Bill Ahern plans to resign as executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission on June 30. Ahern has held the position since last February. Overseeing a budget exposed to political slings and arrows has been ?difficult,? said Ahern. However, the operating budget for the next fiscal year is secure, and keeping talented staff to handle the many details of more than 600 active proceedings has been another key responsibility, he said. The position requires ?constant activity? and attention to ?50 things a day,? observed Ahern, who added that he is looking forward to winding down to ?3 things a day? after leaving the CPUC. He expressed eagerness to turn his attention from management back to policy. Ahern was senior policy analyst for Consumers Union before his stint with the CPUC and did not rule out returning to that role. In a June 2 memo to commissioners and certain staff, Ahern said concerns about chronic health problems prompted his exit from a management job known as a pressure cooker. Asked about short-list candidates for the open position, Ahern declined to give specifics. He did strongly endorse picking an in-house staffer, saying it?s crucial to know the ropes at the agency before taking the job. This was the case for Ahern, who served as the CPUC?s Utilities Division director, Office of Ratepayer Advocates director, and director of strategic planning between 1981 and 1991. Ahern said he accelerated his departure from July 3 to June 30 to make sure he?s covered by retirement benefits, which are under scrutiny in Sacramento. No interim director has been selected. A new executive could be announced at the commission?s July 8 meeting, he said. Ahern doubts that the governor?s agency reorganization plan will have much effect on the commission. The plan, known as the California Performance Review, could foster many discussions but few significant for the CPUC, he said. Ahern questioned why 250 staffers were taken from state agencies to form a committee for this review.