Placer County’s $30,000 search for new CEO moves ahead

Replacement being sought for retired County Executive Officer Tom Miller
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - An executive search firm out of Rocklin is being paid $30,000 to help Placer County find a new chief executive officer to replace Tom Miller. And its request for applications to succeed Miller is in the home stretch. Ralph Andersen & Associates of Rocklin was hired in early January by the county Board of Supervisors to fill Miller’s post. Miller announced his decision Dec. 13 to retire and his last day was Feb. 24. Holly Heinzen, assistant chief executive officer is serving as interim CEO. Anderson first posted the job Feb. 10, stating that the opening is “an extraordinary opportunity to join a creative and innovative county” that has earned the reputation as one of the best-managed municipalities in the western U.S. Potential salary is not listed in its posting in the California Counties publication of the California State Association of Counties. But Miller’s last salary was just short of $250,000 and total compensation was about $320,000 for the past year. The $30,000 figure was not discussed during the Jan. 10 meeting that the contract was proposed by Personnel Director Nancy Nittler and adopted unanimously. Nittler said the Anderson proposal was one of five considered by her office. “Ralph Andersen & Associates has been conducting local government searches for more than 39 years,” Nittler said. “The firm has recent experience conducting recruitments for executive level positions in counties such as Santa Barbara and Sutter.” It was also the recruiter in the recent hiring of Ricky Horst as Rocklin city manager. Foresthill resident Michael Donica said that the Anderson contract with the county appeared to be a pricey one. “It seems kind of high to me,” Donica said “I don’t know enough to have a completely solid view on it but that’s getting exorbitant when there is and a million other things on the Internet to get the word out. I’m sure there are people looking for a job.” Anderson has set a March 16 deadline for filing resumes, and is asking candidates to include a list of accomplishments. “The ideal candidate will be a results-oriented, collaborative leader with a confident, ‘hands-on’ style,” the call for job-seekers states. “A bachelor’s degree (is) required – an advance degree may be a plus.” Then the county’s director of facility services, Miller was plucked from the ranks of high-level county management seven years ago to replace the previous CEO, Jan Christofferson. The funding is coming from this year’s County CEO’s office budget. Nittler said the work – including a community survey on what people think are important attributes in a CEO – is consistent with industry standards and will give the board options for input from a variety of sources. Survey links The survey can be completed online by going to the link: Additionally, the form can be accessed at: and completed and either copied and emailed to, or printed, completed and mailed to: Ralph Andersen & Associates 5800 Stanford Ranch Road, Suite 410 Rocklin, CA 95765 The deadline for response to the survey is Mar. 16.