By Mario Conde
Last Tuesday night, Oscar Rodriquez became permanent Calexico City Manager after the Council voted 5-0 to appoint him as manager.
Rodriquez took over as City Manager in February of this year after the resignation of Victor Carrillo. He came back to Calexico in 2010 as Economic Development Director and also served as Calexico Housing Authority Manager prior to returning to the City. The Council appointed Rodriquez as Interim City Manager and had to tackle the budget deficit and negotiate with labor unions. As interim manager, he also presented the re-organization of the City of Calexico by consolidating the existing eleven departments into five. Two weeks ago, Rodriquez presented a balanced budget for the first time in three years that erased a $5 million dollar deficit and put the city in black ink.
The council evaluated Rodriquez last Tuesday on closed session for one hour. Afterwards, City Attorney Jennifer Lyon announced that the Council voted 5-0 to make him the permanent City Manager. The audience burst into applause after Lyon’s announcement.
Councilman Bill Hodge said that appointing Oscar as the new City Manager is a step in the right direction since he has done a great job running the City so far.
Councilwoman Maritza Hurtado also congratulated the new City Manager and thanked him for his leadership in these hard economic times and said that she now sees Calexico moving up. Councilman John Moreno said that it was a no-brainer to appoint Oscar Rodriquez and said that his experience in governance will help him carry the job.
Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Romero said that Calexico is now on good hands since now one of her sons will be in charge of the City. Romero said that there still a lot of work to be done but said that there is a council that is united on tackling all of the challenges ahead. Mayor Luis Castro thanked Rodriquez for a job well done and looks forward to work with him and serve the citizens of Calexico like they deserve.
City Manager Oscar Rodriquez thanked the council for his support and trust in appointing him as Calexico City Manager. He recalled how he started his career here in Calexico in the 80’s after returning to the valley after he graduated from UC Berkeley. “Calexico is my home and to come back here after twelve years of working around the valley gives me a new perspective on how to be a good leader and serve the City better.” Rodriquez said.
The City Manager said that he left Calexico 12 years ago because he felt he wasn’t learning anything new but now that he has worked in all of the major cities in the valley he had develop relationships with agencies and groups that has given him a wealth of knowledge in the public administration. “I started my career here in Calexico and this is like coming full circle to return and give back to the City that has given me and my family a lot of good things.”