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Cambria resident named as San Luis Obispo County interim administrative officer

John Nilon.jpg
Posted at 2:00 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 17:00:49-04

 A Cambria resident has been named interim administrative officer for San Luis Obispo County following the resignation of Wade Horton.

County officials say John Nilon will serve as interim county administrative officer (CAO) for a minimum of three months while a nationwide search for a permanent replacement is underway.

Nilon worked for the County of Kern for 32 years, serving eight years as the Kern County CAO until he retired in Feb. 2017.

“Throughout his tenure in Kern County, he served in various leadership roles including leading five different county departments with varied missions, funding streams and structures. Those departments included the CAO, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Kern Medical Center, Public Health Services Director, Director of Child Support Services and Executive Director of Employers’ Training Resources,” the County said in a press release.

He's also served on several boards and commissions, including the Cambria Community Healthcare District.

“As a recipient of numerous honors and awards for public service, innovation and excellence, John Nilon will provide the Board of Supervisors with day-to-day leadership as well as a fresh assessment the County’s organizational effectiveness,” according to the press release.

“The transition between leadership can be traumatic for any organization. To lessen the trauma, an independent, experienced interim can have great value. I am honored to serve the San Luis Obispo County community in this capacity and am pleased to offer my experience to the County team to set the stage for the new, permanent CAO,” Nilon said.

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors’ Chair John Peschong says Nilon’s leadership skills and interpersonal style “will provide an excellent bridge in this time of transition.”

Nilon will begin serving in the position May 1, which is the day Horton’s resignation becomes effective.

Horton served in the county’s top position for more than five years before announcing his resignation.

He has not given a reason for stepping down or said what’s next for him, but did tell KSBY last week, “It’s been a real privilege to serve our county for the last 8.5 years, and I’ll see where God takes me next.”