Following a nationwide executive recruitment process, City Administrator Jim Armstrong has appointed Rebecca Bjork as Public Works director.
Bjork has filled the vacancy on an interim basis since Christine Andersen retired in November 2013. She was selected from a pool of 91 candidates from across the country.
As Public Works director, she will oversee the city’s largest department with nearly 300 employees and a budget totaling $117 million.
The Public Works Department includes the city’s water and wastewater utilities, street maintenance, capital project design and construction, fleet services, downtown parking, and maintenance of more than 100 city buildings and facilities.
Bjork brings 25 years of experience with the city’s Public Works Department to the position. Since 2007, she has served as the city’s water resources manager responsible for the water and wastewater utilities, which include the operation and maintenance of the Cater Water Treatment Plant and the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant.
She oversaw the introduction of ozonation at the Water Treatment Plant to improve the quality and taste of drinking water.
Also, she has been instrumental in various renewal and replacement projects for water and wastewater mains and major facilities to extend the life of the city’s water resources infrastructure.
She joined the City of Santa Barbara in 1989 to implement a federally mandated pretreatment program that was recognized nationally in 1995.
Bjork received a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and a master’s degree from California State University-Northridge.
“Rebecca is an intelligent, caring and thoughtful individual who is dedicated to public service and our community," Armstrong said. "I am confident she will do an excellent job leading the Public Works Department to new levels of excellence.”
— Nina Johnson is an administrative assistant for the City of Santa Barbara.