Calaveras County’s top government employee since April 2017, Tim Lutz, has announced he is leaving on Jan. 1 to take a job with Tulare County, his previous employer before he came to Calaveras County.

Lutz has been helping lead Calaveras County’s government since April 1, 2017. His starting pay was $179,192 annually, which worked out to $86.15 per hour. County staff did not respond Thursday to questions about Lutz’ current compensation.

In a Nov. 21 letter to the county Board of Supervisors chair and the rest of the board, Lutz said he anticipates his final day with the county will be Jan. 1.

Lutz has been off and away from his Calaveras County office since Thanksgiving Day and he plans to come back Dec. 3. Lutz could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Calaveras County staff announced in March 2017 that Lutz was selected as county administrative officer effective April 1 that year. Lutz worked 12 years for Tulare County government before he came to work for Calaveras County. His most recent job there was director of fiscal operations for the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, managing a $440 million budget for a department of 2,200 employees.

Since then Lutz has helped try to guide county staff and the Board of Supervisors through one of Calaveras County’s most contentious and divisive debates, whether to ban or regulate commercial cannabis activities. Lutz has also helped the county navigate its costly recovery from the 2015 Butte Fire, the most destructive disaster in Calavera County’s 168-year history.

Communications and human resources staff with Tulare County did not immediately respond Thursday to questions about what Lutz has been hired to do for Tulare County and how much he will get paid to do it.

In his Nov. 21 letter to Gary Tofanelli, District 1 supervisor and board chair, and the other four elected supervisors, Lutz said he has “mixed emotion” about taking a new job with Tulare County.

“Deciding to leave Calaveras was a very difficult decision to make, but I feel that this opportunity will afford me the ability to spend a little more time with my children when they are still at a critical point in their development,” Lutz said in the letter. “I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the Board for their support over these last couple of years.”

Lutz said he is confident that unspecified changes he has brought to the county administrative office and and a “reorganization of functions” will continue to serve Calaveras County well. He also said he feels he is leaving Calaveras County having accomplished or laid a strong foundation for projects he set out to do, including building momentum to finish rebuilding damaged public infrastructure that remains unrepaired since the 2015 Butte Fire and 2017 winter storms, “vastly improved” county budgeting and purchasing processes, and updated capital improvement plans.

“It is with some sadness that I will not be able to see all projects through to completion,” Lutz said in the letter, “but am confident in staff to complete them.”

Lutz said he plans to be in Calaveras County the first week of January if he’s needed to help.

Toffanelli said Thursday the Board of Supervisors will discuss Lutz’ departure at their meeting on Tuesday. Tofanelli declined to comment further.

Contact Guy McCarthy at or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.