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Director Of Public Works

Kent County Levy Court, Delaware


The Position

The Director of Public Works serves as the County Engineer and is responsible for providing leadership, administration, and strategic planning for the County’s Department of Public Works.  The Department of Public Works includes an Engineering Division with industrial pretreatment duties, a Facilities Management Division, and a Wastewater Facilities Division.  The responsibilities of the Public Works Department include: design, construction, and maintenance of the County’s regional sewer system; managing the County’s sanitary, outsourced trash collection and street lighting districts; managing the daily operations of the Wastewater Treatment Plant and associated pump stations; and providing security and general maintenance for all County buildings.

The Director reports directly to the County Administrator and interacts regularly with the Levy Court Commissioners, the Sewer Advisory Board, residents, property owners and businesses, and represents the County with state and federal officials as well as elected and appointed municipal officials.

The Director is responsible for preparing and monitoring the $75.5 million capital plan and each of the following annual budgets for FY 14:  $767,300 Facilities Management budget, $16,783,700 Sewer Fund budget, $2,104,500 Engineering budget, and $8,982,900 Wastewater Treatment budget.  The Public Works Department has 78 FTE staff across the Department’s three divisions.  There is one union with 40 members at the wastewater treatment facility.

Requirements and Preferred Qualifications

Requirements for the position of Director of Public Works include a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering from an accredited four-year college or university, a Professional Engineer certification that is transferrable to the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers, and six to ten years of progressively responsible experience as a registered professional engineer, three of which must be in a supervisory capacity.  Preferred qualifications include an MPA or an MBA, strong capital improvement project management, and both public and private sector engineering experience.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Director of Public Works will be an experienced professional that shares the County’s values of progressive and innovative approaches, frugality with public funds, and the best service for residents, rate payers, and other customers.  He/she will have extensive experience with sewer systems, green technology, and understand the strategic relationship between utilities and growth.  The ideal candidate will problem-solve using creative approaches, work with partners to bring resources to bear, and bring project management experience to manage multiple capital projects efficiently.  He/she will have engineering experience in both the public and private sector, have worked to provide sewer service to other municipal customers, and be able to work well with customers and users.  The ideal candidate will bring a comprehensive knowledge and experience of design, construction, and maintenance of sewage and drainage systems and the laws and regulations relating to public works.  The new Director will have the ability to perform and oversee highly technical engineering studies, provide advice on complex engineering matters, and also will be able to convey complex information in a succinct and understandable manner to elected officials and residents.  He/she will build and maintain strong partnerships with state agencies and elected officials, work collaboratively with municipal officials, and manage outside contractors effectively.  The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and supervise the work of a diverse workforce and to obtain the cooperation and assistance of others outside of the Department.  The new Director will possess good professional judgment and will be grounded in the values of ethics, public service, and exceptional customer service.  He/she will be able to lead and develop staff, delegate appropriately, and communicate clearly.  The ideal candidate will be patient and flexible, politically astute, and as comfortable in the field as in the office.

The Community

Kent County is a fast-growing community steeped in history.  Located in the central part of the State of Delaware, the Kent County Levy Court is one of only three counties in the state.  There are twenty cities and towns within Kent County and the county seat is the City of Dover, which is also the state capital.  The Levy Court was established in 1655 when the Delaware General Assembly, then under Dutch control, enacted legislation that called for taxes to be levied on all land owners in Delaware. By 1793, the duties had grown to include property assessment, real estate transfers, and granting land applications. During the same year, the General Assembly passed an act that allowed the Levy Court Commissioners to be elected by the people.  Covering 586.18 square miles, the County has a population of 169,416 residents and the median household income was $55,786 in 2012.

Kent County is the home of Dover Air Force Base, the largest aerial port east of the Mississippi.  The County also has five institutions of higher learning:  Delaware State University, Wilmington University, Wesley College, Delaware Technical & Community College, and a satellite campus of the University of Delaware.  Kent County residents enjoy access to NASCAR racing, museums, shopping, art galleries, theater, wineries and breweries, and casinos, in addition to many festivals and events throughout the year.


The salary range is $90,000 to $117,000 DOQ/DOE, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

You can apply online right here, just click the button to get started. Candidates will need to submit a cover letter, resume, and 3 – 5 professional references. The first review of resumes will be June 23, 2014. This position is open until filled.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or by telephone to (240) 832-1778 .

Download the full brochure here.