Job Specification

Class Code:




Date Originated:


Revised:  1/17




Under legislative and policy direction from the Board of Supervisors, plans, implements, directs and oversees the administrative and operational activities of all County departments; provides overall leadership, administrative direction, and coordinates the work of all County offices and departments, both elective and appointive; responsible for the administration of all County contracts and their faithful performance; designated as the Employee Relations Officer for the Board of Supervisors on employer – employee relation matters; serves as the County’s Director of Emergency Services, Executive Director of the Public Finance Authority, Director of the Regional 911 Agency, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Successor Agency, member of the Criminal Justice Council, Director of the Animal Services Authority, Secretary to the City Selection Committee, and Secretary of Clerk of the Board; recommends the County budget and provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the Board of Supervisors; and performs other work as required.




The County Administrative Officer is a single position class that is the top management position in the County administrative structure and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors. This position is responsible for the administration of all County services & activities on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, and provides direct and indirect administrative direction to department heads and general direction to the County Administrative Officer’s Office staff.  The assigned work requires initiative, judgment, discretion, and the ability to make independent decisions within established policies and procedures set forth by the Board of Supervisors, County Administrative Officer, and Federal, State & County laws, ordinances, and regulations.


This class is distinguished from the lower level class of Assistant County Administrative Officer as the former class has overall responsibility and authority over all County offices and departments. The Authority for this position is found in County Code 2.08, “County Administrative Officer.”




·         Assist and advise Board of Supervisors in establishing overall County policies; advise the Board on matters of policy and administration; formulate and present to the Board plans to implement policies and accomplish goals; administer and enforce policies established by the Board of Supervisors; direct implementation of the priorities and levels of services established by the Board

·         Direct the preparation of the annual County budget; review and evaluate the annual budget requests of all County departments; make recommendations to the Board on budget matters; administer County budget following Board approval

·         Keep the Board informed of budgetary revenue and expenditure progress; recommend annual County operating budget and proposed capital budget; establish a control system or systems to ensure that the various County departments and other agencies under the jurisdiction of the Board of Supervisors are operating within their respective budgets

·         Keep the Board informed of County programs and departmental operations; provide in-depth analysis and review of all County programs; direct and oversee long range planning, analysis, and evaluation of County programs and services; develop and recommend long-range plans to improve County operations and to prepare for future County growth and development

·         Evaluate proposed departmental programs and organizational structure; initiate changes in intradepartmental organization, structure, duties or responsibilities when warranted, including authorizing the transfer of personnel and equipment between departments within the limits prescribed by State law and directives of the Board

·         Supervise the County’s legislative advocacy program, make appropriate recommendations to the Board

·         Negotiate, or supervise the negotiation of, and execute Board-approved contracts

·         Provide highly responsible and complex administrative support to the Board of Supervisors; conduct administrative studies on a wide variety of issues and matters impacting County government and prepare recommendations for the Board

·         Recommend the creation, abolition, or restructure of departmental functions when necessary to the Board of Supervisors and/or department heads

·         Appoint, suspend, or remove appointed department heads; review and evaluate the performance of appointed department heads; direct appointed department heads in the execution of policies of the Board

·         Represent the Board in accordance with Board policies and instructions; when directed, represent the Board in dealing with individuals or groups concerned with County affairs; attend meetings of the Board; direct the preparation of the Board meeting agendas; present and make recommendations on matters on the agenda; represent the County at federal, state, and regional meetings, and before various governmental agencies, boards and commissions, legislative bodies and community organizations

·         Plan, organize, direct, and review the activities of the County Administrative Office; develop and implement the goals and objectives for the Office

·         Develop and recommend the salary and fringe benefit structure for all civil service classifications, and for the department heads; administer the employer-employee relations ordinance; develop and direct County safety and training programs to improve County operations

·         Explain County programs, policies, and activities; negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues; respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints; cooperate with community organizations, the press, and other public groups to ensure the efficiency and economy of County operations

·         Represent the County in all statewide and professional associations including the California State Association of Counties, and serve as a resource in addressing statewide issues




Thorough knowledge of:

·         Principles, techniques and practices of local government administration, including budgeting, legislative relations and processes, supervision, organization, administration, contract negotiation, project planning, administrative and organizational analysis, and modern public management methods and procedures

·         Administrative techniques and the challenges associated with the administration of a decentralized local public agency

·         Techniques of planning and performing administrative, budgetary, operational, staffing or organizational analysis, including project management

·         Current and potential revenue sources and financing techniques that may be utilized by county government

·         Local governmental function and structure, including fiscal infrastructures and financing mechanisms

·         County government organization and functions, and their relationship to federal, state and municipal government

·         Laws, codes, rules, and regulations governing the operation of County government

·         Organization, function and administrative structure of public agencies, including the role of an elected Board

·         Accepted principles and practices of supervision and management

·         Statistical methods and methods of presentation

Ability To:

·         Analyze a wide variety of complex  situations and information and draw logical conclusions and recommendations

·         Assemble, organize, and effectively present in written or oral form: administrative, financial, factual, and other information derived from a variety of sources

·         Develop, organize and effectively coordinate complex policies, programs,  and services

·         Analyze complex budgets and fiscal practices of County departments

·         Develop, control and monitor a complex budget and expenditures

·         Creatively and effectively manage the County’s fiscal, environmental, and human resources

·         Understand, interpret and apply provisions of applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, and operating procedures

·         Exercise tact and judgment in representing the County and Board of Supervisors under  diverse circumstances, and in dealing with highly sensitive political, public policy, community, and employee issues & situations

·         Utilize appropriate methods of communication, both oral and in written, to gain acceptance, cooperation,  and/or agreement of a plan, service, program and/or concept

·         Provide effective leadership to a large, complex organization

·         Supervise, train and evaluate the work of managerial staff

·         Perform data interpretation and evaluation pertaining to administrative, fiscal and management matters

·         Use principles of inductive and deductive reasoning to validate conclusions and recommendations

·         Exercise responsibility, initiative, ingenuity, independent analysis and judgment in solving highly specialized administrative and management problems


Education and Experience/Training:

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

·         Graduation from a recognized college with a major in business administration, public administration,  management, finance, accounting, public relations or a related field, AND five (5) years of high level managerial  experience in a local government agency with responsibilities in administration, personnel management, public relations, financial analysis, including: systems, procedures and program evaluation;


·         A masters or doctorate degree in a relevant field is desirable.