Nevada County searches for new assistant CEO |

Nevada County searches for new assistant CEO

Asst. CEO Mali LaGoe departs county for new opportunity


Mali LaGoe, Nevada County’s assistant CEO since November 2018, is now city manager for the city of Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County.

Just days into her new job, LaGoe said one of the factors helping her get the new job was her extensive experience.

“I think a lot of issues facing Scotts Valley are similar to Nevada County and the surrounding area,” she said. “Having wildfire experience in Nevada County will enable me to handle disaster emergencies in Scotts Valley. This will be a great new experience for me.”

Alison Lehman, Nevada County CEO, said LaGoe’s leadership, commitment and dedication greatly benefited the Nevada County community.

“She’s incredibly smart and led with high integrity in various roles, from managing our CalWORKS program to many interim roles during her time as our assistant CEO, such as Human Resources and Community Development Agency director,” Lehman said. “Mali quickly became a trusted colleague, and she will be missed. But I know she will do great things in Scotts Valley, and I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in her next chapter.”

Scotts Valley Mayor Donna Lind said that of the 30 to 40 applicants, LaGoe stood out in part because of her background dealing with wildfire threat.

“Just a year ago, Santa Cruz County had a devastating wildfire,” she added. “Obviously, wildfire preparedness is a concern in our county, too.”

And the fact LaGoe compiled a record of longevity serving over nine years in Nevada County government made her a valuable prospect to Scotts Valley.

“I was a part of the ad hoc recruitment committee and worked directly on recruitment and the process of evaluation,” said Lind. “We’re really excited to have Mali and we’re confident she will do some great things for Scotts Valley.”

“We were lucky to have Mali at Nevada County for nearly 10 years, and I’m excited for her to be closer to family in the Bay Area after she got married,” Lehman said. “I know Mali will excel in her new role.


Caleb Dardick, county projects administrator, is now serving as interim assistant CEO. He stepped into this new role last month.

Steve Rose, the county’s Human Resources director, said recruitment for the assistant CEO position was posted Dec. 8 and ran for three weeks on the county’s website.

“We opened the recruitment to all qualified candidates and are looking for a candidate with extensive public sector experience and leadership to fill the critical need of our assistant CEO,” he said.

Following a successful recruitment to draw eight qualified candidates, HR will interview three, and then proceed with a final selection by month’s end. The county anticipates the new assistant CEO to start within two to four weeks of their selection.

“Our county has an excellent reputation across the state, a long track record of innovation and creativity, and an abundance of arts, culture and recreational opportunities that draw candidates to the unique quality of life our area offers,” Rose said.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at

This story has been updated to reflect Caleb Dardick’s title

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