San Luis Obispo County general services director departs suddenly
August 18, 2014
By KAREN VELIE
San Luis Obispo County Administrator Dan Buckshi recently informed Janette Pell, director of the general services agency, that she no longer held her position, according to county sources.
On Aug. 11, Buckshi announced in an email sent to agency staff that the merger of the general services agency and the information technology department approximately six years ago had not worked out as planned. As a result, Buckshi said changes were needed and that Pell was through.
“As of today, Janette Pell is no longer the General Services Agency Director,” Buckshi writes in his email.
On Aug. 12, Pell emailed general services agency staff announcing her departure from the county.
“By now you are aware that I am no longer an employee with San Luis Obispo County,” Pell says in the email. “Leaving you is the most difficult part of my new journey.”
Over the past few years, the agency has been plagued with high turnover rates, allegations of misuse of technology services, questions about large contracts awarded to local firms without the required bidding processes, and bullying of staff, county sources said.
Pell’s last day was Friday Aug. 8. She was permitted to clean her desk out during the following weekend, county sources said.
Buckshi did not respond to requests for comment.
After the 2008 merger, the department, which Pell was handpicked by former county administrator David Edge to lead, included parks and golf, administration, fleet services, airports, general services, information technology, purchasing and capital projects. The merger was supposed to help “realize organizational efficiencies” while providing an economic benefit to the county.
“Unfortunately, those goals have not been realized as intended,” Buckshi’s email to staff read in part. “As a result of these multiple factors, I have come to the conclusion that changes are needed at this time.”
During the next few months, Buckshi plans to separate the general services agency into four independent departments: airports, information technology, parks, and general services, he asserted in his email to staff.
In the meantime, Machelle Vieux will serve as the interim General Services Director. The general services department will include fleet services, architectural services, energy, property management, maintenance, and administration, Buckshi noted.
Kevin Bumen will serve as the interim airports director, Curtis Black will serve as the interim parks director and Daniel Milei will serve as the interim information technology director.
Get news about San Luis Obispo County first, like CalCoastNews on Facebook.