City of Gardner, KS

Utility Director

Location: Gardner, KS
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City of Gardner, KS - Utility Director

The Community
Gardner, Kansas is one of the most rapidly-growing communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Located along Interstate 35, just 25 miles from downtown Kansas City, Gardner is a historic community with a keen vision for the future. Its roots stretch back over 150 years to its' founding in 1857 along the route of the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. Presently, Gardner is home to over 20,000 residents and includes seven elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Gardner is committed to maintaining its traditional small-town values while focusing on providing for future growth and development.

The USD 231 - Gardner Edgerton School District includes 7 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 1 high school that serve over 5,000 students annually from both Gardner and Edgerton, Kansas. 


  • BlueCHIP Award

The Parks and Recreation Department received the Blue Cross Blue Shield - BlueCHIP Award  in 2014 for encouraging and supporting healthy lifestyles through programs, initiatives, policies, recreation facilities and community-wide events.

  • Tree City USA

The City of Gardner is recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a "Tree City USA." Communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Finance Department is recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for their work on the annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program is awarded to state and local governments in recognition of financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.

The Mayor and City Council form the Governing Body of the City of Gardner. The Governing Body is responsible for establishing and enforcing all municipal laws, ensuring that municipal services meet the desires of the community and formulating policies that guide the operation of the City organization. 

Responsibilities of the Governing Body include:

  • Enacting ordinances for the proper governing of the City
  • Approving changes in the Municipal Code as required
  • Adopting the annual budget and related financial documents; awarding municipal contracts
  • Establishing all other policies necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the City and its residents
  • Appointing the City Administrator and representing the City to the public and other governmental bodies

The Position
The Utility Director operates, implements, plans and directs a comprehensive utility program that will ensure sound planning, maintenance and service to the public for water, wastewater and electric systems; plans, implements and completes the Capital Improvements Program; requires interpretive skills in established standards and procedures.  The Utility Director reports to the City Administrator. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serves as Utility Director, assisting the City Administrator and other City officials in determining overall policy and direction for the City utility programs; administers all functions to include budgeting, scheduling and coordination, capital improvements, implementation, planning, personnel, and long and short range projects for the utilities.
  • Recommends and initiates department policy; supervises and assists functions to include distribution and generation.
  • Plans and implements maintenance and improvement projects, and ensures projects are completed in a timely manner to include construction, installations, repair and maintenance of utility systems.
  • Makes presentations to the Advisory Commission, City Council, Planning Commission, and citizens groups, and represents the City on committees or task forces.
  • Keeps the Advisory Commission and Governing Body informed of the conditions and needs of the department.
  • Attends and participates in professional group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in electrical generation and distribution.
  • Attends meetings and conferences as required.
  • Plans, coordinates, and supervises the design, construction, and inspection of all capital improvement projects and construction of public infrastructure improvements.
  • Assists with the review of all utility extensions in subdivisions, developments, or site plans in accordance with the City codes, policies, and regulations.
  • Meets and confers with the public, developers, and contractors in regards to proposed development.
  • Inspects all work in progress; serves as a liaison with various contractors and engineers.
  • Prepares and submits reports as required by Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.

Budget and Purchasing

  • Review, analyze and make recommendations concerning existing and proposed utility rates.
  • Evaluate power supply costs monthly. Calculate any necessary power cost adjustment and provide PCA to customer service for billing.
  • Responsible for all major purchases of material and equipment to maintain operations of the utility department, including power agreements.
  • Responsible for procurement and administration of RFP proposals from engineering consultants for major projects.
  • Responsible for public funds with authority to release as authorized within approved budget and guidelines.
  • Prepares and recommends a comprehensive budget and supporting data, to include financing options, covering all areas of the public utility.

Performance Measurements and Reporting

  • Coordinates and implements performance measurements.
  • Implements records and report systems, utilizing computer systems.
  • Maintains accurate customer outage records and calculates service reliability indices monthly.

Education and Experience
Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor's degree in engineering, public administration, management or related field and a minimum of ten (10) years of increasingly responsible management experience in engineering and the utility industry, and at least five (5) years in a direct management position with budget experience. A Master's degree is preferred.  A Professional Engineering license (P.E.) and a valid driver's license are required.  A combination of an MBA or MPA with experience in utilities may be considered in lieu of a Professional Engineering (P.E.) license.

The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate will have a thorough knowledge of the principals and practices regarding a Public Utility to include electric, water, and wastewater; experience with utility plants will be beneficial. A working knowledge of electric contract administration, energy management and conservation principles will be necessary for this role.  Experience in power generation is preferred. 

The ideal candidate will have a proven interest in building and maintaining relationships with the City officials, subordinates, contactors, developers, representatives of other agencies, and the general public. This person should set a positive example of competence, professionalism, energy and work ethic to the organization. Advanced written and verbal communication skills are imperative for this position.

The ideal candidate will possess superior management skills and have the ability to make strategic decisions pertaining to staff and procedures within the department. This person should have a proven track record of leadership and employee involvement with the ability to delegate authority and responsibility. Effective communication along with strong collaboration and team building skills will be essential. The ideal candidate must have the capacity and interest to be an effective mentor for staff. 

This individual must be able to adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards and be able to display transparency.  

The City of Gardner is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for a successful out of area candidate.

How to Apply
Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: GARUD 

Affion Public
2120 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Fax: 717-214-8004