The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has reached a unanimous agreement with County Executive Officer Michael Brown to institute his retirement on Oct. 31, 2010.

The supervisors wanted to keep Brown as the county executive officer to help the board and the county as it faces an upcoming budget cycle for the 2010-11 fiscal year that most likely will be one of the most daunting challenges ever faced in the county’s history.

The board cited Brown’s strong executive leadership skills in addition to his nationally recognized expertise in government budgets and finance, public policy development and organizational performance management as reasons.

“We want Mr. Brown to stay as the top executive leader of our county organization,” said 5th District Supervisor Joe Centeno, chairman of the board. “Mr. Brown will stay at the helm until Oct. 31, 2010, and we are depending on him to lead us out of this financial quagmire.”

The amended contract provision ensures Brown continues as the county’s CEO until Oct. 31, 2010, when he will be able to participate in a two-year retirement incentive.

Brown has been the county executive officer for 13 years, having been appointed by the Board of Supervisors in October 1996.

His award-winning public service career spans more than 41 years, with executive level leadership and nationally recognized expertise in public policy, budgets, public sector financing, land-use and housing issues, economic and community development, organizational structure, performance management, tax policy, emergency operations, public safety and disaster recovery.

— William Boyer is the communications director for Santa Barbara County.