By Debra Moore
Ultimately, it came down to what he thinks is best for his children.
That’s how Gabriel Hydrick explained his decision to step away from his position as Plumas County Administrator to become the Chief Administrative Officer for Tehama County.
Yes, Tehama County is larger with a population of roughly 65,000 to Plumas County’s 18,000; and the position is weightier, a chief administrator officer as opposed to administrator, but those facts didn’t weigh in on his decision, according to Hydrick.
“I’m doing it for my kids,” Hydrick said during an interview Feb. 3, almost exactly three years from his first day on the job in Plumas County. “We are not going to do a third year of lockdown.” Hydrick lamented the number of opportunities that his kids have missed, while youth in other areas haven’t been deprived.
Hydrick said when he moved his family to Plumas County in 2019 he had no intention of moving. And he leaves open the possibility that they could return some day. For that reason they aren’t selling their home, and now must find new accommodations for him and his wife and five children, as well as their seven beehives and assorted farm animals.
It’s not an easy move, but it speaks to the discontent he has felt with regard to COVID restrictions in Plumas. In Tehama he sees a county where “priorities align better with my views.”
But that didn’t make announcing his resignation any easier. Hydrick struggled to read his resignation letter to the supervisors during their Feb. 1 meeting, as he was visibly emotional.
“The opportunity to reside and work in Plumas County is a blessing and highlight in my life,” he read. “However I am writing to apprise you that I will be resigning from my position as County Administrator effective the 27th of February 2022.”
Feb. 27 is a Sunday, and during the interview Hydrick explained that his last full day of work will be Friday, Feb. 25, but he will be available to provide whatever assistance is necessary over the weekend, before he begins his new job Feb. 28.
And that assistance will probably be needed. Hydrick has helped guide the county through two years of COVID and fire, in particular the Dixie Fire which devastated large swaths of Plumas County. In the aftermath, Hydrick has spent a lot of time, in addition to his regular duties, focusing on rebuilding communities.
He touched on that reality in his letter. “The Plumas County team is a small and dedicated team that has bounced between endless and exhaustive emergencies among their day to day responsibilities for two years straight; they have performed well and I am proud of them,” he said. “This is a team and a County I care deeply about and I will continue to work for a seamless transition for all our benefit.”
Board Chairman Kevin Goss said in response, “I hate to see the resignation letter, but you have served our county very well. You aren’t going very far. I appreciate all the hard work you’ve been under.”
When it came time to formally accept his letter of resignation, the other supervisors also voiced their appreciation for his work and kiddingly threatened to not accept his letter.
Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns who has worked closely with Hydrick for the past couple of years said, “Gabriel is an integral part of what is going on in Greenville and recovery everywhere. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Gabriel.”