The Board of Supervisors unanimously confirmed the appointment of two new county leaders Tuesday – a county librarian and a mental health director.
Amy Taylor was appointed to county librarian, replacing outgoing librarian Diane Satchwell. Taylor will take the reins Aug. 11.
The board appointed Yvonnia Brown as mental health director, but the appointment requires approval from the state Department of Health Care Services.
Brown, who will begin Aug. 4, has extensive experience in social services, alcohol and drug treatment, and mental health services, according to County Executive Officer Jim Brown.
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Brown replaces former Mental Health Director Manuel Jimenez, who retired in September 2013 after four years on the job. County administrators said the “extensive” recruitment process included oral interviews with the Mental Health Advisory Board members and county department heads.
Brown was not present at the board meeting Tuesday.
Taylor joins Merced County from neighboring Stanislaus County, where she spent the past four years as manager of the Modesto library. She has worked in various library positions since 1998.
Taylor said her husband works in Merced and the opportunity seemed like a good fit. “I was looking for an opportunity to grow, and I like the Valley setting,” she said.
Working in a variety of library jobs has helped Taylor prepare for the leadership role in Merced County. “I think all the different aspects I’ve worked in gives me a broader understanding of how the system will work as a whole,” Taylor said. “The more familiar you are with how the system works, the better you can deal with issues that come up.”
Satchwell, who announced her resignation in February, accepted a job as the executive director for the Southern California Library Cooperative.
Taylor will face a few inherited challenges in her role as county librarian. The library is set to lose $950,000 in funding from the now-dissolved Redevelopment Agency, which in part led to the closure of four branches in April.
County supervisors voted 5-1 in March to shut down the George library in south Merced, along with libraries in Cressey, South Dos Palos and Stevinson, replacing them with the county bookmobile.
Taylor said she is eager to begin her new job in Merced County. “I look forward to getting to know the communities better and developing partnerships,” she said.