Mono County CAO tapped for Sutter County job
- Currently county administrative officer and human resources director in Mono County, set to become Sutter County’s CAO if approved by the board of supervisors Tuesday
- Annual Sutter County salary would be $185,000, subject to annual review and revision
Start date Feb. 4
- Would receive $4,000 in moving expenses
Sutter County appears set to pluck a new county administrative officer from another rural California county.
James Arkens, CAO in Mono County, will step into the role for Sutter pending approval by county supervisors Tuesday evening.
“He was one person we thought we could get along with who would also work with the rest of our people,” said board chair Larry Munger. “We thought he’d be a good fit with the staff.”
Arkens, who was not available for comment, would come to the county on a three-year deal making $185,000 annually, with another $4,000 for moving expenses.
His contract would not have automatic raises, but could be adjusted based on an annual review by the board of supervisors. He would start Feb. 4, according to Sutter County officials.
Two department heads from Mono County who’d worked with Arkens both described Sutter County as lucky to get him.
“He allows managers to do what they need to do, and yet he’s always there when you need some support,” said Nancy Boardman, Mono County’s animal control director.
Julie Tiede, the county’s director of social services, said Arkens wasn’t afraid to do something difficult if it was necessary, and worked closely with the county’s auditor to make the budget pencil out.
“There were tough, tough decisions where not everyone was happy,” she said. But Arkens was good about balancing services for the public with administering to the county’s employees, she said.
According to a 2011 Mammoth Times article, Arkens was named Mono County’s CAO in 2011 after joining the county as human resources director a year earlier.
He’d previously worked as a human resources director and in other government and/or administrative capacities over 30 years in New Mexico, Wisconsin and elsewhere, according to the article.
Munger said it was important for the board to see that the new chief administrative officer was both familiar with issues facing rural counties like Sutter and the state of California’s governance as a whole.
“You’ve got to know what’s going on,” he said.
- Sutter County Board of Supervisors regular meeting
- Tuesday, 6 p.m.
- Board chambers, Hall of Records building, 466 Second St., Yuba City