Santa Barbara Names Rebecca Bjork as Interim City Administrator
Santa Barbara Interim Community Development Director Rebecca Bjork has been promoted to another interim role. She’ll assume city administrator’s duties after the departure of Paul Casey, scheduled for September 10. The city council voted to appoint Bjork last week, effective September 11.
Bjork will serve while the city conducts a search and recruitment effort for the next permanent administrator. According to a city press release, the process will take approximately six months.
Ms. Bjork has worked with the City of Santa Barbara for more than 32 years most recently serving as the Interim Community Development Director, initiating work with the Council Sub-Committee to simplify the land development process. Ms. Bjork has also been instrumental in the work to address homelessness and homeless encampments during the pandemic.
Ms. Bjork also served as the Public Works Director, overseeing the largest City department for over five years with nearly 300 employees and a budget totaling $138 million. The Public Works Department includes the City’s water and wastewater utilities, transportation planning, downtown parking, street maintenance, capital project design and construction, fleet services, and maintenance of over 100 City buildings and facilities. She directed staff and guided the City’s response during the most recent multi-year drought. From 2007 to 2014, she served as Water Resources Manager with responsibility for water and wastewater utilities, which included 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. Throughout her tenure, she has been instrumental in various renewal and replacement projects for water and wastewater mains, street infrastructure, and major facilities to extend the life of the City’s essential infrastructure.