LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Board of Supervisors has appointed a current member of the County Administrative Office to act as interim county administrative officer, with a view to keeping him in the job permanently.
Matt Perry, Lake County’s chief deputy county administrative officer, will take over the job on an interim basis, Board Chair Rob Brown said shortly after the supervisors emerged from closed session on Tuesday evening.
The vote was unanimous.
Perry's appointment will allow Kelly Cox – a 32-year county veteran who officially retired as county administrative officer on March 16 but has continued to fill in on a volunteer, temporary basis – to finally get started on his retirement.
Perry, 51, grew up in Minnesota and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He and his family live in Lakeport.
He has worked for the county for 24 years, and in the that time has been mentored by Cox on the budget, he said.
Cox’s financial acumen has been credited by board members with being one of the main reasons why Lake is one of the only counties in the state to remain in the black, maintaining that status despite the challenges the recession has brought.
Brown said the county had many excellent candidates for Cox’s job.
For Brown, budget experience was a critical factor in Perry’s selection. He said Perry clearly has the necessary experience and knows Lake County’s budget “inside and out.”
He said Perry is an excellent choice who he believes will work well with the Board of Supervisors.
Perry said he asked the board to make his appointment an interim one so that everyone can have an adjustment period. There will be reviews at the three-month and six-month mark, with a view to transitioning Perry to a permanent appointment.
While he admitted to being a little nervous about the new job and new responsibilities, Perry said, “It’ll be fine.”
Right now, he and administrative staff are focusing on having a final budget ready for the board to approve in August.
“That’s been our focus for the last month, is preparing the recommended budget,” he said.
Perry said his goal is to keep Lake County fiscally sound and “keep the ship steady.”
Email Elizabeth Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org .