Bakersfield hires former assistant director of Water Resources Department to lead the department

September 28, 2023
SJV Water
by SJV Water
Kristina Budak will head Bakersfield's Water Resources Department. She had served as an assistant to the former department head but left in 2021. SOURCE: Bakersfield City
SJV Water
SJV Water

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Following a nationwide recruitment effort, the City of Bakersfield is pleased to announce that Kristina Budak has been hired to lead the City’s Water Resources Department, effective Oct. 2, 2023.

Budak’s hiring marks a return to the City of Bakersfield after spending nearly two years serving as the Engineering and Groundwater Services Manager for the Kern County Water Agency in Bakersfield.

Budak previously worked with the City of Bakersfield’s Water Resources department from December 2018 to September 2021. She also worked in the City’s Public Works Department in multiple roles – including as an Engineer for the Thomas Roads Improvement Program (TRIP) and later TRIP Manager – as well as various engineering positions in Salt Lake City, Utah, Peoria, Ariz., Decker, Mont., and Rock Springs, Wyo.

“I am looking forward to returning to the City of Bakersfield to join the leadership team and support the City’s efforts to provide water to the City’s residents as the City continues to grow,” said Budak, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering degree from Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology in Butte, Mont. and is a Licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California.

“As a resident of Bakersfield, I value the services provided by the City that make Bakersfield a perfect place to raise a family, enjoy local events and support our friends, neighbors and local high school sports team.

“I am excited to help the Water Resources Department continue to provide the best service to residents and be proactive in decision making and creative when addressing challenges,” she said. “The opportunities that I have had during my career have allowed me to have positive change and influence on the community, which I hope to continue in my new role.”

“Kristina brings a wealth of experience both in the water industry as well as when it comes to the City’s operations having worked here for almost three years previously,” City Manager Christian Clegg said. “She’s very familiar with the City’s water rights ownership, and coming off a historic water year in Bakersfield, we are very excited to have Kristina back to lead this crucial department.”

Budak succeeds Art Chianello as Water Resources Manager, who retired in September 2022 after 12 years leading the department.

SJV Water

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