Bob Brager has worked in the private and public sides of engineering. He is leaving a job with the city of Ventura to take the Malibu post.
By Jonathan Friedman / Assistant Editor
At Monday’s meeting, the City Council approved a $118,000 contract (plus benefits) to hire Bob Brager as its new public works director. The city has been without a permanent public works head since Yugal Lall left the city in November. Granville “Bow” Bowman has been serving as the interim director since that time.
Brager, who will begin work in Malibu on July 10, has served the past four years as the principal civil engineer for public works engineering in the city of Ventura. He said he applied for the Malibu job because he thought it would be a great opportunity to move a step up in his career.
“It’s a young city and I like that,” Brager said. “I wanted to work for a city that was kind of young and maybe I could help make a difference in the community.”
A native Californian, Brager grew up in Madera and attended Cal State Fresno, where he received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He also received a law degree from the Southern California Institute of Law, although he does not practice law.
“There’s a lot of law-related topics in civil engineering these days,” said Brager when asked why he pursued the law degree.
Brager’s first job was as a consultant engineer for Boyle Engineering Corp., where he worked for about 15 years. After that, he took a job with the city of Simi Valley as a senior civil engineer before moving on to Ventura.
“When I got out of college, my idea was to work the first half of my career in the private sector and the second half of my career in the public sector,” Brager said. “I wanted to be able to apply the skills I learned working for a private company to serve the public.”
Brager will have a major task ahead of him, as he will be overseeing the transformation of the city’s recently purchased Chili Cook-Off site into Malibu Legacy Park. A full proposal has not been made for the park, but it is expected to serve two purposes; to be an attractive piece of parkland for local pride and to be part of a sophisticated wastewater/storm water treatment program that will help to curb pollution of the Malibu watershed.
There are also other public works issues which he will have to handle, including the controversial Safe Routes to School program in Point Dume and Malibu’s problematic roads, which are falling apart in some cases.
Brager comes to Malibu on a high note. In February, his peers honored him when he received the Engineer of the Year Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Brager lives in Oxnard with his wife, Christine, and three sons. He said he would eventually like to move closer to Malibu, if not into the city itself. In his spare time, he enjoys boating, water sports and playing golf.