El Dorado County's "El Jefe" Takes Over Troubled Isleton
Sam Stanton, Sac Bee, June 14, 2012Enter Dan Hinrichs, 65, a plain-spoken blueberry farmer and consulting engineer from El Dorado County whose business cards refer to him as "El Jefe."
"This is a mess on steroids," Hinrichs said simply as he surveyed the job he has been handed as Isleton's interim city manager.
Isleton, a town of about 840 residents on the Sacramento River, has no website, no computer system set up to track finances and a decided lack of city services.
"You can't even read our own damn street signs, they're so faded," Hinrichs said last week.
Perhaps we can stipulate that Isleton is a pleasant little town filled with fascinating historic buildings, and that this weekend tens of thousands of people will enjoy a visit to its second annual Cajun Festival.
But even the most die-hard defender of this Delta hamlet at the southern tip of Sacramento County will concede that Isleton has a problem or two.
• The town is running a $300,000 budget deficit with no solution in sight.
• Municipal revenue is $425,000 in a town facing bills of about $1 million over the next year.
• Isleton has no permanent city manager, city attorney, police chief, or money to pay for them.