Jack Ingstad’s tenure as the county’s administrative officer is over.
County supervisors voted unanimously in closed session Tuesday morning, April 10, to terminate Ingstad’s contract, ending two weeks of speculation over his future with Plumas County.
Ingstad told Feather Publishing his last day would be April 18. "It is time to go," he said.
County counsel Craig Settlemire reported the board’s decision at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting.
“The Plumas County Board of Supervisors and county administrator Jack Ingstad have reached an understanding that it would be best for all concerned that the county exercise its option to terminate Mr. Ingstad’s employment by Plumas County,” Settlemire said.
Ingstad didn’t attend the open session. In a prepared statement read by Settlemire, he thanked the supervisors and the community “for almost seven great years working for Plumas County.”
“I wish everyone only the best,” Ingstad said in the statement. “I believe things happen for a reason. And I know this will be a good thing for both me personally and Plumas County.”
Ingstad will receive three months of severance pay.
Going into the meeting, the supervisors were expected to decide whether to accept the budget officer’s resignation offer, or keep Ingstad in his post.
The item was listed on the closed session agenda as “Public employee performance evaluation — County Administrative Officer.”
In the wake of mounting criticism from county department leaders, Ingstad said he was prepared to step down if he didn’t have the board’s support.
“I’m going to make it easy for the board,” Ingstad said March 23, before leaving on vacation. “I’m offering to leave if that is what they would like me to do.”
The supervisors discussed Ingstad’s job performance during a closed session following their April 3 meeting.
They decided to continue the discussion until April 10, so that Ingstad could attend the meeting.
County employees, including several department heads, openly criticized Ingstad’s management style after Public Health Director Mimi Hall resigned last month.
Hall, who has been praised by the supervisors for her efforts to revive the county’s alcohol and drug program, cited treatment by Ingstad in her decision to leave.
During the supervisors’ March 20 meeting, several department heads blasted the county, and Ingstad in particular, for what was perceived as a pay-cut ultimatum.
They cited an email from Ingstad that stated in part, “If a department head declines the amendment (for pay cuts), the board will need to give notice of termination to the employee.”
Hall said the email was “the final straw” prompting her decision to resign. She said the email was indicative of the treatment she received from Ingstad since 2008.
Ingstad’s departure leaves the county — which is facing another million-dollar deficit for the next fiscal year — without a budget officer.
County department heads are reportedly scheduled to meet Thursday, April 12, to discuss budget process options.
The matter is expected to be discussed by the supervisors during their Tuesday, April 17, meeting.
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