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Orange County supervisors extend contract with CEO Frank Kim

O.C. CEO Frank Kim, in the green jacket, speaks to an appointment holder as others line up to receive a vaccine in 2021.
Orange County CEO Frank Kim, in the green jacket, takes a question from an appointment holder as others line up to receive a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Soka University gym in Aliso Viejo in early 2021. Kim, lauded by county supervisors as caring and accessible, received a new contract Tuesday to continue as the county’s top executive.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Orange County supervisors on Tuesday approved a new three-year contract for Orange County CEO Frank Kim.

The contract runs through May 2025 and includes a $376,000 annual salary with total compensation valued at $590,234 when including all benefits.

Kim has been the county’s chief executive since May 2015. Before that he was the chief financial officer, and he has worked for the county since 1995 when he was hired as a staff accountant.

Board Chairman Doug Chaffee referred to Kim’s hobby as a scuba diver to explain his value.

“It shows real strength and that you care about other people because scuba divers are always keeping an eye out for others,” Chaffee said. “I’ve seen that caring attitude in the way you handle 18,000 employees. You do care about them and that is thoughtful.”

Supervisor Don Wagner, the board vice chairman, said, “I think Frank knows the esteem he’s held by all of us. We feel incredibly well served by our CEO.”

Wagner added, “We have the cream of the crop here.”

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do reflected on working with Kim over the past 12 years, first as a chief of staff of a supervisor and then as a supervisor himself.

“Frank Kim has been an amazing CEO,” Do said. “He’s so hands-on, so available and ... his years of experience as the former CFO has allowed Frank to know all of the nooks and crannies in the county.”

Supervisor Katrina Foley said Kim received a “very justified raise,” and noted he is “available 24-7, literally even when he’s on vacation when he shouldn’t be available.”

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said choosing Kim for CEO “was such a good decision ... It’s been an honor to work with you. The county needs you and you work well with all the department heads. We’re very fortunate to have you.”

Kim said he was “really excited about the coming years, but we have much left to do and a fleet of new department heads that have come in over the past year. I’m excited to work with them.”

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