Rosemarie Gaglione, an environmental engineer and the Public Works Director for the City of Oxnard, is the County of Marin’s choice to take over its Department of Public Works (DPW). Gaglione is to replace the retired Raul Rojas.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors plans to vote on the recommendation of County Administrator Matthew Hymel during its regular meeting March 2. If the appointment is approved, Gaglione would start her new job March 21. Marin DPW has approximately 250 employees and an annual budget of $64 million.
In Oxnard, Gaglione managed a staff of 498 full-time equivalent positions and an annual budget of $323 million in addition to a $1 billion, five-year capital improvement program. Among her duties there were to provide leadership with administration, street maintenance and traffic safety, water resources, environmental resources, vehicle fleet management, and liaison work with special districts, nearby jurisdictions, and other city departments.
Unlike Marin DPW, Oxnard DPW manages three utilities – solid waste , wastewater treatment, and water service, including recycled water. A practitioner of team-building, leadership and robust public engagement, Gaglione said she believes that utility experience could come in handy.
“Every time you have the opportunity to have increased understanding of what your partners have to deal with, all the better,” Gaglione said. “Were there any emergencies, such as an earthquake, you draw on those relationships at a time when people are needed to assist in putting a community back together.”
Prior to joining Oxnard, Gaglione spent nearly 11 years with the City of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, including four years as Public Works Director and City Engineer. She started her career with the County of San Luis Obispo DPW’s Transportation Division, handling roles such as senior engineering aide, construction engineer, and capital improvements projects manager.
“Rosemarie clearly stood out among a very talented pool of candidates,” Hymel said. “We feel fortunate to have someone of her skills and abilities to lead and continually improve the important work the department provides to our residents.”
Gaglione said she was interested in the Marin position because of its location and the natural beauty she first experienced on a visit 30 years ago. She was also impressed with the County’s recent progress in the area of equity, both in the community and internally.
“The emphasis on equity was an important factor for me,” she said. “As part of the hiring process, I watched several Board of Supervisors meetings and read multiple documents online, and I loved how the employees are gracious with each other. There seemed to be an emphasis on making sure everybody feels safe at work; you can’t do your best work if don’t feel safe and feel valued.
“In terms of community, I like to see equity written right into strategic plans and when projects are built. You invest in what you respect, so by the County saying it is taking equity into account, it is a way of saying to the marginalized population that we value you and respect you. From a humanistic point of view, it all meshed for me.”
Gaglione, who grew up in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, has a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo with a concentration in water resources and wastewater treatment.
Her annual salary will be $236,038, and her benefits will be consistent with those received by other County department heads.
Rojas led County DPW from March 2014 until the end of 2020. Chief Assistant Director Patrick Echols has led the department since then.