Auditor-Controller Gere Sibbach, San Luis Obispo Countys top fiscal officer for more than two decades and a key player in keeping county government on an even financial keel during the bruising recession, is retiring at the end of this year.
He is the longest-serving auditor in the history of San Luis Obispo County, with 22 years at the helm come November.
Sibbach, 60, said the county is in good fiscal shape, and it is time for him to move on. He lavished praise on his staff, whom he called excellent and able to meet every challenge that may come its way.
He said he is proud to leave behind a large group of young, talented and well-trained professionals (who) are enthusiastic about serving the citizens of the county.
He served the county terrifically, said Supervisor Adam Hill, and was influential in guiding it through the crisis of recent years.
Sibbach worked with the Board of Supervisors, administrators, and employee organizations to avert layoffs and institute a two-tier pension plan.
The county has a balanced budget and what Sibbach described as a significant cash reserve.
Sibbach had been working for the county for nine years when he first was elected in 1990.
His term does not end until January 2015. The Board of Supervisors will appoint an interim auditor-controller after Sibbach leaves Dec. 29.
Sibbach and his wife, Diane, a retired middle school teacher, said they plan to travel as well as do some consulting work. Their grown children live in San Luis Obispo County, with daughter Celeste working at a local law firm and son Thomas at Cal Poly.