City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz this morning announced plans to consolidate Evanston’s public works and utilities departments into a new Public Works Agency. He also announced that Public Works Director Suzette Robinson is leaving the city workforce effective immediately.
Robinson joined the city as streets and sanitation superintendent in 2006 and was promoted to public works director in 2010.
Bobkiewicz, in announcing her departure, praised Robinson’s work in expanding the city’s recycling program and overseeing snow removal efforts as well as promoting new streetscape design, walkability and bike-ability efforts.
The consolidation of the two departments follows a review Bobkiewicz announced of the programs last May, which was headed by Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons.
Bobkiewicz says the new agency will have four bureaus and that Lyons will meet with Public Works and Utilities employees over the next week to detail the proposed new structure.
He’s also to present the results of his review of the department operations to the City Council on Aug. 31.
The two department now have six second-level management positions, although one is now vacant after the retirement announced Monday of Lonnie Jeschke, the division manager of fleet servics in public works.
The other division managers in utilities are Lara Biggs, construction and field services superintendent, and Kevin Lookis, water production superintendent. In public works they are Paul D’Agostino, forestry; James Maiwarm, operations, and Sat Nagar, engineering.
Bobiewicz says the reorganization “will not change positions that directly deliver services to the community.” and that no layoffs of employees represented by AFSCME are planned.
But, he said, “Changes are expected among the manager and supervisor ranks as some existing positions will be eliminated.”
Bobkiewicz says Lyons will become interim public works director and will work with Utilities Director Dave Stoneback on implementing the new Public Works Agency, which he says should be in place by the end of this year.