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Candidate Panel

City of Durango, CO – Director of Public Works

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assume full management responsibility and provide leadership direction for all Public Works Department services and activities including water, wastewater, drainage, and engineering functions; recommend and administer policies and procedures.
  • Manage the development and implementation of Public Works Department goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for each assigned service area.
  • Establish, within City policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; allocate resources accordingly.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate, through subordinate level managers, the Public Works Department’s work plan; assign projects and programmatic areas of responsibility; review and evaluate work methods and procedures; meet with management staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Assess and monitor workload, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identify opportunities for improvement; direct and implement changes.
  • Select, train, motivate and evaluate Public Works Department personnel; provide or coordinate staff training; work with employees to correct deficiencies; implement discipline and termination procedures.
  • Manage and participate in the development and administration of the Public Works Department budget; approve the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; approve expenditures and implement budgetary adjustments as appropriate and necessary.
  • Evaluate and forecast the City’s public work needs; identify Department’s capital improvement project needs.
  • Manage and administer engineering consulting and construction contracts; review work to ensure compliance with specifications; inspect construction of work; recommend modifications; process payment requests.
  • Oversee professional civil engineering functions, including review of private and public development plans, plats, specifications, and related documents; engineering permitting; ensure compliance with codes and standards including the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4); and participate in the design and review of water, wastewater, street, drainage, solid waste, and other City facilities as needed.
  • Review as-built plans; ensure that records and files are updated to incorporate changes; revise maps, as appropriate.
  • Undertake various engineering plans and studies such as traffic studies, transportation plans, and water models.
  • Explain, justify and defend Public Works Department programs, policies, and activities; negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues.
  • Represent the Public Works Department to other City departments, elected officials, outside agencies and the public; coordinate Public Works Department activities with those of other departments and outside agencies and organizations.
  • Provide staff assistance to the Assistant City Manager; participate on a variety of boards, commissions and committees; prepare and present staff reports and other necessary correspondence.
  • Provide staff support to assigned boards and commissions.
  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings; stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public works and civil engineering.
  • Respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Operations, services and activities of a comprehensive public works maintenance program.
  • Civil Engineering principles and practices.
  • Advanced principles of design and construction.
  • Management skills to analyze programs, policies and operational needs.
  • Principles and practices of program development and administration.
  • Principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration.
  • Principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation.
  • Pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes and regulations. 

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned professional engineer with experience in local, state and federal water and wastewater utility regulations and civil engineering principles and practices.  The successful candidate should possess financial knowledge to include fiscal planning, budget management and capital improvement projects.

The ideal candidate must possess excellent customer service skills and a strong ability to collaborate and maintain relationships with stakeholders and work closely and effectively with the City staff and the community.  This individual should demonstrate the capacity and interest to be an effective mentor and leader for staff. Advanced written and verbal communication skills are imperative for this position. 

Education and Experience

Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, public administration, business administration, or a closely related field. Ten years of increasingly responsible experience in public works or engineering, including 5 years of administrative and supervisory responsibility is required. Possession of a Registered Professional Engineer’s License issued by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyor is highly preferred. 


The City of Durango is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for the successful out-of-area candidate.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to: