Manuel Lopez, San Joaquin County's chief executive officer the past 11 1/2 years, has announced his retirement from county service.
He gave a March 29 retirement date, but it isn't etched in stone. If the Board of Supervisors wants Lopez to continue as chief administrative officer through the county budget process in June, he said he'd be glad to do so.
"There's not a reason I'm retiring." Lopez said. "I don't have a plan for the following Monday. I don't have a hobby."
He's been kicking around the idea since last May, when he began running into people who asked him when he planned to retire.
Lopez said he finally made his decision last weekend and submitted his resignation letter late Tuesday afternoon.
"You need to recognize that there are other folks out there," he said. "Sometimes it's just good to have somebody else steer the ship, so to speak."
Lopez admits he's pretty much married to his job. All he does during his free time is yardwork for about two hours each weekend at his Ripon home. In a typical year, vacation has been limited to seven to 10 days each year.
"My wife told me not to retire until you have a hobby," Lopez said. "I'll have to come up with something, because my wife won't let me stay home all the time."
Lopez has some post-retirement plans. They include traveling and spending more time with his family, and perhaps filling in as an interim city or county department head when they have a vacancy.
"I'm a registered civil engineer," he said.