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Deputy Director of Utilities

City of Santa Maria
Santa Maria, California
Anticipated Hiring Range: $170,000 - $210,000 Annually DOQ/DOE
Closing date
May 2, 2024

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Environmental Engineering
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Job Details

The City of Santa Maria is seeking an accomplished and visionary professional for its next Deputy Director of Utilities. This forward-thinking leader will be responsible for the Solid Waste Division of the Utilities Department.

Position will be open until filled. For first consideration, apply by May 3, 2024.

Anticipated Hiring Range: $170,000 - $210,000 annually DOQ/DOE

The Deputy Director - Solid Waste is responsible for the administration, operation, and financial stability of the Solid Waste Division of the Utilities Department. The Solid Waste Division has a dedicated team of over 60 full-time positions assigned to several distinct areas: collections operations (refuse [trash], mixed recycling, and organic waste), landfill operations, street sweeping, regulatory compliance (both disposal and recycling diversion), and engineering, with a total annual operating budget of just over $15.4 Million. The position is performed under the general direction of the Director of Utilities with wide leeway allowed for the exercise of independent professional judgment.


The Utilities Department provides water, sewer, refuse collection, and disposal services to the growing City of Santa Maria, California, located on the beautiful Central Coast of California. The mission of the Utilities Department is to provide efficient utility services through the use of progressive innovation, excellent customer service, and the wise use of public resources for the long-term benefit of the community.

The Solid Waste Division of the Utilities Department operates a regional landfill seven days a week and performs waste collection services throughout Santa Maria six days a week. The active landfill site, the Santa Maria Regional Landfill, provides solid waste disposal and recycling services to northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County. In 2023, the landfill processed over 100,000 transactions and accepted approximately 353,800 tons of material. The collection program services approximately 20,000 residential accounts and over 1,400 commercial accounts each week.

The Deputy Director - Solid Waste has responsibility for the efficient and economic utilization of staff, material, and equipment in the disposal, recycling, transport, and handling of solid waste, in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, and the planning, design, construction, and operation of solid waste facilities.

The Solid Waste Division is currently designing and permitting the Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) at Los Flores, a Class III landfill, that will receive waste from urban and the rural areas of northern Santa Barbara County, with the capacity to receive waste from southern Santa Barbara County, as necessary. The Deputy Director - Solid Waste will be responsible for continuing that major initiative for the City of Santa Maria, along with the planning and implementation of other solid waste related capital projects, including an expansion of the liner system at the existing landfill and planning for electrification of the refuse collection fleet in coordination with Public Works Fleet Division.  

The ideal candidate for this leadership position is an experienced solid waste professional who possesses a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, civil engineering, public administration, or related field, and has advanced knowledge, experience, and strategic insights into the solid waste industry and current State regulations. They will have experience managing staff and leading teams, effectively communicating on complex projects, experience with budgeting and forecasting (Prop 218 rate setting experience is a plus), and identifying solutions to challenges. In addition, they will have demonstrated experience developing strategic partnerships in a government setting and advancing policies that support regional cooperation through teamwork, communication, and action-driven leadership.


These duties are a representative example; position assignments may vary depending on the business needs of the department and nature of the assignment and the following are examples of duties:

  • Plans, organizes, manages, leads, and evaluates the overall operations of the department or major programs or projects. Has authority over department or program staff and/or leads multiple programs and/or divisions within a department or city-wide.
  • Develops, implements, and evaluates departmental standards, policies, goals, and outcomes.
  • Makes broad policy decisions for a department, work that is performed, and delivery of customer services.
  • Prioritizes and allocates resources within the department or city-wide; oversees the development of the department or city budget; and balances fiscal priorities among divisions, projects, and programs.



  • Experience and/or education directly related to the level of leadership and the scope of organizational authority/responsibility required by the position:
  • Possession of the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution in environmental studies, civil engineering, sanitary engineering, public administration, or related equivalent fields.
  • Five or more years of increasingly responsible experience in the management of operations or activities of municipal solid waste collection and/or disposal and/or regulatory compliance; and
  • Four or more years of experience managing complex capital projects and leading large teams.
  • Mastery of the desired core competencies listed below and the ability to immediately demonstrate these competencies consistent with the position's level in the leadership series and the specific work assignment.
  • Current technical/professional knowledge of the complex principles, methods, standards, and techniques associated with the scope of work of a recognized profession:
  • Construction practices, engineering design, drafting, inspections, and surveying.
  • Regulations (local, state, federal) pertaining to the permitting, construction, operation, and environmental management for landfills.
  • Municipal solid waste collection and disposal operations and equipment.
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • Budgeting, rate-setting, and financial management principles and practices.
  • Effective leadership, supervision, performance management, evaluation, and training. 
  • Possession of license(s) and/or certifications associated with the assignment:
  • Valid California Class "C" driver's license; and
  • Valid Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) Certificate issued by SWANA is highly desirable


The City of Santa Maria is a full-service City with a City Council/City Manager form of government with over 700 employees and serves approximately 108,000 constituents.

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