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County Counsel Parker moving on
Colusa County is in search of a new county counsel.
Tom Parker, who started with the county on July 1, 2010, has been named county counsel in Mendocino County.
His last day in Colusa County is Sept. 25. He starts his new job in Ukiah on Oct. 1. He was given a four-year contract.
"I really enjoyed being in Colusa. ... I've met a lot of good people, whether they were in government or were out of government; they are good, hard-working people," Parker said Thursday.
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors made the appointment on Monday. The Colusa County board is scheduled to accept Parker's resignation on Tuesday.
"We wish him the best. ... He has treated us well," Colusa County board Chairman Gary Evans said.
Parker told the Ukiah Daily Journal that his new job is a step up in his career: a larger county, a bigger staff and more resources.
Otherwise, Parker said, the salaries are actually pretty close. "No county is rich, but it is good pay. I'm not complaining about it," he said.
Parker also told the daily he would not mind retiring near the ocean, a location his wife of 24 years, Grace, also is excited about since she lived in the San Francisco area when she first came to California.
Evans said he understood the opportunity that Mendocino is providing Parker, and has no hard feelings about him moving on to a new job.
"And here, it is back to recruitment," Evans sad.
It is possible, Evans said, that the county may have to hire someone on an interim basis, similar to how they brought in Don Stanton to fill in prior to hiring Parker.
After that, Evans said it will depend on the kind of applicants the county gets that could determine the most favorable qualities.
"Obviously someone with an ag and water background would be nice," Evans said.
Parker, who had a taxation and water background, said being a specialist will not do his replacement any good. The job calls for someone with a broad base of knowledge and experience.
Still, Parker agreed that with the personnel issues the county has faced in recent years, a background with personnel and employment experience would be helpful.
Evans said he did not think that would be a priority qualification with the board.
Parker, who is not part of the hiring process for his successor, said his best advice is to find someone who wants to and can work closely with the board on a lot of issues.
He said it was that experience he enjoyed the most.
The best part of the job was "the chance to work closely and well with the Board of Supervisors, and in the context of not being a decision-maker, but as a legal adviser to help the Board of Supervisors," Parker said.
Parker came to Colusa County from the Sacramento County County Counsel Office, where he worked as a taxation specialist from 2005 to 2010. Prior to that he had worked in the El Dorado County counsel's office from 1991 to 2005.
He served as an assistant staff judge advocate in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990 at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, and as the office's chief of civil law from 1989 to 1990.
"Mr. Parker brings broad legal experience to Mendocino County, including a solid background on land use and expertise in financial matters," Mendocino County board Chairman John McCowen said in a statement released Wednesday.
"Speaking on behalf of the full board, we welcome Mr. Parker to Mendocino County, and look forward to working with him as our next county counsel."
Parker and his wife have two sons, one a junior studying engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, the other a freshman at Folsom Lake College.