Temecula City Councilman Jeff Comerchero has accepted an appointment by Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington to the position of Chief of Staff. Comerchero replaces Verne Lauritzen, who retired from the position after serving both Washington and previous supervisor, now Senator Jeff Stone.
Washington was named as Supervisor in March 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown, replacing Stone, who had been elected to the California State Senate at that time. Washington easily won his bid for re-election in November against former Hemet City Councilwoman Shellie Milne.
Washington appointed Comerchero to the staff position, but Comerchero will also continue to act as City Councilman for Temecula.
“I am in my 20th year as a Temecula council member and mayor,” Comerchero said. “During that time, as with most city council members, in most cities, I have maintained a full-time job. It’s important to note that a position on the city council is meant to be a part time, essentially volunteer, position. We do get a small stipend, designed to be sufficient to cover our out-of-pocket expenses. Learning to manage my time was and is, a necessity, but it’s manageable.”
Comerchero has an impressive resume. He served as Temecula’s Mayor in 2001, 2005, 2010, and 2015, as well as Mayor Pro Tem in 2000, 2004, 2009, and 2014. He has been a member of that city’s council since 1997 and served on the Board of Directors of the Riverside Transit Agency in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. He also served as chairman of the city’s Budget and Finance Committee, Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) 2004 and 2005 and vice chairman of the city’s Budget and Finance Committee, Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) in 2001.
His responsibilities will include working together with the 3rd District staff to implement the policies and vision of Washington.
“In my discussions with the Supervisor, we’ve talked about several needs including economic development particularly in smaller regions as well as more recreational and cultural opportunities,” Comerchero said.
“Supervisor Washington … understands the residents and the needs and the challenges that the rural lifestyle brings,” he continued. “That dedication will continue. Supervisor Washington can be expected to continue supporting the … areas of his district as he has since joining the Board in March 2015. In my role as his Chief of Staff, I will be coordinating efforts to help our 3rd District team to achieve the Supervisor’s goals.”
According to the 2010 census, the 3rd District includes over 440,000 residents within the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Hemet, San Jacinto, plus many unincorporated areas, including Aguanga, Anza Valley, Cahuilla, East Hemet, Gilman Hot Springs, Homeland, Idyllwild, Lake Riverside Estates, Mountain Center, Murrieta Hot Springs, Pine Cove, Pine Meadow, the Pinyon Communities, Poppet Flats, Rancho California, Soboba Hot Springs, Valle Vista and Winchester.
Comerchero said he had the privilege of working collaboratively with Washington on the Temecula City Council from 2003 until his appointment to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in March 2015.
“During those nearly 12 years, I found him to be totally dedicated to our constituents and very effective in identifying their needs and acting to meet them. I’ve seen those same qualities in Chuck Washington as our 3rd District Supervisor. Having the chance to work side by side with him to improve the quality of life of the residents of the District is indeed a rare opportunity and one for which I am grateful,” Comerchero said.
Comerchero is up for re-election to the Temecula City Council in November 2018.