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Calaveras Supervisors Unanimously Appoint Interim Fiscal Chief

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San Andreas, CA – After an outside search, the Calaveras supervisors officially appointed the obvious understudy as interim Auditor-Controller.

Longtime county employee Kathy Gomes, who has worked in auditing for about three decades and was former Auditor-Controller Rebecca Callan’s deputy, was Callen’s choice to fulfill her term when she resigned her elected position back in August. Callen told Clarke Broadcasting at the time she had long-term issues with the board over her salary versus the responsibilities of her position. She said she was being paid $53.79 per hour, which equates to just over $111,000 per year, noting it is about 38 percent lower than what many similar type counties in the region pay.

However, a candidate search was formally launched in September, as reported here. The post, which was advertised as paying just under $112,000 annually plus benefits, was described as a board appointment to complete three years of a four-year term as the county’s chief accounting officer with responsibilities to include fiscal management and auditing policies in accord with applicable laws and regulations, and related work as required.

Although it was not publicly shared just how many candidates were considered, Human Resources and Risk Director Judy Hawkins reported to the supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting that the screening committee had conducted several interviews, decided that Gomes was the best candidate to bring forward and was unanimously recommending her.

District 1 Supervisor Gary Tofanelli, who initiated the motion to approve Gomes’ appointment, noted that her dealings with him were thorough, timely and helpful. Ahead of seconding the motion, District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway addressed some concerns aired in the public comment period about how an appointed Auditor-Controller would be able to serve the public and avoid becoming beholden to the board.

Gomes replied, “The numbers are the numbers and the government code directs what we do…and it’s my job and would be my job to let you know what the numbers reflect, perhaps what the trends are showing — and what the government code dictates what we can and cannot do.”

Board Chair Jack Garamendi prefaced the board vote by thanking Gomes for her patience while going through the process. “I think there is great value in…open process. We had national advertising. We went around looking for the best and you were the one who came to the top.” He added, “I think that you will serve the county well…in your appointment.”

The supervisors subsequently voted 5-0, approving Gomes’ appointment.

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