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Assistant County Administrator

County of Sonoma Human Resources Santa Rosa Full-time

Position Information



The annual salary for the Assistant County Administrator is $205,539-$248,283*, depending upon experience.

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Located in California’s Wine County Region, the County of Sonoma lies just north of Marin County, west of Napa County, and less than 30 miles from San Francisco. With 1,600 square miles and more than 1 million acres of picturesque open spaces and agricultural land, Sonoma County boasts inspiring coastlines, mountains, redwood forests, and the vibrant Russian River. Encompassing nine cities, more than a third of Sonoma County’s almost 500,000 residents live in the City of Santa Rosa, the county seat, and a quarter in unincorporated areas. In 2022, the median household income was estimated to be $99,631 and 29.2% of residents identified as Hispanic or Latino. This compares to 24.9% in 2010. By 2027, it is projected that 30% of residents will identify as Hispanic or Latino. Sonoma County is also home to five federally recognized tribes.

The County enjoys a diverse economy that includes agriculture and a world class wine region, technology, healthcare, tourism, manufacturing, craft brewing, retail, services, and more. Economic forecasts are positive, and the current unemployment rate is less than 3%. Residents all over Sonoma County enjoy a unique quality of life. There is a wide array of park and recreation facilities, cultural events, fine dining, theater, music, arts, and festivals. The County’s public school system ranks considerably high within the state including innovative charter schools and high-quality secondary education options with Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University. While home prices reflect the value of living in an area that offers an abundance of amenities, the prices of Sonoma County homes remain amongst the more affordable in the greater Bay Area.

Visit and , for additional information about Sonoma County - the place to live, work, and build your career legacy.


Recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s 500 Best Midsized Employers, the only government agency in California to make the list, the County of Sonoma has a mission to enrich the quality of life in Sonoma County through superior public services. The County Board of Supervisors is fully committed to a mission and vision that value high quality services to support and enrich the community, strong leadership, engaged citizen participation, transparency and accuracy in information, and efficient and fiscally sustainable government. The County Administrator leads a team of dedicated department heads who work collaboratively to address and strategically prepare for County initiatives and challenges.

Sonoma is a general law county. The County provides a full range of services to the community through 28 departments and agencies. The Board of Supervisors is the governing body of the County and serves as the Board/Commission of various special Agencies and Districts. The five members of the Board are elected by district, on a non-partisan basis, for four-year staggered terms. The County budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 is approximately $2.14 billion with 4,271.93 full-time equivalent staff positions.

In March 2021, the Board approved Sonoma County’s Five-Year Strategic Plan to provide the context to inform policies and projects that are prioritized for the next five years. Organized into five pillars – Climate Action and Resiliency, Healthy and Safe Communities, Organizational Excellence, Racial Equity and Social Justice, and Resilient Infrastructure, the plan will guide how the County aligns short- and long-term objectives with operations and budgets so actions taken reflect a clear sense of purpose and demonstrate meaningful progress. For more information about Sonoma County’s Strategic Plan, please visit: .


The County Administrator’s Office is guided by the Board of Supervisors’ broad mission and carries out the Board’s policy goals by managing, directing, and coordinating the operations of the County’s departments and agencies. In addition to ensuring the implementation of the Board’s mission and policy objectives, other major activities of the Office include: preparing the County budget; ensuring implementation of County policy; acting as the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors; actively participating in labor negotiations with the County’s 12 employee unions/organizations; assisting with the performance evaluation of appointed department heads; implementing the County’s legislative platform and overseeing the County’s legislative advocacy program; developing and monitoring the County’s non-departmental budget units; preparing studies and analyses including fiscal and programmatic performance assessments of County departments and programs; overseeing the preparation of the County’s Capital Improvement Program; providing public information and outreach to the community; and monitoring progress of initiatives related to the County’s Strategic Plan. At this time, nine department heads report to the County Administrator with the remainder reporting directly to the Board. The Board and County Administrator will be evaluating this model in the coming months and consider expanding the County Administrator’s scope to include additional departments.

The County Administrator’s Office has an operating budget of approximately $11 million and a staffing compliment of 40.0 FTE. The department leadership team is comprised of the County Administrator, Assistant County Administrator, 3.0 FTE Deputy County Administrators, County Communications Manager, and Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board. This Executive team leads and manages 34.0 FTE amongst seven subsections that make up the County Administrator division. As the Clerk of the Board, the County Administrator also oversees the administrative functions of the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors has an operating budget of approximately $6.5 million and a staffing compliment of 29.0 FTE, which includes staffing of 23.0 FTE amongst five supervisorial districts and is supported by 6.0 FTE managed by the Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board.

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The Assistant County Administrator plays a critical role on the County management team by assisting the County Administrator in making major financial, administrative, and policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, as well as conducting or directing special projects and the analysis of public policy issues that are complex, difficult, and often are of a sensitive nature. The Assistant County Administrator will serve as the Chief Operating Officer for the organization and oversee the County’s fiscal and budget activities through the office of the County Administrator. This position plays a critical role in assisting the County Administrator in addressing the County’s budget/fiscal and programmatic issues, as well as handling the day-to-day operational oversight and management of the department operations and its staff. In addition, the Assistant County Administrator will assist in the administration of the labor management relations program, including key participation in labor negotiations. The wide breadth of County functions and the complexity of the County’s budget, combined with the legal and operational complexities within the various departments, special districts, and agencies, make this role especially appealing to proven executives who enjoy an active and challenging position in a fast-paced and energizing environment.


The ideal candidate will have a strong background in government budgeting and finance, policy development, labor relations, and project management and will have demonstrated success in forging intergovernmental relationships and leading strategic planning efforts with staff and elected officials through a collaborative team approach. Successful candidates will have the confidence, energy, and enthusiasm necessary, along with the ability to set clear expectations and focus on data driven results and desired outcomes, to move projects and programs forward to completion. The next Assistant County Administrator will be politically astute and recognize and champion the County’s diversity, vibrant cultures, populations, and visions of Sonoma County and its varied communities across all demographics and socio-economic levels to advance the County’s mission to enrich the quality of life in Sonoma County through superior public services.

Candidates should also possess extensive knowledge of public administration and management, county government organization and functions, and their relationship to federal, state, and municipal governments; legislative experience; excellent written and verbal communication skills; be capable of facilitating groups; and have a strong and positive presence.

The minimum qualifications for this position typically include a bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration, management, finance, economics, or accounting, and five years of increasingly responsible experience in a private or governmental agency with responsibility in administration or financial analysis, including systems, procedures, and program evaluation. Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the college education on a year-for-year basis. At least two years of experience in a responsible executive-level administrative or management capacity with a governmental/public sector agency, including the supervision of professional level staff, is required.

The most qualified and desirable candidates will possess an executive management background that includes at least five years in the capacity of County Administrator, Assistant/Deputy County Administrator, County Department Head, Assistant/Deputy Department Head, City Manager, Assistant/Deputy City Manager, or a related position, within a complex and challenging public sector environment.

What We Offer

Sonoma County offers an attractive total compensation package. The annual salary for the Assistant County Administrator is $205,539-$248,283*, depending upon experience. In addition, the County offers:

Paid Time Off – Competitive vacation accrual and additional management leave annually; 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year; generous sick leave accruals.

Health Benefits – A range of health plans with several options in which the premium benefits cover 100% of the employee's cost; dental, vision, disability, life insurance, wellness and professional development, and more.

Retirement – County Employees Retirement Law of 1937. Retirement is fully integrated with Social Security. New employees, as defined and eligible, will be PEPRA plan members and receive a 2.5% at 67 formula, or for those individuals who meet certain criteria, including establishing reciprocity eligibility, will be Legacy plan members and receive 3% at 60.

Incentive Retirement Saving Plan – A defined contribution 401(a) plan; a 3% County “foundation” contribution and voluntary IRS 457 plan Pre-Tax employee contribution up to IRS annual maximum, plus a 100% County match of employee contribution deposit into the 401(a) account (up to 1% of base salary).

Post-Retirement Medical – County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits.

Relocation Reimbursement – Reimbursement may be authorized for the successful candidate.

Cell Phone Stipend– Optional monthly stipend of $50/month (if not assigned a County-issued phone).

Employee Assistance Program– County offered at no employee cost.

Additional details on employment for management employees may be found in the Salary Resolution here .

  • The annual base salary range for the position is $198,339-$241,083. In addition to the base salary, the position receives a cash allowance of approximately $600 per month. Combined, the annual salary is $205,539-$248,283. Salary is negotiable within the established base salary range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.

Minimum Qualifications

Education: Academic course work which directly relates to the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in business administration, public administration, management, finance, economics, or accounting, would provide the knowledge and abilities. Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the college education on a year-for-year basis.

Experience: Any combination of experience which would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, five years of progressively responsible experience in a private or governmental agency with responsibilities in administration or financial analysis, including systems, procedures and programs evaluation, including two years of experience in a responsible administrative or management capacity with a governmental agency including the supervision of professional level staff.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities

Extensive knowledge of: the principles and practices of public administration, organization and management; County government organization and functions and their relationship to federal, state and municipal governments; research methodology, report writing and basic statistics; written and oral communications, language mechanics, syntax and English composition.

Extensive knowledge and ability to: interpret the laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of County government.

Considerable knowledge of: group dynamics as it relates to public organizations; modern office methods and procedures; principles and practices of supervision; principles and practices of employee relations.

Ability to: effectively assemble, organize and present, in either written or oral form, the logical conclusions and sound recommendations resulting from the analysis of administrative, financial, factual, or other information derived from a variety of sources; develop, organize and effectively coordinate programs and activities; exercise responsibility, initiative, ingenuity, independent analysis and judgment in solving highly specialized administrative and management problems; analyze complex budgets and fiscal practices of County departments; understand, interpret and apply provisions of applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, and operating procedures; orient, train, supervise and evaluate subordinate staff; analyze situations and take appropriate courses of action; perform data collection, interpretation and evaluation pertaining to administrative, fiscal and management matters; use principles of inductive and deductive reasoning to validate conclusions and recommendations; utilize sound judgment, tactfulness, persuasion and authority in relationships with subordinates, County officials, administrative personnel, and the general public; respond in a timely and flexible manner to requests by the Board of Supervisors.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

The information contained in the application and responses to the supplemental questions will be evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the employment process. Applicants should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of the application and be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions. Candidates must complete the supplemental questions at the end of this job announcement to be considered; please also upload/attach a resume and cover letter which articulates your experience, responsibilities, pertinent accomplishments, and why you are interested in the position to your application.

This is a position in the classified service. Therefore, an application screening will be conducted to evaluate satisfaction of minimum qualifications. Candidates considered most qualified from the application screening will be invited to a Panel Interview. The most appropriate candidates from the Panel Interview will be forwarded for a Final Selection Interview with the County Administrator.


Accepting application materials through April 10, 2023

Panel Interviews – May 3, 2023

Final Selection Interviews with County Administrator – May 4, 2023

Please be mindful of the timeframe established above. Although it may be subject to some change, it would be wise to plan availability around these dates.

Additional Information

A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer is contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.


If you are interested in this outstanding opportunity, please submit an online job application and responses to the supplemental questions, including a resume and cover letter which articulates your experience, responsibilities, pertinent accomplishments, and why you are interested in the position by Monday, April 10, 2023. Apply at .

Questions Can Be Directed To

Spencer Keywood, Deputy Human Resources Director

County of Sonoma Human Resources Department

Telephone: (707) 565-3568

The County of Sonoma values diversity and is dedicated to creating a workplace environment that provides individuals with a sense of belonging. We are committed to having a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. The County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer where all aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance, and business need.

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