Rebecca Bjork was appointed Assistant City Administrator January 2021 and currently Interim Community Development Director
Ms. Bjork was Public Works Director from 2014 to December 2020. She has over 32 with the City. 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.
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.
René Eyerly was appointed the Interim Assistant City Administrator effective September 25, 2021. Ms. Eyerly has been with the City of Santa Barbara for over four years, most recently as the Acting Co-Director for the Sustainability and Resilience Department, overseeing Santa Barbara Clean Energy, climate action, the Solid Waste Utility, and Clean SB neighborhood improvement programs. While at the City of Santa Barbara, Ms. Eyerly created the City's Homeless Encampment Response Team, and spearheaded the pilot program for safe shelter for individuals living in fire-prone encampments. Ms. Eyerly previously worked for the City of San José as their Sustainability and Compliance Manager. Ms. Eyerly was instrumental in leading San José's groundbreaking sustainable Green Vision and $1 billion wastewater master plan implementation. Ms. Eyerly has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Environmental Management from Yale University.
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.
Mr. Isaacson joined the City of Santa Fe in 2018, and has led the Planning and Land Use Department since 2019 where he managed 65 employees and implemented the City’s land use, development, and growth management policies. Under his leadership, he streamlined internal procedures and adopted innovative practices and policies despite budget constraints. With the pandemic, they shifted core planning and permitting functions to a completely digital “e-government” model. He also served as Planning and Land Use Director and Interim City Manager for the City of Espanola where he managed the drafting and implementation of a new Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Code revision. Prior to his municipal service, he started a real estate development consulting firm, performing work in the US and abroad. He also has experience working with an architecture firm preparing design and construction documents for the restoration of historic residential properties.
He received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin, a Master’s degree in Urban Design and Development from University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of New Mexico. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Keith DeMartini was appointed Finance Director in October 2020. In this role, he oversees all financial operations of the City, including the functions of budget management, treasury and cashiering, investment management, utility billing, business license, accounting operations, payroll, accounts payable, purchasing and risk management.
Mr. DeMartini has over 15 years of public sector financial management experience. Most recently, he served as the Finance Director for the City of San Bruno from 2018 to 2020. Before that, he served in various financial, IT and project management roles for the City and County of San Francisco
Mr. DeMartini received a Bachelor’s degree in Business/Financial Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.
Acting Fire Chief Chris Mailes was appointed on October 23, 2020. Chief Mailes assumed the position after the retirement of Fire Chief Eric Nickel. Chief Mailes oversees the eight station fire department with 104 employees.
A 28-year member of the SBFD, Chief Mailes previously held the rank of Battalion Chief and was most recently assigned to the Operations Division as a shift BC. Prior to that assignment, he served as the Department’s Training Officer.
A native of the City of Santa Barbara, Chief Mailes grew up on the Mesa, attended local schools and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCSB. He holds a Chief Officer Certification from the California State Fire Marshal’s Office. He is also a state licensed paramedic.
Biography coming soon.
On September 4, 2021, the City Council approved the Interim City Administrator's appointment of Justin Cure as the inaugural Information Technology Director for the City of Santa Barbara. Mr. Cure comes to Santa Barbara from Longview, Texas, where he has served as the Director of Information Services for the past two years, managing a team of 18 and providing services to a neighboring community. Mr. Cure worked his way up through the ranks, starting as a GIS Technician. Mr. Cure has been instrumental in leading the department in modernization and streamlining functions, including creating the first Information Technology (IT) strategic plan and implementing several enterprise-wide technology platforms. Mr. Cure has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Stephen F. Austin State University and has a number of technical certifications in his field.
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.
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.
Bernard Melekian is the Interim Police Chief for the Santa Barbara Police Department. He has served in that role since March 1, 2021. Prior to he served as the Undersheriff for Santa Barbara County from January 2015 until September 2018. He then served as the County Executive Officer over Public safety until March 1, 2021 when he assumed the interim Chief of Police role.
He has 36 years of local law enforcement experience, including serving as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena for 13 years. He also served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years where he was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1978 and the Medal of Courage in 1980. He was selected as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) by Attorney General Eric Holder, serving from 2009-2013.
He is a nationally recognized expert in police practices, with specific experience in achieving collaborative change in the culture of law enforcement organizations. His doctoral work on Values-Based Discipline in Law Enforcement Organizations received the Sol Price Award as the outstanding doctoral project of 2012 in the School of Policy, Planning and Development by the University of Southern California.
Dr. Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970 and in the Coast Guard reserve from 1984-to 2009.
Cliff Maurer is the City’s Director of Public Works. He has held this position since August 2021. Prior to joining the City of Santa Barbara, he held the position of Director of Public Services and Engineering for the City of Coronado, California for seven years.
Cliff served as a Naval Officer in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps for more than 29 years. During that career he had three operational tours with Naval Mobile Construction Battalions: THREE, FORTY and command of SEVENTY-FOUR (U.S. Navy Seabees). Deployments included: Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina and two combat deployments in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He commanded Naval Facilities Engineering Commands, Hawaii and Southwest, which provided: public works, contracting, environmental, real estate, and energy services to the Navy and Marine Corps infrastructure in Hawaii and the southwestern six states, respectively. He served as Naval Facilities Engineering Command Headquarters Operations Officer, Strategic Business Officer and Energy Officer, supporting a global organization of over 16,000 persons.
Cliff is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, holds a masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business, Univ. of Pennsylvania. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a Certified Energy Manager.
Cameron Benson was appointed Acting Sustainability and Resilience Co-Director in March 2021.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Benson served as the City’s Creeks Restoration/Clean Water Manager for over 14 years. In that capacity, he planned, coordinated, and managed creek restoration, community outreach, and water quality improvement projects and programs.
Mr. Benson has worked in state and local government, and the local nonprofit community for over 20 years, specializing in environmental policy and programs. He received a Bachelor's degree from UCSB, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Alelia Parenteau was appointed Acting Sustainability and Resilience Co-Director in September of 2021. As Acting Sustainability and Resilience Co-Director, she oversees the Energy & Climate Division and Environmental Services Division. These divisions are responsible for implementing many of the City’s sustainability policies and initiatives, particularly in the areas of energy, climate planning, and materials management, while working across the City organization to build resilience and ensure environmental stewardship. Ms. Parenteau reports to Rene Eyerly, the Interim Assistant City Administrator.
When not filling interim role, Ms. Parenteau is the Manager of the Energy & Climate Division, founded in 2020, overseeing the City’s renewable energy projects, community-wide energy strategy, climate action planning processes and the City’s new Community Choice Energy entity, Santa Barbara Clean Energy. Prior to that, Ms. Parenteau spent 11 years with the City’s Public Works Department managing the City’s energy use and resources. Ms. Parenteau was first hired by the City in 2006, serving as a Recycling Coordinator in the Environmental Services Division.
Ms. Parenteau received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from McGill University and is a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Green Associate.
Mike Wiltshire was appointed Waterfront Director in February of 2020. As Waterfront Director, he oversees the operations, maintenance, fiscal management and long-term capital planning for the Santa Barbara Waterfront, including the Harbor and iconic Stearns Wharf. The Waterfront is comprised of a full-time staff of 48, an 1100 slip marina, 61 tenants, parking operations, Harbor Patrol, and a $16 million operating budget. Mr. Wiltshire reports to Paul Casey, the City Administrator.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Wiltshire had several years of experience with the City’s Public Works Department. Most recently serving as the City’s Facilities & Energy Manager. Prior to working with the City of Santa Barbara, Mr. Wiltshire worked internationally in the offshore oil & gas industry and as a federal contractor for the U.S. Navy where he managed facilities, energy, and infrastructure projects.
Mr. Wiltshire received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.