Nevada County supervisors, community says goodbye to CEO Rick Haffey |

Nevada County supervisors, community says goodbye to CEO Rick Haffey

Nevada County CEO Rick Haffey sits at his final board of supervisors meeting Tuesday before entering retirement after many years with the county.
Elias Funez/

The agenda item for the Nevada County Board of Supervisors stated plainly — Recognition of Mr. Richard Haffey, County Executive Officer, upon his retirement.

“We know him as Rick,” Supervisor Ed Scofield told a crowded board chambers.

Supervisors at their Tuesday meeting — Haffey’s last — called the CEO a mentor and a leader they’ll miss.

CEO of the county since 2003, Haffey’s last day in the office is today. Assistant CEO Alison Lehman will succeed him.

A series of well-wishers spoke about Haffey at Tuesday’s meeting. Cheryl Wicks, cofounder of Sammie’s Friends, said Haffey about 10 years ago approached her about taking responsibility over the animal shelter.

“You had the insight and courage to support us,” Wicks said.

Tony Lashbrook, who retired last year as Truckee town manager, said the relationship between his city and Nevada County — once contentious — began to heal under Haffey’s leadership.

Diana Gamzon, executive director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, thanked Haffey for his accessibility over the past few years.

“Many of these accomplishments were not my accomplishments,” Haffey said. “They were the accomplishments of this organization.”

Starting in 1999 as the county’s chief fiscal administrative officer, Haffey became CEO about four years later. He said he’s always intended to “fly under the radar” when doing his job.

“I’m a little surprised by this recognition,” Haffey said. “I’ve never sought it out.”

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

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