Mr. Maltbie announced his retirement to the Board of Supervisors April 22 in order to "to give the board sufficient time to recruit and select a successor."
A prime candidate to succeed Mr. Maltbie is likely to be former Menlo Park City Manager David Boesch, who has served as assistant county manager since early 2007. Mr. Boesch was city manager from 2000 until taking his post with the county.
The county manager is appointed by the Board of Supervisors following a broad recruitment process, laid out in the county charter.
In leaving, Mr. Maltbie said, "I will always treasure the memories I will take with me of my years of service to the community."
Since 1989, Mr. Maltbie has been responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a county that now has a budget of $1.7 billion and 5,500 employees.
Mr. Maltbie, 61, began his career in public service after serving as a first lieutenant in the Army. He was city manager in Milpitas, city manager in Glendale, Arizona, and then assistant county manager in Santa Clara County.
During Mr. Maltbie's tenure, the county has implemented a variety of changes in strategic planning and fiscal management, including a budgeting system that measures program performance.
Other accomplishments were school-based children and family services, a MediCal managed care system, and a work-first model for the welfare program. The county also rebuilt its hospital (the San Mateo Medical Center) and a new $125 million Youth Services Center.
Before he leaves, Mr. Maltbie still has to guide the county through one more budget cycle as it faces a structural deficit of $25 million — and growing.