Court reorganization part of state funding
California spent $1.9 billion this fiscal year to finance all trial courts in the state.
A law that orders the state to fund courts went into effect in 1998. Before the law passed, most trial courts, such as El Dorado County Superior court, were bankrolled by the appropriate county.
The conversion of El Dorado County Superior into a state-funded system will be aided Monday when Stephen P. Cascioppo takes his place as assistant court executive officer for administration and human resources.
“There’ll be many challenges … that’s why I took the job,” Cascioppo, 37, said. “There are computer issues, day-to-day administration of nearly 100 employees … but the first challenge is going to be getting a personnel plan in place.”
After seven years, Cascioppo is leaving behind a job as chief deputy of El Dorado County’s Human Resources Department where he managed 12 people and oversaw employment of the county’s 1,800-person work force. Before that he spent five years as a personnel analyst for the human resource department of San Diego County.
While working for El Dorado County, Cascioppo was a spokesman during any county negotiations and was responsible for disciplining employees.
“We need to implement new personnel plans for 2001 and that’s going to be Steve’s first order of business when he comes on board,” said Suzanne Kingsbury, presiding judge of El Dorado County. “He will have responsibility in all our county sites from Cameron Park on the west side of the county to South Lake Tahoe on the east side.”
Kingsbury said the new personnel plan will involve procedures for promotion, discipline, disability and, among other things, retirement.
“We will start with the county (personnel) plan, but we may find some things that need to be changed or modified,” Kingsbury said. “It’s my intention to have it be a more collaborative process involving staff, judges, court administrators.”
At the end of 1999, a task force issued a report to help ease the transition from county to state employment. It allows court employees to retain the rights and entitlements they had before the change.
“It’s our hope with this system in place this will give our employees more flexibility,” Kingsbury said.
“It’s a more consistent level of funding. It doesn’t seem to subject to the peaks and valleys the county has to deal with.”
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After a period of dry, warm weather, winter returns this week to Lake Tahoe.