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Lane County, Oregon

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Public Works Director – Lane County, Oregon


The Position

Lane County’s Public Works Director is responsible for long-term planning and development of a large, wide-ranging Public Works Department that provides a variety of services to the public. The Director provides oversight of the eight divisions within the department and interprets and oversees compliance with laws, regulations, codes and/or standards. The position serves on a variety of internal and external committees to secure advocacy and influence support for programs and services, including working with regional and state governments. The Public Works Director reports to the Lane County Administrator.

The Department

The mission of the Lane County Public Works Department is to “maintain and enhance the livability and sustainability of Lane County’s natural and built environment.” Further, the organization is guided by three strategic focus areas: safe and healthy county, vibrant communities, and infrastructure. Many of the objectives focus on strategic partnerships for an integrated transportation system, affordable housing, parks, waste management, animal services, and funding for safe roads and bridges. The department is proactive in planning for its future, as is evidenced by establishing a business plan for its events center, facilitating economic growth, developing and implementing a facilities plan, and updating a parks’ master plan.

The department works together to achieve its goals by delivering services with 350 FTEs and many seasonal employees in eight divisions at 30 different work sites. The Director manages six of the divisions: Engineering and Construction Services, Road and Bridge Maintenance, General Services, Land Management, Waste Management, and the Lane Events Center. The Director also supervises the Assistant Public Works Director, Budget and Finance Manager, grants and special projects staff, and administrative support. The Assistant Director manages two of the eight divisions: Administrative Services and Parks.


The department’s total FY2017-2018 budget is $167,644,418.

Expenditures by Fund
General Fund $4,199,427
Parks and Open Spaces Fund $4,667,071
Road Fund $59,895,539
Public Land Corners Preservation Fund $1,357,845
Special Revenue Fund $1,466,722
Animal Services Fund $790,405
Lane Events Center Fund $7,384,589
Solid Waste Disposal Fund $41,861,897
Land Management Fund $11,637,655
Motor & Equipment Pool Fund $34,383,268
Total $167,644,418

For many years, a significant funding issue for Lane County’s Public Works Department has been the loss of timber revenue from the federal government. This major funding source, which has declined for at least a decade, was originally provided to communities to reduce the impact on non-taxable lands owned by the federal government. The County has worked diligently over the years to implement various solutions to stabilize long-term revenues and expenses. Last year, the County successfully advocated in the Oregon Legislature for the new Transportation Package which provides millions of dollars for road improvements, helping us better maintain our 1,440 miles of County roads and hundreds of bridges.


Minimum requirements for this position are bachelor’s degree with six years of progressively responsible local government experience, including management and supervision. Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, labor relations experience, expertise in at least one of the service areas within the department, and strong financial and project management experience.

The Ideal Candidate

Lane County’s next Public Works Director will be a strong team leader and collaborative team member, who is highly competent, passionate about providing public services, has demonstrated experience leading and managing in a local government setting, and has expertise in at least one of the department’s service areas. The ideal candidate will be dynamic, have a presence as a department head in the organization and in the community, and will connect employees with the overall vision of the County. The ideal candidate will be an innovative, creative, problem-solver, who has experience working with multiple funding sources and regulatory requirements. The next director will be high energy, showing his or her passion for the work and engaging employees in the vision for the department and the organization. The ideal candidate will work effectively with stakeholders and partner with other entities to find solutions to common problems. He or she will be an effective communicator and continue the strong departmental values of integrity, service, and responsiveness, and articulate the community’s needs by engaging with residents, businesses, and other organizations. The ideal candidate will be diplomatic and politically savvy and have strong negotiation skills to broker effective solutions to complex issues.

The Community

Lane County (population 369,519) stretches from the rugged Oregon coast to the snowcapped Cascade Mountain range, ranging from sea level to over 10,000 feet. The County encompasses over 4,600 square miles, approximately the size of the state of Connecticut, and has 12 incorporated cities. It is a mixture of rural and urban areas and provides Public Works services to unincorporated and some incorporated parts of the County. The County seat is in Eugene, part of the thriving Eugene-Springfield metro area, which is home to a full complement of outstanding healthcare services.

The County also has access to a variety of educational institutions. The University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Lane Community College, Northwest Christian College, Eugene Bible College, and the Pioneer Pacific College all have a presence here. The area also offers traditional and non-traditional public education options for children, including three foreign language schools, two international high schools, and many private, special education, and denominational schools.

The County has something for everyone, regardless of their interest. For the outdoor enthusiast, Lane County has many beautiful parks and biking and jogging trails. There are also several nearby lakes, camping, snow sports in the mountains to the east, and rafting and fishing in the Willamette and McKenzie rivers. An hour’s drive west from Eugene you can watch the sunset or stroll on the beach.

Cultural offerings include the Dorris Ranch Living History Farm, Lane County Pioneer Museum, the Springfield Railroad Depot, and the Natural History Museum and the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum at the University of Oregon. Eugene is home to The Hult Center for the Performing Arts and the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, and there are a host of festivals throughout the year, including the Lane County Fair, the Bach Festival, the Scandinavian Festival, and the Fiesta Latina.

Adding to the County’s quality of life is the short commute time. It is possible to live in many of the beautiful rural settings in the area and still commute between work and home in less than a half hour. When you live in Eugene, the commute times are even less. For those who seek public transportation, Lane Transit District offers extensive bus service.

According to the 2010 census, the population of Lane County, whose county seat is Eugene, was 351,715.

The following table includes the racial makeup of the County.

Race Percentage
White 88.3%
Two or more races 4.2%
Pacific Islander 2.8%
Other races 2.8%
Asian 2.4%
American Indian 1.2%
African American 1%
Hispanic or Latino 7.4%

Lane County Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Open and Accountable
  • Public Engagement
  • Pursuit of Excellence
  • Diversity
  • Stewardship
  • Empathy


The salary range for the position is $95,389- $143,083 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at and will be kept confidential. Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that has a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with first review of applications on April 23, 2018.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish or Jennifer Reichelt at or 513-221-0500.

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