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Santa Monica's Head of Public Works to Retire Next Month

Downtown Meeting June 9 at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center.

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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jorge Casuso

June 8, 2016 -- After five years with the City of Santa Monica, few would recognize Martin Pastucha, although the more than 500 workers he supervises are a common sight across the city.

Pastucha, who will retire July 8 as the City's director of Public Works, is responsible for overseeing the city's water supply, recycling operations, and the design and construction of capital projects including public buildings, parks and streets.

He also ran the City's airport and he helps operate and maintain Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery.

“Martin’s devotion to public service is evident in every corner of our community,” said City Manager Rick Cole in a statement Tuesday announcing Pastucha's retirement. “Every day our residents benefit from the Public Works team that he built and led.

"His commitment to both environmental and fiscal sustainability as well as his calm and tenacious commitment to getting things done, means Santa Monica is better off today because of his leadership,” Cole said.

Pastucha currently manages an annual budget of $125.8 million and oversees nine divisions totaling 505 full-time employees, nearly a quarter of the City's 2,200 employees.

Many of the projects he has led have changed the face of the beach city of 93,640 for generations to come.

Under Pastucha's guidance, the City completed the integration of the EXPO Light Rail line that opened May 20, bringing passenger trains into Santa Monica for the first time in 63 years, and the recent completion of the Colorado Esplanade that connects the Downtown station to the Santa Monica Pier.

Pastucha also oversaw the construction of award-winning projects that include Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square at the Civic Center and the Pico Branch Library at Virginia Park.

He also was responsible for the new CityTV facility, the seismic retrofit of City Hall and the replacement of the 750-foot long California Incline bridge built in 1930, as well as construction of the new Charnock Water Well and "multiple citywide water and wastewater pipeline rehab and replacement projects," City officials said.

Last year, Pastucha served as interim Assistant City Manager, "playing a key leadership role while the city searched for a new City Manager," officials said.

“It has truly been an honor and privilege to work alongside the Public Works staff who are some of the most creative, hardworking and innovative people I have been associated with in my career,” Pastucha said in a statement Tuesday.

“Based on the evolution of this department over the last six years, I am confident in the ability of the staff to continue to uphold the excellence in services and deliver projects that Santa Monica has come to expect and deserve.”

Prior to joining the City in January of 2011, Pastucha served as Public Works Director for the cities of Pasadena and La Habra.

He has been active in several major organizations, including the League of California Cities and the American Public Works Association.

An internal recruitment will be conducted for a new Public Works director, City officials said.

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