Supervisors opt for short contract extensions until management is hired

Board expects decision on new RMA director this week.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors opted to extend two service contracts by six months, in order to give the incoming Resource Management Agency (RMA) director maximum flexibility.

Board Chairman Mark Medina said he wanted to discuss the extensions with 4Leaf Inc. for engineering services and with CSG Consultants for management support for the Integrated Waste Management program and John Smith Landfill negotiations. Medina said he believed the new RMA director should decide how the agency would move toward. Former RMA director John Guertin resigned March 19.

Six months should be enough time to allow the new director to get situated in the position, Medina said.

“They may look at something different,” he said. “That’s why we are hiring a person of this caliber to make these decisions because he or she has been involved in different communities and different municipalities. And we want them to bring in a fresh set of eyes.”

Medina told BenitoLink the candidates were interviewed by a panel May 17 and that the top two candidates will be interviewed May 22 by County Administrative Officer Ray Espinosa. The final decision will be made in the coming days, he said.

Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz said he agreed with Medina and believed new department heads need flexibility to make changes as they see fit.

“No disrespect to 4Leaf,” De La Cruz said. “I just want to make sure the new person coming in has all the tools available at their disposal.”

Supervisors approved six-month extensions with 4Leaf for an amount not to exceed $370,383 for engineering and public works inspection services, and with CSG Consultants for an amount not to exceed $129,926.

For the CSG contract, De La Cruz said he wanted a position filled by a full-time employee rather than a contract worker. Espinosa said the county had someone lined up, but it fell through at the last minute. He added he hoped to fill the position within six months and said the goal has been to hire full-time staff, and hire contractors only in cases of emergency for support.

Supervisor Anthony Botelho said integrated waste, which CSG assists with, is a highly specialized and complex business because the laws are constantly changing.

“Our county is growing. It’s not a small county like some of the Sierra counties, but we’re not little either,” Botelho said. “And it’s hard to fill these positions. It’s high priced. It would be ideal to have someone that’s day-to-day in RMA that does the grunt work. It’s an area we can get in trouble real fast, too.”

Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.