Hopefully everyone had a good holiday break. District 7 is off to a new and busy year. As we start off in a new decade, there will be colossal changes and challenges that we all will face in 2011.
Much of the work we do for the people of California is affected by our leadership in Sacramento. So now with the exit of the previous administration, Governor Jerry Brown will return to take over the helm as our state’s chief executive officer. As with many new administrations there is a change in priorities and with those priorities we will need to create new objectives. Given the state of the economy, it is going to be another rough year with a budget shortfall.
At this time we are waiting to hear what the new administration priorities will be. Brown was inaugurated on January 3.
Finally, after several months District 7 will have a complete executive management team. Sam Ekrami will begin working as the Deputy District Director of Program and Project Management at the beginning of 2011. With Ekrami’s appointment, the management team will hold offsite meetings to further determine the district's direction.
Obviously, we have seen many of our colleagues and friends retire this past year. Many of the retirees took with them years of institutional memory and knowledge. Therefore, it will be a challenge to start rebuilding our team. However, we have a well trained, energetic, and talented staff who will be able to continue on despite the high number of retirements and loss of critical personnel. We will fulfill our commitments. However, it may require more effort to continue the duties of those that have left, but I am sure we can do it.
As for hiring, we do not know what the process will be for filling positions with the new administration. Under the last administration there was an imposed hiring freeze.
All in all, it is a new year and I am optimistic that Caltrans will continue on as a world class organization.