The Mono County Board of Supervisors appointed Lynda Salcido as “Acting County Administrative Officer (CAO)” on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
A long-term county employee, Salcido is also Mono County’s director of Public Health, a position she has held for 13 years. She also served as the county’s Emergency Medical Services director after former county fire rescue chief Mark Mikulicich retired in 2011.
Salcido will serve as Acting CAO following the last day of employment of the county’s current CAO, James Arkens, on Feb. 3, until an “Interim CAO” is recruited and appointed, which may take a few weeks, according to county officials.
Arkens was recently hired as CAO for Sutter County.
“We did a quick search of the county personnel who might be qualified after we found out last week that Lin Koester (Marlin Koester, a former Mono County CAO) turned down our offer to serve as a temporary CAO,” said Mono County District 2 Supervisor Fred Stump on Wednesday.
“That put us behind two weeks. Lynda is qualified, she agreed to do it, and, when I spoke to county staff, she had their support.”
He said Salcido will not receive an increase in salary.
“We really need someone to sign the checks, to make sure contracts are signed so that critical services, such as social services or requests for road maintenance, don’t fall behind,” Stump said.
“Her role is extremely limited, compared to what a Interim CAO or a full CAO would have, but we do need to be sure all the work of the county stays on track as we search for both an interim CAO and a permanent CAO.”
Stump noted that the county is also seeking a new EMS manager after Salcido reminded the previous board late last year that she could not continue to head the paramedics program indefinitely and still do her public health director job.
Another soon-to-be-empty county job—the risk manager position—will most likely be combined with that of human resource director, he said. Rita Sherman is vacating the position when she retires next week.
The county came under some fire in the past for allowing CAO Arkens to take on the human resource administrator job after some complained the combined job description left employees with no safe place to turn to for.
In terms of next steps in the hiring process for a permanent CAO, Mono County Counsel Marshall Rudolph said, “the board anticipates that the Interim CAO will be recruited from outside the county and will not be a candidate for permanent appointment as CAO. The Interim CAO will serve while the county recruits for a permanent CAO and until the individual ultimately hired as permanent CAO takes office.”
This process is estimated to take approximately four months, he said.
The county is also actively seeking a new finance director, with interviews of prospective candidates expected in February, Stump said.