Assistant Director of Public Works

Strategically located just 20 minutes west of the Fox River Valley in the heart of Wisconsin, Ripon is also an easy drive from Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison.  Ripon combines the convenience of urban amenities along with the quiet, safety and friendliness of a small town. Ripon has a rich and significant history. It is home to Ripon College and is also known as the birthplace of the Republican Party. A historic Main Street serves as a regional commercial hub. 

Population growth in the last 15 years, combined with an enviable lifestyle amid beautiful settings and outdoor recreation options, makes Ripon an exciting professional and personal choice. The City seeks a skilled professional to help manage the City’s Public Works Department, including water and wastewater utilities. The position offers significant career-defining projects as the City seeks to implement a robust capital improvement plan. 

This newly created position will be an important addition to the City’s management team, working cooperatively with the Director of Public Works. The City is about five square miles, and a full-service municipality. City leaders anticipate future emphasis will be on municipal infrastructure upgrades, capital improvement planning and execution, utility master plan implementation, and department collaboration. A new $10 million DPW facility and a new municipal well are expected in 2025. The City’s wastewater plant is up to date. 

The Assistant Director of Public Works, in concert with the Director, is responsible for planning, directing, and overseeing the various functions and operations of the Department of Public Works. This is a highly responsible administrative position that primarily performs supervisory and administrative work in coordinating the activities and operations within City of Ripon water and sewer utility. In addition to water and wastewater functions, the department also oversees storm sewers, parks, City facilities, cemeteries, fleet maintenance, street reconstruction and maintenance, as well as snow and ice removal. 

The position involves assisting in the planning and coordinating of the programs and services of the department, formulating departmental goals, preparing the departmental budgets, and establishing standard operating procedures and policies for the department. The Assistant Director helps prepare the operating and capital budgets for public works and both utilities totaling more than $5.3 million. Annual capital spending averages $1.5 million. There are 20 full-time Public Works employees, eight of which are in the utilities divisions. The Assistant Director will supervise the utilities staff.  

Ripon’s utilities consist of four community wells, 47 miles each of separate water and sewer mains, three lift stations and two water towers. The City serves approximately 3,100 residential and commercial customers. 

The new Assistant Director can expect to: 

  • Help the Director of Public Works in overseeing the operations of the two utilities, with the Assistant Director taking on and performing administrative and supervisory functions in that area. 
  • Updating all capital improvement programs for the City and the utilities. 
  • Oversee new projects that are anticipated with the City’s emphasis on infrastructure and facilities upgrades. 
  • In concert with the Director, assist in examining, planning, and developing future organizational changes to the department. 
  • Meet the high standards of service quality that the utilities’ customers have come to enjoy.  The Assistant Director can expect to maintain high customer service expectations and assure that the organization’s culture is focused on responsiveness to the community.
  • Examine staffing levels, workforce deployment and retention issues, and succession planning needs. 

The successful candidate will have:

  • A record of responsiveness, problem solving and decisiveness; 
  • A passion for public service; 
  • A desire to work collaboratively with City departments in the delivery of municipal services;  
  • Well-developed skills in effective service delivery, project and time management, creative problem solving and team building; and 
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and listening skills. 

Qualified candidates should have: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in management, public administration, environmental studies, engineering, or related degree with three years of municipal administrative experience, or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skill, and ability.  
  • The possession of, or ability to obtain Wisconsin DNR operator certifications for water and wastewater utilities, preferred.
  • The ability to obtain a Wisconsin Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class B within six months of employment.
  • Computer skills, including but not limited to SCADA, GIS, and general operations.

Starting salary: $80,000 – 91,000 +/- DOQ, plus exceptional benefits. Candidates should apply by January 17, 2024. The position is open until filled. Resumes will be reviewed on an on-going basis. 

Send a resume, cover letter and contact information for five work-related references to the attention of Lee Szymborski, Senior Vice President, GovHR USA, Tel:  847-380-3240 x103. The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Application Deadline: January 17, 2024

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