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Chowchilla gets second city admin in three months

For The Madera Tribune

Chowchilla City Finance Director Rod Pruett, right, was named new interim city administrator for Chowchilla Tuesday night, replacing former interim City Administrator Dave Rivière, who is the city’s police chief.


Chowchilla City Finance Officer Rod Pruett Tuesday night was named interim city administrator, replacing Police Chief Dave Riviere, who served about three months, filling in for former City Administrator Brian Haddix, who left Chowchilla at the end of December.

Riviere was the second Chowchilla police chief to take over as city administrator. Former Police Chief Jay Varney was Chowchilla’s interim administrator for a while until he was elected sheriff of Madera County in 2014.

Haddix joined the city as administrator early in 2015, having come from Sanger.

City Clerk Joanne McClendon said Wednesday that Riviere hadn’t expected to stay long term as administrator, but was only filling in until a permanent administrator could be found.

Pruett also said he didn’t expect to stay much longer than four months in the city administrator spot.

In other business, the council voted 4-1 to introduce and waive the first reading of a plan for an industrial park at the south end of the city.

The industrial park, which has been in the planning stages for more than a year, would encompass 2,893 acres at the confluence of state routes 152 and 99. So far, the city has spent about $150,000 on the plan being carried out by QK Engineering and Planning of Bakersfield, and at least one council member expressed concern that unless the plan as presented were adopted, at least some of that money would be wasted.

“We’ve spent $150,000 on this plan,” said former Mayor and now Council Member Dennis Haworth, “and if we don’t adopt it, a lot of that money could go to waste.

Targeted uses for the land would be light industrial (671 acres), heavy industrial, (1,562 acres), public facilities (169 acres), open space (124 acres), commercial services (41 acres), commercial highways (183 acres) and existing rights of way (143 acres).

Mayor Pro Tem Waseem Ahmed was the only “no” vote, expressing concerns about the design and whether the city would be able to market the land as suggested by QK.

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