Public Works Director

This description is meant to represent a body of work typically performed in this position but does not necessarily represent all the duties which may be assigned to the incumbent in the position.  The incumbent is responsible for performing miscellaneous duties as needed or assigned.


The Public Works Director plans, directs and supervises all operations of the Public Works Department including water, wastewater, streets and buildings and grounds departments. Plans and implements major capital improvements.

The Public Works Director shall function with a high degree of independence and utilize sound professional judgment, demonstrate planning and organizational skills, and establish priorities, programs and acceptable performance levels for his/her functional area.  The Public Works Director shall be committed to the mission, vision and values of the City and demonstrate such through ethical conduct, community stewardship, individual initiative and responsive service.  The Public Works Director shall demonstrate leadership, management and technical skills through effective communication and collaboration, proper use of team resources, progressive decision-making, personal accountability and responsibility. 

While the Public Works Director consults with the City Manager on issues relating to policy and planning, he/she works independently in supervising the overall departmental operations. The Public Works Director also serves as a member of the City Management Staff.

The job description is intended merely to illustrate the duties that may be assigned to persons assigned this title.  It should not be interpreted to describe all the duties that may be required of persons holding this position or to limit the nature and extent of assignments a person may be given.


Requires a Bachelor of Science in Public Works, Public Administration, Civil Engineering, or related field and a minimum of five years of diverse and responsible supervisory experience in municipal operations; or an equivalent combination of education and experience, which provides the skills and abilities necessary to perform the primary job duties.  Requires a comprehensive knowledge of public works, engineering, utilities, construction, finance and personnel.  Requires strong oral, written, public presentation and interpersonal skills.

The position requires a valid state of Delaware driver’s license.


Works under the supervision of the City Manager.  Supervises all full time departmental supervisors in the following departments: Streets Department, Water Department, Wastewater Department and Building & Grounds Department. In the absence of the departmental supervisor, the Public Works Director supervises all staff, full-time, part-time and seasonal employees.



  • Directs the planning, organization and coordination of the various functions of the Public Works Department.
  • Develops and implements departmental policies, standards of operations, programs and procedures.
  • Ensures the collection, analysis and use of data for performance management and decision-making purposes.
  • Prepares, organizes and directs department resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from weather events and other emergencies impacting the community, including wind, rain, snow, ice and flooding events.  Coordinates such activities with other City departments, and county and State agencies, as necessary.
  • Responsible for preparing and presenting reports to the city manager and city commissioners, including reviewing agenda material with the Mayor and the city manager and attending public meetings, public hearings, and related proceedings to represent the Public Works Department before the city commissioners and city boards and commissions which affect or are affected by the Public Works Department or as assigned by the city manager.
  • Coordinates the various functions of the Public Works Department with the city manager, including attending staff meetings with departmental supervisors and administrative staff.
  • Explores joint cooperative programming with neighboring jurisdictions, including shared resources and joint deployment of personnel and equipment as needed.
  • Maintains relationships with professional associations and other agencies, boards, commissions, committees and organizations to further departmental objectives.
  • Oversees, monitors, controls and accounts for the expenditure of department funds in accordance with budget appropriation and policy.
  • Assists department supervisors in the preparation of annual budgets for the Public Works Department, Building and Grounds Department and the Capital Improvements Program.
  • Responds to complaints about departmental services and takes appropriate actions to resolve them.
  • Manages the department’s capital improvement projects including planning, design, financing, bidding, award, construction and contract administration                                                      
  • Reviews permit applications and ensures that the resultant work meets applicable standards.
  • Recommends capital equipment purchases; writes specifications, develops bidding documents, recommends award, prepares contract documents; and oversees delivery of said purchase. 
  • Provides direction for future expansion, maintenance and/or improvement of the municipal water system, sanitary sewers and storm sewers; city streets, curbs, and sidewalks; collection of solid waste; and maintenance of the city vehicle fleet.
  • Works with the water superintendent to review methodology for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act at wells and water treatment plants and the water distribution system; maintains the requirements for the repair and replacement of city water mains, fire hydrants, service lines, and meters.
  • Prepares, reviews and finalizes grant application packages for various funding assistance opportunities related to public works projects.
  • Assesses community streets, sanitation/recycling operations; water and wastewater utilities; equipment maintenance, solid waste collection and engineering operations and investigates new methods, technologies, laws and programs to improve current levels of service.
  • Develops and implements short and long-range goals for the department; establishes priorities for the improvement of public works services.
  • Adheres to best management practices in determining projects to be awarded to outside contractors and efficiencies of general overall performance of work product.
  • Consults with contracted engineering firms and their representatives to deliver the most practical outcomes using city resources.


In the absence of the departmental supervisor, delegates work assignments, projects, and programs; monitors work flow; and reviews and evaluates work products, methods, and procedures.

  • Oversees establishment, planning, and supervision of the public works training and staff evaluation programs including supervising, scheduling, training, directing, counseling; diligently inquiring into all complaints of employee misconduct in the performance of duty, directs investigations and administers or recommends to City Manager disciplinary measures to be taken in accordance with City personnel policies.
  • Involved with the water department supervisor, the wastewater department supervisor and the building and grounds supervisor in all major employment actions, including recruiting, hiring, transfer, evaluation, promotion, termination, discipline and recognition of personnel.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Contemporary principles and practices for public works administration and service delivery, including leadership ability and strategic planning.
  • Municipal operations including budget planning/development and monitoring practices.
  • Local government practices and procedures including public administration and personnel management (such as employee supervision, training, and performance evaluation) as well as public sector procurement procedures.
  • Management principles and practices necessary to plan, analyze, develop, direct, and evaluate programs, administrative policies, organizational structures, and the various safety practices.
  • Principles and processes necessary to accomplish organizational change in a highly traditional work environment.
  • Emergency management principles and practices.
  • Federal, state, and local laws, codes, regulations, and standards governing the delivery of public works department services.

Ability to:

  • Supervise, train, and develop employees effectively.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate public works department operations, and motivate organizational divisions to meet departmental objectives, which are consistent with the general goals of the total organization and its various operations.
  • Lead by example demonstrating a high degree of honesty, integrity, and professionalism, with a commitment to excellent service.
  • Define problem areas; direct the collection, interpretation, and evaluation of data and development of sound solutions to technical and administrative public works problems.
  • Coordinate and initiate actions, implement decisions and recommendations.
  • Interpret complex regulations, laws, and guidelines.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective work relationships with supervisor, co-workers, city officials, representatives of private/public entities in the community or other agencies, as well as citizen groups and individuals.
  • Perform research, analyze findings, and prepare reports and recommendations on public works issues.
  • Prepare and administer municipal department budgets.
  • Communicate effectively through oral presentations, written reports, and discussions with executive level staff, and other federal, state, and local agencies, departments, groups, and individuals.
  • Maintain composure and work effectively under conditions of high stress due to emergency situations and deadlines.
  • Perform duties and responsibilities in a manner that reflects professional judgment, appearance, and one that is in conformance with high ethical standards and integrity.
  • Coordinate complex, inter-departmental programs and procedures.
  • Investigate, analyze and effectively resolve problems and conflicts.
  • Multi-task and perform with evolving priorities.
  • Maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive issues with discretion and sound judgment.
  • Communicate and demonstrate support and stewardship for the city’s mission, vision and values.

Physical Requirements / Work Environment:

Must have the use of sensory skills in order to effectively communicate and interact with other employees and the public through the use of the telephone and personal contact as normally defined by the ability to see, read, talk, hear, handle or feel objects and controls. Physical capability to effectively use and operate various items of office related equipment, such as, but not limited to a, personal computer, calculator, copier, and fax machine.  The Public Works Director will perform those physical requirements necessary for essential functions including, but not limited to, regular sitting, standing, walking, and general mobility; continual talking in person, in group presentations, and over the phone to diverse groups of various sizes and natures; keyboarding; infrequent crouching, kneeling, crawling, climbing, limb extension, and all other physical activities required in activities during inspections and in non-emergency and emergency situations. 

The Public Works Director works primarily in an office setting, but exposure to adverse environmental conditions, including inclement weather, extreme temperatures, noise, dust, fumes, and other conditions may be required while performing essential and secondary functions of the position. 


Possession and retention of a valid Delaware vehicle operator’s license. Must pass pre-employment testing for substance abuse, criminal background, motor vehicle driver’s license history, and a pre-employment physical. Safety sensitive positions may be subject to random drug and alcohol testing according to city policy.



The City of Rehoboth Beach assures Equal Employment Opportunities and equal education opportunities for employees and students as required by Federal and State Orders and Laws.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential tasks. This job description is intended to accurately reflect the position activities and requirements. However, management and administration reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and assign other duties as necessary.  It is not intended to be and should not be construed as an all-inclusive list of all the responsibilities, skills, or working conditions associated with the position.