Written by John Lindt
After 36 years with the county, Kings County Administrative Officer Larry Spikes told the Board of Supervisors July 6 that he would retire by year’s end. Spikes has been CAO of the county for 24 years.
Spikes in a letter told the board and his staff that he worked to “think outside the box” to foster innovation and “good relationships,” including with labor unions, the California Association of Counties as well as cities and special districts in the county.
The notice gives the supervisors time to plan a transition to fill the top position.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Pedersen said that filling the job will be hard to do. “Larry is just impossible to replace.” He adds that Spikes is the longest serving CAO in the state.
“Larry has the institutional knowledge and personal relationships with top officials across the state” and has helped the residents of Kings County avoid a number of disasters, including “massive cuts in services to the indigent population.”
The state Association of Counties has honored Spikes for his leadership during one of these crisis periods, said Pedersen, when the county was at risk of suffering a $3 million hit in funding. Because of his intervention, the crisis was averted.
“His knowledge helped prevent those cuts,” Pedersen said.