The town of Yreka has hired a new city manager who already lives and works in Siskiyou County.

Jason Ledbetter, executive director of corporate services for Siskiyou County, will take office on January 11. He has been working in Siskiyou County since 2018. In his current position within the county, Ledbetter oversees the following departments: Solid Waste, Siskiyou Power Authority, Flood Control, Airports, Transportation / Bus Service, Facilities and Communications.

He replaces Stephen Baker, who retired at the end of June after more than 11 years as Managing Director. Randy Johnsen is currently Interim City Manager.

“I am ecstatic,” Ledbetter said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

Be part of the community

Ledbetter said he enjoys living in Siskiyou County and being part of such a tight-knit community and that he wants to do his part to see the area grow and prosper. His wife, Diane Lang, was born and raised in the city and his stepmother, Berta Salazar-Hagerty, was a longtime social worker in the area.

Ledbetter and his wife live in Yreka and are the parents of a seven-year-old son, Otto.

“You get to know people on a personal level here,” Ledbetter said. He said he takes pride in connecting with people and bonding closely with those he comes in contact with.

Talk to people

He said one of his goals is to shop around for local small businesses in Yreka and talk to their owners. Her goal is to get to know them as individuals and hear firsthand what they love about Yreka, their concerns, and the ways the city can help them. He plans to join different local organizations and added that he wants to hear from the community to get a sense of their priorities, concerns, things they love about the city and things they would like to see improved.

Ledbetter said people are encouraged to stop by town hall or call him after he begins his duties. The Yreka Town Office, located at 701 4th St., can be reached at 530-841-2386.

“I want to hear from the people and their vision for the city,” Ledbetter said.

He said he already knew many of those who worked in the city while working for the county and said he also planned to get to know all of the city’s employees and build positive working relationships with them.

Goals

Its goals include working on improving the city’s infrastructure and finding ways to bring more jobs and businesses to the community. He said he plans to continue seeking grants and other sources of funding to help improve the city’s infrastructure.

He wants to continue working on issues such as homelessness and how to deal with it effectively. He also wants to make sure that ongoing projects, such as the urban homeless camp project, the new swimming pool and the flood risk reduction project in Yreka, run smoothly.

Ledbetter is also excited about the proposed new swimming pool and park. Additionally, the California Department of Transportation Highway 3’s next project through Yreka is slated to begin next summer and includes a portion of beautification across town. He said the project would be positive for Yreka.

Ledbetter was born and raised in the Napa Valley area. After graduating from UC Davis, he spent 10 years as a winemaker in Napa Valley and Washington State. He eventually returned to college at UC Riverside and earned a master’s degree. Ledbetter said that living in Southern California, they decided to move to a smaller, more cohesive community. Yreka was a perfect fit. Many of his wife’s family still live in the area.

Ledbetter said he very much enjoys working and living in Siskiyou County and Yreka.

“I have never felt so much sense of community as here,” he said.

“The right person for the job”

Yreka Mayor Duane Kegg said he was impressed with Ledbetter’s experience and passion for the community and believes he is a great candidate for Yreka.

“He’s a creative thinker, he thinks outside the box and wants to make Yreka a better place to live,” Kegg said.

Kegg believes Ledbetter’s desire to listen and work with a wide range of people made him a great choice to become the city’s new CEO.

Bill Choy covers sports and general news for the Siskiyou Daily News / Mount Shasta Herald / USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at@SDNBillChoy. Email Bill at [email protected] Support local journalism by subscribing today.