Inyo County welcomes Kenneth Walker as new assistant CAO

Inyo County press release

Inyo County is pleased to announce the hire of Kenneth G. Walker as new Assistant County Administrator. Walker replaces Rick Benson, who retired May 17 after three years of dedicated service. Benson previously served as Mariposa County Administrator from November 2006 to September 2014, and worked for the County of Kern for 16 years before that.

Kenneth Walker

Kenneth Walker

A Certified Public Accountant with more than 10 years’ experience in local government, Walker comes to Inyo County from Washington State, where he served as Administrator for the City of Sultan. He was selected for the position of Inyo County Assistant County Administrator from among 10 individuals identified through a nationwide recruitment authorized by the Board of Supervisors in November when Benson’s impending retirement was first announced.

Assistant County Administrator is a critical position at the County, enabling the Administrator’s Office to adequately and reasonably operate its more than 13 divisions, offices, and program areas. Walker’s personal services contract was approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 20. He will be officially introduced to the Board at its next meeting on Tuesday, June 5, although Walker has been on the job since May 3 to aid in a smooth transition.

“The Board of Supervisors is pleased to welcome Ken Walker as Inyo County’s new Assistant County Administrator. The County is fortunate to have found a candidate of his caliber and with his level of enthusiasm and creativity, and we look forward to great things,” said Board Chairperson Dan Totheroh. “By the same token, we gratefully acknowledge Mr. Benson’s service to the County and its citizens, and for graciously assisting with the transition, and wish him a happy and healthy retirement.”

Originally from the Memphis, Tenn., Walker earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., a Master’s of Professional Accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Doctoral Fellowship from American Institute of Certified Public Accountants at the University of Memphis, and Executive Masters in Government and Public Policy from the University of Washington.

Before moving out West, Walker served as the City Manager/Controller for Vidalia, Louisiana from April 2007 to January 2012. His administrative and accounting experience in local government should serve him, and Inyo County, as he carried the torch in managing the County’s Recycling and Waste Management, Motor Pool, Parks and Recreation, Library and Museum divisions. As Assistant County Administrator, Walker is also expected to assist the County Administrator in pursuing a myriad of special projects and initiatives, both large and small, to enhance departmental output and the level of benefit provided to the community, the Board of Supervisors, and County departments.

Walker has settled in Big Pine, and is happily getting to know his colleagues, the community and the local scenery, growing fonder of each every day. “I look forward to experiencing all of the wonderful natural resources that Inyo County has to offer. It’s an amazing place,” he said. “People here are extremely knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming, and I really look forward to becoming part of the Inyo County family.”

 
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