New manager excited about the Community Services District’s future

By: Eric Laughlin Telegraph Correspondent
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There’s a new leader in charge at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District, one who seems very confident in the challenging tasks that await him. Although John Skeel has spent the past few years as Executive Director of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District in Colorado, his Northern California connections to the corporate and nonprofit sector are well in tact. “I was in the Bay Area for six years and in that time I was able to secure funding through grants and shared resources,” he said. “That’s what I hope to do here.” And those who hired Skeel, primarily those on the board of directors, seem quite confident with such abilities. “He brings with him experience in generating revenue and managing spending,” said director Tony Rogozinski. “That I believe is key in this economic climate.” Board President Noelle Mattock has said she was impressed by Skeel’s ability to replace a long-tenured manager, as was the case here with Wayne Lowery retiring after 20 years. In addition to finding funds to avoid higher taxes, Skeel said he plans to promote team-building exercises to increase district staff morale, which he said has been down lately. “They really do have a great team here,” he said. “They’ve been able to get a lot done with limited resources, but I want to focus on how everyone can best work together, getting us ready for the long term.” Skeel also has to fill three department head positions that are currently vacant. They include director of parks, recreation and finance. “I think it’s a priority to get someone in charge of parks on a full-time basis,” he said. “But I do plan to meet with staff and come up with a game plan.” Other plans include meeting one on one with each of the district’s five board members. “By doing that you get a good sense of each member’s individual hopes and goals for the district,” he said. Skeel had originally been set to start work this past Monday, but an earlier than expected arrival granted him the opportunity to get started last week. “Everything’s been great so far,” he said. “The wife is happy and so are the kids. My son, who had been hesitant about moving, has consistently given the new routine a 7 out of 10, so we’re quite happy about that.”