Public Works Director

$97,512 - $124,824 yearly
  • City of Newberg
  • Jul 21, 2020
Full time Engineering Executive Facilities Government Management

Job Description

The Position
The Public Works Director provides leadership and direction to the Public Works Department with responsibility for a full range of public works services through three main divisions: Maintenance, Operations, and Engineering. The Director creates and manages sustainable operating and capital budgets and establishes five-year projections to best utilize grants and other financial resources. Reporting to the City Manager, this dynamic and innovative leader guides the Department through long-range planning, plan implementation, and everyday maintenance and operations, with a strong focus on customer service. 

The Director manages the development and implementation of the Public Works Department strategy, collaborating with the Division leaders to create subsequent work plans, goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for each area. The Public Works Director supervises an integrated team of professionals and oversees the maintenance, operation, planning, engineering, and construction activities of public works projects. The Director actively coordinates public works activities with those of other departments. They evaluate issues and options regarding municipal projects, identify solutions, make recommendations, and advise the City Manager and other City officials in matters relating to department activities.

The Public Works Director partners with the Finance Director and Citizens Rate Review Committee to coordinate the appropriate rates for water, wastewater, and stormwater. The Director effectively represents the Department and builds relationships with elected officials and outside agencies while maintaining regular contact with city, county, state, and federal stakeholders to advocate for public works programs, projects, and necessary funding.


  • As a part of the Leadership Team, actively champion efforts to strengthen a values-driven culture with a strong emphasis on customer service. Support an equitable and inclusive culture, contribute to an environment of trust, nurture collaboration, and encourage learning through growth and transformation.
  • Establish a unified vision for Public Works. Create an integrated strategy and promote actionable goals that align with a collaborative, high-performing organizational approach. 
  • Make the necessary time and effort to form and maintain excellent working relationships with Public Works employees. Develop a deep understanding of the work, be a vocal advocate for infrastructure projects, and encourage collaboration across divisions to meet the changing infrastructure needs of the growing community.
  • Ensure the City’s long-term sustainability and effectively plan for future growth. Update the many Master Plans, Systems Plans, and Facility, Fleet, and Equipment strategies. 
  • In partnership with City Leadership and Public Works staff, implement and successfully execute on a wide variety of projects that may include transportation, bicycle and mobility improvements, waterline and pipe replacement and relocation, facility improvements, street and roadways improvements, alternative/redundant water supply, and the solar farm initiative at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • Leverage technology in support of modernizing the Department and continue to educate the teams on the importance of utilizing data. With the internal implementation of Cartegraph OMS complete, focus on the community education and roll-out.
  • Contribute to the internal connectivity between departments. Collaborate effectively, recognize where the work intersects, identify common goals, and work toward them.
  • Foster a culture of learning, empowerment, accountability, and growth for employees in all divisions. Create opportunities for employee training and development with a focus on expanding knowledge and developing depth in all facets of public works while continuing to provide outstanding services to the community.

The Successful Candidate 
The Public Works Director is committed to organizational maturity and embraces the ongoing process of developing employees, updating processes, and increasing capabilities and technology readiness to deliver excellence in our services. With an eye on process improvement and innovation, the Director brings a fresh perspective and a modern approach to public works projects and initiatives. This person values creativity and embraces alternative methods and new approaches to problem-solving. A mature leader, the Public Works Director successfully navigates the political, administrative, and technical aspects of the position and understands the importance of maintaining existing infrastructure while designing and building necessary improvements and planning for future growth.

Known as a working manager, the successful candidate demonstrates the ability to dive into the details of a project while also developing the long-term strategic direction of the Department. The Director has exceptional financial acumen and easily communicates the cost and budget implications of ongoing infrastructure needs while articulating why improvements are needed for community members. With a broad background in more than one public works discipline, the Public Works Director brings extensive experience working on a wide variety of projects. The Director multi-tasks with ease, shifting gears quickly to prioritize and balance workloads and resource needs to meet project demands. Thorough knowledge of equipment, facilities, materials, methods, and procedures used in the design, operations, and maintenance of transportation systems, public water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment, storage, and distribution systems is essential.

The Public Works Director possesses strong communication skills along with the ability to connect with staff, elected officials, and the growing community to effectively drive change. Resilient and calm in the face of controversy, the successful candidate has a background in community outreach and civic engagement and understands the importance of not only providing the community with accurate and timely information, but in being accessible, responsive, and transparent. Leading with humility, the Director successfully engages with different audiences, values diversity of thought, and uses that  information to drive consensus and inform decision-making. 

With a learner’s mindset, the Public Works Director employs a leadership style that invites participation and gathers input from the talented Public Works team. The ideal candidate is an active listener known for supporting employees, removing barriers to enable success, and, at times, offering innovative approaches to complex challenges. An approachable leader, the successful candidate models behaviors expected throughout the organization, including mutual respect, accountability, commitment to high-quality work, and sound customer service. The Public Works Director models work-life balance and has a good sense of humor. 

The successful candidate has a combination of skills and education that enables success as Newberg’s Public Works Director, such as a bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree in Civil Engineering or Public Works Administration and ten (10) years of increasingly responsible engineering public works experience with at least five (5) years in a leadership capacity. A broad background and knowledge of public works infrastructure, including transportation, wastewater, and water and storm drainage systems, are essential. Prior experience in change management with the ability to leverage best practices in a growing community is ideal.

Registration as a Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon, or the ability to obtain registration, is desired. A valid driver’s license is required.  

The hiring range for the Public Works Director is $97,512 to $124,824. Starting salary will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidate. Newberg has a robust benefit package that includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, employee assistance program, and participation in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. Vacation, administrative leave, sick leave, and holidays are also included for this position. Additional information can be found in the Employee Handbook .