Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.


Under general administrative direction of the Assistant City Manager, the Utilities Director acts as the executive manager for the water and wastewater utility operations of the City.


The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  • Assumes full management responsibility for all Utilities Department functions, programs, and operations including the operation of the City’s water, wastewater, and recycled water, and the lakes and canal sections, and related operations, functions, and program areas; oversees the operation of the water filtration and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Assists the City Manager and Assistant City Manager in the development and implementation of
    Departmental policies, goals, objectives, procedures, and priorities for each assigned service area.
  • Establishes, within City policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; allocates resources accordingly.
  • Assesses and monitors work load, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement; directs and implements changes.
  • Plans, directs, and coordinates, through subordinate level staff, the Utilities Department’s work plan; assigns projects and programmatic areas of responsibility; reviews and evaluates work methods and procedures; meets with key staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Selects, trains, motivates, and evaluates assigned personnel; provides or coordinates staff training;
    works with employees to correct deficiencies; implements discipline and termination procedures.
  • Develops and administers the Department budget; approves the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; prepares water and wastewater rates, fees and charges; approves expenditures and implements budgetary adjustments as appropriate and necessary to meet the end result.
  • Provides staff assistance and support to the Assistant City Manager; prepares, reviews, and presents staff reports including those for City Council meetings; prepares and/or reviews written correspondence on a variety of City programs and projects including current and long-range water, wastewater and reclamation projects.
  • Represents the Utilities Department to other departments, elected officials, and outside agencies; represents the City at San Diego County Water Authority staff functions, meetings and work groups; coordinates assigned activities with those of other departments and outside agencies and organizations.
  • Explains, justifies, and defends department programs, policies, and activities; negotiates and resolves sensitive and controversial issues.
  • Participates on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees; interfaces with regulatory agencies.
  • Attends and participates in professional group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of utilities.
  • Responds to and resolves difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.
  • Performs related duties as required.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:

  • Operations, services, and activities of a comprehensive utilities program including water, wastewater, and recycled water systems.
  • Concepts, theories, principles, and practices of utilities administration operations.
  • Principles and practices of program development and administration.
  • Business practices and financial systems and reporting
  • Principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration.
  • Principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation.
  • Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations including laws and regulations related to water, wastewater, and reclamation systems.
  • Water supply issues related to the City of Escondido, San Diego County, the State of California, and the western United States.
  • Principles and practices of customer service.
  • Principles and practices of project management, administration, and coordination.
  • Modern methods, tools, equipment, materials, and work practices utilized in utility operations.
  • Types and level of maintenance and repair activities generally performed in a utilities department.
  • Geography and utilities systems of the City.
  • Principles of business letter writing and report preparation.
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety precautions.
  • Office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.

Ability to:

  • Manage and direct a comprehensive utilities department including water, wastewater, and reclamation programs.
  • Develop and administer departmental goals, objectives and procedures.
  • Analyze and assess programs, policies and operational needs, and make appropriate adjustments.
  • Apply and ensure adherence to appropriate business practices in support of departmental and City goals.
  • Read, analyze, and interpret financial data and prepare related reports.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of a wide range of lower level staff.
  • Delegate authority and responsibility.
  • Select, supervise, train, and evaluate staff.
  • Develop and administer department goals, objectives, and procedures.
  • Research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques.
  • Prepare and administer large and complex budgets.
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals.
  • Negotiate and administer various agreements and contracts with divergent interests.
  • Identify and respond to sensitive community and organizational issues, concerns and needs.
  • Interpret and apply federal, state, and local policies, laws, and regulations.
  • Oversee the establishment and maintenance of accurate operational record keeping systems.
  • Understand the organization, operation, and services of the City and of outside agencies as necessary to assume assigned responsibilities.
  • Ensure adherence to established safety rules, regulations, and guidelines.
  • Oversee and participate in the provision of a high level of customer service to internal and external customers.
  • Respond to requests and inquiries from the general public; tactfully and courteously represent the Utilities Department during public contacts.
  • Operate office equipment including computers and supporting word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Experience Guidelines - Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Education/Training: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in business or public administration, engineering, chemistry, or a related field. A Master’s degree is highly desirable.

Experience: Ten years of increasingly responsible management experience in a position with significant financial and operational responsibility over a medium to large-size business/corporation, or

Ten years of increasingly responsible experience in water or wastewater utility administration including three years of management and administrative responsibility.

License or Certificate - Possession of Water Treatment or Distribution and/or Wastewater Treatment certification is desirable. Possession of a valid California Certificate of Registration as a Professional Civil Engineer is desirable. Possession of an appropriate, valid driver’s license.


The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: Standard office setting. CONTINUOUS working indoors, dust from paperwork. Work schedule is 9/80 with alternating Fridays off in a biweekly period. Work environment is both formal and informal, team oriented, having variable tasks, pace, and pressure. Overtime and attending meetings outside of regular work hours may be required. Work is performed indoors in office and in meeting rooms.

Physical: Primary functions require sufficient physical ability to work in an office setting and operate office equipment. CONTINUOUS sitting and upward and downward flexion of neck; fine finger dexterity; light to moderate finger pressure to manipulate keyboard, equipment controls, and office equipment; pinch grasp to manipulate writing utensils. FREQUENT side-to-side turning of neck, walking, standing, bending, stooping, pushing/pulling, and twisting at waist; moderate wrist torque to twist equipment knobs and dials; lifting objects weighing up to 20 lbs. from below waist to above shoulders and transporting distances up to 50 yards. OCCASIONAL squatting, kneeling, and reaching above and at shoulder height; moderate grasp to manipulate reference books and manuals; lifting objects weighing 20-35 lbs. from below waist to above shoulders and transporting distances up to 50 feet.

Vision: See in the normal visual range with or without correction; vision sufficient to read computer screens and printed documents and to operate equipment.

Hearing: Hear in the normal audio range with or without correction.

Date: January 2008
New Classification - MH/Department