Richard A. Hopkins, Director of Public Works/City Engineer
Richard A Hopkins, PE, leads a diverse team of over 220 employees including program, project and operational managers, engineers and technicians, real estate, construction, environmental, and finance professionals and a broad array of trade workers responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining the City’s infrastructure. Chula Vista covers approximately 60 square miles with a population of over 250 thousand residents.
Mr. Hopkins was appointed Director of Public Works/City Engineer in January of 2009. This appointment was part of an overall restructuring and downsizing of managerial positions related to the budgetary crisis in the 2008/2009 fiscal year. The restructured Department of Public Works absorbed the former Engineering Department with the exception of its Land Development Section which was moved over to the Planning and Building Department. And subsequently in the 2010/2011 fiscal year, the Conservation and Environmental Services Department was merged with the Public Works Department.
In spite of the consolidation and downsizing, the Department has managed to keep service levels at an acceptable level, however preventative maintenance has been deferred resulting in a growing repair and replacement backlog. Providing adequate funding for infrastructure maintenance is a continuing challenge for municipalities across the nation.
Mr. Hopkins is currently focusing efforts toward fully developing an for better managing the City’s vast infrastructure investment. The AMP is a comprehensive, systematic approach to inventory and assess condition of the City’s various infrastructure elements, consider risks and consequences of failure of these assets, plan and project sustainable preventative maintenance and replacement schedules, and seek out funding mechanisms to implement the program.
Mr. Hopkins first joined the City of Chula Vista in 2006 as the Assistant Director of Public Works after 22 years with the State of California, Department of Transportation, Caltrans, District 11. Mr. Hopkins held a number of varied engineering positions at the District, which encompasses San Diego and Imperial Counties, including Deputy District Director over the Design and Construction Divisions. These divisions were responsible for design and construction of over $1 billion of highway infrastructure during this time. As a Caltrans executive, Mr. Hopkins was recognized for his leadership at the local, district and statewide levels towards "continuous improvement" with a focus on strong "customer service".
Mr. Hopkins is a Chi Epsilon graduate of San Diego State University College of Engineering where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with a minor in Geology. He holds a California license as a Civil Engineer since 1986 and is also a PADI certified Scuba Diver since 1975. Mr. Hopkins worked in a number of odd jobs while completing his academic studies including: construction laborer, cook, waiter, summer camp counselor, lumberjack, and lifeguard. Mr. Hopkins has resided in Chula Vista with his family for over 35 years.