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San Benito County Resource Management Agency director resigns

Staff announces John Guertin's departure at Planning Commission meeting.

In a surprise announcement during the March 20 San Benito County Planning Commission meeting, planner Taven Kinison Brown said that Resource Management Agency Director John Guertin had resigned the day prior.

“That’s unfortunate,” Brown said. “It’s left the RMA staff shell-shocked.”

Brown gave no further details about the resignation.

Guertin was not immediately available for comment.

BenitoLink reached out to San Benito County supervisors and County Administrative Officer Ray Espinosa about Guertin’s resignation. Supervisors Jim Gillio, Peter Hernandez and Mark Medina declined to comment. Supervisor Jaimie De La Cruz did not respond. Supervisor Anthony Botelho deferred to Deputy County Administrative Officer Edgar Nolasco, who also acts as public information officer. Nolasco did not immediately respond for comment. CAO Espinosa did not respond.

Guertin held a key position in San Benito County. The RMA administers critical county functions including building permits, planning, street maintenance and code enforcement. When the previous RMA Director Brent Barnes resigned in March 2017, two consultants, Larry Perlin and James Walgren of Pleasanton-based engineering firm 4Leaf, Inc., were hired at a salary of $234,000 to take over the RMA.

Guertin was present at the March 19 Board of Supervisors meeting to report on road repairs funded by Senate Bill 1. BenitoLink spoke to him about meeting the following week and he agreed to do so, giving no indication that by the end of the day he would resign.

Board Chairman Medina chided Guertin during the meeting for not delivering his report in writing. By the end of the discussion on road repairs, Guertin appeared confused about what the board wanted him to do after it decided to put off his report until the next meeting.

BenitoLink will provide further details as they become available.



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John Chadwell (John Chadwell)

John Chadwell is an investigative reporter for BenitoLink. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to:


I don't know all of the details that led to this. But Guertin leaves a department that is sorely in need of stability and continuity of leadership.


Submitted by (Bill Healy) on

A continuing example why can’t we keep qualified people in our government employment?  We have more consultants as our Directors than any other county.  We do not train or promote internally.  Is something with the CAO and the “old” Board of Supervisors demands and inability to communicate their needs in a clear style.

Submitted by JR Brown on

Is anyone truly surprised at this? the "RMA" (Resource Management Agency) which was an ill-conceived penny-wise, pound foolish, concept from the start (by combining three major departmental positions into one slightly higher paying position) has only slid more out or control since Byron Turner was "interim" Planning Director. Remember Brent Barnes? The savior, who was Planning Director for New Jersey's DoT prior to COSB. How are San Benito roads and traffic today? Yet ,he was hired to run Planning, Building, Code Compliance, Environmental, Parks, Capital Improvement , Facilities, Housing and Economic Development Division, Public Works Division, and Waste Management.

The Supervisors, other than perhaps a one of those recently elected, have no managerial experience relevant to a public organization of this size, 2) the Chief Administrative Officer (formerly County IT Manager, who when promoted to CAO did not even meet the County's educational requirements - they were actually lowered in order to appoint him ) to whom day to day management of the County has been delegated, is absolutely unqualified. How is that for “raising the bar” on performance? Per public records, Mr. Espinoza's compensation (including benefits) for 2017 was $240,421. That is roughly one quarter of a million dollars per year. Any manager in the real world would a) never have been promoted to this position based on his qualifications, and; b) would have been terminated in short order for such administrative dysfunction. How are the County’s dollars being spent? For example, in 2016 alone, the County paid salary/benefits of $228,471- Byron Turner, $199,593 - Brent Barnes and $226,803 - Ray Espinoza $654,867. San Benito population 61,000.

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