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Santa Barbara Recruiting for 4 Key Department Management Positions, Including City Attorney

The City of Santa Barbara will lose four department heads to retirement by the end of the year, and the recruitment of their replacements is already under way.

The City Council is working on a nationwide recruitment effort with an executive search firm to replace City Attorney Steve Wiley, said Nina Johnson, assistant to the city administrator. Wiley is retiring in December after 30 years with the city.

Wiley's successor will be appointed by the new City Council, while the other three appointments will be made by City Administrator Jim Armstrong.

Public Works Department director Christine Andersen retired Nov. 1 and the city named Rebecca Bjork, the water resources director, as acting interim director. The city’s Human Resources department is already recruiting to replace Andersen, who joined the city staff in 2008.

Johnson said the city may make an internal promotion to succeed Marcelo López, assistant city administrator and head of administrative services, who is leaving in December.

“(Jim) Armstrong is evaluating his options and looking at options within the organization,” she said.

López has been with the city for 18 years.

Airport Director Karen Ramsdell announced her retirement more recently, so the city is still looking at recruitment options and “options within the organization,” Johnson said. Ramsdell is retiring in December as well, after 26 years as director of the Santa Barbara Airport

If there are gaps between people leaving and being hired or promoted, other department staff will take over duties temporarily, Johnson said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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