Tracie Riggs’ ascent to the top job in Tuolumne County is almost official.
The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider approving a contract for Riggs, who currently serves as assistant county administrator, to replace Craig Pedro as county administrator at the beginning of next year.
Riggs was selected by the board to become Pedro’s successor on July 3, exactly two weeks after Pedro announced he would retire from the position he’s held for 12 years by Dec. 31.
Since coming to work for the county in 2006, Riggs has perhaps become best known for her work coordinating the county’s Office of Emergency Services that has earned her state and national recognition.
Riggs has overseen the county’s response to multiple high-profile crises over the past several years including an award-winning program to help residents whose wells had run dry during the drought from 2011 to 2016, major storms over the past two winters, and the ongoing epidemic of tree mortality.
In addition to emergency response, Riggs has also been responsible for coordinating the development of the annual operating budget and overseeing several departments, such as human resources, information technology, facilities management, the library and recreation.
She’s originally from Mendocino County and holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration and master’s in public administration.
The proposed contract for Riggs would be effective Jan. 1 and would pay her a base salary of $160,393 in the first year, an 18-percent boost from her current base salary of $135,375.
Riggs would also receive health and retirement benefits and, as with all county employees, be eligible for an annual 5-percent salary increase over the next five years upon completion of a successful performance evaluation and approval by the board.
Pedro is set to earn $219,461 in his final year because he will make $33,181 in additional longevity pay on top of his base salary of $186,280. He’s worked for the county since 1984.
Riggs’ proposed base salary would also be less than that of Larry Cope, executive director of the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority, who’s set to earn $163,625 in the current fiscal year.
In addition to Riggs’ contract, the board is scheduled to consider approving the release of the newly revised draft for the comprehensive update to the county General Plan.
The county’s General Plan hasn’t undergone a comprehensive update since 1996. State law requires all counties to adopt such plans and update them every 20 or so years.
General plans serve as a roadmap for development over 20-plus years, such as determining whether a piece of land in a given area can be developed for commercial or residential projects.
A previous draft was released in 2015 and was followed shortly after by the release of a draft environmental impact report, but the board directed county staff to make some revisions after considering public comments on the documents.
The board awarded a $191,000 contract to the consulting firm Ascent Environmental in January to help finish the revisions in hopes of approving the final draft of the updated plan by the end of the year.
The proposed revisions focused largely on agricultural and rural residential zoning districts, language related to “agritourism,” and other changes to ensure consistency and make the document clearer.
If the board approves the release of the draft to the public Tuesday, a separate draft EIR on the plan’s proposed policies will be released on Aug. 27 and trigger the start of a 45-day period for people to submit comments on both documents.
There will be subsequent public hearings scheduled to consider input received and ultimately approve the final drafts sometime after the comment period ends on Oct. 2.
The county started work on updating the plan in 2013 under the leadership of former Community Resources Agency Director Bev Shane, who retired in early 2017.
Contact Alex MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4530.