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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

County of Sonoma modernizes leadership structure to improve effectiveness, efficiency of county government

SANTA ROSA, CA | March 26, 2024

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today consolidated authority for managing the daily operations of county government into its top leadership position, renaming the post as County Executive.

The changes will return to the Board for a final review on April 16.

“We should constantly be looking at our org charts to make sure we are providing services to the public in the most efficient way possible,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “This change will advance our efforts to ensure county government is efficient, effective, accountable and fiscally responsible.”

The County of Sonoma delivers services to the community through the work of 23 departments and agencies. Under the changes approved by the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive will appoint and supervise the directors of 11 departments, including: the Community Development Commission, the Economic Development Board, Emergency Management, Health Services, Human Resources, Human Services, Information Systems, the Office of Equity, Permit Sonoma, Public Infrastructure and Regional Parks. In addition, the County Executive will supervise the directors of five departments who are appointed by the Board or other entities, including Agriculture/Weights & Measures, Child Support Services, the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach, Probation, and Public Defender’s Office.

Previously, five of those department directors were appointed and supervised by the Board of Supervisors (Economic Development, Health Services, Office of Equity, Public Infrastructure and Regional Parks).  

The general managers of two agencies that are legally separate entities – Sonoma Water and Sonoma Ag + Open Space – will continue to report directly to their own Board of Directors, who also serve as the Board of Supervisors.

“I am grateful for the Board’s continuous process improvement focus to make the County of Sonoma an even more effective organization,” said County Administrator M. Christina Rivera, who will become the County Executive.

The County Executive implements policies set by the Board; manages the daily operations of county government; oversees preparation and implementation of the county budget and capital investment plans; and advises the Board.

County department heads examined the reorganization approach in 2022, concluding it would strengthen the County Administrator’s ability to support their performance by providing direct and timely feedback. The adoption of the County Executive model reflects the Board of Supervisors’ commitment to organizational excellence, one of five central priorities outlined in the Board’s five-year Strategic Plan. The structure is widely used in other large counties across California, including Sacramento, San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Contra Costa, Alameda and San Mateo.

The County Administrator (now Executive) position salary range will remain unchanged at $311,607.02 to $378,770.54 annually. To support the position’s expanded responsibilities, the Board of Supervisors will consider creating a second Assistant County Administrator position during upcoming budget hearings for fiscal 2024/2025.

Media Contact:
Ted Appel, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403