The well-respected Stanislaus County CEO is retiring, and the Modesto Bee took some time to reflect upon his seven years at the helm. Those years, marked in many counties and cities with bitter budget battles, finger pointing, and much consternation were difficult in the County, but through it all Rick Robinson helped lead the County with a steady hand. The years weren’t without pain, as the County now has 1,000 fewer employees than when he started. Even then they only had 4,600.

But, he was able to accomplish a great deal of successes – from reducing salary to building cooperation for new and necessary services. It was an approach that he brought to the County, based upon a career in local government that began in 1981 as an auditor in Tehama County. Over the years, he developed his mantra that you take responsibility, but give credit.”

Now, he’s turning in the pressure of a public CEO’s life for the quiet, country life of a husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife of 37 years are moving farther north in California to be closer to their four children and eight grandchildren. It’s a retirement that was well earned, much deserved.

From the Modesto Bee:

It seems rare these days when a top-level administrator leaves a government post on his own terms, with reputation intact.

Rick Robinson stepped into a hornet’s nest in Stanislaus County more than seven years ago when he replaced Reagan Wilson, a bombastic leader forced out under a cloud. The Board of Supervisors was as stable as plutonium. People wondered how a soft-spoken, bashful official from tiny Tehama County could hope to effectively lead here.

Since then, the former shoe salesman and lumberjack has steered the county’s 26 departments through a battering recession, his billion-dollar budget plunging while losing 1,000 of the county’s 4,600 employees.

Read the full article here.