Dec 28, 2015

In his resignation letter, Phillip Smith Hanes thanks Loretta Sands, the staff, the Board and highlights some of the successes under his administration

This is a copy of the resignation letter Phillip Smith Hanes sent to the Board of Supervisors. Anyone that has been to board meetings regularly knows that Phil is being very modest. He has always been very accessible and helpful to the public and a great support to the Supervisors and the County.

Wishing you the best in Kansas, Phil.




December 14, 2015

Board of Supervisors:

This is to notify you that I am resigning from employment with Humboldt County. I have
accepted a position as County Administrator for Ellis County, Kansas. Pursuant to the
terms of my contract, this resignation will be effective in 45 days. My last day with
Humboldt County will be Friday, January 29, 2016.

In the words of a fifty-year-old song, quoting a 2,300-year-old sacred text, “to everything
there is a season, and a time to every purpose.” One’s departure from an organization
not uncommonly encompasses many of these times – “a time to weep and a time to
laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” I am naturally sad to be leaving an
organization – and a community – in which I have found a home for more than 10 years.
I am mournful for all the work left undone, which I will not get to be a part of. Yet I am
also joyous at the remembrance of all that we have accomplished together and
celebratory at the prospect of the new opportunity before me. Therefore, please permit
me a few reflections.

First and foremost, I am proud to have been part of working with a wonderful staff to
help your Board carry out the mission of this organization. Together, we have weathered
a horrible economic crisis and helped build a stronger county for the future.
Over my time in Humboldt County, I’ve worked to prepare the county for the next storm
that will inevitably come our way. In particular, with the help of many dedicated
employees, we have achieved successes in:

 Developing the strengths of our workforce through creation and support of the
Humboldt County Leadership Academies and the fostering of self-directed work
teams through the Humboldt-21 initiative.
 Better alignment of County resources around your Board’s priorities through
development and annual review of the Strategic Framework.
 More robust planning for our financial future through quarterly budget updates,
development of a five-year financial forecast, and set-asides for facilities and
retirement funding.
 Greater engagement with our residents through efforts such as the interactive
community budget meetings, the Open Humboldt Forum online participation tool
and the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Measure Z Expenditures.
There is still much work to be done, including:
 Continued policy development such as needed policies on retirement funding
and debt financing.
 Completion of construction projects, including the new Juvenile Hall, the
expanded Jail/Community Corrections Resource Center, and a new building at
the site of the current Public Defender office to house financial functions.
 Even more transparency for our staff and residents through implementation of the
Socrata open budget web portal.
 Continued progress in systems review, including implementation of changes to our
computerized financial system and potential reorganization of departments.

I am confident, however, that Humboldt County has in place all the resources needed to
tackle these additional tasks. One of the reasons I am comfortable transitioning to a new
opportunity at this time is the faith I have in our current staff. We have built a team that is
on par with any local government in America and they will continue to successfully
implement your Board’s policy direction long after I have left the organization.

While staff throughout the organization deserves recognition, I would be remiss if I did not
specifically call to your attention the wonderful and dedicated staff of the County
Administrative Office. Whether they work in Economic Development, Information
Technology, Purchasing, Revenue Recovery, or the Management and Budget Team, the
staff of our office are among the unsung heroes of the organization. They work tirelessly
on “background” processes that support the work of other County staff and
departments and I want to take this chance to thank them for the spirit they bring to this
work each and every day.

Finally, I need to thank your Board and your predecessors for allowing me the
opportunity to serve as your CAO. I am also grateful to my predecessor, Loretta Sands,
for her encouragement and mentorship. I cannot think of a more supportive place to
have begun my journey as a chief administrator than in Humboldt County. Please
continue to treat the staff and your new CAO as well as you have treated me.

Thank you and best wishes,

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