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City of Torrance
Class Code: 5348

Class Designation: Civil Service

June 2004

Representation Unit: Executive and Management Employees 


Public Works Director


Under general administrative direction, plans, organizes, directs, and integrates departmental functions which include: operations and maintenance for the Streets, Sanitation, Traffic and Lighting, and Airport functions; Street systems and Municipal Water systems; design and construction of public works infrastructure, and the coordination of capital improvement programs. Represents the Department to City management, the City Council and the community; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Public Works Director is directly responsible to the City Manager for the performance of duties. Distinguished from division managers in that the incumbent is responsible for managing the entire department rather than a specific division or section. Work is accomplished within a broad framework, with sole authority and responsibility for a broad service area. Discretion is involved in applying goal and policy statements and in resolving complex organizational and technological problems.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives general administrative direction from the City Manager; exercises direct supervision over division managers, professional and supervisory positions and office support personnel.

Examples Of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties, however, they are not all inclusive.
  • Manages and directs the development, implementation, and evaluation of plans, policies, and procedures to achieve annual goals, objectives, and work standards.
  • With managers, develops, implements, and monitors long-term plans, goals, and objectives focused on achieving the City's mission and City Council's priorities.
  • Directs, plans, and organizes, through subordinate staff, the operation and maintenance of streets, highway and traffic and lighting systems; sewer and storm drain facilities; municipal water systems; airport operation facilities; streetscape (curb, gutter, sidewalks, street trees and roadway landscape areas); sanitation and wastewater collection and disposal.
  • Directs, plans, and organizes, through subordinate staff, the design and construction of public works infrastructure and coordination of capital improvement programs.
  • Manages and directs the development of a five (5) year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) of public infrastructure projects.
  • Plans, organizes, directs, and evaluates the performance of managers and their assigned staff as well as coaches for improvement and development.
  • Establishes performance requirements and personal development goals; takes disciplinary action to address performance deficiencies.
  • Provides leadership and works with managers to develop and retain highly competent and customer service oriented staff through selection, compensation, training, and management practices which support the City's mission and values.
  • Directs the development of and monitors performance against the annual department budget.
  • Represents the department in employee relations matters, including the meet and confer process and grievance proceedings.
  • Monitors relevant industry developments, evaluates their impact on City operations, and implements policy and procedure improvements.
  • Integrates the efforts and results of managers in the Public Works Department.
  • Advises the City Council, City Manager, and others on departmental issues.
  • Attends various City Council, Commission, City staff and community meetings as required.
  • Participates on external committees, boards, and task forces as appropriate.
  • Examples Of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of

  • Operational characteristics, services and activities of a comprehensive engineering program.
  • Civil Engineering principles and practices as applied to the field of municipal public works, design, construction, operation and maintenance.
  • Principles and practices of public administration, including purchasing, preparation and administration of departmental budget.
  • Procedures and methods for the construction of public works projects.
  • Functions of public streets, sanitation and water operations.
  • Management and supervisory principles and practices.
  • High quality customer service methodology and principles.
  • Employee relations, including the meet and confer process, grievance procedures, and contract interpretation and administration.
  • Hazards and generally accepted safety standards.
  • City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations and personnel matters.
  • Applicable Federal, State and local regulations.
  • General City operations.

    Ability to

  • Plan, organize, assign, coordinate and manage the activities of professional and support staff and outside contractors.
  • Develop, implement and administer goals, objectives and practices for public works and engineering programs and services.
  • Analyze complex issues and identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals.
  • Develop and administer a large departmental budget.
  • Develop, understand, interpret laws and execute rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Interpret and apply Memorandums of Understanding, City ordinances, and administrative
  • Present proposals and recommendations clearly and logically in public meetings.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Develop and evaluate management practices and procedures.
  • Exercise sound, expert, independent judgment within general policy guidelines.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the City Council, officials, other department heads, staff, private and community organizations, and others encountered in the course of work.
  • License Or Certificate

    Possession of an appropriate valid California driver's license.

    Registration as a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California is highly desirable.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the necessary knowledge and abilities is:

    Bachelor's degree from a college or university in Civil Engineering or a related field; or

    Registration as a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California; and

    Ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in the administration and management of a comprehensive Public Works/City Engineering program which includes at least five (5) years of experience at the management level.

    Master's degree in Civil Engineering, Public or Business Administration or a related field is desirable.

    Special Requirements

    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:

    Requires the ability to exert a small amount of physical effort in sedentary to light work involving moving from one area of the office to another; requires sufficient hand/eye coordination to use standard office equipment. Tasks require color and visual perception and discrimination, as well as oral communications ability; may require the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.