ROSAMOND – The Rosamond Community Services District Board of Directors has chosen a former general manager to lead the district again.

“I am honored that the board has confidence in me to lead the effort for the district,” said Steve Perez. “With my background in public health and safety, this is right up my alley.”

Perez was unanimously appointed on June 12 following a closed session prior to the regular scheduled meeting.

“There are significant challenges ahead for the district that are not in the norm for community services district,” said Perez. “The nitrate problem at the waste water treatment plant is one that needs to be mitigated and fixed.”

Perez said an effort is already underway to engineer and correct the problem.

“The regulatory boards have given us a specific timeline to accomplish that task,” he said. “I will be reaching out in an education effort to the public in regard to that situation.”

Perez previously served as general manager from 2011 to August 2015. He was removed from the general manager position, but continued to be employed by the district until the end of his contract on June 30, 2016.

“They simply chose not to renew my contract at that time,” he said.

Former Lancaster City Councilman Ron Smith was hired to replace Perez in 2016. His contract was then terminated on Feb. 22. Assistant General Manager John Houghton has been serving as interim general manager and Director of Administration Lizette Guerrero has been serving as interim assistant general manager since that time.

“We are still working out the organization plans,” said Perez

The current contract is similar to the previous one, two years in duration with an annual salary of $153,595 and use of a district vehicle among other benefits.

“I’m glad to be back,” said Perez. “I look forward to providing an effective, affordable water supply and a good collection system for our wastewater. I intend to do the job that the people expect to be done in a very professional and business-like manner.”

Perez grew up in Rosamond graduated from Rosamond High School and is a former Kern County Supervisor. He also worked 11 years as a Kern County Sheriff’s deputy and detective. Perez ran for Kern County Sheriff in 2002, losing the vote by less than one percent. He also campaigned in 2010 to return to the Board of Supervisors, losing that race by 213 votes.

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