Posted on 03/12/2015

LOS ANGELES -- Mayor Eric Garcetti today appointed Board of Public Works Commissioner Barbara Romero as his new Deputy Mayor for City Services, effective March 23. He also nominated his Director of External Affairs, Heather Repenning, to the Board of Public Works.

"By overseeing critical city services ranging from water and power to transportation and infrastructure, this position touches people's lives in direct ways that are core to my back to basics agenda, and I am thrilled that Barbara Romero will continue to serve my administration in this new capacity," Mayor Garcetti said.

"I am excited to help advance Mayor Garcetti's vision to ensure city services are delivered effectively, efficiently and where they are needed most," Romero said.

"Providing easy-to-access basic city services is central to my agenda, and our Board of Public Works provides essential oversight of those services and infrastructure projects that Angelenos care about most," Mayor Garcetti said. "Heather Repenning knows our city departments and our customer base through years of first-hand experience and I trust her to make sure our key Public Works bureaus are serving our communities in the most impactful and cost efficient ways."

"I look forward to making sure Mayor Garcetti's customer service priorities are instilled within these essential departments for our city's infrastructure and economy," Repenning said.

The City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works (BPW) is the five-member executive team responsible for the administration of the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, overseeing and managing more than 5,400 employees within the Department's five bureaus: Bureau of Contract Administration, Bureau of Engineering, Bureau of Sanitation, Bureau of Street Lighting and the Bureau of Street Services. Public Works is responsible for design, construction, renovation and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants and libraries; curbside collection and graffiti removal; and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights and street trees.

If confirmed by the City Council, Repenning will directly oversee the Bureau of Sanitation and ensure the implementation of key trash and recycling programs as well as serving as lead from the Board on issues related to water and the L.A. River. She will serve as liaison to Council Districts 1, 13, and 14.

As a BPW member, Romero serves on the Mayor’s Water Cabinet and has been particularly involved in the city’s One-Water Plan, the transition to a waste franchise system, the city's Green Streets program, and the revitalization of the L.A. River.
As Deputy Mayor, Romero will advise the Mayor on policy related to and oversee the:

  • Department of Water and Power

  • Department of Public Works:
    • Bureau of Contract Administration

    • Bureau of Engineering

    • Bureau of Sanitation

    • Bureau of Street Lighting

    • Bureau of Street Services

  • Department of Transportation

  • Department of Recreation and Parks

  • Los Angeles Public Library

  • Los Angeles Zoo

  • Department of Animal Services

  • Department of Cultural Affairs

  • El Pueblo de Los Angeles

  • Department of Aging

  • Department of Disability

Her work will be focused on Mayor Garcetti's goals of restoring the city services that make our neighborhoods more livable, attractive and prosperous while providing excellent customer service to our residents and businesses.

Romero spent a decade working for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, where she was Chief of Urban Projects and the Watershed Planning Division. As the liaison to local, state, and federal legislators on park planning issues, Romero handled legislative policies and project funding strategies, and managed millions of dollars for urban park projects. She also focused on identifying, developing and implementing multiple park development, restoration, and acquisition projects primarily in urban areas along the Upper Los Angeles River and tributaries.

She currently serves as a Board Member for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital and has previously served on the boards of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy the L.A. River Revitalization Corporation. In addition, she was a member of the Los Angeles Planning Commission and previously worked for the L.A. Conservation Corps and Building Up Los Angeles, where she led an AmeriCorps program to develop school and community gardens and mural projects with high school and college students in East L.A.

Romero grew up in the East L.A. community of Boyle Heights. She holds a B.A. from UCLA.

Repenning was appointed as Director of External Affairs by Mayor Eric Garcetti in July 2013. In this role, she has overseen intergovernmental affairs, community and constituent services, and immigrant affairs for the Mayor's Office.

Repenning has served with Mayor Garcetti for eleven years in a range of roles. She previously served as Political Director on the Garcetti for Mayor 2013 campaign and as Field Deputy and District Director for Community Development in the Thirteenth Council District Field Office. She was a key part of the team that helped triple the number of parks and revitalize neighborhoods from Hollywood to Atwater Village to Echo Park while Garcetti served on the City Council, in addition to providing key policy guidance during Garcetti's six year tenure as Council President.

Repenning graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and has a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine. She has one young daughter and resides in L.A’s Eastside.