Placer PIO retiring after 20 years of service

By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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Anita Yoder — Placer County’s public information officer — is retiring in mid-December after almost 20 years of telling the county’s story. Yoder, 66, said she’s stepping down from the post to spend more time with her husband, Bill, her garden on the couple’s 5-acre property in Loomis, and outdoor pursuits that include volunteering with the Auburn State Recreation Canyon Keepers. Yoder said a reorganization of the public information office now taking place didn’t play a role in her decision to retire. She said that she won’t be taking part in a retirement buy-out that is now being developed. “I’ve been thinking of retiring for a couple of years and realized (County Executive Officer) Tom Miller was going to do some rearranging and thought it was fair to him that it take place at this time,” Yoder said. “I’ve stayed on long past retirement age. It’s been really interesting and I’ve stayed because I’ve wanted to.” Yoder said there are no plans to refill the position. The county also employs two public information specialists — Mike Fitch and Robert Miller — who work with Yoder. Dealing with continuing decreases in revenue, the county has a hiring freeze in place. “It will be a big challenge for two people to cover three jobs,” Yoder said. Yoder leaves the $103,000-a-year post after seeing a plethora of changes in the county. Growth has been the high profile issue over the past 20 years but Yoder said she’s also seen the emergence of technology to tell the county’s story and a boom in special events like this past summer’s Heritage Trail — a Museum’s Division tour publicizing what Placer has to offer to history lovers. Before coming to the county, Yoder worked two years in the Caltrans public information office and with the Red Cross, traveling to disasters in foreign nations like Guam. “My primary job has been to tell the public what the county has done and is doing,” Yoder said. “When I started, I found there were so many untold stories that needed to be told.” Reach Gus Thomson at