After 14 years, Lew Bauman's last day as county administrative officer was Sept. 13, and then he was off to the green pastures of retirement. The day before he said his farewell, though, the county announced it had found his replacement—Charles McKee, who joined the county in 2003 and most recently served as county counsel.
McKee started the new gig on Sept. 17, on the appointment of the full Board of Supervisors, following a national search the county says included local and national candidates.
"Charles has been an integral part of the county's leadership team since 2003," Board of Supervisors Chair John Phillips stated in a release from the county. "He brings not only extensive knowledge of county needs and challenges but real-world experiences that give him a strong connection with the residents we serve."
Supervisor Jane Parker describes McKee as "smart, likable and able to make change happen.
"I've been speaking with him about some of the organizational issues, some of the ways the county needs to adapt to stay dynamic in responding to present-day needs," she says.
McKee says he will bring both a collaborative approach and active management style to his new role.
"I am dedicated to the long-term success of Monterey County and while there are challenges ahead, we have many strengths including a talented county and local workforce, immigrant vitality and solid economic base, I know this county well, but not everyone knows me," he says. "What you can expect from me is a leader who isn’t afraid to dig into controversial issues, whose door is always open and who values innovation and respect."
McKee's salary in the new position is $279,899.36.