said the transition from working as the district director of to Deputy City Manager of was a no-brainer.
“When I left Caltrans I had been there for 25 years and had spent nine years working in the top spot in San Diego, but after that amount of time you get to thinking: 'OK, what’s next,'” he said. “At that time, I saw that Santee had a position open and I thought wow- that could be really interesting.”
Prior to that time, Orso-Delgado had been diligently climbing the ladder within Caltrans. After earning his degree in civil engineering from in 1984, he got his first job with the organization working as a general civil engineer. From there, he was promoted to an associate level engineer, where he worked in Imperial Valley running construction and paving jobs. In San Diego, he worked on the Interstate 94 / Interstate 125 exchange, the construction of the last phase of the Sweetwater project, and even helped implement the seismic retrofits for the Coronado Bay Bridge.
“That was a pretty neat job,” he said. “We had to lift the whole roadway section of the bridge so we could swap out the support sections of the bridge so they’d be able to seismically resist an earthquake.”
In August of 2009, however, he came to the point in his career where he felt it was time to make a move.
“I had seen how infrastructure was bring build at the state level, and I’d worked with SANDAG to look at the regional planning aspect, but looking at things from local grass roots, that’s really where things happen,” Orso-Delgado said. “The opportunity seemed like a really good fit for me and it seemed like something that would be challenging and exciting, to be able to help shape how a community would look and to help guide that along.”
After doing a bit more research on the city, he was sold.
“The city had been run really well,” he said. “And when you look at the decisions Santee has made economically, their fiscal reserves, and everything else, I felt pretty confident that it was a good place to be.”
The rest, they say, is history. Since that time he’s helped implement a number of positive changes, and said that there are still a number of projects in the pipeline.
“One of the things I’m most proud of since having come on board is working on redeveloping the whole area around , which is a huge catalyst for us as a city as far as converting the whole area and being able to utilize the corridor and turn it into another jewel of the city, much like Town Center is,” he said.
“It will create an interesting dynamic within the city, helping to bring what we want in terms of growth, high-paying jobs and the type of industry that would be complimentary to .”
He’s also excited for Santee to soon begin the .
“In the next few weeks we’ll start redoing lots of streets,” he said. “But I want to ask folks to be patient with us as we embark on this paving job because we’re going to be doing a lot of streets. There will be a lot of information posted on the city’s website in terms of schedules, but we’ll need patience as we go through that. And as the old saying goes, please pardon our dust, but we’re fixing things up.”