Division Director (Public Works)

Shelby County Government | Memphis, TN

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Posted Date 2/02/2019

Shelby County Government in Memphis, Tennessee is recruiting for Director of Public Works, who is appointed by the County Mayor and confirmed by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. This position is responsible for all public works activities of county government, which include the functions of the county engineer, fire department, fleet services, parks and recreation, roads and bridges, real estate, solid waste management and support services in the maintenance of county facilities, county owned vehicles and heavy construction equipment, as applicable regarding unincorporated areas of the County.

The Public Works Division has an operating budget of $90.1 million and a CIP budget of $56 million. This senior-level executive requires results-driven abilities with ethical decision-making skills, superior interpersonal and communication skills, financial planning, demonstrated engineering and project management competencies and strong leadership characteristics. Candidates should have a strong record of accomplishment in managing a multi-faceted organization.

The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the class.

  1. Plans, organizes, controls, integrates and evaluates the work of the Public Works Division; develops, implements and monitors long-term plans, goals and objectives focused on achieving the Shelby County’s mission and Commission priorities; directs the development of and monitors performance against the annual department budget; manages and directs the development, implementation and evaluation of plans, policies, systems and procedures to achieve annual goals, objectives and work standards.
  2. Plans, organizes, directs and evaluates the performance of assigned staff; establishes performance requirements and personal development targets; regularly monitors performance and provides coaching for performance improvement and development; takes disciplinary action, up to and including termination, to address performance deficiencies, in accordance with Shelby County’s personnel rules and policies.
  3. Provides leadership and works with division staff to develop and retain highly competent, customer service-oriented staff through selection, compensation, training and day-to-day management practices which support the County’s mission and values.
  4. Integrates and directs the efforts and results of supervisors and staff engaged in the maintenance and repair of the County’s public works and wastewater collection system infrastructure.
  5. Advises the County Mayor, Shelby County Board of Commissioners, citizen groups, individuals, contractors and others on departmental issues; assembles necessary resources to solve a broad range of programmatic and service delivery problems in the delivery of public works and utilities services; assists in the preparation of new County ordinances and the revision of existing ordinances.
  6. Coordinates, reviews and approves the work of the County’s contracts with a wide variety of independent service providers, including traffic engineers, public works maintenance and construction contractors, public utilities maintenance and construction contractors; landscape architects and landscaping contractors, tree maintenance contractors and others.
  7. Monitors developments related to public works and utilities matters, evaluates their impact on County operations, and implements policy and procedure improvements.
  8. Represents the County in negotiations with other agencies, utilities, groups and individuals on a wide variety of issues pertaining to public works and public utilities.
  9. Provides oversight to the Development of specifications and bid documents for a variety of public works and public utilities-related designs, construction and maintenance projects; recommends contract awards, negotiates contract provisions and coordinates, reviews and approves contractor’s performance.
  10. Reviews and advises on development plans and permits for work in County rights-of-way.


Knowledge of: Theory, principles, practices and techniques of public works, traffic engineering, municipal sewers engineering, and public works and utilities maintenance functions; applicable federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations governing the administration of public works and public utilities functions and activities; principles and practices of public administration, including budgeting, purchasing and the maintenance of public records; organization and functions of an elected County Commission; the County’s personnel rules and policies; principles and practices of management and supervision.

Ability to: Plan, direct and integrate broad, comprehensive public works and utilities programs and activities; analyze complex engineering and maintenance issues and problems, evaluate alternative solutions and develop sound conclusions, recommendations and courses of action; present proposals and recommendations clearly and logically in public meetings; understand, interpret, explain and apply local, state and federal laws and regulations governing public works and utilities services; evaluate management practices and adopt effective courses of action; develop clear, concise and comprehensive, correspondence and other written materials; exercise sound, expert independent judgment within general policy guidelines; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the County Commission, officials, other governmental and regulatory officials, staff, private and community organizations, developers, contractors and others encountered in the course of work.

Training and Experience: Graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in civil engineering and ten years of progressively responsible civil engineering and public works or utilities experience, at least six of which were at a management and supervisory level; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. An engineering license is preferred.

Licenses; Certificates; Special Requirements:

  • A valid Tennessee driver’s license. Tennessee registration as a Professional Engineer is desirable.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this class. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; talk and hear, both in person and by telephone; use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate standard office equipment; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is frequently required to stand and walk. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Mental Demands: While performing the duties of this class, the incumbent is regularly required to use written and oral communication skills; observe and interpret situations; read and interpret data, information and documents; analyze and solve complex problems; use math and mathematical reasoning; perform highly detailed work under changing, intensive deadlines, on multiple concurrent tasks; work with constant interruptions; and interact with officials and the public.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this class. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee works under typical office conditions; the noise level is usually quiet.

This position is an outstanding opportunity for an experienced professional to advance his or her career in the field of public works. The salary for this position will be $140,000.00 annually, with a full benefits package including health and life insurance plus a defined benefit retirement plan. Residency within Shelby County at time of employment is a requirement by County charter. For more detailed information regarding our Public Works Division, please visit https://www.shelbycountytn.gov/17/Public-Works


This an executive non-civil service position.

Interested candidates should apply for the Public Works Director position at the Shelby County jobs website: https://tn-shelbycounty.civicplushrms.com/careers/ 




Job Category
Local Government
Career Level

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