Kern County, California

County Administrative Office

John Nilon, County Administrator

John Nilon

County Administrative Officer

View Biography

The County Administrative Office (CAO) provides staff support to the Board of Supervisors, researching issues, preparing reports and analyses, and advising the Board on federal and State legislative proposals. The department coordinates and executes County administrative and financial policies, and it enforces the rules, regulations, policies and ordinances enacted by the Board.

A key responsibility of the CAO is developing the County budget and overseeing its execution. The County union and labor relations program is also administered by the CAO, which includes the County’s employee health benefits program. The CAO also manages the County’s Compliance and Accountability function to provide additional oversight to the Board of Supervisors and is a centralized contact and source for public information. Services provided to other County departments include consultation on administrative, budgetary, and legislative matters, and analysis of administrative practices and procedures with recommendations for improvements. Grant research and assistance is also provided to departments.

The General Services Division, Information Technology Services (ITS), and the Clerk of the Board are also part of the County Administrative Office.

Mission Statement
"To promote the effective and efficient delivery of County services by providing quality advice and assistance to the Board of Supervisors, departments, employees, and the public."

The County Administrative Office (CAO) works to strategically manage countywide implementation of policies and service goals at the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the legislative body for the County of Kern. The CAO responds to requests and referrals from the Board and conducts research and analyses in order to provide recommendations on how to best serve the public using available County resources.

The CAO’s responsibilities include a wide array of functions and activities:

Budget and Finance

  • Executing and coordinating County administrative and financial policy.
  • Coordinating the annual County Budget development process, preparing the recommended budget document for Board consideration, and providing general oversight of budget execution to assist departments in monitoring and adapting their budgets throughout the year
  • Performing analysis and preparing reports in response to referrals from the Board of Supervisors on departments’ spending habits, hiring, performance, etc.
  • Administering the County's debt service program
  • Administering the County's capital improvement, facility maintenance, and ADA compliance programs
Compliance and Accountability

Providing additional oversight on compliance and ethics in County business, including reviewing audit findings and assisting departments in formulating procedures to improve accountability.     Compliance and Accountability Website

Economic Development

Managing the County’s Economic Development efforts by coordinating programs to improve business conditions, attract new business, and create jobs to intelligently grow the local economy.     Economic Development Website

Public Information

Serving as a resource to the public for information about County government and providing updates and news releases on significant developments.     Public Information Website

Employee Relations

Policy Analysis

  • Enforcing the rules, regulations, policies and ordinances enacted by the Board
  • Supporting departments in implementing policies approved by the Board of Supervisors
  • Performing continuous research, investigation, and analysis of administrative practices/processes to recommend improvements in efficiency, economy of operation, organization and service delivery effectiveness.
Intergovernmental Relations

Legislative Analysis

  • Analyzing impacts of Federal and State legislation and recommending legislative policies for adoption by the Board of Supervisors
  • Coordinating advocacy of these policies in state and federal policy arenas. Generally, the County supports legislation that promotes our ability to provide the services that local citizens need, and we oppose State or federally mandated programs that do not include a funding source.
  • Formulating the County’s Legislative Platforms for Board approval
Other Departmental Support

  • Providing departments with consultation and coordination on administrative, budgetary, legislative, and public relations matters.
  • Coordinating the appointed department head evaluation program
  • Coordinating and assisting departments in identification and application of grant opportunities

Kern County Strategic Plan  (1,159K PDF ♦ adopted by the Board on 2/5/08)

Gang Violence in Kern County Strategic Plan  (416K PDF ♦ adopted by the Board on 3/19/07)

Information Technology Strategic Plan  (PDF ♦ adopted by the Board on 3/15/05)

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