Calaveras County has hired Albert G. Alt as the county administrator at a salary of $186,430 a year effective April 27.

County staff listed Alt’s experience managing general fund budgets up to $400 million and capital improvement budgets up to $600 million. They also highlights his previous roles as a vice chancellor and a chief financial officer, and his opportunities to lead strategic financial planning, budget development, and debt issuance to support strategic objectives.

Alt could not be reached to comment. The county human resources director did not respond to requests for comment. In addition, none of the five elected supervisors responded when asked for perspective about Alt.

Manuel Lopez, the acting interim county administrative officer, said the board discussed concerns about Alt’s work history for about an hour during closed session Tuesday and the concerns did not change the board’s decision. Ultimately the board voted and Alt has been appointed.

Alt, a former vice president of college and administrative services at Modesto Junior College, was a finalist for the president’s job at that school when he and another candidate were turned down by Yosemite Community College District administrators in April 2018, the Modesto Bee reported last year.

Jim Sahlman, president of the Yosemite Faculty Association told the Modesto Bee a search committee recommended Alt and the other finalist, and many faculty members thought Alt was the best choice for the job.

"He was fully vetted for his current position before he was hired (at MJC) four years ago and backgrounds are checked by the consultants who help with these searches,” Sahlman was quoted by the Modesto Bee. “He has done exceptional work here.”

Alt's previous work experience has included jobs as chief financial officer of Sweetwater Union High School District in Southern California, vice chancellor of administrative services and human resources director for Yuba Community College District, and director of personnel and security at Feather River College.

The San Diego-Union Tribune reported in February 2013 that Alt’s hiring by Sweetwater Union High School District as chief financial officer drew criticism from some people in the community.

In his work at Yuba Community College District, Alt was also criticized for collecting additional pay for a doctoral degree from an unaccredited institution. That criticism was taken by many in the administration as union-driven, because Alt was a management labor negotiator.

Alt has since earned a doctorate in education leadership from Drexel University and a Master’s in Business Administration, according to Calaveras County human resources staff.

Alt’s starting pay with Calaveras County is slightly higher than the previous county administrative officer, Tim Lutz, who resigned last year and worked his last day for Calaveras County in early January. His compensation approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday includes $89.63 per hour in wages, a credit of seniority of six years, $500 a month for auto allowance, 120 hours of vacation annually, a credit of 24 hours vacation leave on his start date, and a credit of 45 days sick leave on his start date.

Lopez has been the acting interim county administrative officer since Lutz returned to work for his former employer, Tulare County.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Alt on March 26. According to county human resources staff, an initial recruitment process earlier this year produced a pool of candidates. The Board of Supervisors interviewed candidates March 5 in closed session. Alt was subjected to a background check, according to human resources staff.

County staff also emphasized that one of the most important traits Alt brings to Calaveras County is a strong commitment to the county’s rural community character. Alt is a resident of Calaveras County and he is an active appointee to the Camanche Regional Park Advisory Board and the county Fish and Game Commission.

Lopez, a former county administrative officer for San Joaquin County, also worked as Calaveras County’s interim administrative officer before Lutz was hired by Calaveras County in early 2017.

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

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