Brawley Hires New City Engineer
By Chris Furguson
At a recent Brawley City Council meeting, Guillermo Sillas was introduced to the board as the city’s newest head Engineer and public works director, filling an important position in the city that was left vacant for over a year.
Sillas, who officially took over the position in late April, brings ten years of experience as a junior engineer for the city.
“My intention is to deliver projects that improve the quality of life for Brawley’s residents,” said Sillas in a brief interview with the Weekly-Chronicle.
According to recent comments by City Manager Rosanna Moore, Sillas will be focusing on design work for upcoming projects along with two other engineers. Currently, Brawley has a number of grant funded projects that need design work done in order to move forward, including improvements to the Hinojosa Park area.
“It’s like when you put together furniture, you need diagrams and instructions,” Sillas explained. “In construction, you need plans and specifications. That’s what civil engineers do.”
As a child, Sillas grew up in Mexicali and frequently visited the Imperial Valley, gaining a familiarity with the area that would eventually become his home.
After attending high school and college in Mexicali, Sillas graduated with a bachelors degree in civil engineering and a bachelors degree in masters in hydraulic engineering. Sillas is also a registered engineer with the State of California.
“Since I was a child, I loved solving with puzzles and assembling toys to play with,” explained Sillas about his career path.
In addition to the design aspects of municipal engineering, the Public Works Director is also responsible for several other duties, including maintaining the water and wastewater plants, repairing city streets, maintaining the Gold Line transit route and overseeing the city’s trash and street sweeping contracts.
Sillas hiring officially fills in the void left behind by former engineer Yasmin Arellano, who left Brawley in March of last year after 16 years as the city’s engineer and Public Works Director. Arellano left the valley for a deputy director position with the city of El Cajon.
Between Arellano’s departure and Sillas’s hiring, the position of interim city engineer had also been taken up by Jack Holt of Holt Engineering.