By Mario Conde
This year Saikhon was challenged by Attorney at Law Christian Legaspi and it’s the first time the County Public Administrator has been challenged since being elected three terms ago. Saikhon says that her experience and accomplishments during these years are what motivate her to continue in her position.
When she took over she brought new software to the office and brought new technology to her department. The duty of the public administrator is to probate the states of the people that die without a will and to marshal assets. In addition, Siakhon manages the Area Agency on Aging, indigent burial program, and representative payee program, among other several duties.
Saikhon said that one of the reasons she ran for this office is because clients were not treated with dignity and respect and need to change that. She said that there were many changes made when she came in and one of her changes was to add three case managers since when she took over there was only one case manager that was limited as to how many visits he could make to a client. “There is always a case manager at the office so that no one ever comes here and is told that can’t be helped.”
Saikhon said that her department works with seniors and representative payees and were able to find funding outside the general fund and increase the case managers to one to three and said that is a big accomplishment for a general fund department, she said.
“Clients that are the most impaired we put them on a weekly check, now what we do is pay the rent directly to the landlord and the client receives a check every week. For those that can’t survive with the weekly paycheck we arrange with restaurants near that neighborhood and eat. That eliminated a lot of crisis situation of people that didn’t have funds would get confrontational or in a crisis of behavioral health and we been able to stabilize that clientele.” She said.
Saikhon said that her department works closely with the Mexican consulate when it comes to migrant deaths. Saikhon said that when someone dies and if the coroner does not find family in California they turn the case to them and notify the consulate. The public administrator works with the migrant protection department and has an excellent relationship that allows locating families or burying the remains if they cannot find family.
With the Senior Citizens in Calexico Saikhon has contract with all of the meals that are served in Calexico with the dining rooms and home delivered meals to senior’s citizens. They also have group that investigate with seniors citizens are being mistreated and if they do they send it to the State.
Saikhon said that people need to vote for someone with experience and that is what she brings to the table in these twelve years as Public Adminstrator.
“You need someone who understands the issues of life and death and the responsibilities that go with that. The process for making that decision comes from experience. I know more about this job year after year with different cases. You need to know who the players are and who to bring in, we don’t do anything in a vacuum we work with the various agencies and we built a relationship and that were experience counts.” Saikhon said.