Oscar Rodriguez Back with the City of Calexico

By Mario Conde

After a 14 year absence, former Calexico City Manager Oscar Rodriguez was appointed by the Council of Calexico as its new Economic Development Director.

The City Manager proposed to create this new position to allow for the delegation of various Executive Director duties within the Redevelopment and Economic Development Departments. The position will be a director-level, at-will management position, and will report to the City Manager and/or to the Assistant City Manager, Armando Villa. Prior to coming to the City of Calexico, Oscar Rodriguez worked as Executive Director of the Calexico Housing Authority.

City Manager Victor Carrillo said that Calexico needs to rebound economically and said that Oscar Rodriguez brings a skill set that will be beneficial for the City at this time. “He has a background in economic development, he has a background in redevelopment, and now Calexico is going to be player in attracting and developing a Mall like the Grand Plaza Outlet Center on the border, we need someone like Oscar Rodriguez’s caliber that can focus on that and bring retail, industrial, and commercial development to Calexico.” Carrillo said.

When asked about what would be the working relationship between the City Manager and Oscar Rodriguez because of the political differences they had in the past, Carrillo said that if there were any differences in the past was because he was a City Councilman and Mayor and there might have been some misunderstandings but said that his address to Oscar Rodriguez was that he is here to work for the City and make it better.

“The agenda is to promote Calexico and work for Calexico.” Carrillo said, “I think Oscar is bringing to the plate and open mind and I certainly have an open mind, my thing is to focus on moving Calexico into the right direction and if Oscar wants to be in team, he’s welcome to be on it.” He said. Rodriguez will have a salary of $115,000 and will include insurance, retirement and a cell phone allowance. His salary and benefits for this position will be paid entirely form the Redevelopment Agency.

The Council also approved to appoint Planning Director Armando Villa as Assistant City Manager. City Manager Carrillo recommended the opening of this new position to assist with the daily operations of the City, and to delegate the oversight of the Departments of Utility Services, General Services, and the Redevelopment Agency.  The Assistant City Manager will also control and direct operations, programs and activities of the Community Development, Building, and Engineering Department operations as Villa had done in his current position. The position will be and upper-management, at-will position, and will report to the City Manager. The Contract does not change Villa’s salary and no new benefits are added to this contract.

Former RDA Director Rosalind Guerrero was moved to be the new Human Resources Director, a position that has been vacant since the dismissal of A.J. Gaddis in 2008.