Public Works Director

$90,691 - $96,025 yearly
  • City of Fruita, CO
  • 325 East Aspen Avenue, Fruita, CO, USA
  • Jan 20, 2021
Full time Government

Job Description

The Position & Department 

The City of Fruita is seeking an innovative and transformational leader for the position of Public Works Director. Reporting to the City Manager, the Public Works Director is a highly responsible executive level position and a key contributor to the City’s leadership team. The City’s leadership team includes the City Manager, Assistant to the City Manager and all department directors. As part of this team, she/he advises this team, the City Manager, and the City Council on key areas of expertise. The Public Works Director also works collaboratively with other departments such as Planning and Development, Engineering, and Parks and Recreation. The Public Works Director represents the department to other City Departments, elected officials, and outside agencies and provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the City Manager’s office. 

The Public Works Director performs complex leadership, managerial and professional work in planning, organizing, directing, and overseeing the activities, projects and operations of the Public Works Department to maintain the quality and safety of the City’s infrastructure and deliver associated programs and services reliably, efficiently, and cost effectively. The department provides services of street maintenance and construction, fleet maintenance, traffic engineering, mountain water rights, building maintenance, wastewater collection systems, irrigation service, wastewater treatment, and biosolids programs. Fruita is a growing community, where infrastructure related needs will be prioritized to maintain a high level of service. 

In 2020, the City adopted its updated comprehensive plan, Fruita in Motion, is mid-way through updating the City’s land use code, parks, health recreation, open space and trails master plan, and a multi-modal circulation plan. The City budget is $20 million, and the Public Works Director manages $6.4 million of the budget in the general fund, fleet fund, irrigation fund and sewer fund, not including the City’s capital projects fund. The Public Works department is made up of 25 FTE in addition to seasonal workers. The department has efficient systems of rating and tracking conditions of streets, bridges, sidewalks, sewer lines and other City assets. This enables the City to prioritize projects in the budget process. The department utilizes a sophisticated work order system that also tracks efficiencies and focuses on annual performance measures for continuous improvement. The approved 2021 budget includes some significant projects at the wastewater reclamation facility, a large sewer and road project, and a bridge replacement.  

The next Public Works Director will build upon high City service satisfaction ratings from the public, public trust and sound management by leading the department amidst opportunities and challenges. Some of these include creatively funding and keeping up with infrastructure needs, coordinating with the Engineering department on the five-year capital improvement plan and navigating succession planning as the department faces retirements in the next two-three years from key members of the department.  

The Ideal Candidate 

The ideal candidate will be a skilled administrator first and an engineer second (if at all). The department’s division managers and supervisors are experts in their service areas and carry out the more technical functions of the department. Due to the size of the department and City, all leadership team members must be willing, able and regularly get their hands dirty, working side by side with those they lead. While the director may rarely or less frequently perform all services crews perform daily, she/he is expected to periodically join the crews to better understand and appreciate the services and needs of the department, but also earn respect and rapport with the team.  

The Director must be an enabler who wants to continue the department’s collaborative work environment focused on solving problems. Collaboration within the department, with other City departments and with partner agencies has been and will be key to the success of the department, and the director plays a critical leadership role in this. Experience with workforce development and increasing diversity are desirable.  

The Director must have a sound understanding of the Council-Manager role of government and a knack for working with people of all backgrounds, skillsets and education levels. While the work the Director oversees is technical in nature, she/he will be skilled at communicating in a way anyone can easily understand.  

The Director must have proven experience and understanding in navigating the roles of directing, coaching, supporting, delegating and training effectively and in the right situations. The ideal candidate is one who values continuous improvement and continuous learning, while effectively implementing improvements with the buy in of those she/he leads.  

Values sought in the Director include a high degree of integrity and ethical behavior, showing respect for others no matter the circumstance, supporting work-life harmony with themself and those they lead, having fun at work while accomplishing priorities, keen attention to detail, leading in a team approach, willing to try new things through calculated risk taking, views innovation as simplicity and necessary, goes above and beyond to preserve transparency and is authentic and trustworthy, leading by example.  

Education + Experience 

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in relevant fields such as engineering, science related fields, public management, and six-eight years of increasingly responsible experience in the provision of urban public works services including experience in a combination of water, sewer, stormwater, solid waste, construction management, or operations and maintenance, including four years of administrative and supervisory responsibility. Equivalent combinations of education and experience may be considered. 

Post graduate education and certifications are desired, but not required. The selected candidate must have, or immediately obtain a valid Colorado driver license.  Proven, successful experience in management and supervision is required. 

The Fruita Community 

Fruita is a special place surrounded by over a million acres of public lands providing endless opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, trail running, sightseeing, road cycling, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, camping, exploring dinosaur ruins, etc. Living and working in Fruita allows for a true work-life harmony. While this job is busy and extremely fulfilling, it is not uncommon to squeeze in an early morning, lunch or after work ride or hike in—we even find these activities to be ideal for some meetings in Fruita.   

Home to world-class outdoor recreation, the Colorado National Monument, two state parks, the only full-service cable wakeboard park in the Rocky Mountain West, it is no surprise Fruita has been voted as the “Top Adventure Town” in Elevation Outdoors Magazine “Best of the Rockies” several times, and most recently, was voted best “Best Kid Friendly Outdoor Town.”  Commutes are short on a bike and only minutes by car. No commute allows for instant access to lifelong hobbies and the ability to work efficiently. Fruita is also an hour from Powderhorn Ski Resort and within 2-3 hours from most major ski resort in Colorado without the traffic to and from.  The City of Fruita offers excellent work-life balance, and flexible schedules to meet the need of employees. 

The people are the gem of Fruita and some of the most welcoming across the country. The population is about 14,000 people and growing. While Fruita attracts close to a million visitors a year it is a place where visitors feel like locals and locals play like visitors. Fruita is a community first and prioritizes projects, time and talents to first the City’s core services and then improving the quality of place, lifestyle and economic health of the community. As a smaller community, people expect a high degree of customer service, easy access to City officials and a sincere listening ear of the local government, and the City takes this seriously. In the last community survey, residents rated their satisfaction rating of City services 37 percent higher than the national average.   

Compensation + Benefits 

The Director of Public Works position starts at $90,691, depending upon qualifications. The 

City provides a competitive benefit package. Details include: 

Medical (employee covered 100% and dependents covered 95%),  

Dental (employee covered 100% and low dependent premiums), 

Voluntary Vision,   

Life Insurance, 

Vacation, Sick Leave, 10 Paid Holidays and 1 Discretionary Day 

ICMA-RC 401a Retirement Program with 4.5% City match, and a voluntary Deferred Compensation (457) Plan, and 

Other voluntary employee covered benefits such as disability insurance 

How to Apply 

The City of Fruita is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All interested applicants are encouraged and welcome to apply for this position.   

To apply, submit a completed City application, cover letter and a resume and to Odette Brach, Human Resources Director at The employment application and recruitment brochure can be found here. The position is opened until filled, and the City continues to review applications as they are received.