Public Works Director

Town of Los Altos Hills | Los Altos Hills, CA

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Posted Date 11/01/2022

Los Altos Hills is primarily a residential community of approximately 8,000 residents within an 8.6 square mile area. An additional 5.8 square mile area of unincorporated land adjacent to the Town’s boundaries are within Los Altos Hills’ “sphere of influence.” The Town is home to Foothill Community College. The Town Hall was constructed in 2005 and provides a comfortable and modern work environment. The Town Hall is also within a short walking distance to charming downtown Los Altos. Town residents are known for their spirit of community volunteerism and are encouraged to become active in Town governance, serve on Town committees and to participate in local events. This inclusive, open style of governance is embraced by the citizens and is part of what makes Los Altos Hills a unique and progressive town.

The Town organization includes a staff of 27 FTEs within the departments of Administrative Services, Engineering, Planning, Public Works, Parks & Recreation and the City Clerk. Law enforcement services are contracted with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Altos Hills County Fire District provides fire protection. 


The Public Works Department

The Public Works Department is comprised of 9 staff and a budget of $3.1 million.  The department oversees the Town's public roads and pathway system, storm drain system, sewer system and capital improvement projects.  On a day-to-day basis the Public Works Department provides technical support to residents, contractors, consultants, and other Town departments, boards and agencies regarding the installation and development of roads, sewers, storm drains, and private property development.  Some of the typical responsibilities of the Public Works department involve the design, permitting, review and inspection, monitoring and repairing of the Town's sewers, drainage systems. roads and pathways.

The Town's sewer system consists of approximately 57 miles of pipe including approximately 1,800 feet of force main.  Approximately half of the Town's properties are serve by the sanitary sewer system and the remainder parcels are on septic tanks.  There are 1,507 manholes and junctions and 86 cleanouts owned by the Town.  The Town is responsible for the repair and maintenance of approximately 61 centerline miles of streets.  The Town's street network replacement value is estimated at $37 million.


Ideal Candidate

The City Manager seeks a highly effective administrator to oversee the Public Works operations, with a commitment to high touch customer service to serve and respond to residents who have a strong spirit of engagement and interest in their community.  Reporting directly to the City Manager, the Public Works Director oversees all public Works operations, which includes engineering and maintenance operations.  The Utility Engineering Manager/City Engineer and Maintenance Superintendent report directly to the Public Works Director.

The ideal candidate will be a "hands-on" leader with experience in managing sewer systems, pavement management, and engineering principles.  This candidate will also be skillful at interacting with the public, responsive and diplomatic.  The Public Works Director will be a collaborative leader and work closely with the Executive Team, particularly with the Planning and Building Director, as coordination between these departments is essential for effective project delivery and excellent internal and external customer service delivery.

City Council goals for this coming fiscal year include completion of the El Monte Fire Station Utility Undergrounding Project, implementation of key projects in the Pathways Master Plan and completion of improvements to Purissima Park funded by Prop 68, and the Public Works Director will be instrumental in leading these projects to completion.  Another key Council priority under the Quality of Life Goal is the exploration and development of a plan for Town-wide utility undergrounding.  The underground utility feasibility study is underway and will assess the overall system and condition of the Town's existing utilities infrastructure, develop design options for undergrounding of existing overhead utilities, outline the benefits and disadvantages of relocating overhead utilities underground, develop a preliminary plan design and estimate for a Town-wide undergrounding program and identify cost and funding options.

Minimum requirements for this position include a bachelor's degree with a major in civil engineering, constriction management, public administration, or a closely related field, with a minimum of four years of progressively responsible supervisory experience in a municipal public works or engineering organization, or equivalent experience in project management of construction.  Experience in street, drainage, and sanitary sewer project management is required and candidates must be knowledgeable of personal computer programs and usage, or ability to learn quickly, and knowledgeable of contract management and preparation of bid packages.  

The candidate will have strong administrative and leadership skills in addition to exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.  The selected candidate will be expected to hit the ground running and utilize their skill-set to engage and respond to the community and execute priority projects.



Salary: Initial salary will depend on the selected candidate's qualifications and be within the City Council approved salary range for this position: $174,932 to $236,159.  This position also receives an auto allowance of $3,000 per year, and agency issued phone.

The Director will be enrolled in the California Public Employee Retirement System's as follows:

  • New employees with no prior CalPERS service or have a break in CalPERS service of 6 months or more: 2% @ 62. Employees are required by law to pay 50% of the normal cost, or 7.25%.
  • New employees who are classic CalPERS member and did not have a break in service for more than 6 months: 2% @ 60.  Employees are responsible for CalPERS member contribution, currently set at 7.0%.

All employees contribute to Medicare but do not pay into or earn Social Security service credit.

Cafeteria Plan - The Town's cafeteria plan allows employees to select a health plan (CalPERS) or other benefits.  The cafeteria plan’s monthly allowance is capped at the Kaiser HMO premium for the Bay Area Region, based on level of coverage.  Employees with proof of insurance from another source may decline medical insurance and receive an opt-out payment of $7,200 per year, depending on level of coverage.

Leaves – The Director receives 96 hours of Administrative Leave per year, prorated in the first year based on date of appointment.  There is no provision for the cash-out or carry-over of Administrative Leave.  The Director will also accrue between 96 and 160 hours of vacation per year, depending on years of service with the Town.  Sick leave accrues at 96 hours per year and does not carry a cash value but is converted to CalPERS service credit upon retirement from the Town.

Other benefits-

  • 401 (A) Plan- Defined Contribution - The Town contributes up to 4% of the employee's annual salary with a cap of the PEPRA salary maximum and based on the employees enrolled in the 457 Plan (flexible deferred compensation plan). 
  • Retiree Health - Town employees hired after October 11, 2007, will receive retiree health from age 60 until the age of 65 years of age with the following qualifiers:
    • Must work with the Town for at least 5 years
    • Must retire from the Town.  Benefit will be effective at age of 60
    • Vesting schedule would be implemented based on CalPERS service and would determine the Town's contribution towards the retiree's health premium.
  • Dental Insurance – Town paid insurance through Metlife Dental Benefits for employee and eligible dependents.  Use of this benefit may require unreimbursed co-payments by the employee.
  • Vision Insurance – Town paid insurance through VSP for employee and eligible dependents.
  • Holidays - The Town presently offers 12 paid holidays per year.
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (ADD) Insurance – Town paid Life and ADD insurance for active employees to receive a lump sum amount up to the employee’s annual salary in the event of a qualified loss while employed by the Town.
  • Other -  The Town offers a Wellness Reimbursement program that provides for payment up to $450.00 per year. A Town-paid Employee Assistance Program is available.

Special Instructions

This recruitment is open until filled. Accordingly, applications will be reviewed upon receipt with interviews of the most competitive candidates quickly following the close date. Highly qualified candidates are encouraged to apply without delay.    
Please note that the Town will conduct a comprehensive background investigation on the finalist which will include criminal, credit, and reference checks. 

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level

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