County counsel looks to last day

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

After two decades with Calaveras County, County Counsel Skip Batchelder will soon retire.

Supervisors briefly discussing Batchelder's retirement at Monday night's Board of Supervisors meeting and agreed to meet in closed session Monday to discuss hiring a new county counsel.

Batchelder, 57, said his last day will be Friday, Dec. 12. His wife of 30 years, Lorene, will retire in February from her job with the state Department of Corrections, he said.

"After 20 years of this service, it's just time to move on and try some new opportunities, some new endeavors," Batchelder said. "It's time for a change."

He told supervisors of his decision in a Sept. 26 memo.

"I think I decided on a (resignation) date the day I drafted the letter," he said.

Batchelder's office includes two other assistant county counsels, Janis Elliott and David Sirias.

His salary is $101,649 per year. He will make more starting Oct. 24 because of a 3.5 percent raise approved earlier this year for county employees.

County Administrative Officer Tom Mitchell said his goal is to find a new county counsel before Batchelder leaves, so there's no need for an interim counsel.

"It's been a pleasure to work with him," Mitchell said. "He's been a real gentleman. He's very well respected in the field."

Replacing Batchelder will be hard to do, Supervisor Merita Callaway said.

"I think he has given us sound advice," said Callaway, who lives near Batchelder in the Forest Meadows subdivision. "We don't always take it, but he doesn't force his legal opinions on us. He lays it out there and says, 'here it is, these are the options and these are the risks.'"

Batchelder said he has few post-retirement plans.

He said he wants to take road trips through North America and spend time outdoors berry picking, fishing, camping or watching the sunset.

"Or the sunrise, whatever time of the day it might be," he said.

Batchelder said he and his wife would like to spend more time with their two grandchildren.

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The Union Democrat
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