistleblower when he suggested two management positions be cut to trim the district’s budget. An effort to recall the four board members who voted to terminate Skeel commenced several weeks ago, with some 30 residents reportedly meeting twice to iron out a plan. Resident Bob Sacco is part of that effort and is fine tuning the website, with adjoining Facebook and Twitter accounts. “I think they’re incompetent,” Sacco said of the board last week. “They had 250 people yell at them (at a public hearing for Skeel) in the gym and they still didn’t listen. They obviously have an agenda.”