Orange County Budget Director Ronald S. Rubino, who has worked in county government for 20 years and managed the budget during one of the most difficult economic times for local government, has resigned to take a position with a local financial consulting firm.
Rubino, 42, said Wednesday that he will remain with the county for another month while a successor is chosen for the post, which pays $99,500 a year.
"Call me a masochist, but I've enjoyed it," Rubino said. "This was a very, very hard decision for me to make."
Rubino will join Leifer Capital, a firm that provides consulting and coordinates revenue bond sales for cities and counties in California. In his new position, Rubino is not permitted to lobby or seek new business with county government for at least a year, according to the county's ethics code.
"I have really loved working in government finance, and this will allow me to continue that in the private sector," he said.
Rubino managed the county's $3.5-billion budget during a statewide economic decline that brought rising unemployment and dramatic downturns in local development.
"This year, I think we are in better shape than we have been in the past four years," Rubino said. "If the state would just leave us alone, we should be all right."
In the past two years, state government also has taken larger shares of property-tax revenues from local governments to pay for public education.
Before taking over the budget office four years ago, Rubino worked for eight years in the county auditor-controller's office and eight years for the county General Services Agency.