County officials announced Monday morning the hiring of Matthew Pontes — who comes from Kern County — as new director of Santa Barbara’s General Services Department. Pontes had been in Kern County since 1999, most recently working as its General Services Division Director, and has 18 years of government experience.
Pontes fills a spot vacated by former director Bob Nisbett, who after 12 years left the county last fall to work at the East Bay Regional Park District. Former Assistant CEO Jim Laponis had been filling in as an interim. Pontes, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, also worked in Kern County’s parks department and was a crew supervisor with the Forest Service in the Sequoia National Forest. He also currently teaches courses at Bakersfied College.
Pontes, who starts April 15, takes over a department with 120 employees and an operating budget of $65.2 million. The General Services Department runs the county’s properties, offers support services to all departments, and oversees information technology, buildings, and maintenance.
“We are delighted to have Matt join the County’s leadership team,” said 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal in a statement. “He has significant experience in the field of General Services, a commitment to quality service, and strong leadership skills. We couldn’t be more pleased to have him join the County family.”