Everett Millais, Ventura's former community services director, will take over as executive officer of the county's Local Agency Formation Commission on April 3.
The current executive officer, Arnold Dowdy, has worked in government for 37 years, the last four with LAFCO.
He said he will spend the next six months acting in a play at a Santa Paula theater and traveling to Ireland to do research on his family history.
"It was a super job, but I'm getting old and tired," the 57-year-old said with a laugh.
Millais, 51, worked for Ventura for 26 years and left the job in December to do consulting.
But when the LAFCO job opened up he couldn't refuse, saying the county's embrace of strict growth-control laws makes it a laboratory for land-use issues.
"I think it's interesting how local [growth-control] measures mesh with regional planning efforts," he said.