Budget-knowledgeable leader hired for county
James Bourey has spent his 50th year on the planet making big moves at work and leisure.
Bourey topped his first trip to Europe in March by taking the job of El Dorado County administrative officer. He’ll start Jan. 6 at $161,000 a year.
The Board of Supervisors selected the Chandler, Ariz., man Tuesday night out of a short list of five candidates to lead the county.
Interim CAO Tom Soike will return to his job as assistant county administrator.
Bourey said he’s eager to have more of a hands-on experience with the job based in the county seat of Placerville. He’ll work with staff and five county supervisors, overseeing a budget of $250 million.
“I was interested in going back to local government because (it’s) closest to the services provided,” he said. “I like the West Coast and the environment. It was a real quality-of-life move.”
Bourey comes to California having worked the last six years as the chief executive for the Maricopa Association of Governments in Phoenix, a position in which he was accountable to 30 board members and 3 million citizens. The organization allocates $800 million for regional programs and projects.
Before Arizona, Bourey led Hennepin County in Minneapolis, where he crossed paths with former South Lake Tahoe City Manager Dave Childs.
At the time, Childs was the city manager for Minnetonka.
“I always felt he was good to work with. He had a good sense of the big picture. He’s dedicated wherever he works,” said Childs, on the road from Sacramento for his current job with the International City/County Management Association. “He’s very bright, a quick study, and he’s going to build bridges.”
Childs pointed to Bourey’s extensive special training and experience with state financial issues while Minnesota grappled with a budget crisis similar to California’s current situation.
Tahoe Supervisor Dave Solaro said he’s pleased to have the New Hampshire native come on board — especially at a time when the county needs solid experience dealing with budget constraints.
Bourey has gained 25 years of government experience on both sides of the nation, from Tampa to Seattle as an assistant administrator and office planning director, respectively.
And now Bourey has covered the other half of the globe — with his civilian hat on.
His wife of 24 years, Ann, gave him a six-day excursion to London and Paris for his birthday nine months ago.
He and the physical therapist punctuated the whirlwind tour of the two cities with a tour of the churches. Bourey enjoyed the architecture of the old cities. He holds a master’s degree in architecture and urban design from Washington University in St. Louis.
When Bourey’s not on the run working or traveling, he is literally on the run to keep in shape.
He and his wife have two daughters attending college.
— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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