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Lake Elsinore Has Increased Spotlight In Government Circles

Time will tell what the added representation will mean for the city.

This week, Riverside County Supervisor-Elect Kevin Jeffries released his staff roster, along with brief bios and primary responsibilities in the new 1st District office that includes the jurisdictions of Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Lakeland Village and other local areas.

The roster (see the full list below) underscores the increased presence of representation for Lake Elsinore in regional and state government resulting from the Nov. 6 election.

For starters, Jeffries lives in Lakeland Village and it’s expected he will open his local district office in Lake Elsinore. He was elected to the supervisor post after serving three terms in the state legislature. He will be sworn into the county office Jan. 8.

Among those picked to serve on Jeffries staff is his close ally and tapped by the supervisor-elect to serve as his planning/land use advisor.

“Lake Elsinore City Councilman Bob Magee is one of my oldest friends and has a wealth of experience in the private sector, transportation, and planning, and will be doing our land use, development, and local transportation issues,” Jeffries said.

Some in Wildomar have also aligned with Jeffries and Magee. Wildomar council members Bridgette Moore and Ben Benoit (son of Supervisor John Benoit) have shown support for the two men, and the Wildomar councilman’s presence in government circles is expected to increase -- it was announced Nov. 19 that he was selected by the Riverside County City Selection Committee to serve on the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board of Directors.

At the state level, former Lake Elsinore City Councilwoman Melissa Melendez was elected to succeed Jeffries.

Melendez served one term on the Lake Elsinore city council and after taking the oath to serve in Sacramento said, "As a Navy veteran and former mayor, I will use my experience to ensure that Sacramento pays attention to our district’s needs."

Below is Jeffries’ staff roster as provided by his office. The staffers will assume their official roles after the supervisor-elect is sworn in Jan. 8:

Elena H. Bautista—Board Assistant (Bi-lingual):  Joined the 1st District staff in 2005 as the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Coordinator, where she was responsible for recruiting members, organizing community service activities and facilitating meetings.  Upon graduation from UC Riverside in 2008, Supervisor Bob Buster appointed her as a Board Assistant, where she was responsible for scheduling, proclamations and resolutions, constituent response, and assisted with community events.  Elena will be the lead secretary in the Riverside office, and assist with health and social services issues, among other duties.  She recently completed her MS in Counseling and Guidance, PPS from CSU San Bernardino. EHermanegildo@RCBOS.org

Kayla Benites—Legislative Intern:  Kayla was selected to be a Legislative Intern by Supervisor Bob Buster, and will be retained by Supervisor Jeffries.  She is currently a senior at UC Riverside, majoring in business administration.  She will serve as a coordinator for Kevin’s Youth Advisory Council in Riverside County. She has participated in several community service projects with the Youth Advisory Council, including Temescal Valley’s Trunk or Treat and Good Hope Community Center’s annual Breakfast with Santa. KBenites@RCBOS.org  

Jeff Greene—Chief of Staff:  Jeff served as Kevin Jeffries’ Chief of Staff in the State Assembly throughout his service in the legislature, and has spent the last 17 years working in Western Riverside County in the Assembly, State Senate, teaching community college, and in the private sector.  Jeff will be the primary spokesperson for the office, handle media inquiries, and will be available to speak to community groups and organizations that want updates on county government.  He will also likely exercise his Super Chief powers to ensure he gets to do all the fun stuff.  Jeff is a graduate of UCLA with a MA in Political Science from CSU Fullerton.  JTGreene@RCBOS.org

Kristen Huyck—Legislative Assistant:  Kristen served as a Field Representative for Kevin Jeffries in the State Assembly for the last four years, having previously worked in political campaigns, and community and government relations in Western Riverside County.  The most over-educated member of the staff, she has BAs in both Political Science and Sociology from UC Santa Barbara, an MA in Poli Sci from CSU Fullerton, and recently completed her Doctorate in Education from Pepperdine University.  She teaches classes for three different colleges and will serve as the education, special districts, OES and fire liaison for Kevin, as well as serving as the primary representative for most of the communities in the 1st District.  KHuyck@RCBOS.org

Kerstin Justus—Scheduler/Office Manager:  Kerstin served as the primary scheduler and office manager throughout Kevin’s six years in the State Assembly, and previously served for another Assemblymember as well.  Primarily based in the future Lake Elsinore District Office, she will be the primary point of contact for scheduling the Supervisor and staff for meetings and appointments, and is responsible for over-seeing office operations, event logistics, and anything else that requires her amazing organizational skills.  KJustus@RCBOS.org

Thomas Ketcham—Legislative Assistant (Bi-lingual):  Served as a volunteer firefighter in Riverside County for 21 years (most with Kevin Jeffries, who served for 29 years), and has a variety of experiences as a small businessman in restaurants, real estate, and building and permitting processes.  Thomas’ responsibilities will include law enforcement, code enforcement, political reform, RTA, EDA, Hispanic outreach programs and support for land use issues.  TKetcham@RCBOS.org

Bob Magee—Planning/Land Use Advisor:  Bob Magee has served as a Councilmember in Lake Elsinore (including several terms as Mayor) since 2003, recently winning his third term.  After receiving a degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University, he started his career in the Lake Elsinore City Planning Department, and has spent the past decade as Executive Officer of Forest Wood Fiber Products.  He has served as Chairman of the Riverside County Transportation Commission and been selected as Citizen of the Year by the Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce and the Tahquitz District of the Boy Scouts of America.  Bob will be the primary staff member responsible for planning, land use, and local transportation issues.  RMagee@RCBOS.org

Robin Reid—Health and Human Services Advisor:  Poached from Supervisor Jeff Stone, Robin has been with the Riverside County Board of Supervisors serving as a legislative assistant since January 2005.  Robin has been responsible for handling issues in human and social services including self-sufficiency, child abuse prevention and protection, domestic violence, human-trafficking, sexual assault, mental health, public health, Riverside County Regional Medical Center, childcare, foster care and adoption, and programs and services for low-income individuals, and will continue to be the primary staff liaison and policy advisor for those issues with Supervisor Jeffries.  Robin previously worked in the California State Legislature from 1994-2005 as a legislative assistant to two Senators and an Assemblymember.  Robin's educational background is in social and behavioral science and she is currently pursuing her law degree.  RRReid@RCBOS.org  

The Teller of Truth December 15, 2012 at 08:42 PM
WHAT? No Marfa on this list? Better luck next time!
Antonio December 16, 2012 at 05:37 PM
The staff seem very well qualified. I encourage all readers to closely follow the County Board of Supervisors meetings live on-line or thru video playbacks.
Donald M Stacy December 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Glad our local government is in good hands!
American Girl December 17, 2012 at 08:16 PM
LER I think Martha is a big girl and holds her own on these comments. After looking at your profile pic, I am guessing people should be picking on you instead.
Antonio December 17, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I hope so, but time will tell.
Constant Comment December 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM
As Brenda would say..."Oh SNAP!" }~)
WHAT?? December 23, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Kevin's Chief of Staff does not reside in Riverside County, so in my opinion a huge negative. Sheryl Ade
General Disarray December 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Excellent point, Sheryl. I know your buddy Bob's chief's Riverside residency sure made him a very beloved and effective staff member that definitely wasn't responsible in any way for Bob's loss.
WHAT?? December 24, 2012 at 04:13 AM
To General Disarray, Is that your idea of being facetious? I said nothing about Mr. Green's personality. Your leap in logic is illogical. Sheryl Ade
General Disarray December 24, 2012 at 05:26 AM
The point is that living in the district didn't make Buster's chief good, and not living in the district won't make Jeffries' chief bad. The release says Green has been working in the area for 17 years, so I'm pretty sure he knows the difference between Wildomar and Lake Elsinore, regardless of where he lives.
WHAT?? December 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Understood your point. Difference of opinion.

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