sanbernardino-thumb1Third District County Supervisor Neil Derry has announced that local journalist George Watson will become his new chief of staff, pending appointment by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. In a statement released today (March 27), Derry says, “I am very pleased that George has agreed to be the Third District chief of staff. I firmly believe he will be a tremendous asset to my efforts to bring greater transparency to county government.” Watson has been a newspaper reporter for 18 years. In the Inland Empire since 2001, Watson has worked for the San Bernardino County Sun and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, covering county government and politics; his career also includes a stint at the Associated Press in New York City. As Watson will replace Jim Erwin, who resigned earlier in the week following an arrest on felony charges issued by District Attorney Michael Ramos on March 19, Supervisor Derry points out, “I’ve known George for several years, and his commitment to ethics and good government is second to none.” This week also marked the appointment of Derry’s new mountain-area field representative Jamie Garland, a Big Bear resident who had been the Third District’s special projects coordinator since December. Garland replaces Jerry Lemke of Sugarloaf, who resigned, he tells KBHR, based on his workload and other commitments.
Update: As County Supervisors do not meet on the fifth Tuesday of the month, Watson’s appointment to Third District chief of staff will be voted on at the County Supervisors meeting scheduled for April 7.