L.A. County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka Announces Retirement
Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer William T. Fujioka announced his retirement Thursday after seven years on the job. His announcement comes as a wave of new county officials prepare to take office.
Fujioka was appointed as the county’s first chief executive officer in July of 2007 after a brief retirement. He had previously held several positions with the county and, from 1999 to 2007, served as Los Angeles' City Administrative Officer.
Fujioka says he initially promised to serve for five years upon his hiring, but the economic recession prompted him to stay on board a little longer. With the county’s finances having stabilized, Fujioka says it was the right time for him to step down.
“When the day's over, my biggest accomplishment is ensuring during the recession that we didn't lay anybody off, we didn't furlough anybody, and we continued to provide critical services," Fujioka stated.
Fujioka’s departure is just one of many changes coming to L.A. County government. In addition to a new county sheriff and assessor, the Board of Supervisors will soon seat two new members of its own. U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is assuming the seat being vacated by Supervisor Gloria Molina, while Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver are competing for Zev Yaroslavsky’s seat.
Fujioka is officially retiring in November. The board must now decide whether to appoint a replacement before Yaroslavsky and Molina’s departures, or whether to wait until the new board members are seated on December 1. Fujioka has declined to offer any recommendations for a replacement, saying only that the individual should have experience with “a very large county” like Los Angeles.
As for his retirement plans, Fujioka plans to spend much of his time writing. The seasoned public administrator intends to write a book about his experiences in public office. He said he will also offer consulting work to nonprofit organizations and other municipal governments and may even consider a teaching gig.
Read more about William Fujioka’s impending departure here.