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Public Works Director

County of Lake
Lake County, California
$140,748 - $171,084 Annually + medical, dental, vision, life insurance, PTO, pension, and MORE!
Closing date
Mar 21, 2024

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Construction Engineering
Position Type
Contract Type
Organization Type



Under policy direction, plans, organizes, directs, and manages the Department of Public Works; serves as County Engineer and Road Commissioner; oversees the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of roads, public works, and transportation facilities; develops and implements Public Works ordinances and policies; oversees the County Surveyor function; performs special assignments as directed from the Board of Supervisors; and performs related duties as assigned.


The Public Works Director is an official appointed by the Board of Supervisors.  The incumbent has responsibility for managing and directing the Department of Public Works which includes Road Maintenance, Airport, Engineering, Inspection, Fleet Maintenance, Surveyor, and associated functions.

This is a discrete classification.  The incumbent in this management position serves at the pleasure of his/her appointing authority, which means the employment relationship is at-will, and that the County of Lake or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time, with or without cause.


Receives policy direction from the County Administrative Officer on behalf of the Board of Supervisors.  Exercises direct and general supervision over professional, technical, and/or administrative staff.


lass specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the scope of duties performed by employees in this class and are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.

  • Plans, organizes, directs, and manages the functions and activities of the Department of Public Works.
  • Provides supervision, training, and work evaluation for assigned staff. Develops and implements department goals, objectives, and priorities.
  • Provides administrative direction and oversight for department staff.
  • Develops and administers the department budget.
  • Formulates department procedures and policies.
  • Oversees the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of county roads and transportation facilities.
  • Performs long-range capital improvement planning and develops a capital improvement budget.
  • Approves the design of public works projects.
  • Provides oversight and direction for engineering and surveying functions.
  • Oversees the development and operation of the County airport.
  • Directs and coordinates the work of engineering consultants.
  • Responsible for the development and administration of grants.
  • Coordinates transportation planning for the County.
  • Works with, provides expertise, and coordinates the functions of a variety of boards and commissions.
  • Manages and directs the maintenance of vehicles and heavy equipment.
  • Plans, organizes, and coordinates County Surveyor functions.
  • Responsible for the development, submission, and presentation of department reports.
  • Approves department claims, maintains current knowledge of legislation, practices, and case decisions regarding public works operations and development.
  • Maintains contact with the press and community organizations.
  • Performs special assignments for the Board of Supervisors.
  • Interprets policies and regulations for the public.
  • Represents the Department of Public Works with regional and local boards, commissions, and other government agencies.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles, practices, and methods of civil engineering as applied to the design, construction, and maintenance of roads, transportation, and public works facilities.
  • Principles and practices of employee supervision, including work planning, assignment review and evaluation, discipline, and the training of staff in work procedures.
  • Principles and practices of leadership.
  • Pertinent state, federal, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances related to the functions and operations of the Department of Public Works.
  • Emergency Operations Center Procedures (Incident Command System procedures, not necessary at entry but a distinguishing value).
  • Proper inspection methods and procedures.
  • Research and statistical methods.
  • Budget development, management, and control.
  • Principles of project planning, development, coordination, and direction.
  • Principles, practices, and methods of surveying, especially as they apply to the functions and responsibilities of the County Surveyor.
  • Principles of supervision, training, and work evaluation.
  • Proper English spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Written and oral communications skills.
  • Computers and software programs (e.g., Microsoft software applications) to conduct research, assess information, and/or prepare documentation.
  • Principles and techniques for working with groups and fostering effective team interaction.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize, manage, and coordinate the functions of the Department of Public Works.
  • Develop and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls for the department.
  • Provide administrative and professional leadership and direction for the department and the County.
  • Select and supervise staff, provide training and development opportunities, ensure work is performed effectively, and evaluate performance in an objective and positive manner.
  • Develop and administer a department budget.
  • Direct and oversee a wide scope of complex professional engineering and construction surveying, as well as manage the functions of the County Surveyor.
  • Direct and manage the development and administration of grants.
  • Oversee the gathering and maintenance of information regarding the Department of Public Works operations and functions.
  • Perform special assignments for a variety of County boards and commissions.
  • Direct the preparation and prepare clear and concise reports.
  • Make effective oral and written presentations.
  • Effectively represent the Department of Public Works with the public, community organizations, boards, commissions, and other government agencies.
  • Regularly work well under pressure, meeting critical deadlines.
  • Utilize a computer, relevant software applications, and/or other equipment as assigned.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Utilize a computer, relevant software applications, and/or other equipment as assigned to perform a variety of work tasks.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Licensing and Certifications:

Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid California Driver’s License.

Possession of a valid registration as a Professional Civil Engineer from the State of California.

Education and Experience:

Equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in civil engineering or a closely related field;


Five (5) years of full-time increasingly responsible engineering experience in public works, including at least three (3) years in a management or supervisory capacity.

Previous government experience with purchasing, contract procurement, construction bidding, contract administration, and planning is preferred.

Additional directly related experience and/or education may be substituted.


The County of Lake is an equal opportunity employer and will comply with its obligations under the law to provide equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Incumbents generally work partially in an office environment with moderate noise levels and controlled temperature conditions and partially in the field.  As such, incumbents may have occasional exposure to loud noise levels, cold and hot temperatures, inclement weather conditions, and direct exposure to hazardous physical conditions.  Incumbents may also be subject to clients or members of the public afflicted with behavioral disorders or who are under emotionally stressful conditions. 

Positions in this class typically require: sitting, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions.

Sedentary Work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.  Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time.  Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work: Exerting up to 25 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.  If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for light work. 

Medium Work: Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.  

Heavy Work: Exerting 50 to 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 20 to 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or 10 to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

Positions in this class may require local and statewide travel as necessary.

A successful candidate will be required to submit to and pass a background check prior to the appointment.  Depending upon the position and/or assigned department, the background check may include but is not limited to civil and criminal history check, reference check, Live Scan, and/or credit check (as allowed under state law).

Disaster Service Workers: As members of the County of Lake Emergency Services Organization, all Lake County employees are designated as Disaster Service Workers during a proclaimed emergency and may be required to perform certain emergency services at the direction of the department and / or County.

The contents of this class specification shall not be construed to constitute any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee, nor shall it constitute a contract of employment.  The County of Lake assumes no responsibility beyond the general accuracy of the document, nor does it assume responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information contained herein.  The contents of this specification may be modified or revoked without notice.  Terms and conditions of employment are determined through a “meet and confer” process and are subject to the Memorandum of Understanding currently in effect.

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