Paul Casey was appointed as City Administrator in January 2015. As the City Administrator, he serves as the Chief Administrative Officer and head of the administrative branch of the City government, responsible for the proper administration of all affairs of the City. He reports directly to the City Council.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Casey had 17 years of experience with the City of Santa Barbara, including serving as the Assistant City Administrator for four years. In this role, he provided leadership and guidance on the development of the annual budget and many citywide projects and policy issues. He also provided oversight to the Community Development, Finance, Parks and Recreation, Library, and Airport Departments. Before that, Mr. Casey served as the Community Development Director for eight years. He also served as the Director of the Public Works Department, the City’s largest department, in an interim capacity. Prior to joining Santa Barbara, he worked with the City of Santa Monica as the Assistant to the Director of Planning and Community Development, Senior Planner, and Transportation Planner.
Mr. Casey received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Irvine and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ariel Calonne was appointed as City Attorney in March 2014. In this role, he is responsible for providing legal advice and representation to the City Council, Boards and Commissions, and all City officers and employees, and represents the City in civil and criminal litigation. He manages a staff of attorneys and legal support professionals. He reports directly to the City Council.
From 2007 to 2014, Mr. Calonne served as the City Attorney for the City of San Buenaventura. Prior to his employment with Ventura, he served as the City Attorney for the cities of Palo Alto and Boulder, Colorado for a combined 17 years. While working in private practice, he served as city attorney for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, and provided legal services to the cities of Corona, Redlands, Banning, Desert Hot Springs, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Carson, and Perris.
Mr. Calonne received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of California at Riverside and a law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
Pamela (“Pam”) Antil was appointed Assistant City Administrator in August 2015. In this role, she oversees several City departments, provides policy guidance to the City Council, leads citywide programs and initiatives, and serves as the City Administrator in Mr. Casey’s absence. She reports to the City Administrator.
Before joining the City, Ms. Antil had more than 20 years in local government management, serving as the Assistant City Manager for the cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Rancho Palos Verdes, Ann Arbor (MI), and Novi (MI). In those positions, she played a lead role in strategic planning, policy development, intergovernmental relations, and city legislative programs. She also directed the day-to-day operations of various city departments and services.
Ms. Antil received a Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She is a credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association.
Rebecca Bjork was appointed Public Works Director in March of 2014. As Public Works Director, she oversees the City’s largest department, including the City’s water and wastewater utilities, street maintenance, capital project design and construction, fleet services, downtown parking, and maintenance of over 100 City buildings and facilities. She reports to the City Administrator.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Bjork had 25 years of experience with the City’s Public Works Department. Most recently, from 2007 to 2014, she served as the City’s Water Resources Manager. Before that, she served in various other technical, supervisory, and management roles in the Water Resources Division.
Ms. Bjork received a Bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and a Master’s degree from California State University, Northridge.
George Buell was hired as Community Development Director in April of 2014. As Community Development Director, he oversees planning and development services, building and safety, and housing and human services. He reports to the City Administrator.
Prior to his employment with Santa Barbara, Mr. Buell served as the Development Services Director at the City of Oceanside, and as the City Planner for the City of San Clemente. Mr. Buell has also worked in the private sector, representing both municipalities and developers throughout California and the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Buell received a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Geography from California State University, Fullerton.
Jessica Cadiente was appointed as Library Director in February 2016. As the Library Director, she oversees library systems for both the City and County of Santa Barbara, including the following library branches: Central Santa Barbara, Eastside Santa Barbara, Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Montecito, and Solvang. She reports to the City Administrator.
Ms. Cadiente brings over 10 years of experience working in public libraries. Prior to her appointment as Library Director, Ms. Cadiente served as the Library Services Manager. Before Santa Barbara, she served as the Library Director for the City of Lompoc, and held other management and librarian positions in Lompoc, Flagstaff (AZ), and Peoria (AZ) libraries.
Ms. Cadiente received a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a Master of Library & Information Science degree from San Jose State University.
Lori Luhnow was appointed as Police Chief in July 2016. As Police Chief, she is the highest ranking law enforcement official in the City, overseeing all of the administrative and operational activities of the Police Department in the enforcement of laws and the investigation and prevention of crime. She reports to the City Administrator.
Prior to her appointment, Chief Luhnow was with the San Diego Police Department for 27 years, most recently in the rank of Police Captain. During her time in San Diego, she oversaw the investigations, traffic, patrol, and special operations divisions. She was also responsible for San Diego’s Regional Police Academy, directed the City’s Family Justice Center, and oversaw its Domestic Violence Unit.
Chief Luhnow received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from UC San Diego, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Eric Nickel was appointed as Fire Chief in January 2019. As Fire Chief, Mr. Nickel oversees administration and the full range of fire suppression and prevention services at the Fire Department’s eight fire stations, and directs the airport rescue and firefighting operation. He reports to the City Administrator.
Chief Nickel brings 31 years of service as a professional firefighter to the City of Santa Barbara. Most recently he served as the Fire Chief for the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University where he provided strategic leadership to a team of 105 professional firefighters, emergency medical experts and support staff. He was responsible for the delivery of community risk reduction and prevention, fire, rescue, and emergency medical services.
Chief Nickel received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from California State University, Long Beach, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and is professionally credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer through the Commission on Professional Credentialing. He is one of 39 fire chiefs in California Fire Service history to be designated as a Certified Fire Chief through the State of California State Board of Fire Services.
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Henry L. Thompson was appointed as Airport Director in January 2019. As Airport Director, Mr. Thompson oversees the operations, maintenance, fiscal management, and long-term capital planning for the Santa Barbara Airport serving over 700,000 passengers and managing the Airport’s 950 acres, including 400 acres of wetlands and 95 acres of commercial/industrial property. He reports to the City Administrator.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Thompson had 35 years of airport management experience. Most recently he served as the Airport Director for the Shreveport (LA) Airport. His prior experience includes various management positions at the City and County of San Francisco Airport Commission and the San Jose Airport. He also served as an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Air Force.
Mr. Thompson received a Bachelor’s degree from the National University in San Diego and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Golden Gate University.
Jill Zachary was appointed Parks and Recreation Director in December 2015. As Parks and Recreation Director, she oversees numerous recreation and sports facilities and activities; an 18-hole golf course; creeks and water-quality improvement programs; 60 developed parks, beaches and open spaces; and an urban forest of more than 35,000 street and park trees. She reports to the City Administrator.
Before her appointment as director, Ms. Zachary worked with the City of Santa Barbara for almost 17 years, most recently as the Assistant Parks and Recreation Director from 2007 to 2015. Previously, she held the positions of Creek Restoration and Water Quality Manager, and Project Planner. Prior to joining the City, she managed projects and performed research for the Community Environmental Council, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and the State of Massachusetts urban park system.
Ms. Zachary received a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.