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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Administrator Sheryl Bratton announces plans to retire in early 2023

SANTA ROSA, CA | July 15, 2022

County Administrator Sheryl Bratton notified the Board of Supervisors today that she will be retiring from her position at the end of her contract term in March 2023. She recommended that the Board begin the search for her successor soon to provide adequate time to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.

Bratton, 59, began her career with the County in 1992, first serving as Deputy County Counsel before later becoming the Assistant County Counsel in 2010. She was appointed County Administrator by the Board in October 2016.

“It has been a wonderful journey and a rewarding experience, especially in my role as the County Administrator,” Bratton wrote in an email to Board members and staff on Friday. “I am especially grateful for the Board’s trust in my leadership and support over the past five-plus years.”

“The county has been incredibly fortunate to have had Sheryl at the helm for these years,” said Supervisor James Gore, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Her calm and steady leadership has kept us on an even keel through some major storms, including firestorms and a pandemic, and we will always be grateful to her.”

In her position, Bratton oversees a county of 4,181 full-time employees and a 2022-23 fiscal year budget of $2.14 billion. “This organization is filled with passionate and purposeful individuals who, day in and day out, dedicate themselves to making our community better for all who live and work here,” Bratton said.

During her time as County Administrator, Bratton has overseen a strengthening of the county’s financial position by transitioning to a structurally balanced budget process, adopting a deferred maintenance policy to address future capital building replacement needs, bolstering county reserves, and paying down unfunded pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities.

In addition, she oversaw the adoption of a new five-year Strategic Plan, the creation of the Office of Equity as part of the county’s commitment to racial equity work, and a landmark series of agreements that, with a commitment of $9 million in County general fund support, will improve the effectiveness and sustainability of fire services across Sonoma County by consolidating fire agencies. Prior to Bratton’s appointment there were 43 separate fire agencies in the county and with the support of the county landmark agreements, the number of fire agencies will be consolidated down to 23.

Under Bratton’s leadership, the county also has made significant strides in expanding the county’s supply of transitional housing including standing up the 60-hut Los Guilicos Village in less than two weeks to shelter vulnerable individuals in early 2020.

“While I believe the list of County accomplishments would be noteworthy under normal conditions, I think it is quite remarkable that we achieved so much despite the fact that we were simultaneously dealing with one disaster after another since the wildfires of 2017 tore through our community,” Bratton wrote in her email to staff. She added that “the credit goes to the countless employees who worked on all of these programs and initiatives, as well as the employees who were called to duty to respond to the multiple disaster events over the last five years.”

Following the fires, Bratton led the county in securing more than $35 million in state and federal grants for numerous disaster management and resiliency projects, including fire early warning cameras, flood elevations, seismic retrofits and many hazard mitigation and fuels reduction projects. In addition, she oversaw the creation of the county’s Department of Emergency Management, which is now considered to be one of the leading emergency management departments in the state and nation.

“While I prepare to dismount - from the ride of my life - and hand the reins over to the next County Administrator, I look forward to beginning my next adventure, whatever it may be, in 2023,” she said.

Contact Information: 
Paul Gullixson, Communications Manager 
575 Administration Drive, Suite 117A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-1964