Assistant CEO Alison Lehman picked for county’s top job |

Assistant CEO Alison Lehman picked for county’s top job

Alison Lehman
Submitted to The Union

Nevada County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously chose to offer the job of county executive officer to Alison Lehman, the current assistant CEO.

The offer is contingent upon contract negotiations and the retirement of current CEO Rick Haffey, who said in December he’d step down late this summer.

Lehman, 44, said she’d accept the position. She will be the county’s first female CEO.

“I appreciate the Board’s confidence and look forward to serving Nevada County as the next CEO,” Lehman said in an email. “I have a strong commitment to our community and providing the highest standard of public service.”

In early April, Supervisor Ed Scofield said supervisors had made no decision about widening the search for a new CEO. Later that month supervisors decided in a closed-door session against spending money on a larger search.

Haffey last month said he’d recommended his successor to supervisors, though he declined to name that person. At the time he called his recommendation the most qualified person for the job with the necessary talent, ability and education.

On Tuesday Haffey revealed he’d recommended Lehman.

“The board chose an outstanding individual who will bring intelligence, professionalism and integrity to the office,” Haffey said in an email. “Nevada County is fortunate to have Alison as their next CEO.”

Supervisors huddled Tuesday for almost two hours in a closed-door session, discussing the offer along with two unrelated issues, before emerging to announce their decision.

“I think that Alison has been mentored here for a lot of years,” Scofield said. “I don’t think we could have found another person that has the knowledge of the county that Alison has.”

Scofield said that supervisors asked Lehman a series of questions during Tuesday’s closed-door session.

“It was a robust discussion,” he added. “Alison had excellent answers to every question presented to her.”

Lehman now is expected to begin contract negotiations. Those talks will include the county’s Human Resources Department, along with County Counsel Alison Barratt-Green and Haffey, Scofield said.

It’s unknown when a contract will appear before supervisors for approval. Scofield expects Lehman will take office by late August.

Lehman has served as assistant CEO since 2012. She began her career with Nevada County in 2001.

Starting as a program manager with the county’s Department of Social Services, Lehman moved to the Health & Human Services Agency before becoming Public Health’s interim director in 2004.

In 2005 she became director of the county’s Department of Social Services. She stayed in that role until 2012, when she became the assistant CEO.

Lehman currently makes $182,322.14.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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