Supervisors Extend Devereaux’s Contract

(May 10) SAN BERNARDINO—The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on May 7 extended chief executive officer Greg Devereaux’s contract to March 2017.
The supervisors said they made the move to ensure the county remains on a “positive and productive” track.
Devereaux, who was then the city manager in Ontario and a former city manager in Fontana, was hired by the county in January 2010, two months after the board sacked his predecessor, Mark Uffer. Devereaux’s hiring was instigated by supervisor Gary Ovitt, who had been a councilman and mayor in Ontario when Devereaux was employed there. Devereaux extracted extraordinary conditions from the board upon his hiring, including a guarantee that he could not be terminated on a simple 3-2 vote of the board but rather only upon  a supermajority vote of at least 4-1.
Recognized for his managerial talent and operational savvy extending to even the most obscure elements of government, Devereaux is widely respected but resented in some circles for his dominant personality. He has been criticized for his overbearing manner and what public employee union leaders have characterized as a dictatorial approach.
Board members, however, have grown highly dependent upon his leadership and budgetary guidance in recent years as the county’s revenue sources have diminished. He successfully negotiated contract concessions from the county’s various employee bargaining units, structuring county budgets that the board members believe will allow the county to function within its means over the next several years.
“Greg’s recommendations to the board and his management of the county organization have been invaluable in our efforts to foster effective government and to focus on building a strong, resilient local economy,” board chairwoman Janice Rutherford said at the May 7 meeting. “The board today made sure we and the county will benefit from his advice and leadership as we continue this endeavor.”
The board met several times in recent months to evaluate Devereaux’s performance.
According to a press release sent out after the board’s action on Tuesday, “Rather than continue trying to improve county government through single policies and ordinances each aimed at addressing specific problems as they arose, Mr. Devereaux proposed and received board direction to pursue measures that have redefined the county’s operating culture. During the past three years county government has established clear lines of authority within the organization, and defined and upheld the board’s policy-making role and differentiated it from the role of county staff; ensured board authority exists for all actions taken by county staff and connected all recommendations to the board and budget proposals to specific goals and objectives established by the board; seen the board govern as a body with decisions made in public and not as individual board members giving direction out of public view; and enabled the board to address the needs of the county as a whole rather than as five separate districts.”
The press release also credited Devereaux with working “with all sectors of the county community to identify a countywide vision and assisting the board in defining county government’s role in achieving the vision and negotiating effectively with employee associations to achieve cost savings necessary to avoid layoffs and service reductions.”
Devereaux is paid $25,416.67 in monthly salary and $8,250 per month in benefits for a total annual compensation package of $404,000.04.

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