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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Two Yolo County residents elected to new positions

Patrick Blacklock takes on new seat as Yolo County administrator

Yolo County has found its new administrator.

Patrick Blacklock, currently Elk Grove’s assistant city manager, was unanimously voted Yolo County administrator by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. Blacklock will begin his new position on Jan. 4.

With Blacklock’s acquisition of the role comes plenty of new responsibilities. As administrator he will be expected to implement policies set forth by the Yolo Board of Supervisors, collaborate in policy development, supervise department heads and map out the annual recommended budget.

The final task has Blacklock most concerned. He’s convinced it will be the greatest challenge he will face. However, Blacklock is not allowing this daunting undertaking to detract from the new position, he said.

Blacklock and his family are deeply attached to the county. His wife, Julie Blacklock, is a professor of animal science at UC Davis and both of his children attend school in Yolo County. Blacklock said this connection makes the job that much more significant and personal.

“Yolo County is home,” Blacklock said. “We have a special affinity for the county.”

An alumnus of UC Davis, Blacklock is currently the volunteer president of Davis’ alumni organization, the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. After Blacklock earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university, he realized what an integral role it had played in his life.

“UC Davis had such a big impact on my life,” Blacklock said. “I met my wife through UC Davis. I got my first job through UC Davis. I felt like I needed to give back and the opportunity arose.”

As volunteer president of the CAAA, Blacklock works side by side the executive director of the association to implement its goals. Blacklock said the organization is focusing on strengthening and cultivating the newly developed student alumni parent program. He also advocates internships as an essential component of the CAAA.

This new administrator for Yolo County is adamant about UC Davis students getting the most out of their college days.

“Alumni are here to help,” Blacklock said. “Alumni welcome the chance to help [students] with career their goals.”

Mike McGowan assumes second vice president role for the CSAC

Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Mike McGowan will fill two different positions from now on.

McGowan was elected Second Vice President for the California State Association of Counties Board of Directors on Nov. 19.

While still maintaining his role as supervisor, McGowan will now also be an essential part of the CSAC. The statewide organization lists all 58 California counties as members and concentrates on three main tenets, which will be very different from McGowan’s current supervisor position, said Yolo County Public Information Officer Beth Garbor.

The first and foremost is the association’s role as the primary state and federal legislative advocacy agent. With the aim of meeting the needs of California’s counties, legislation is drafted, bills are supported, legislative platforms are determined and lobbyists are hired and sent to Washington D.C.

The second objective of the CSAC is to inform counties about the happenings in other counties. This component, entitled membership services, allows programs and practices that are beneficial in a certain county to be known to other counties.

And last but not least, the CSAC must raise money in order to provide revenue to counties for certain programs.

McGowan must tailor the list of duties to fit the needs of the individual counties.

“The role of second vice-president is to represent the interests of all counties in California and try to reconcile and align some of our differences with each other so we can speak as one voice,” McGowan said.

Due to the large deficits in the state’s budget, McGowan said this is the major challenge he expects to face.

Counties rely heavily on state funding. With the budget severely limited, counties are at an impasse. They are required to implement state-run programs such as welfare and food stamps but will not receive the necessary revenue from the state to do the job, McGowan said.

McGowan said a reorganization of the California government, at both state and local levels, is essential to overcome the massive deficit.

“A challenge, but also an opportunity, is the question of reform of state and local government,” McGowan said. ” It is becoming clear that there needs to be some significant changes made if we’re going to meet our responsibilities and demand of the public. We need to define our priorities [because California] does not have enough money to do everything.”

After 17 years of working for the interests of a single county, McGowan said he is enthusiastic about his position at a statewide level. McGowan said he will now support and advance the causes of all California counties, including Yolo.

KELLEY REES can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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