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County supervisors: Now a gang of four


In the face of budget cuts, El Paso County government is looking a bit like something out of an Agatha Christie novel. Where there had been 13 departments assigned to tasks ranging from plowing roads to paying employees, there are now just four. The massive restructuring went into effect last week.

County Administrator Jeff Greene says he expects savings from the reorganization to be "very significant."

Departments covering transportation, maintenance of county vehicles, parks and environmental services all became part of a Public Services Department headed by Tim Wolken, formerly the parks director.

Nicola Sapp, finance director, heads the new Budget Administration Department.

Imad Karaki, formerly director of the county's Employment, Benefits and Medical Services Department, heads the Community Services Department, which also includes information technology, development services and justice services.

Deputy County Administrator Monnie Gore leads a Support Services Department that includes facilities, veterans services and some financial services.

In June, county commissioners approved $9.1 million in cuts to this year's budget, which led to 22 employees being laid off and 37 vacant positions being eliminated. Greene says he does not expect more layoffs to come as a result of the shifts.

County Commission Chair Dennis Hisey says commissioners generally leave restructuring up to the county administrator, who reports to them.

FYI: The county's Web site is not a good source of information about how the new departments are arranged; it still lists Bill Louis as a deputy county administrator in charge of external operations, though Louis returned last year to his former role as county attorney.

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