Bob Engler for Council 2022!

About Bob Engler

As a 32 year resident of Thousand Oaks, I am proud to serve our community. I work daily to ensure its prosperity for generations to come. My interest in protecting the environment, ensuring quality public safety, providing fiscal responsibility and delivering a high quality of life for all of our residents are foundational principles that I have lived by since growing up in neighboring Malibu in the 1950s.

Imagine. Absolutely stunning, picturesque landscapes, and beautiful mountains. As a part of a family of seven, my parents instilled the core values of protecting the environment and giving back to the community whenever possible. We hiked and biked frequently and came to treasure the beaches that were the envy of the world. While attending Loyola Marymount University, I heard about a new paramedic program that was being established in Los Angeles County.  I knew right away that it was absolutely something that I had to do. Being a paramedic put me in the position to help people on their worst day and to intervene when lives were in the balance.

Upon graduation from Loyola Marymount, I completed the training to become a Paramedic. Within two years, I served as Paramedic Coordinator for the Hermosa Beach Fire Department. It was a calling more than a job. A public safety career in the fire service was the place for me.

I was happy to know that my first aid and paramedic skills filled the gap as I would ultimately save many lives in my career. I never worked harder, but I never worked a day. Right away, I knew it was exactly for me. 

 

In 1980, I met my better ¾’s, Sue. Sue was the volunteer director of Project Heart Start at a local hospital that promoted free CPR classes to the public. I met Sue when she visited the Hermosa Beach Fire Department to promote her program of life-saving instruction. From the day I met her, I knew Sue would be part of my life. Her compassionate spirit further instilled the importance of community service. We married in 1982, shortly after my transfer to the Redondo Beach Fire department.

A few years after marrying Sue and with a young daughter and newborn son at home, a fire broke out on the underside of the Redondo Beach Pier. As an Apparatus Operator, aboard the fireboat, my crew and I were assigned to attack the fire from below while ensuring that no one had jumped from the pier to escape the flames. Thick, black smoke enveloped us so that we were unable to see the fire above. Sections of the pier fell into the water next to us as we directed our hose streams toward the heat of the fire. The teamwork that we had practiced, and the ability of our team to concentrate on the job at hand enabled us to cut off the fire and save a major portion of the pier.

 

During the intense fight my helmet was knocked into the water and was found on the beach by lifeguards assigned to the fire.  Although this led to some concern by those onshore, no one was seriously injured. In recognition of our actions that day, my crew and I were awarded the South Bay Medal of Valor. I steadily rose through the ranks of command and ultimately became  Chief of the Department and was able to provide for the community in an even larger way. 

In 1990, Sue and I decided that it was time to take our family of four and move away from the South Bay. We were looking for a place of beauty, a place with mountains and hillsides and sense of community.

Our friends encouraged us to look at homes in Orange County but when we learned that open space landscapes would have to be graded to allow over a thousand homes to be built – we knew Orange County wasn’t for us. We were familiar with the City of Thousand Oaks which was near my brother in local Simi Valley. The moment we arrived we learned about the hillside ordinance and the Ring of Green of protected open space. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Thousand Oaks and were enthralled to have our kids in the award winning Conejo Valley Unified School District. We decided to continue our commitment to community service in our new city.

We continued our community involvement in our new city. For ten years, I held various position with the American Red Cross. For three years, I served as a member of the Conejo Open Space Trails Advisory Committee (COSTAC), and I served as President of Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank. For over fifteen years, I have been a member of the Thousand Oaks Kiwanis Club holding positions including youth leadership advisor, Club President, and regional Lt. Governor.

As President of California Professional Firefighter Local 2787, I was actively involved in many campaigns to elect and support responsible leadership prioritizing life-saving response times and the public’s safety. In that role, I had the opportunity to meet many elected officials and I learned the value of local, competent governance. At home, I had the pleasure to know many of our local elected public servants including former Councilmembers Jacqui Irwin, and Dennis Gillette. In fact, Councilmember Irwin’s father-in-law was best friends with Sue’s father at the Castle Hill Retirement Community. Such a small world.

In 2005, a problem arose in Castle Hill when the new owners attempted to double the rent for the residents overnight. The fixed-income residents had few options and could not sustain such an increase. Sue and I asked the City Council for help. The City Council appointed an Ombudsman to work directly with the families while the Council negotiated with the owners to develop a phased solution that allowed the residents time to prepare for the increase or make other arrangements. Without the help and advocacy by the City Council, the residents would have suffered an extreme financial hardship. It was refreshing to see how the Council worked to solve community concerns.

That experience demonstrated the community focus of our city staff and the City Council. In 2018, I decided to continue that tradition of service.

In the past four years, the Council and I have accomplished much on behalf of the citizens of Thousand Oaks. I am proud of our ranking as the #1 safest city in California, the addition of over 100 acres of protected open space, the strategies we have implemented to reduce our reliance on imported water, the reduction of our greenhouse gas creation by over 20%, and our city’s phenomenal financial position based upon solid actions taken by the Council.

As your Council member, you can count on me to lead with honesty, listen intently, serve with honor, and be part of the solution.

Sincerely,

Bob Engler
Mayor, City of Thousand Oaks