The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors appointed an interim director of the public works department and an interim director of the health and human services agency at a special board meeting on Dec. 22.

The appointments came following the resignations of Public Works Director Joshua Pack, who will leave at the end of the year to become public works director for Butte County, and Health and Human Services Agency Director Kristin Stranger, who took a position in Los Angeles County.

In a unanimous vote, the board appointed Robert Pachinger as interim director of public works, effective Jan. 2, 2021, and Samuel Leach as interim director of health and human services, effective Dec. 19.

“Robert (Pachinger) has been with Calaveras County for over 30 years, and in addition to his new role as interim director, he also serves as the county surveyor and deputy director of public works,” a statement from public works reads. “Robert currently lives in San Andreas with his family and is an active member of numerous organizations throughout Calaveras County.”

District 3 Supervisor and Board Chair Merita Callaway said that Pachinger already knows the inner workings of public works well.

“He knows how to get things done through the public works system,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with him over the years.”

Leach has been the county’s chief probation officer since 2014. Callaway said that “he and Kristin Stranger have worked closely together on projects, meshing the criminal justice system with behavioral health interests” and that he has also worked closely with other department supervisors within health and human services.

“He’s been a county department head, so he knows how the county operates,” Callaway said. “I think it’s a good match right now on an interim basis, and it takes two what appear to be divergent operations and gives the county on both sides an opportunity to meld together in a more positive way.”

Both interim directors were selected by the board during a closed session on Dec. 15. The process of recruiting new department heads is expected to take between two and three months.



Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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