Mono County hires new chief administrator

Jim Leddy, Sonoma County deputy administrator, takes over June 4

Mono County hired a new County Administrative Officer (CAO), according to the Mono County Board of Supervisors.

The board announced Tuesday, May 21, it selected Jim Leddy, the current Deputy County Administrator/Community and Government Affairs Manager for Sonoma County, to be the new CAO for Mono County.

Leddy, 45, begins work on June 4, with a salary of $160,000 a year. He is considered an “at will” employee, hired at the discretion of the board of supervisors.

“We had an excellent pool of candidates, but Jim stood out in many ways, including his ability to work with people,” said Supervisor Byng Hunt.

He said Leddy’s selection “followed an extensive recruitment process begun in January and (was) guided by the board’s efforts to strengthen strategic planning for the county.”

 The board of supervisors singled out Public Health Director Lynda Salcido and County Counsel Marshall Rudolph for special thanks. Both served as acting CAO at different times.

Leddy follows in the footsteps of another ‘Jim,’  Jim Arkens. Arkens served for almost two years, following Dave Wilbrecht, who served as CAO for about eight years. By the time Arkens left, however, much of the county’s top administrative and managerial staff had left or retired, and morale was considered to be at a low, one of the reasons Hunt noted that a top priority of the board was to find a leader who could work well with people.

Leddy said he believes he has the qualities to do so.

“The qualities that brought me to the table are that I am open, I share the board’s value of meaningful communication and in constantly building relationships and trust to solve problems,” he said Wednesday. “This is how I approach public service. What you see is what you get, and although I take the work very seriously, I have learned not to take myself so seriously.  

“I am, at heart, a goofy kid from the country who likes to help people,” he said. “Further, the board wanted someone with energy and who is willing to work hard for the community in a positive manner. That has always been how I approach issues—we can fix it and have fun while doing it.”

Mono County’s extreme weather and isolation were not a deterrent, he said.

“My interest was piqued by the board’s commitment to serving the public through the smartest use of resources guided by their strategic planning process,” he said. “The board’s direction, along with the communities and the landscape, made Mono irresistible. I am confident by working together, we can strengthen public services while being wise stewards of taxpayer resources… I can’t wait to get started.”

Leddy has two decades of previous public service experience.

He has served as the Community and Governmental Affairs Manager (Deputy County Administrator) of Sonoma County since 2008, a position with additional public information and legislative responsibilities, according to a news release from the county supervisors.

Prior to working for Sonoma County, Leddy was the executive director of the Napa County Planning and Transportation Agency from 2006 to 2008.

From 1993 to 2006, he worked for the state Senate, serving in the district offices of two senators, first as a field representative then district director.

Leddy grew up in the rural community of Monte Rio in Sonoma County, received a Bachelor’s Degree from University of California, Davis, in Sociology (Criminology Focus) and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute, University of Virginia (Weldon Cooper School of Public Policy, 2011), according to the news release.

Leddy is also a former member of the Santa Rosa School Board, having served two terms from 2001-2008.

He is married to Kathy Hayes, his wife of 15 years, and they have twin 11-year-old sons, Logan and John.