NATURE OF WORK Under broad policy guidance of the Mayor and City Council, performs high level administrative, technical and professional work in directing and supervising the operation of the utilities within the City of Fremont, Nebraska. This position is a leadership role that requires personal courage, unreproached integrity, personal confidence and intelligence, responsive to needs of others, care about and enjoy working with people. Be highly organized and able to simultaneously direct the activities and projects of multiple departments that are geographically dispersed. ESSENTIAL DUTIES: The following duties are illustrative only and are not intended to be all inclusive.
Provide guidance in coordinating and administering the activities of all operating departments of the Utility; recommend organizational changes to the Mayor, Utility and Infrastructure Board (UIB) and City Council; coordinate Utility activities among departments and with the activities of outside agencies and organizations.
Provide staff assistance to the Mayor and City Council; prepare and present regular staff reports and other necessary correspondence; attend all meetings of the City Council, UIB and coordinate and monitor the UIB meeting agenda process.
Engage in strategic planning with the Mayor, City Council, and department heads, establishing broad policy goals for the Utility. Leads the management team for the Utility. In accordance with the Municipal Code, plans, directs, and coordinates the programs and activities of these departments with the department heads.
In coordination with the City Administrator, oversee the operations of shared services including Finance, Human Resources, and IT.
Responsible for the effective operation and maintenance of utility divisions through subordinates to ensure continuous, safe, and efficient delivery of electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater services to customers.
Develop and interpret policies concerning staffing, employee welfare, customer service, customer rates, utility extensions, regulatory requirements and other related matters.
Prepare agenda, provide public notice, present agenda items, and respond to questions at the Utilities and Infrastructure Board meetings. Attend City Council meetings, present information and respond to questions as needed. Attend other meetings as requested.
Provide oversight of utility engineering work; direct and participate in long range planning; oversee utility compliance with environmental and regulatory issues; assemble statistics on past demands, growth and trends.
Meet with large industrial and commercial customers regarding utility issues and make decisions balancing the interests of the customer and the Department of Utilities.
Make recommendations to the Utilities and Infrastructure Board and City Council on funds management, purchasing, regulatory, and legislative matters, and other policy issues.
Assist in recruiting and selecting professional employees; approve personnel actions such as promotions, salary increases, and disciplinary actions within the utility.
Provide oversight for union negotiations; provide direction in critical employee relations and labor relations issues; attend seminars and conferences to keep abreast of trends and developments in the utilities field.
Recommend policies and procedures to the Mayor, UIB and City Council. Implement policies and procedures established by the Mayor and City Council. Provide regular progress reports to the Mayor, UIB, City Council, and department heads regarding Utility activities, as well as established goals, policies, and procedures. Recommend ordinances, resolutions, and other measures deemed necessary or expedient for the Utility.
Select, train, coach and evaluate direct reports; provide clear directives to department directors
Exercise general supervision over all utility public buildings and other public property under the control and jurisdiction of the Mayor and City Council.
Oversee the development and administration of the Utility budget; oversee the implementation of Mayor and City Council goals and objectives in financial and budgetary matters. Monitor the Utility’s financial activity to ensure that departments adhere to established budgets. Discuss adjustments to spending with department heads in order to minimize use of fund balance based on revenue projections. Through the Utility Assistant General Manager and Department Heads, monitor the condition of all utility-side capital assets and keep facilities and equipment in good condition. Approve purchases in accordance with Utility/City policies and procedures. Keep the Mayor advised as to the financial condition and needs of the Utility.
Coordinate and work closely with the City Administrator to ensure effective communication flow and coordination between all City and Utility departments.
Continuously monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the Utility’s organizational structure, staffing patterns, service levels and administrative systems; implement improvements and needed changes.
Oversee and participate in the development of the Utility’s Capital Improvement Program; supervise or facilitate major projects.
Oversee and assist in the development of long-range and short-range plans for the Utility; develop goals, objectives and priorities.
Involvement in community activities; strive to be a leader in the community.
Interact with state and federal agencies; serve as liaison between the Utility and other utilities, elected officials and outside agencies; explain and justify Utility programs, policies and activities; negotiate and resolve significant and controversial issues.
Provide direction regarding Utility-wide organizational development programs.
Analyze and establish the Utility’s position on State and Federal legislation which may impact the Utility; communicate the Utility’s position to appropriate individuals and committees of the State and Federal government.
Negotiate contracts and solutions on a variety of administrative, fiscal and special projects; participate in the preparation of program or special project budgets.
Participate on a variety of boards and commissions; attend and participate in professional group meetings; stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public administration.
Respond to citizen inquiries and resolve difficult and sensitive complaints; assign departments to handle and resolve citizen complaints and concerns in a timely manner; solve unique problems that are not solved at the department head level, or not under any departmental jurisdiction or have the potential to have considerable public impact.
Perform related duties as assigned by the Mayor and City Council.
ADDITIONAL DUTIES Attend trainings, workshops, conferences and meetings to keep abreast of the current trends in the field. Perform related work as required and other duties as assigned. SUPERVISION RECEIVED Works under the broad policy guidance and direction of the Mayor and City Council. SUPERVISION EXERCISED Directly supervises the Utility Assistant General. May provide indirect supervision to all Utility department heads. INDEPENDENCE OF ACTION This position establishes the policies and procedures for the department. Situations will often dictate that this position must interpret those policies and procedures or in the absence of any relevant policy or procedure this position may be called upon to make decisions and judgments based upon facts and circumstances presented. This requires the ability to think independently and to use logic along with all of the known facts to render appropriate decisions and direction in both field and administrative matters. WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EFFORT This position is primarily administrative in nature, working indoors a majority (up to 95%) of the time. Completes tasks such as reading and reviewing reports, papers and other documents; writes reports, papers, correspondence and other documents. This portion of the job will require acute mental skills, a lengthy attention span, and involves intermittently sitting (approximately 70% of the time), walking (15%), and standing (15%). Work requires a high degree of manual skill, the ability to hear, focus on close work, and the use of hands and fingers. Interaction with co-workers is an every day occurrence and requires the ability to direct, negotiate, and mediate. EQUIPMENT USED The ability to properly operate or use the following equipment is necessary for this position: Telephone, personal computer and associated software, fax machine, photocopy machines, calculator, and other office equipment; personal or City vehicle. QUALIFICATIONS Thorough Knowledge of the Following:
Principles and practices of utility management and public administration.
Overall methods and operations of electric generation and distribution, natural gas distribution, water production and distribution, and wastewater collection and treatment.
Laws, ordinances, and statutes under which utilities and municipal governments operate.
Current social, political and economic trends and operating problems of a utility.
Considerable knowledge of current developments, literature, and source of information in utility management.
Effectively negotiate with major suppliers and contractors.
Organize, direct and coordinate the operations of a municipal utility.
Work independently as a leader and to develop solutions to problems with minimal supervision.
Encourage teamwork and a team environment.
Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing with a variety of individuals and groups representing a variety of interests.
Manage, provide leadership to and coordinate the activities and operations of a large municipal organization.
Effectively administer a variety of municipal programs and administrative activities.
Identify and respond to public and City Council issues and concerns.
Interpret and apply Federal, State and local policies, laws and regulations.
Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals.
Effectively and fairly negotiate appropriate solutions and contracts.
Allocate limited resources in a cost effective manner.
Gain cooperation through discussion.
Select, supervise, train, evaluate and motivate management staff.
Prepare and administer a large municipal budget.
Evaluate and develop improvements in City operations, procedures, policies and methods.
Prepare and present clear and concise reports.
Develop and maintain effective, team-oriented working relationships with and between the Mayor, Utility and Infrastructure Board, City Council, city and utility departments, consultants, business owners, developers, a variety of outside entities and the general public.
Required Minimum Education and Training:
Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university with major course work in engineering, business administration, or public administration or closely related field
Master’s degree in public or business administration or closely related field preferred
Required Minimum Experience
Ten years of successful management experience in the utilities industry.
Must demonstrate experience organizing, directing, and coordinating the operations of a municipal utility.
Experience communicating effectively both orally and in writing.
Demonstrate experience establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with the City Council, other public officials, employees, consultants, developers, and the general public.
Or any equivalent combination of training and experience that provides evidence that the applicant possesses the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Special Requirements:
Possession of a current and valid Nebraska Driver’s License.
Must reside in the within the utility service area.
Position open until filled. The approximate salary range for this classification is $187,000 to $264,000 annually.
What We Do
The Department of Utilities is proud of it's long history of providing safe and economical utilities to the citizens of the Fremont area. It is one of the oldest municipal utilities in the State of Nebraska. The water system started in 1885, the electric system in 1895, and the natural gas system was acquired in 1985.
The electric system consists of facilities for generation and distribution of electricity. The electric service area covers 60 square miles including Fremont and the surrounding area.
There are approximately 14,210 electric meters in use.
The water system includes wells, water storage, treatment facility, and distribution system. The water service area consists generally of Fremont and the area adjacent to the city limits.
There are approximately 10,700 water meters in use.
The natural gas system includes a peak shaving facility and the distribution piping. The gas service area includes Fremont and the adjacent area as well as the Village of Inglewood and Cedar Bluffs.
There are approximately 10,780 gas meters in use.
The sewer system includes distribution piping for domestic and industrial waste. D...omestic and industrial waste is delivered to the wastewater treatment plant. The sewer service area consists generally of Fremont and the area adjacent to the city limits.
There are approximately 10,756 sewer customers.
Wastewater Treatment Plant
Fremont’s state of the art Wastewater Treatment Plant processes approximately 4.5 million gallons daily. Processed waste includes domestic and industrial waste as well as waste from Arlington and Valley. In addition, there is a composting area which produces fertilizer for local farms and mulch for residential yards.