Former Rancho Santa Fe Association Manager to leave county CAO post


By City News Service

The longtime chief administrative officer for San Diego County announced Aug. 8 that he will step down on Dec. 1.

Walt Ekard made the announcement during the afternoon session of the Board of Supervisors meeting. Ekard is a former manager of the Rancho Santa Fe Association.

Ekard said he is not retiring, but will seek other challenges. He has led the county government since 1999, making him the longest-serving person in the position in modern times.

Board Chairman Ron Roberts said Ekard helped make the county one of the best managed local governments in the country.

It’s with a great deal of heartfelt pride that I just want to wish you the very best, the best to your family for whatever you decide to do,’’ Roberts said.I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to do things.’’

Ekard, whose wife and three daughters were in attendance, said he was privileged to have led the county staff.

The chief administrative officer oversees 40 departments, manages around 15,000 employees and implements directives by the supervisors.

No successor was immediately announced, but the board was expected to go into closed session later that day to discuss how to proceed.