Lake County News, CA – Supervisors appoint Turner as acting director of community development

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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Following the abrupt departure last week of the director of the community development department, the board of supervisors on Tuesday named the department’s second-in-command to fill the role of acting director.

Shortly before noon on Tuesday, the supervisory board emerged from a closed session to appoint Mireya Turner as acting director of the community development department, effective immediately.

Turner’s is the seventh appointment the board has made to head the department since the start of 2016.

She succeeds Mary Darby, who took over the full-time position in October.

“I am honored to serve as Acting Director,” said Turner, adding that during her time in Lake County, Darby “has made great improvements to the department, including building a superb team of qualified and I look forward to working with them to achieve the excellent level of public service that our residents deserve.

Turner has served on the Lakeport City Council since December 2014. She has also been a member of the League of California Cities Board of Directors since 2018.

She brings eight years of experience in county and city planning activities. In June, she accepted the position of Deputy Director of Community Development, after three years of service with the City of Ukiah, all in management and leadership roles.

Turner previously held several positions in Lake County, including the Community Development Department and the County Administrative Office. In January 2013, Turner earned a master’s degree in public administration.

Last month, Darby tendered his resignation, intending to continue in the post until November 4.

By the time she announced her resignation, the board had scheduled five closed-door performance reviews with Darby, far more than is held annually with department heads.

Last Tuesday, council held a sixth closed-door appraisal of Darby.

Three days later on Friday, Darby announced her immediate departure from the post of superintendent at the end of that working day, nearly three months ahead of the originally scheduled departure date, according to comments from County Administrative Officer Susan Parker. , at Tuesday’s board meeting.

As a result, on Tuesday morning, Parker asked the board to consider an additional item to consider a closed-door discussion to appoint an interim director of community development, which led to the decision to appoint Turner.

“We are truly delighted that Ms. Turner has volunteered to take on this interim role,” Board Chairman Eddie Crandell said in a written statement released by the County Administrative Office. “Her combination of experience and education, and her recent service as assistant principal, made her the logical choice. As members of the public are also aware, recruitment for a permanent Community Development Manager is underway and we look forward to conducting interviews soon. »

The departure of Darby, who is black, followed two months after the county settled a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the county’s former human resources director, Pamela Nichols.

Nichols, who is also black, alleged wrongful termination, racial discrimination, violation of her free speech rights and First Amendment retaliation.

The settlement paid Nichols $500,000 and required the county to conduct training on the discrimination and harassment complaint process, continuing its ongoing process of implementing cultural awareness training.

At the same time, the County Community Vision Forum Planning Committee continues to meet as part of a stated effort to increase equity and inclusion in Lake County.

Email Elizabeth Larson at This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.

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