February 2013 - Sierra Scoop Column

There appears to have been a rash of turnovers in the County during 2012. Here’s a partial recap…

The Finance Director, Brian Muir, left at the end of December. No replacement at this time. Our elected Sheriff, Rick Scholl, resigned mid-term. The Supervisors appointed the undersheriff, Ralph Obenberger, as the new non-elected Sheriff. Our elected District Attorney, George Booth, also retired in mid-term and the Supervisors appointed Assistant DA, Tim Kendall, as the new non-elected DA.

Ann Gimpel, Mental Health Director, has retired. Julie Tiede, Social Services Director, announced her departure. Jody Henning, Assessor, Chris Lyons, Assistant Assessor, Tracy Neal, Probation Officer, Matt Carter, Solid Waste Director, these are just some others that left in 2012. Some of these positions have been filled while some remain vacant.

Most recently, the county’s CAO, Jim Arkens, resigned effective the end of January.  He chose to leave Mono County after just a short 19 months as CAO. His resignation was received just one day after the Board of Supervisors, with three new members (including myself), were sworn in on January 8th.

This leads me to say how happy all of the Supervisors were at their first meeting in January by the turnout from the public and county employees. There was standing room only in the Board’s chamber for the swearing in of three newly elected Supervisors. Many people were standing 5-6 deep, several were up on the podium with the Supervisors, and there were many others packed into the main doorway. The event was televised into the County’s south offices which allowed many working there to watch the ceremony. A well-attended reception was held afterwards in the Bridgeport Memorial Hall. It was great to see so many join together for what I hope is the start of a New Dawn for Mono County.