The Kern County CAO had come up with a plan that would give his position management control of the county departments. However, that plan was shelved during a long debate at Tuesday’s Supervisors meeting.

At one point during the debate, Supervisor Mike Maggard said that the board would have no business handing over control of the county to a bureaucrat who was unelected. That sort of action would reduce transparency and responsiveness to residents. If the County switched to a ‘Strong CEO’ model, decisions woukd move from the public eye to closed doors, he went on to claim.

Instead of approving a ‘Strong CEO’ scheme, the board approved a plan that would discuss consolidating and merging departments to reduce the number of managers. In fact, the CAO suggested eliminating 15 departments. The discussion of that model will take place at a series of public meetings in upcoming months.

From the Bakersfield Californian:

Kern County supervisors rejected the idea of a strong county CEO Tuesday but called for a series of public meetings to discuss whether the county should slash the number of departments and consolidate its operations in an effort to save money and improve services to the public.

The discussion was long, and at times, strained.

Read the full article here.