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Lawton To Step Down As Calaveras CAO

San Andreas, CA — Effective January 11, 2010 Bob Lawton will be stepping down as the Administrative Officer for Calaveras County.

Supervisorial Board Chair Russ Thomas had this reaction, “I’m very disappointed. He’s very professional and we need him but I’m not going to weep and wail and stand in his way if he wants to go on to bigger and better things. I have to just applaud his efforts and wish him well and try as best I can to find him a great position.

I think that Bob’s greatest asset is his raw intelligence. I just admire somebody who can engage a person in conversation, listen intently and offer three or four different options about methodology for proceeding.

He’s not a judgmental type of guy. I’ve just found him to be very refreshing and I know he’s going to do well wherever he chooses to go.”

Following is the communique Lawton sent to the Board of Supervisors and all department heads …

During the past two years, the Board of Supervisors has successfully led the County of Calaveras through some of its strongest fiscal and programmatic challenges.

Since Fiscal Year 2007/08, state and local revenue losses have resulted in decreased General Fund program appropriations while the demand for public services increases. Further state budget deficits seem unavoidable, with proportionate impacts to local finance.

In response, the Board of Supervisors adopted its first structurally balanced budget in more than five years – paying this year’s bills with this year’s revenue – while increasing the General Fund Reserve to provide a stronger hedge against further downturns.  Vacancies in key department head positions created a need for new leadership in areas of deep public interest and impact. 

In response, the Board improved accountability by restoring Planning and Building as independent departments and, after extensive recruitments, hired permanent Directors of Planning, Building and Public Works who have already made a positive difference among staff and customers.
 
With the Board’s record of success in preparing the County of Calaveras for the future, with a cohesive management team reaping the benefits of cooperation and collegiality, there could be no more opportune time for me to actively pursue new professional growth opportunities.  Therefore, and in the spirit of those who toss their caps over a high wall to insure that they find a way to the other side, I submit my resignation
from the position of County Administrative Officer, effective at the close of business, January 11, 2010.
 
To the Board, I extend my deep appreciation for this opportunity to serve. To County department heads, I extend my respect for their understanding that working together works. To each County employee, I extend my thanks for the dedication they bring to improving the quality of life in Calaveras County. You are among the finest public servants it has ever been my honor to support.
 
Sincerely,
Robert C. Lawton