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SLO County's chief administrative officer resigns

Greta Mart/KCBX

The top administrator of San Luis Obispo County announced his resignation Friday. Dan Buckshi accepted a new job as the next city manager of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area.

Although the announcement came as a surprise to many, Buckshi had confidentially briefed county supervisors of the possibility earlier in the week. Once Walnut Creek city leaders decided to offer Buckshi the job, it was made public early Friday morning.

Buckshi did not speak to the media after the announcement, but did issue a statement.

“It has been a great 15 years and it is time for a change. I am proud of all we have accomplished during my tenure and am I thankful for the many opportunities the county has afforded me over the years...we have an incredibly talented workforce, especially our executive team and our Administrative Office staff. In my opinion, they are second to none,” Buckshi said. “However, the current Board of Supervisors is very different than the Board that promoted me to the County Administrative Officer position five years ago.”

Buckshi started with the county in 2002 as an analyst. He was promoted to budget director in 2006 and assistant county administrative officer four years later. In 2012 he was promoted again to the top administrative position.

According to the county statement issued Friday, during Buckshi’s tenure, the county closed total budget gaps of $75 million dollars and the county’s bond rating was upped to AAA, the highest rating. The statement also points out that no county employees lost their jobs due to budget cuts with Buckshi at the helm.

“I would like to thank Dan Buckshi for his years of service to our county. During the short time I have worked with Dan, I have seen his leadership and professionalism and he has always strived to move our community forward and do what’s right for the citizens of San Luis Obispo County. I know he will do a great job for the City of Walnut Creek,” wrote Supervisor John Peschong in the county-issued statement.

As soon as the news became public, Supervisor Adam Hill issued a statement that was published as an op-ed in the San Luis Obispo Tribune. In it, Hill blamed the board majority for Buckshi’s departure.

“We’re losing as good as you can get as an administrator, and it’s a shame. And it’s all because’s not even because of politics, it’s also because of personality,” Hill told KCBX in an interview at the county administrative building Friday afternoon. “There’s no good reason for Dan Buckshi to have left this county. It’s really because of the toxic politics that are occurring, and it’s really because two supervisors in particular have no respect for staff.”

KCBX reached out to Supervisors Arnold and Compton asking for comment, but did not receive a response as of Friday evening.

As for finding Buckshi’s successor, the supervisors won’t meet in closed session until next Tuesday. At that time they will forge a plan forward, said Hill.

Buckshi has offered to stay another 30 days to carry the county through its annual budget hearings.

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