County losing its leaders all at once
Faced with several department head vacancies, El Dorado County leaders today will review the positions and any reorganization of the departments.
Tom Sullivan, the county’s Department of Social Services director and his assistant, Lois Patrick, were the latest to announce their resignations. Both will leave Oct. 4.
Sullivan’s decision follows a string of resignations and retirements, including County Planning Director Conrad Montgomery who announced last month he was leaving and County Agriculture Commissioner Bill Snodgrass, who said he was retiring. Human Resources director Kathy Libicki retired in June, while in May the Board of Supervisors fired its Chief Administrative Officer James Bourey.
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will discuss the resignations and how they plan to fill them beginning at 8 a.m. at 330 Fair Lane, Building A, in Placerville.
While declining to go into specifics or name names, Sullivan said he was driven to leave because of departmental differences and not particular differences with the Board of Supervisors, as was reported in the Sacramento Bee.
Sullivan has been the department director for less than a year. Before that he was the Sacramento County Mental Health director.
Pressed to elaborate, Sullivan would only say he hadn’t had any run-ins with members of his own department, acting County Administrative Officer Laura Gill or the Board of Supervisors.
Sullivan, however, characterized the county government’s climate as”unstable” adding that in the year he’s been there, he has worked under three different CAO’s, as well as seeing the departure of Supervisor Penny Humphreys and the death of Carl Borelli.
“I haven’t had that much contact with the board,” he said.
But even with the instability at the elected and top administrative levels, Sullivan said politics outside of the board is what led to his decision.
“The operation of county government and the politics of it is different than anything I’ve ever dealt with before,” Sullivan said Friday.
Sullivan was not asked to leave nor was he under any kind of scrutiny by supervisors, said District 5 Supervisor Dave Solaro, adding that the resignation came as a surprise.
“I can’t read what’s on his mind, but I can tell you that I was certainly happy with him when we hired him and I am still happy about his performance,” Solaro said.
Patrick, who is currently on vacation, was unavailable for comment. Sullivan said that her announced exit from the county isn’t likely based on the reason he has decided to leave.
In a move that surprised El Dorado County leaders earlier this summer, planning director Conrad Montgomery resigned. Claven Allcott, the county’s general service director, now serves as acting planning director.
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A $20,000 fine and permanent ban could eventually await those operating vacation home rentals in Douglas County without a permit.