On January 25, 2022, a press release published by the County of Mendocino announced that Anne Molgaard, “a skilled administrator with over 30 years of experience in health and human services,” was appointed to serve as the county’s Director of Public Health.
A month and change shy of her year anniversary, Molgaard has retired. As confirmed by Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Darcie Antle, Molgaard’s abrupt exit has left the county’s Public Health infrastructure without an administrator which CEO Antle told us will be ironed out in the coming days.
In an internal email we obtained, CEO Antle told Public Health staff, “[T]here’s been a change in leadership in your department. Anne Molgaard has retired from the County of Mendocino effective December 9, 2022.”
The email goes on to remind staff that Molgaard’s “access to all County facilities/offices is the same as afforded to the general public; please be sure to treat her with respect as you would the public during any future contact.” The email specified that “staff may not discuss confidential or work-related information with Ms. Molgaard, as you would refrain from the same with the general public.”
CEO Antle told us the content of this email is “boilerplate” language used when any employee exits resulting in them “no longer hav[ing] the same access as an employee.”
Mendocino County’s 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak told us, “I have really enjoyed working with Anne. She was the lead on the Strategic Plan. She helped guide the County’s response to the Covid pandemic and has been a passionate advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion issues. Her leadership will be missed.”
2nd District Supervisor Mo Mulheren said, “Anne stepped in to fill the role as the Public Health Director as we transitioned from the HHSA model and back to separate departments at a challenging time and I appreciate her dedication to the community and the County and wish her well in future endeavors.”
Molgaard has a long career in local government and nonprofits serving as the founding Director of FIRST 5 Mendocino for 16 years and served for 12 years on the Ukiah Unified School District Board of Trustees.
In the press release announcing her appointment, Molgaard was quoted saying, “I’m thrilled to work with Public Health staff and partners. There is an amazing team handling the pandemic response as we rebuild our public health infrastructure. Working to promote health and wellbeing for all Mendocino County residents? I’ve got the best job ever.”
We reached out to Molgaard asking her about her retirement and her reflections on her tenure as Public Health Director. As of publication, she has yet to respond.