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Peter Detwiler, who may be the Legislature's longest-serving professional staffer, is retiring after nearly 40 years in state and local government.

Detwiler, the long-time chief consultant to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee (formerly Local Government Committee), told the chairwoman of the committee, Lois Wolk, in a letter Monday that he'll be leaving the legislative staff after the current session ends in September.

Detwiler is considered to be the Legislature's top expert on local government finance and land use issues, and among insiders, is known for his unusually witty -- and usually exhaustive -- analyses of bills before the committee. He also, as a hobby, has compiled and distributed data on the number of bills, passed and vetoed each year.

Detwiler began his public service career in 1972 at the San Diego County Local Agency Formation Commission, worked in Gov. Jerry Brown's first administration at the Office of Planning and Research and joined the Senate staff in 1982, serving all but a few years with the Local Government Committee.

"I thank you and the entire state Senate for allowing me to have a productive and meaningful career in the public service," Detwiler told Wolk. "The next chapter in my life involves our four grandchildren, more travel, and perhaps some writing. While I will continue to teach for Sacramento State and UC Davis Extension, I am not seeking another job or appointment."


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