The Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized a $50,000 contract with a Sacramento-based recruiting firm to conduct a nationwide search for prospective candidates to fill the soon-to-be-vacant position of chief executive officer for Riverside County.

CPS HR Consulting Inc. was selected by the Department of Human Resources to conduct the search, and the board approved the choice in a 5-0 vote.

In order to ensure the best vetting criteria are established, the board also appointed an ad hoc committee, comprised of Supervisors Manuel Perez and Karen Spiegel, to oversee the process.

The next CEO will be paid between $262,821 and $413,826 per year and serve as the county’s top administrative official, directing all budgetary matters, recommending and implementing policy changes and resolving inter-departmental conflicts, according to HR documents.

A background in economics, public administration and leadership in the private or public sector are proposed criteria.

County CEO George Johnson announced last month that he would be retiring at the end of December, following 30 years in government.

Johnson was selected to serve in the county’s top administrative post in mid-2017, soon after the retirement of then-CEO Jay Orr.

At the time, Johnson was serving as the county’s deputy CEO. He also spent time as the chief financial officer and held a number of other positions over the previous several decades.

The county is facing enormous financial challenges. Predictions are revenue losses resulting from the public health shutdowns that have impacted the entire regional economy could exceed $100 million.

During budget hearings in June, there was open discussion about the potential for layoffs by the start of the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Johnson did not mention whether the pending economic fallout had influenced his decision to retire.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *