Assistant Director of Public Works

City of Menlo Park | Menlo Park, CA

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Posted Date 11/02/2018

If you are looking for opportunities to advance your career, lead exciting community projects, and be part of an incredible City team, we have the perfect job for you! If you thrive in a steadily changing environment where your great ideas are valued and your personal and professional development are recognized as priorities, apply now.

Two positions managing Engineering Services and Transportation Divisions are available. Each Assistant Director will be assigned areas of responsibility, which may include overseeing the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP), utility functions, transportation, and land development. The Public Works Director will work with candidates strengths and interests to make these assignments, in alignment with the City's operational needs. Depending on area of assignment, duties may include:

Reviews and signs engineering plans and specifications as the City Engineer. 

Supervises various levels of staff.

Assumes management responsibility for engineering functions and activities, which may include all CIP planning, design, and construction, permitting, utilities, and construction inspection; supervises engineering survey and drafting work; and/or the public works transportation division, including planning and maintenance of new construction projects for transportation-related infrastructure and programs such as streets, sidewalks, and traffic signals. Services and projects generally have a high profile within the City and the region.

Manages and participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for applicable functional areas; recommends, within departmental policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; recommends and administers policies and procedures.

Selects, trains, motivates, and evaluates assigned personnel; provides or coordinates staff training; works with employees on performance issues; responds to staff questions and concerns; makes discipline recommendations to the Public Works Director.

Continuously monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; assesses and monitors work load, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement and reviews with the Public Works Director; directs the implementation of improvements.

Oversees the development of consultant requests for proposal for professional and/or construction services and the advertising and bid processes; evaluates proposals and recommends project award; negotiates and administers contracts after award; ensures contractor compliance with City standards and specifications and time and budget estimates; analyzes and resolves complex problems that may arise; recommends and approves field changes as required.

Monitors revenue and expense budgets on an on-going basis, which may include revenue generated from sales and gas tax base, and transportation impact fees.

May conducts CIP planning activities; provides oversight and input into the conceptual design of engineering projects; investigates and resolves problems with scope of work or cost issues of major facility upgrade and replacement projects.

Analyzes civil engineering plan design, specifications, consultant and staff comments in accordance with design requirements, and municipal and intergovernmental standards and regulations; recommends approval or additional engineering conditions and changes.

May review and approve plans and specifications for CIP and other engineering and design documents.

Meets and confers with contractors, engineers, developers, architects, a variety of outside agencies, and the general public in acquiring information and coordinating engineering matters; provides information regarding City development requirements related to utilities.

Serves as a liaison for the department to other City departments, divisions, elected officials, outside agencies, and the public; attends meetings in various locations; provides staff support to commissions, committees, and task forces; participates in community events and workshops that provide public information regarding departmental programs, projects, and services; explains and interprets departmental programs, policies, and activities.

Conducts a variety of departmental organizational and operational studies and investigations; recommends modifications to programs, policies and procedures as appropriate.

Prepares, reviews, and presents staff reports, various management and information updates, and reports on special projects to the City Council, as well as various boards, commissions, and committees, as assigned by the Public Works Director.

Attends and participates in professional group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public works and other types of public services as they relate to the area of assignment.

Maintains and directs the maintenance of working and official departmental files.

Monitors changes in laws, regulations, and technology that may affect City or departmental operations; implements policy and procedural changes as required.


Responds to difficult and sensitive public inquiries and complaints and assists with resolutions and alternative recommendations.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience requirements:

Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying.  Examples, including all areas of assignment, are:

Equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in civil, traffic, or transportation engineering; transportation or urban planning; or a related field

Five (5) years of increasingly responsible and varied professional Civil Engineering experience involving the design, construction, and inspection of a variety of public works projects; transportation planning and/or traffic engineering

Two (2) years of management and/or supervisory experience, ideally supervising professional or sub-professional engineering personnel. 

Licenses and Certifications:

Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California driver's license by time of appointment. 

If assigned as the City Engineer, possession of a Registered Professional Civil Engineer license issued by the State of California.

If assigned to oversee Transportation, possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid registration as a Professional Traffic or Civil Engineer in the State of California within one (1) year of appointment. 

Ideal Candidate

We need two enthusiastic managers ready to take on the roles of coach, mentor and trainer for our awesome engineering and transportation teams. We encourage creative thinking, collaboration at all levels, and flexibility in all we do. The ideal candidates will be aligned with the values recently developed by staff, to express how we work together:

  • We are optimistic. 
  • We build trust. 
  • We are resourceful. 
  • We help one another succeed. 
  • We innovate. 
  • We strive to grow professionally and personally.

The ideal candidates will be excellent communicators who build strong working relationships across all City departments and other public agencies.  They will have extensive skill to represent the City at various regional efforts and to connect with the community, Commissions and the City Council.  They will generate ideas and encourage suggestions that result in system improvements and enhanced efficiencies of the Department.  


The City promotes employee health, wellness, and work-life integration, supported by our excellent benefit package, including:

A City-paid Caltrain Go Pass. City Hall is less than one block from the Menlo Park Caltrain station, and walking distance from downtown Menlo Park. Other programs available for non-Caltrain riders.

100% City paid medical, dental and vision insurance for employee and dependents.

Health Reimbursement Account: $2,500 per year City contribution.

General Leave: 338 hours of leave accrual each year.

Management Leave: 80 hours of annual leave granted every October, pro-rated based on date of hire.

Holidays: 11 official paid holidays.

CalPERS Retirement: 2.0% @ 60 formula for Classic Members; 2.0% @ 62 formula for all others.

Subject to annual budget appropriations: Employees may be reimbursed up to $3,600 per year for tuition expenses and/or student loan payments.

Special Instructions

This recruitment will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Upload your resume and a cover letter with your application. 

The best qualified candidates will be invited to oral board panel interviews, tentatively scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

We encourage your questions! Making the decision to change employers is an important one. Contact us if you would like to learn more about the City, our workplace culture and dynamic community. Thank you for exploring Menlo Park for your next career move. We look forward to learning more about your interest. 

Lenka Diaz

Administrative Services Director

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level

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