Darren Gretler--- Chief of Staff

Darren Gretler joined the County 20 years ago and is Chief of Staff to Supervisor Jim Desmond. 

Before joining Supervisor Desmond’s staff, Darren was Chief of Staff to Supervisor Bill Horn after serving as Assistant Director for the Department of Planning & Development Services (PDS) from 2012-2016. He also had a unique temporary reassignment to Office of Emergency Services to serve as the Recovery Manager for the May 2014 Wildfires. He has previously served as Chief, Building Division in PDS and Chief of Private Development Review in Department of Public Works.  He began his County career as a policy advisor to Supervisor Dianne Jacob. 

Darren has a B.A. in Communication from University of California, San Diego and a Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University.

A native San Diegan, Darren is a former school board member of the Del Mar Union School District, serves on the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board, the Del Mar Schools Educational Foundation Board, and coaches his kids’ teams in baseball, basketball and football.


Miles Himmel- Communications Director

Miles comes to us from KFMB-TV & Radio, where he worked for the past five years. His dad was a beloved TV reporter in San Diego for over 35 years. Miles is a native San Diegan, who started a Foundation in memory of his father. The Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation helps those in need in San Diego. He’s also the host of the Carols by Candlelight annual concert, which benefits Rady Children’s Hospital.

Miles was recently named as a 40 under 40 awardee for his work in the community and has been featured on CNN Headline News for various stories in San Diego.

If you’re a member of the media, contact Miles who will assist to coordinate.

In his free time, Miles loves traveling, spending time with friends/family and with his retired racehorse!


Kristal Jabara- Director of Community Affairs

Kristal Jabara is a native of North San Diego County, raised in Carlsbad she graduated college from Point Loma Nazarene University, and currently resides in San Marcos.    Serving on the San Marcos City Council for eight years, she is a supporter of the community voice.  Most recently, Kristal worked for the City of San Marcos in their Real Property Services Division.

For two years she served as the League of California Cities, San Diego Division, Board President, was a San Marcos Planning Commissioner, San Marcos Economic Development Council President, commissioner for the San Marcos Budget Review Committee, and volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club.

Kristal is married with one daughter who attends college in Southern California.  She enjoys hiking the trails in North County, going to the beach, and the incredible restaurants and entertainment venues North San Diego County has to offer.


Ben Mills- Policy Advisor

Ben Mills comes to Supervisor Desmond’s Office from Planning & Development Services (PDS) where he spent the last six years working his way through the Land Use/Environmental Planner series starting as a Planner I and progressing to a Planning Manager. While at PDS, Ben managed a staff of eight planners working on some of the largest, most complex projects in the County. Ben was the project manager for numerous County projects resulting in over 3,500 entitled dwelling units, 100,000 square feet of commercial uses, and 750,000 square feet of industrial uses. Ben is well versed in federal, state, and local regulations, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the County Zoning Ordinance. Ben received his bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego in Urban Studies and Planning. While not working he enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, and working on his ranch in North County.

Policy areas Ben covers:

If you have questions regarding Agriculture, Weights and Measures, Air Pollution Control, Economic Development, Environmental Health, Housing, North County Transit District, Parks & Recreation, Planning & Development Services, Port Authority, Public Works, SANDAG, San Diego Water Authority Board or Tribal issues, contact Ben.


Donna Cleary- Policy Advisor

A native San Diegan, Donna graduated from San Dieguito High School and San Diego State University. Since the late 80’s, she has worked with elected officials at every level of government.  In the private sector, she developed and implemented communication and outreach strategies to inform and engage constituents on a variety of issues. Donna served as a District Director for Senator Mark Wyland and as Senior Representative to Senator Patricia Bates. Most recently, Donna served as the Director of Communications for San Diego City Council District 2. As a resident of Scripps Ranch and a mother of three she has volunteered her time with school and youth sports programs.

If you have questions regarding Health & Human Services, Fire, Child Support Services, courts, disaster preparedness, education, EMS, immigration/border issues, medical examiner, office of emergency services, probation, public defender or sheriff department, contact Donna.


Candyce Yee- Grants Administrator

Candyce Yee was born and raised in Hawaii. Continuing with her goal of never leaving a state without palm trees, beaches and beautiful weather she attended college at UCSD. She started working for County Supervisor Bill Horn and has enjoyed helping the residents of District 5 for over 11 years. In her free time… who are we kidding between a young daughter and a husky who thinks she’s a human, Candace doesn’t have much free time on her hands. However, she wouldn’t trade it for the world and loves being able to be involved in helping such an incredible daughter.

If you have questions regarding the neighborhood reinvestment program, or community enhancement, contact Candyce. You will run into her at meetings and events around North County.


Shaina Richardson- Field Representative/Policy Aide

Shaina Richardson is native to San Diego. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a teaching credential from San Diego State University. After college, Shaina spent five years as an elementary school teacher because of her passion for making a difference in others’ lives. In 2017, she decided to change careers because she wanted to make a positive impact on her community in a different way. Shaina started working for the County in February of 2018 and is excited to be a part of Supervisor Desmond’s team. She is passionate about people and public service..  In her free time, she loves to travel, exercise, scuba diving, and spend time with her friends and family.”

If you have questions regarding animal services, general services, libraries, military affairs or our revitalization meetings, contact Shaina.


Marisol Edrozo-Executive Scheduler & Office Manager

Marisol Edrozo is Supervisor Desmond’s Executive Assistant.

She started her career with the County of San Diego in April of 1999 serving under Supervisor Bill Horn for 19+ years.

A Native San Diegan, Marisol grew up and is now raising her 3 beautiful girls and 2 bonus sons in East County alongside her fiancé, Eric.

Marisol is currently working toward her B.A. in Public Administration at San Diego State University.

In her spare time, she serves as the President of a mother/daughter philanthropic organization called SPRITES of East County.

Outside of work you can find her cheering on her children at one of their many sporting events

If you would like to schedule a meeting with Supervisor Desmond, contact Mari.


Patty Carranza- Receptionist/Constituent Services

Patty Carranza is our Director of Constituent Services, handling proclamations, adjournments, appointments to Boards, Commissions, and Committees, office correspondence, and constituent concerns. She’s been with the County for almost 15 years, previously working for various other County Departments and Supervisor Bill Horn.  She’s a native San Diegan currently living in La Mesa and enjoys spending time with her five year old daughter and a acre full of animals including a dog, cat and rabbit.

If you’re interested in joining one of the boards or commissions in District 5, contact Patty.