Nevada County saw another prominent department head leave the employment ranks, as Gayle Satchwell, director of human resources for the county, accepted an offer to serve in the same role for the city of Roseville, effective Feb. 4.
“Suffice it to say, (Gayle) brought the HR department out of the 1980s and into the 21st century,” said County Executive Officer Rick Haffey in his weekly memo.
“She will be sorely missed.”
In an interview, Haffey said Satchwell was the first department head he hired upon assuming the helm of the county in 2003.
Satchwell was instrumental in affecting a labor deal between management and the majority of county employees in 2012, a deal that led to several concessions, including having current employees shoulder more contributions to pension funds, while reducing retirement benefits for future hires, Haffey said.
“She was a key player as part of the negotiating team, and she was responsible for good labor relations during very difficult times,” Haffey said.
Satchwell will be replaced by Assistant County Executive Alison Lehman, who will perform “double duty” until a permanent replacement is found.
“It’s a very competitive field,” Haffey said. “We will be advertising statewide.”
Satchwell characterized the decision to leave as difficult and dictated by a desire to be closer to her residence.
“The decision to leave Nevada County was extremely difficult, and I have a heavy heart as I prepare to transition to work back down the hill,” she wrote.
Satchwell’s defection to Roseville represents the third department head to leave the county in the past two months.
In mid-November, Dr. Karen Millman, erstwhile director of public health for the county, announced she was taking a job as the prevention division director at the Seattle and King County Public Health Department in Washington state.
A week later, Wesley Nicks, director of environmental health
for Nevada County, announced he was occupying the same position in neighboring Placer County.
Haffey said Nevada County often goes through such employment cycles and said it makes sense for people in the middle of their careers to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Dr. Kenneth Cutler was named as the temporary public health officer, signing a contract that stipulates Cutler will dedicate at least 20 hours a week to the county for an amount not to exceed $126,000, effective Jan. 1.
Daniel Chatigny is the interim director of environmental health as the county explores how it will configure the both departments moving forward, Haffey said.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4239.