San Joaquin County Administrator Monica Nino has spent her first nine days on the job reaching out to all corners of the county. She met with city officials, county officials and each supervisor in order to introduce herself and understand the plan for the county’s future.
Nino, 49, has moved from Stanislaus County, where she worked for 25 years. Most recently she served as chief executive officer, tasked with overseeing 26 departments and the county’s $1 million budget.
She grew up in Stanislaus County and earned an Associate of Arts degree from Modesto Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Fresno, and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Stanislaus.
Nearly 50 people applied for San Joaquin County’s administrator position after Manuel Lopez retired in March after 11 years on the job. Once the candidates were narrowed down to four, the Board of Supervisors selected Nino with a 4-1 vote in June.
As county administrator, Nino will work in conjunction with 26 department heads, as well as the Board of Supervisors to develop new policies. She’ll also oversee the county’s $1.3 million budget and focus her attention on human resources and labor relations, in order to maintain relationships with unions and associations, which represent more than 6,000 county employees.
Recently, the Lodi News-Sentinel spoke with Nino, the county’s top non-elected official.
What are your duties as county administrator?
Since I’m responsible not just for administration, but human resources and (information technology services) as well, I have a variety of departments I’m assigned to. This organization has very strong department heads, so whatever I can do to support those people I see as my top priority.
Second is to carry out the initiatives of the five board members, especially on the economical development side of the house. They very much what to see a sustainable business plan as well as meeting the customer service needs for San Joaquin General Hospital. They also want to make sure the county is keeping up with the criminal justice system and the increasing number of inmates being housed in the county jail.
What challenges will you face?
First and foremost, to meet the needs of this community. I know economic development and job creation is very important to this board.
Describe your management style?
It’s very much about leading by example. I’m very high energy. I know there is strong leadership in this industry so I want to lead in conjunction with current leadership.
How do you plan to build bridges with the Board of Supervisors?
I’ve already had an opportunity to sit with every one of the board members and get an idea of the needs in each of their respective districts. There are some commonalities with where they want San Joaquin County to grow.
What are you proud of from your time working in Stanislaus County?
I left an organization and community that I very much cared about and felt very honored and privileged to be a part of. I left it in a condition that I know it will continue to thrive even now that I’m gone, and I think that’s a huge achievement.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.