City of Ventura


Public Works Department
Recruitment #17-E08-001
Salary:  $142,824 - $191,386/Yr (+ 2.75% Effective 7/2018, Pending Council Approval)

Are you a collaborative leader with proven experience managing public works operations?  The City of Ventura is accepting applications for our Public Works Director opportunity.  To be considered for this rewarding career opportunity, apply online at by the 6/25/2018 filing deadline!
To learn more about the Public Works Department, visit

This position is designated as "at will."  At will employees serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority, which for this position is the City Manager, and are subject to discharge without cause and without the right of appeal.

Reporting to the City Manager/Assistant City Manager, the Public Works Director is responsible for the day-to-day activities and administration of the Public Works Department as well as the planning and execution of programs and projects to accomplish the Department’s short-term and long-term goals and objectives. This position operates with substantial latitude and discretion while performing complex and challenging work in the establishment, implementation, and management of effective systems and procedures for the Public Works Department in accordance with current policies. The Director provides direction and leadership to five operating Divisions. Responsibilities of the position include creating and maintaining an environment that encourages full utilization of staff and allocated resources, the use of the latest technology, and a customer service philosophy the starts with “Yes we can.” Specific duties of the Public Works Director will include:

  • Working with Division Managers in the development and implementation of broad programs associated with operations, street resurfacing and restoration, curb and sidewalk replacement, streetlights, street maintenance, program management and development, capital planning for infrastructure improvements, engineering, transportation, traffic engineering, and fleet and facilities maintenance;
  • Collaborating and coordinating with other internal customers to maximize overall efficiency of the organization;
  • Formulating, implementing, and evaluating the Department’s operating policies and procedures; Mentoring, supervising, training, and evaluating the performance of Division Managers and promoting an environment that encourages staff to develop to their full potential; and
  • Promoting and ensuring proper employee training and compliance with adopted safety programs and procedures; ensuring that all equipment, materials, and work conditions are adequately maintained to prevent accidents

The City of Ventura operates as a Charter City under the Council/ Manager form of government. The seven members of the City Council are elected at-large for four-year terms to represent the City as a whole, while the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are both chosen by the Council to serve two-year terms.

Ventura is a full-service city with more than 600 full-time employees and an adopted budget for FY2017-2018 of $276.9 million, which includes a $115.2 million general fund budget. The City is organized across 10 major departments: City Manager; City Attorney; Finance & Technology; Human Resources; Community Development; Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships; Fire; Police; Public Works; and Ventura Water.

The City of Ventura is a highly accomplished customer-focused organization with professional, caring and responsive staff who deliver the core services to the community. City employees enjoy working in a team-oriented environment with an on-site gym facility, fitness classes, and a flexible work schedule. City Hall is within walking distance to Ventura’s beautiful beach, promenade, pier, and botanical trail as well as the historic downtown. For a quality lifestyle set in a beach community surrounded by rivers and hills, Ventura is an excellent place to work, live, and play.

To learn more about the City of Ventura, please visit

The mission of the Ventura Public Works Department is to build and maintain vital infrastructure and protect the environment for the safety, enjoyment, and prosperity of future generations.
With 86 full-time staff members, the Public Works Department has a $38.8 million operating budget (FY 2017-2018) and an $14.7 million Capital Improvement Project budget. The Public Works Department provides optimal value in designing, building, operating, and maintaining City-owned buildings, streets, roads, bridges, coasts, and parking infrastructure. The Department is organized into five divisions: Environmental Sustainability; Fleet and Facilities; Engineering Design and Construction; Engineering Services; and Transportation. Each Division has a Division Manager who reports to the Public Works Director. While historically part of the Public Works Department, growth in the Water Division led to the formation of a separate department, now known as Ventura Water, which has become the Department’s largest internal customer.
The Public Works Department is fortunate to have significant funding availability for a robust Capital Improvement Program to efficiently address improvements to the City's vital infrastructure.

The City of Ventura is the 11th city in California to have its Public Works Department accredited by the prestigious American Public Works Association (APWA). The accreditation is the “seal of approval” from APWA for implementing nationally recognized best practices, state-of-the-art operations, and the most efficient use of public resources.


The City is seeking a highly experienced Public Works Director with excellent analytical and problem-solving skills who can quickly become familiar with the operations of the Public Works Department in order to quickly establish credibility within the Department and with internal and external customers. Top candidates for the Public Works Director position will have outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills as well as strong technical skills and a broad-based knowledge of public works services and activities, including a proven history and track record managing significant capital improvement projects to completion. The Public Works Director must be forward-thinking and have a vision for the development of strategies that will continue to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the Department.

The Public Works Director will ensure the Department’s operations and priorities are focused on meeting needs effectively, efficiently, and with a high quality service and will work with the Department’s management team to ensure a high performance and a customer service-oriented work environment. The successful candidate will coach and inspire staff to achieve established performance requirements as well as the goals and objectives of the Department.

In addition to an approachable personal style, the successful candidate will be a confident, “hands on,” and innovative leader who is comfortable operating in a robust and dynamic environment. As an experienced manager, the successful candidate will have a proven track record of achieving goals and results.

In summary, the successful candidate will have a desire to be part of a high-performance team that places a high value on honesty, integrity, and collaboration with a passion for incorporating best practices into the daily operations of a large and complex public organization. The successful candidate will have a collaborative style and a highly professional approach to problem solving. Perhaps most importantly, the Public Works Director must be perceived as a credible leader willing to deal with a vast array of issues in a fast paced and multi-faceted department.

Key Challenges and Opportunities
The selected candidate will need to bring to bear a progressive and innovative management style to address internal and external needs in the City of Ventura. While the organization is stable and enjoys a collegial atmosphere, it is not without its challenges and opportunities:

  • There is an expectation of improving on the already superior customer service. The new Public Works Director has a significant opportunity to build strong internal relationships within the Department and with other department Directors, Managers, and Staff to focus on elevating customer service to the next level while reinforcing that Ventura a rewarding city to work at.
  • The new Public Works Director must be innovative and create opportunities to provide high-quality training to elevate the organization to the next level.
  • The City of Ventura staff is a tight-knit group and it will be imperative for the Public Works Director to be open, accessible, and highly engaged in order to establish and manage effective relationships within the workforce.
  • The Public Works Director must be able to connect with stakeholders and effectively communicate results to the community.
  • With a relatively small CIP budget, the Public Works Director must be innovative and resourceful in securing other streams of funding. The new Director must also utilize the funds available efficiently and effectively.
  • Parking is a significant issue in various areas of the City. The new Director will work with the Division manager to manage stakeholder expectations and develop realistic solutions that can be implemented.

A combination of education, training and/or experience equivalent to Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in engineering, public administration, business administration, or a closely related field and six years of progressively responsible civil engineering or management experience in a public works division, including three years of experience supervising professional-level positions.

License:  Depending on assignment, possession of a valid California Class C driver's license may be required.

  • Registration as a California Civil Engineer is highly desirable
  • Registration as a Civil Engineer in another state and demonstrated capability to become immediately registered in California after selection is highly desirable

To view benefits, please visit our website at

Submit a City application, comprehensive resume, and a compelling cover letter by the filing deadline. The preferred method of application is online and you are highly encouraged to apply at If you are unable to apply electronically, you may request paper application materials by calling (805) 654-7853 during regular business hours. Paper applications can be FAXed to (805) 648-4467, or mailed, or hand delivered to City Hall at: 501 Poli Street, Room 210; Ventura, CA 93002. If you FAX, it is highly recommended that you also send the original documents. The Eligibility List established may be used to fill other regular and temporary vacancies at the discretion of the City.

Once your application has been submitted, all future correspondence from the City will be via e-mail. Please keep your contact information up-to-date and ensure that your email spam filter allows you to receive messages from You may also view notices send to you by the City in the "My Applications" tab at
Selection Process
The evaluation and selection process may consist of a supplemental questionnaire and/or written exercise to further evaluate relative experience and overall suitability for this position.  A select number of candidates will be invited to a department selection interview process being held in July 2018, date to be determined.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 22:25

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