Editor’s note: This was taken from a Riverside County news release.
Riverside County Executive Officer Jay Orr will retire Aug. 31, five years after taking over as the county’s top administrator.
Orr helped navigate Riverside County through the tail-end of the nation’s worst recession in more than half a century, and into a slow recovery beset by new and unexpected fiscal challenges. He marked his tenure by raising wellness and health care to the forefront of the county’s agenda and leaves after 34 years in public service, having held positions in Riverside County that include assistant district attorney, code enforcement director and deputy public defender.
Orr said he wants to spend more time with family, pursue new challenges and enjoy hobbies that include playing guitar, collecting pens and golf.
“I’ve had a dream career,” he said. “I have been a prosecutor, defense attorney, teacher, attended the U.S. Naval Academy and more. How many people get to serve our community in so many different ways?”
Orr notified the Board of Supervisors on April 18 and thanked them for their trust and support during his tenure. His platform as executive officer included increasing county efficiency through technology, improving wellness and health care countywide, and spurring economic development.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Tavaglione praised the leadership and stability Orr brought the county at the end of the recession and during the subsequent slow recovery.
“At the same time, he introduced innovative and cost-saving ideas that will place county agencies on solid financial footing for decades,” Tavaglione said. “Our board wishes Jay nothing but the best as he enters the next and exciting chapter of his professional career.”
Orr pushed to consolidate the county’s information technology functions, and will be leaving as the county strives to implement greater use of data-driven decisions aimed at streamlining operations and reducing costs. He also oversaw the financial rebound of what was then called the Riverside County Regional Medical Center, which had been losing $1 million a week.
A timetable and process for choosing Orr’s successor has not been established.
Orr earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Ventura College of Law; his California Secondary Teaching Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education; a Bachelor of Arts in political science at UCSB; and attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Orr lives in Corona with his wife, and has three adult children.