Yolo County appoints new planning boss, merges several departments

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 18, 2014 —

From Beth Gabor, County of Yolo

Yolo County Administrator Patrick Blacklock has announced the appointment of Lautaro “Taro” Echiburu as director of the newly configured Department of Planning, Public Works & Environmental Services.

Lautaro ‘Taro’ Echiburu (courtesy of County of Yolo)

Lautaro ‘Taro’ Echiburu
(courtesy of County of Yolo)

As of July 1, the division of Environmental Health will merge with the divisions of Planning and Building, Public Works and Integrated Waste Management to form the Department of Planning, Public Works and Environmental Services.  For the next six months, Environmental Health will remain in its current location at 137 N. Cottonwood Street in Woodland.  In 2015, it will join Planning and Building, located at 292 W. Beamer Street in Woodland, to provide its customers a more efficient process for permit applications.

Since 2003, Echiburu has served as planning director, interim planning director and special projects/long range/environmental planning manager for the City of Elk Grove.  Prior to that, he was an associate planner with the County of Monterey.

“In addition to his planning expertise, Taro’s background, skills and passion for Yolo County will help us continue to grow and strengthen our long term goal to protect open space and the environment,” said Yolo County Administrator Patrick Blacklock in a Yolo press release.

Echiburu holds a bachelor’s degree in marine science from Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile and a master’s degree in international environmental policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey California.

“I am honored to have been selected director of Planning, Public Works & Environmental Services,” said Taro Echiburu in a press statement.  “As a Yolo County resident, I am eager to begin working with the county, and am excited to lead the department following the recent consolidation of functions.”

Echiburu will assume his new responsibilities on June 30.  The annual salary range for this position is $133,704 – $162,516.

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