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County supervisors hold closed session on chief administrative officer position

The San Diego County Administration Building is shown on Jan. 12, 2021.
Zoë Meyers
The San Diego County Administration Building is shown on Jan. 12, 2021.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors met Monday in a closed session regarding the chief administrative officer (CAO) position, but offered no further details.

Monday's session — with the topic being public employment — in the county Administration Building was the first of three scheduled this week. The other sessions are slated for 1 p.m. Tuesday and 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.

After 25 years in San Diego county government, CAO Helen Robbins-Meyer announced her retirement last October. She left the departure date open to allow county officials time to search for a successor.


CAO since 2012, Robbins-Meyer didn't attend the meeting, which included a brief public comment period before the closed session. Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer was also absent.

The CAO is responsible for carrying out the board's policy directives and managing the day-to-day governmental operations and functions, including the annual budget.

A spokesman for board Chairwoman Nora Vargas' office said because the meetings are closed sessions, he couldn't provide any information.

After leaving the private sector, Robbins-Meyer started her career in San Diego county government as a deputy chief administrative officer.

She was later then promoted to assistant CAO, and then to the top executive position.


In a news release last year, Vargas praised Robbins-Meyer for embracing new ideas and pushing ahead "all while never losing sight of the individual lives of the people we serve ... She has worked tirelessly to create a government that works for all, and she hands a brilliant torch to the next generation of leaders."

During Robbins-Meyer's tenure as CAO, the county opened eight new libraries; created 55 miles of trails; assisted over 1 million residents with access to safety net programs such as Cal Fresh; unified volunteer fire departments into a professional agency; and made new investments in behavioral health programs, including crisis response and homeless assistance teams.