Placerville resident Eric Lamoureux, 43, has been appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown as the new deputy director in the office of public affairs at the California Department of General Services.
Lamoureux has worked for the State of California for 20 years, starting out as an intern in the public affairs office at the California Integrated Waste Management Board. He also served as the chief of the office of public information at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and manager of media relations at the California Department of General Services.
Lamoureux described the Department of General Services as being like the General Electric of state government, handling a portfolio of assignments including managing state property, doing the majority of purchasing, overseeing the state’s fleet of vehicles, and handling public school construction.
“My job is to track down answers for the media, run the public affairs office and be the spokesperson for the department on certain issues,” he said. “I’m the reporter’s reporter. I get the answers and information you need to get the story out.”
He also helps manage internal communications with the 4,000 plus employees in the Department of General Services as well as external communications. “I absolutely love what I do,” he said.
He noted that members of the public looking for information can often start by going to the public affairs office of a department since they will often do the initial research or at least point the person in the right direction of who they should talk to.
“We are very customer oriented,” he said, “and often deal more with more non-media requests for information than from the media. But that should be the role of any public affairs officer, to help people get in touch with the right people. We’re also trying to make sure our Website is as user-friendly as possible,” saying his department is currently revamping its Website.
Lamoureux said Gov. Brown is very focused on operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“We try to find ways to do things faster and cheaper but it’s challenging to change a bureaucracy when they’ve been doing things a certain way for 50 years,” he said. “The state budget is now back on track and we want to keep it on track. But we need to continue to find ways to save money.”
The new public relations deputy said he has lived in El Dorado County on an off for some 30 years. He moved here with his parents before attending American River College in Sacramento where he was editor of the student paper and studied journalism.
Lamoureux said he actually got his first byline at the Mountain Democrat when he was helping to coach a cross-country team. He wrote a couple of stories about cross-country meets he was attending in 1989-90.
Initially Lamoureux said he was headed for a career in journalism but his mentor in college, a man who was a former Sacramento Bee reporter, advised him to go into public relations instead and work for the state since it offered more stable employment and he could make more money. His new position pays $92,004.
Lamoureux is marred and has two children. His wife grew up in Placerville and his father and brother are both contractors in the area.
“This is a great opportunity Gov. Brown has given me,” he smiled. “I really enjoy working with the media and being a public servant.”
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.