Working for Us
Menu Button
City Logo
Search Button

Job Descriptions

Public Works Director


Under administrative direction, plans, organizes, coordinates and directs the programs and activities of the City's Public Works Department; formulates departmental policies, goals and directives; provides expert professional assistance to City management staff on public works matters; performs related work as assigned. Foster cooperative working relationships with citizen groups and other agencies.

This position is designated as management for Labor Relations purposes and is considered exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


Administrative direction is provided by the City Manager. The job incumbent directly supervises staff responsible for divisions in Public Works Department.


This is a department director classification responsible for the direction of a discrete departmental organizational component and divisions in the areas of Engineering, Maintenance, Transit, Recreation, and Airport; and duties and responsibilities are performed in accordance with municipal codes, ordinances, City policy, federal, and state regulating entities.

This position serves as a member of the City executive team with responsibilities for overall policy development, program planning, fiscal management and operation of assigned divisions. The incumbent is responsible for developing and implementing department goals, objectives and work standards in addition to furthering City goals and objectives. This position may be assigned overall administrative responsibility for all City activities in the absence of the City Manager.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Develops and directs the implementation of goals, objectives, work standards and departmental administrative policies and procedures; oversees preparation and administration of the department's budget.
  • Plans, organizes, coordinates and directs, through subordinate supervisors, all public works functions of the City.
  • Works closely with the City Council, City Manager and other City departments and a variety of public and private organizations including developing programs and implementing projects to solve problems related to public works issues.
  • Makes interpretation of City regulations and codes and applicable laws and provides technical assistance to staff and commissions.
  • Determines priorities, reviews staff work and directs the development of management systems to evaluate policies and operating procedures for overall effectiveness.
  • Plans, develops, and implements or directs the implementation of goals, objectives, policies and priorities relating to engineering, maintenance, and transit functions.
  • Directs and reviews all public works engineering activities including design, surveying, and inspection; may act as the City Engineer.
  • Supervises and participates in the development and implementation of the capital improvement program.
  • Confers and consults with administrative staff on problems related to the design and construction of public works systems and the interpretation and enforcement of construction specifications.

  • Confers with and gives guidance to division managers regarding matters effecting employer-employee relations; provides for the selection, work review and professional development of staff.
  • Coordinates the formulation of long-range planning, including financial and capital improvement plans.
  • Represents the City and Public Works Department in meeting with public officials, other public agencies and civic groups in order to coordinate, develop and implement projects and programs.
  • Directs the preparation of and personally prepares a variety of complex administrative and technical reports; directs the maintenance of departmental records.
  • Monitors development related to designated service area, evaluates their impact on City operations and implements policy and procedure improvements.
  • Signs subdivision maps and construction plans, parcel maps, and other development related documents.
  • Supervises and participates in the development and implementation of the City capital improvement program and budget; direct the forecast of additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, supplies, and services; monitor and approve expenditures; implement mid-year adjustments.
  • Develop, plan, and implement Department goals and objectives; recommend and administer policies and procedures.
  • Coordinate division activities with those of other service areas and outside agencies and organizations, prepare and present reports and other necessary correspondence.
  • Direct, oversee and participate in the development of the Departmentís work plan, assigns work activities, projects and programs, monitors work flow, reviews and evaluates work products, methods and procedures.
  • Maintains departmental awareness of state-of-the-art development in management and the fields of specialty.
  • Supervise staff including provision of timely performance evaluations; recommend and implement approved discipline; provide staff development; and maintain high standards necessary for efficient, professional operations.
  • Build and maintain respectful and positive working relationships with staff, supervisors, outside agencies and the public using principles of good customer service; provide effective conflict resolution.
  • Model appropriate professional management conduct; maintain appropriate confidentiality of sensitive information; comply with and support City policies and procedures, labor laws, and MOU provisions.
  • Attend assigned meetings and training; interact with outside agencies and commissions; provide leadership for teams, or committees, as needed.
  • Utilize automated equipment to prepare documents and maintain data related to department operations.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Complex principles and practices of recreation program development and administration.
  • Principles and practices of municipal public works administration including civil engineering, traffic engineering, and facilities maintenance.
  • Organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies, and operational needs.
  • Engineering standards and legal guidelines for public works projects.
  • Applicable city, state and federal laws, guidelines and standards.
  • Advanced principles, practices, and techniques of public program administration.
  • Research methods and sources of information related to a broad range of municipal programs, services, and administration.
  • Principles and practices of budget development and administration.
  • Pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes and regulations.
  • Municipal structure and organization in a Mayor-Council/City Manager form of government.
  • Principles of employee supervision, career development, and training.
  • The concepts of word processing, spreadsheets, micro-computer, and mainframe computer applications.
  • Modern methods of records management.
  • Safe work practices and related regulations.
  • Principles of public speaking, conflict resolution, and excellent customer service.

Ability to:

  • Organize, implement, and supervise departmental goals and City objectives.
  • Plan, organize, administer and coordinate a variety of large and complex public works programs and services.
  • Interpret and apply Federal, State, and local polices, procedures, laws, and regulations; develop and implement department policies and procedures.
  • Supervise, train, and evaluate assigned personnel.
  • Select, motivate and evaluate staff and provide for their training and professional development.

  • Prepare a variety of complex and comprehensive reports and documents.
  • Analyze complex technical and administrative public works problems, evaluating alternative solutions and adopting effective courses of action.
  • Exercises general supervision over Public Works Division managers and other professional, technical, and clerical staff.
  • Effectively and fairly negotiate appropriate solutions and contracts.
  • Prepare and administer a budget, manage resources within budget and policy parameters.
  • Prepare clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and supervise the work professional, technical, and office support staff.
  • Make presentations before groups and represent the City in public forums.
  • Read and comprehend complex laws and regulations and initiate policies and procedures for their implementation.
  • Exercise sound independent judgment within general policy guidelines.
  • Use computer and needed programs effectively.
  • Communicate effectively, orally, electronically, and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with City officials, employees, and the general public.


Any combination equivalent to education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledges and abilities would be qualifying. A typical combination is:


Four years of supervisory or administrative experience in a major public works setting which has included program planning, development and administration that would have provided the opportunity to develop the required skills, knowledge and abilities to serve as Public Works Director.


Possession of a Bachelorís degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in engineering or a related field OR Registration as a Civil Engineer by the California State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers


Possession of registration as a Civil Engineer by the California State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers


Possession of a valid California Driverís License in the category necessary to perform essential duties of the position may be required at the time of appointment. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to a physical disability will be considered for accommodation on a case-by-case basis. Maintenance of a valid California Driverís license and proof of automobile liability insurance thereafter is a condition of continued employment.


Maintain required physical abilities including: Vision adequate to operate vehicles and equipment, read instructions and follow directions; hearing adequate to distinguish mechanical noises, converse on telephone and in person; body mobility adequate to drive and perform required duties; use of hands and fingers adequate for driving, writing, typing and computer related functions; ability to lift tools, files and equipment as needed.

      For questions about City employment, please contact:

      Human Relations
      156 S. Broadway, Ste. 235
      Turlock, CA 95380-5454
      (209) 668-5150
      Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

      Icons made by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY