Public Works Director

City of Sammamish, WA | Full-time


The Position

The City of Sammamish, one of the best places to raise a family, is looking for its next Public Works Director. The Director is responsible for planning and implementing comprehensive transportation and stormwater management programs for the community and working collaboratively with regional, state, and federal agencies. The Director establishes and oversees the City’s capital improvement plan and compliance with the City’s transportation concurrency policies, assists in securing the necessary funding and resources for projects, and reviews all work activities to ensure efficient and safe operations and conformance with established state, county, and city standards, regulations, and policies.

The Public Works Department is responsible for construction, maintenance, and repair of City streets, traffic signals, and storm drains; managing the City’s traffic concurrency regulations; reviewing private development projects for compliance with the City’s standards; and developing and implementing major departmental policies. The Public Works Director has six direct reports: Deputy Director, City Engineer, Street/Stormwater Superintendent, Administrative Assistants (2), and Management Analyst. The Director reports to the City Manager.

The Organization

The City of Sammamish incorporated on August 31, 1999, and operates as a non-charter optional code city with a Council-Manager form of government. The Council is composed of seven members, elected at large by the citizens of Sammamish. They are part-time officials who exercise the legislative powers of the City and determine matters of policy. The Mayor is a Council Member selected by the Council. The Council appoints a full-time City Manager who serves as the professional administrator of the organization, coordinating day-to-day activities.

The City provides a full range of municipal services, including Parks, Recreation and Facilities; Public Works; Community Development; Information Technology; Human Resources; and General Administrative Services. The City contracts for several municipal services, including police and fire protection, legal services, municipal court services, and solid waste and recycling collection. Water and sewer services are provided by two utility districts located in Sammamish.

The City employs approximately 130 full-time employees, excluding seasonal workers. Sammamish’s FY 2019-2020 biennial budget totals $255 million, of which approximately $115 million is the General Fund budget.

The Public Works Department

The Public Works Department is committed to providing quality services to the community by planning, building, maintaining, and operating the City’s streets, traffic signals, and stormwater infrastructure systems in the public rights-of-way. The Department has 40 employees organized into four divisions: Traffic Engineering and Operations, Storm and Surface Water Engineering and Operations, Engineering and Development Services, and the Streets/Storm Maintenance and Operations.

Staff provide transportation concurrency management; engineering design; traffic signals, street and sidewalk maintenance and operation; storm and surface water management; capital project management and construction inspection; and private development permit review for the community. For Fiscal Year 2020, the Department has an operating budget of $19.3 million and a capital budget of $19.2 million.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Sammamish is seeking an experienced Public Works professional who is a team leader, collaborative in nature, and passionate about providing high-quality public services to the community. The ideal candidate has extensive experience in the areas of transportation management, traffic engineering, and stormwater management. The ideal candidate demonstrates organizational maturity and a high level of ethics and emotional intelligence.

Once hired, the successful candidate will be able to jump in and get up to speed on Sammamish’s public works issues quickly. The Public Works Director is skilled in budget and financial management and bonding for capital projects. The ideal candidate is experienced in strategic planning and writing requests for proposals, awarding bids, and managing contracts. The Director is highly knowledgeable in regional transportation issues, as well as local and state transportation concurrency regulations.

The Public Works Director demonstrates sound judgment and effective decision-making and provides thoughtful recommendations to staff and elected officials. The Public Works Director is a proactive problem-solver who is personable, responsive, and innovative. The Director has strong project and time management skills and a demonstrated aptitude for managing multiple projects and deadlines. The successful candidate is comfortable operating in the political, administrative, and technical aspects of the position.

The ideal candidate is an experienced manager who fosters a culture of trust and learning and leads a team of accomplished professionals. The Director is fully invested in staff’s continued success and development and serves as a mentor and coach. This individual encourages trust and creative thinking and provides staff with support, direction, and feedback. The Director advocates for staff and builds strong working relationships both inside and outside of the Department.

The Public Works Director is a strong communicator who engages successfully with different audiences and is resilient and calm in the face of controversy. This individual has a background in community outreach and civic engagement and understands the importance of not only providing the public with accurate and timely information, but in being accessible, responsive, and transparent. The next Public Works Director is an effective mediator and consensus builder and has a strong political acumen.

Experience and Education

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field and seven years of experience working in public works, three years of which should be at the supervisory level. In addition, significant experience with traffic engineering and transportation policy development, planning, and implementation in an organization similar to Sammamish is required.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, Professional Engineering Licensure, and experience in at least one service area of the Public Works Department other than transportation. Additional preferred qualifications include a background in municipal finance and budgeting, expenditure tracking, bonding, impact fees, connection charges, utility rate setting, capital improvement programming, and project management. Experience within a city, county, or regional office or firm that does considerable work for local government agencies is preferred. Knowledge or understanding of Washington State laws and regulations relating to municipal public works is also preferred.

The Community

  • Population: 65,726

  • Median Household Income: $183,038

  • Median Home Sale Price: $912,100

  • Median Age: 41.1 years

The City of Sammamish is a safe, family-friendly suburb in the Seattle area. The community boasts amenities found in a much larger community, all while maintaining its small-town charm. Sammamish has quality neighborhoods, vibrant natural resources, high-quality schools, retail offerings, and an abundance of recreational opportunities.

Sammamish is located west of the Cascade Mountains in the Puget Sound region, about 20 miles east of Seattle. The City takes its name from Lake Sammamish, a picturesque body of water that forms the City’s western border. Sammamish is bordered by Issaquah to the south, Redmond to the north, and rural King County to the east. Sammamish covers 22 square miles and measures almost seven miles in length.

Sammamish is served by three public school districts: the north half of the City is served by Lake Washington School District; the south half by Issaquah School District; and a handful of neighborhoods along the City’s eastern edge are served by the Snoqualmie Valley School District. In total, there are 15 public schools, several private schools, and a public university satellite branch (Central Washington University) located in Sammamish.

Recreational opportunities abound in Sammamish, from water activities to golf, hiking, biking, and camping. The City has nine immaculately maintained parks, open space preservation areas, and a trail system that connects to the regional system. The City is home to three lakes, including Pine Lake, Beaver Lake, and Lake Sammamish, where water lovers can participate in all types of water activities such as waterskiing, wakeboarding/surfing, tubing, jet-skiing, canoeing, and paddleboarding. In addition, Sammamish has a Community and Aquatics Center, sports fields, and three private golf courses.


The expected salary range is $130,988-$179,267, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

The City does not have a residency requirement for the Public Works Director.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled with the first review of applications on June 17, 2020.


Please direct questions to Jenn Reichelt at or 513-221-0500.

Download Recruitment Brochure