Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Former mayor now city planner

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From page A1 | July 08, 2013 | 27 Comments

DSC_4060e

PIERRE RIVAS chats with the Mountain Democrat at ZIa's on Main Street. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

He’s b-a-a-a-a-ck. At the June 11 Placerville City Council meeting, City Manager Cleve Morris announced that Placerville’s new community development director would be former Placerville mayor Pierre Rivas. Rivas, a principal planner for El Dorado County, left Placerville’s City Council in 2010 after serving two four-year terms on the council and one four-year term as a Placerville Planning Commissioner. He begins his new duties on July 1.

Rivas, 55, said he wasn’t looking for a new job after  23 years of working for the county, but ,”It’s the timing. The position opened up and I thought maybe a new direction would be a good step at this time in my life.

“This is a very unique situation. I’ve been in all the different areas and walked in their shoes, so I hope to facilitate communication between all the groups and better understanding, “said Rivas.  That includes his new department at the city which combines the services of the former planning and engineering departments and is involved with all new construction, including the Western Placerville Interchanges Project.

“My experience with  the county suturing together all kinds of different agencies will help me facilitate the combination of these departments,” said Rivas. “El Dorado County merged and demerged departments and we went through a similar situation between planning and engineering.”

The previous community development director, Mike Webb, had goals to pull the two departments into one cohesive team working on one floor of City Hall and to streamline customer service – goals that Rivas also supports. “I want to complete the plans to move the team and make the permit process streamlined for the customer,” said Rivas. “Time is money and we want to help people get from shovel to dirt in as timely manner as possible.”

Some of the projects Rivas was involved with as a planning commissioner and a city councilman, like the Cedar Ravine-Clay Street-Main Street Realignment Project and the Western Placerville Interchanges Project, are still in process and Rivas wants to help them move forward.

“Whatever is decided, there should be an apples-to-apples comparison for the benefits and limitations of each alternative so it can be looked at objectively and the decision based on factual information. My former positions with the city gave me a very broad vision of issues rather than the more narrow vision you might have working in a department.”

One challenge in his new job is the Hangtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant. “People have to have specialized skills to work there and earn certification,” said Rivas. “I want to get up to speed as soon as possible.”

Rivas plans meetings with former directors Mike Webb, Randy Pesses and Steve Calfee as well as all city staff to get the whole picture and find out what’s working and what is not.

Rivas likes challenges. In 2010, as Rivas wrapped up his year as mayor of Placerville, he wanted to use his newly acquired free time to climb more of the highest points in all 58 California’s counties. “I’d done 45 of them by 2010 and I’ve added San Jacinto Peak, San Gorgornio and Mount Stakes since then, “said Rivas. “I also climbed Mt. Vesuvius.”

After three weeks of wrapping up emails at his county job and a pie fest good-bye party featuring Rivas’ favorite pies à la mode, he is ready to start. “The county has a proactive focus on providing managerial training and I’ve been fortunate to have benefitted from it. I want to take those skills and make a difference for the city,” said Rivas.  ”This is a great challenge and a good time to do this.”

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Discussion | 27 comments

  • James E.July 07, 2013 - 1:19 pm

    Hmmm, so he wants to move the Roundabout project forward? What good news. And, no mention of his salary -- another $200K county employee?

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  • Foaming at the MouthJuly 08, 2013 - 9:25 am

    Jams E - Off by a factor of 2. "Whatever is decided, there should be an apples-to-apples comparison for the benefits and limitations of each alternative so it can be looked at objectively and the decision based on factual information." You got a problem with that?

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  • James E.July 08, 2013 - 10:03 am

    Mr. or Ms. Foaming At The Mouth, the only problem I have at this point is that I have no idea what you are talking about. Could you be more specific, as to what you refer?

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  • James E.July 08, 2013 - 10:10 am

    Mr. or Mrs. Foaming at the Mount, Oh, I understand. You are referring to the Roundabout. I have no problem to an objective analysis of the pros and cons of the roundabout. When that conclusion is reached, I'm still against the Roundabout because we don't need a Roundabout. As always, follow the money (which, of course, won't be in that objective analysis).

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  • FranJuly 08, 2013 - 10:11 am

    I think foaming is referring to looking at the round about again...how many times do people have to say "no?" I hear the people saved the money are are ready to go back to court if needed. If they take the city to court over and over (or round and round)--will it be someday that the people will own the city again? And not the people who will not listen?

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  • James E.July 08, 2013 - 10:23 am

    And, one should consider the authors of the "objective" analysis -- so easy to construct an analysis in a way to reach a desired conclusion. NO Roundabout!!! Again, I ask, do we have a new $200K employee?

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  • cookie65July 08, 2013 - 10:39 am

    Is there never anyone out of the private sector available for any of these positions? The true roundabout are these people who just transfer from one public sector outcropping to another. Don't complain about it James it is all part of the system you vote for.

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  • paul savageJuly 08, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    I couldn't agree with you more...

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  • Foaming at the MouthJuly 08, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    James E. Not a $200k employee unless he doubled his County pay.

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  • david coleJuly 08, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    Great, another insider returned to city government. This isn't a new direction Pierre. A roundabout is no direction at all! Where in this article did you mention, what the people of Placerville need or want!?

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  • Kristy PageJuly 09, 2013 - 8:20 am

    How convienient now the slum lord can find a way to make it legal! He shouldn't be able to hold any office in any town the slimy buger!

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 09, 2013 - 8:25 am

    Kristy,slum lord? Specifics please?

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 8:43 am

    Kristy--slum lord...now that is interesting...coming from LA years ago--I have met a few slumlords--that to save a buck--didnt care what their tenants living spaces looked like. while going to school --I was an assistant manager in a building under state receivership...I watched several "owners" lose their building for how they neglected the tenant...that is making a very strong statement Miss.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 09, 2013 - 8:49 am

    Fran, I have not yet found any reference to Pierre Rivas and slum lord. I doubt that Kristy's assertion is supported by fact. You are a good researcher, Fran. Do you have a link to connect Pierre Rivas to slum lord?

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 8:52 am

    Phil--I can try.

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 9:15 am

    I have not found any references--so it could be that tenants did not make any reports or that it is just not true...however is is a "player" here in El dorado county...and has been involved in many aspects of our general plan...so far going back to 2006. All of these people that just keep moving to new positions--seem to have never left--just quietly moved to a different area of the county. 2008 "Mayor Hagen thanked Councilmember Rivas his role in the recent Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) agricultural tour of El Dorado County.  Councilmember Rivas summarized a SACOG’s Rural Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) program." Still reading the Rural Funding Handbook. So if the young lady can say where the place is that she had problems...I do not see anything as of yet. I wonder when people will get really mad that the same people keep revolving round and round...A king and his advisory board...who is the king? Nobles and ladies are now showing up...and why are they allowing El Dorado County to fall apart?

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 9:20 am

    Pierre Rivas City of Placerville John Knight El Dorado County....people on the SAGOG Board...transportation and regional planning projects. http://www.sacog.org/rucs/pdf/Rural%20Funding%20Guide.pdf sometimes I think there are just a handful of people really running this county...a small group deciding for a whole...Im sure they are all good people.

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  • Kristy PageJuly 09, 2013 - 9:28 am

    So sorry Mr Rivas I recant! I was thinking Dave Machado.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 09, 2013 - 10:21 am

    Thank you, Kristi! :)

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 09, 2013 - 10:22 am

    oops! - - - KristY

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 9:30 am

    Well Kristy at least I know that my research skills are still in tacked...lololol...I found nothing to support your first claim. But it woke up my mind and introduced me to another piece of our local government.

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  • cookie65July 09, 2013 - 9:32 am

    Kristy are you speaking about former mayor Machado? I seem to recall lots of comments on these pages regarding some issues he had with rental properties.

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 9:50 am

    It feels like no one else gets to play at times.......EL DORADO COUNTY TRANSIT AUTHORITY AGENDA Regular Meeting Chair: John R. Knight, El Dorado County Supervisor Vice Chair: Dave Machado, City of Placerville Councilmember Directors: Patty Borelli, City of Placerville Councilmember James R. (Jack) Sweeney, El Dorado County Supervisor Ron Briggs, El Dorado County Supervisor Pierre Rivas, Alternate for City Councilmembers Ray Nutting, Alternate for Board of Supervisors

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 10:17 am

    California in the red by $127.2 billion...http://www.inedc.com/1-5139 and El Dorado officials keep buying into what these advisory groups are doing with grants and developers money...wow

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 10:19 am

    Left & Right Agree: Roundabout a boneheaded and unpopular idea - See more at: http://www.inedc.com/1-5166#sthash.ZAjIhZEU.dpuf

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  • FranJuly 09, 2013 - 10:22 am

    http://www.edctc.org/L/PM_Feb2013_C.pdf project monitoring report

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  • cookie65July 09, 2013 - 9:35 pm

    The nanny state is rejecting the nanny state. How much money did these clowns waste on moochelle obama's school lunch tyranny that is now being kicked to the curb which any thinking person knew would happen. I love academia. It strangles intelligence. These people have been outsmarted by the kids. No shock there. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/9/new-york-school-drops-michelle-obama-lunch-standar/

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