The following news release was submitted for publication by the County of Marin:
Raul Rojas, the City of Bakersfield’s Director of Public Works for the past 20 years, has been chosen as the replacement for the retiring Bob Beaumont, Marin County’s Director of Public Works.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors plan to vote on the recommendation of County Administrator Matthew Hymel during their regular meetingFeb. 25. If the appointment is approved, Rojas would start his new job March 24.
Rojas, a native of Torrance, Calif., has run a Bakersfield department with 420 employees and an annual operating budget of $111 million, a figure that includes about $50 million for solid waste disposal and waste water treatment functions that the County of Marin does not similarly handle. Beaumont has been charged with overseeing 226 employees with an annual operating budget of $42.7 million for 2013-14. Both cities have General Fund Public Works operating budgets of about $25 million.
Although Rojas has an especially strong background in street and transportation projects, he has extensive experience with large and politically sensitive projects such as construction of downtown Bakersfield’s 10,225-seat multipurpose arena, a $1.3 billion freeway expansion project and a $220 million sewer expansion that garnered national awards. Customer service and a friendly work atmosphere are also high priorities, he said.
“I’m very excited to join the County of Marin executive management team and be part of the future of a very exciting county,” Rojas said. ”What excited me about the position was the progress that’s been made on environmental issues and the approach County management has to hearing all input from constituents and employees to make sure quality of life is always part of the process.”
Rojas, who earned a civil engineering degree from University of Southern California in 1981, spent one year (2001) as a deputy city engineer in the City of Los Angeles but otherwise spent the past two decades in his director role in Bakersfield. He worked in several capacities for the City of Los Angeles at the start of his career and later worked for the cities of Pico Rivera and Upland prior to this Bakersfield position.
“We feel fortunate to find someone with Raul’s progressive management approach to lead our talented team of County employees,” said Board of Supervisors President Kate Sears. “We are confident that he will collaborate with all our community partners to address the important issues we face such as watershed management, climate change and sea-level rise.”
Rojas’ annual salary will be $197,059, and he will receive a one-time $10,000 relocation payment. His benefits will be consistent with those received by other department heads.
Beaumont is finishing a County of Marin career that began in 1982, when he was hired to manage repairs to road infrastructure resulting from the storms that caused $80 million in damage countywide. Eventually he moved on to become assistant chief of the Land Development Division, chief of the Land Use and Water Resources Division, deputy DPW director and chief assistant DPW director before being named to replace departing director Farhad Mansourian in 2011.
Beaumont said Public Works has made remarkable progress in areas such as road and building infrastructure, flood control, fish passage, energy efficiency and accessibility.
“Our greatest accomplishment, though, has been in the people we’ve been able to bring into the department,” he said. “The future is bright. Raul will be stepping into a great organization with a strong team. Having spent half of my life here, it’s rewarding to be able to hand over the reins to someone of his caliber.”
Beaumont’s final work day will be March 28.