APWA AZ Newsletter 2018 October

APWA AZ Newsletter 2018 October

NEWSLETTER                                                                                                                                                                      October 2018


October 11, 2018
APWA, YP, & SMPS Fall Mixer 2018
More Info >

October 12, 2018
Events & Community Service Committee Meeting
More Info >

October 17, 2018
More Info >

October 17, 2018
APWA Luncheon
More Info >

October 22, 2018
Public Works Institute - Module 1
More Info >

October 24, 2018
Saint Vincent De Paul Center Tutoring
More Info >


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"Voice" - Government Advocacy / Elections

One of the major goal areas in the new 2019/2022 Strategic Plan was to "be the VOICE of public works to government leaders and media." Our Government Affairs Committee has had several sessions wherein they endeavor to raise our consciousness of the importance of being involved in the political process. While public agency staff must walk a fine line while engaging in political advocacy, as do consultant and contractors too. That does not mean as members of the public works industry we should not get involved.

Part of the plan to achieve the "Chapter Goals" set out in the Strategic Plan is to get our members involved at all levels of the process. There certainly is room, and some may say a need, in state & federal legislatures and in local councils for engineers, contractors, and other individuals (such as senior managers of public agencies) with a first-hand awareness of the needs and importance of our public infrastructure. From there, they can apply their expertise in helping to ensure that appropriate investments are made to not only build new infrastructure but to help spur added growth of our communities but also invest in the long term care of what we have already.

Being an elected official is not the only way we can become a "voice" for public works. Our Government Affairs Committee is looking for individuals who can act as spokespeople representing the industry to political groups, citizen groups, civic groups, and political bodies (especially at the local level). They are working up handouts, speaker notes, and other information that can help someone present the value of public works and public infrastructure to our communities. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity send an email to that effect to our chapter administrator Sheila Hamilton (sheila@gettingitdone.org) and Sheila will pass it on to the Government Affairs Committee.

The best way though, to be a voice for public works is to VOTE. Elections are this November. Find out which politicians value the public works industry and will give it its proper due. Vote for them, support them financially and with your time if at all possible. But most importantly VOTE!!


Gregory B. Smith, PE/PS, ENV SP
APWA/AZ President, FY2019

APWA, YP, & SMPS Fall Mixer 2018
October 11, 2018

APWA October Luncheon
October 17, 2018
Topic: Project Management for the Public Agency Perspective

Public Works Institute Module One
October 22 - 24, 2018
Check out what our first PWI Graduates had to say about the four-module public works training…
“I really didn’t think APWA would help me but after I sat through classes, I realized how helpful it would be using some information during my daily tasks” – Field Supervisor

“These four modules through APWA have been some of the most helpful trainings I have ever attended” – Fleet Services Supervisor

“I benefitted most because we were discussing real life business with peers” – System Supervisor

Saint Vincent De Paul Dream Center Tutoring
October 24, 2018

Dirt Roads Workshop
November 6, 2018

New Member Spotlight

Name, Title, Agency/Company: Robert “Rob” Sachs, SR/WA – Real Estate and Right-of-Way Coordinator – Town of Queen Creek

With APWA Since: (September 2018)

Describe your job responsibilities: My team and I are responsible for all aspects of real estate within the Town of Queen Creek. As a growing community making substantial infrastructure improvements, my team and I are responsible for land acquisitions for public infrastructure. With a current focus on better roads ahead, the Town recently approved a 10-year, $195 million roadway infrastructure improvement plan. We are also working on purchasing land and construction for two future fire stations to meet the growth in the eastern area of Town. I’ve assisted with the Town’s newest community park, a 48-acre amenity that is scheduled to open on September 1, in addition to assisting with the development of another community park in the northeast area of Town. Another major project includes development in the Town Center and implementing the recent Town Center Update, in addition to overall economic development efforts throughout the community, leasing of Town-owned properties, property management of Town-owned real property assets and other real estate related activities impact the Town. 

What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? My favorite project has been the Riggs Road project.  This multi-phase project is a partnership with the Maricopa County Department of Transportation.  It entails the widening 5+ miles of roadway, and the construction of 3+ miles of new roadway along Riggs Road from Recker Road to Meridian Road.  There were approximately 80 acquisitions along this stretch of roadway that is going to serve as a key transportation corridor for Queen Creek and the region, linking the southeast valley to the I-10 freeway.  

I had the opportunity to work on this project both through my previous employer and in my current position with the Town of Queen Creek.  We faced many challenging situations along the way, but as we near completion of the final phase of this project, the finished product and positive impact it will have on the community makes it all worthwhile.  It feels really good to know that all of my efforts through the years as a key player on the project team are resulting in something so beneficial.

Where have your travels taken you? My travels have taken me to many places over the years.  I have been outside the US on 10 separate occasions.  I have been fortunate enough to travel to Israel on 8 separate occasions.  I have been to France, and within the last year have been on a family trip to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and London, England.  

Name one thing not many people know about you: I’m a Deadhead!

New Members

Donna Alderson City of Kingman
Kevin BurkePublic Works DirecctorCity of Peoria
David BurksWtr Svcs Deputy DirectorCity of Peoria
Larry Dubay City of Kingman
Ms. Chrystina Essig City of Kingman
Chris Farrand City of Kingman
Justin FeekPlannerCivTech Inc
Rob Furr City of Kingman
Ryan A. Hudson, PESr. Transportation EngineerCity of Mesa
Larry JenkinsInspectorCity of Kingman
Bud LeminCrew LeaderCity of Kingman
Roberto MartinezCrew LeaderCity of Kingman
Raymond ParmigianiSr Traffic Studies AnalystCity of Mesa
Cape PowersPlanning Ops ManagerCity of Peoria
David RicoTraffic Studies AnalystCity of Mesa
Sarah RogowskiCivil EngineerCity of Peoria
Shane ShilstoneCrew LeaderCity of Kingman
Nancy Sipe City of Kingman
ViVi SomphonMarketing ManagerCivTech Inc
Reginald Stewart City of Sierra Vista
Joe Wyatt City of Kingman
Keelan YarbroughCrew LeaderCity of Kingman
Scott YocomCrew LeaderCity of Kingman

Who's Who in Public Works

Name: Chris Ewell

City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department

Deputy Street Transportation Department Director

What are you responsible for in your new role? 
The Design and Construction Management Division of the Street Transportation Department is responsible for infrastructure improvements both inside and outside the City's right-of-way, including building City-funded roadways and facilities such as parks, CNG facilities, elevators, fire/police station modifications, drainage facilities, landscaping, sidewalks and associated water and sewer lines.  Administration of design and construction contracts, construction surveying and as-built plans, materials testing, landscape design, utility coordination and inspection, and quality control comprise the major activities of the division.

How long have you been in this position? 
One year.

Where did you work previously? 
I have previously supervised the Vertical Project Management Team under the City Engineer and worked for nearly 15 years for the Parks and Recreation Department as a project manager.

What Challenges do you experience in your role? 
Current levels of staffing make it hard to keep up with current work load and have proper coverage for each project during design and construction.

How long have you been an APWA member? 
Nearly four years.

Have you served on the Board or any committees? 
Yes, I am a new Board Member as of June 2018, and have served on the Conference Committee for over a year.

What benefits do you get out of being a member?
The network is great.

What would you like to share with APWA Members? 
As a new Board Member, I want to be sure there is a focus on the next generation of leaders at all levels in the private and public sectors. 

Tell us about your family and hobbies: 
I have been married for 23 years, I have two children and am a native Arizonan. My family and I love to travel when we have the time. 

2018 Statewide Conference Summary – An Owner’s Perspective

Contributor: Ryan Nichols, City of Mesa Supervising Engineer

At the APWA conference this year I was able to attend a handful of sessions that I really enjoyed. I learned about “Envision," which is the infrastructure rating system for sustainability and which is  equivalent to “LEED” for buildings; heard about how Pima County utilized their JOC program to replace/repair $80M worth of pipelines; how City of Phoenix is working on reducing landfill usage by 40 percent by 2020 and a goal of zero waste by 2050 (11 percent reduction occurred through their first phase of composting facility); learned about how one firm is analyzing existing pump station facilities to troubleshoot problems; learned about the remediation of flood retarding structures (White tanks FRS No. 4); and how the CMAR process was used to successfully construct a new roadway project in Pima County (it was their first CMAR project in 10 yrs). However, one of the best things I took away came from the key note speaker.

Jay Gubrud spoke both on Thursday and Friday mornings. His topics were titled “Shifting Fears and Changing Lanes” and “Speed Traps, Pot Holes, and Idiots." Jay works with a various companies and organizations to improve performance and eliminate roadblocks to success. Here are a few notes that I took from his speeches:

1.  When presented with a major change, people typically react in one of four different ways. Understanding how we react to change can help us to deal with it. Understanding how others react to change can help us to work with others to institute the change:
Nose-to-the-grindstone- people just get busy and go to work. These people may not always implement things most effectively because they don’t take time to figure out how/why the change was made. They may need additional encouragement.

2.  Gossip - people complain about the change. The positive is at least they are talking about the change. In these cases, people can learn to replace gossip and talk about change using phrases such as: “In my opinion”, “I believe that”, or “I feel”

3.  Deer-in-the-headlights- people aren’t sure what to do, or how the change should be implemented. This is often people with a lot of experience. People that experience this reaction can take the time to ask additional questions and follow up on the change.

4.  New-to-the-job- some people react to change by seeking a different situation

It is a misconception that people don’t like change. People love change, as long as it is their idea. People don’t like change when they aren’t involved in the process. If we want people to buy into the changes we are asking, we should involve them in the process. We can ask questions of them instead of dictating. We can all learn to deal with change by controlling what we can and letting go of the rest. We should all be willing to assume the best. We all generally have good intentions, so we shouldn’t assume the worst, but rather the best scenario regarding the change.

There are two main types of feedback we give to people:

1.  Affirming
      a.  What they are doing well
      b.  What they are making progress on
      c.  What we appreciate about them

2.  Constructive/Educational
      a.  Teach them
      b.  Give some perspective
            i.  Look at it through the other person’s eyes
            ii.  Communication- its ok to ask questions

Managers who provided frequent recognition and encouragement were rewarded with an increase productivity of 31 percent according to one study that Jay cited. I know I could provide more encouragement and positive feedback.

Not all conflict is bad or has to be negative. Here are some possible benefits to conflict:

1.     Clears the air
2.     Identifies issues
3.     Holds people accountable
4.     Finds better solutions
5.     Defines boundaries
6.     Pushes limits
7.     Creates better understanding
8.     Deepens relationships
9.     Gains respect
10.   Resolves issues
11.   Makes you stronger

Committee Spotlight - Conference Committee
Meetings occur:
The committee has a lunch meeting in person or via conference call on the second Monday of every month @ 11:30 a.m.

What to expect from the committee:

Assist with planning and organizing the Statewide Conference.

How can you contribute?

Join one of the subcommittees below:

  • Technical Program (includes Moderators and abstract judges) - Provide 14-20 hours of educational opportunities via abstracts and developing specific sessions/demos that we need to create a balanced and valuable program.
  • Exhibitor - Secure 70+ paid exhibitors and organize demos.
  • Sponsorships - Secure $40,000 in sponsorships including $2,000 for door prize drawings. 
  • Agency Showcase - Coordinate with agencies/attendees to populate our Friday municipal networking event with representatives from all over the state.
  • Golf - Revitalize the golf tournament.
  • Publicity - Develop advertisements and marketing materials to help promote the conference.
  • Site (includes general on-site volunteers) - Determine food and drink options and plan/execute Fun Night. 

Want to join the Membership Committee?
Contact Christy Sipos at csipos@civiltec.com or Scott Kirchhofer at skirchhofer@achen.com to join this committee.

The membership committee currently includes the following members:
Christy Sipos, Conference Co-Chair, Civiltec Engineering

Scott Kirchhofer, Conference Co-Chair, Achen-Gardner Construction

Chris Simko, Technical Program Chair, Stantec

April Victorino, Site Committee Co-Chair, Stantec

Dana Varieur, Site Committee Co-Chair, GHD

Kristin Peck, Exhibitor Chair, Hilgartwilson

Cindy Laughlin, EPS Group

Al Field, Al Field & Associates

Bill Linck, Entellus

Lisa Folsom, Sunland Asphalt

Steve Pageau, Consultant Engineering

James Schleich, Huitt-Zollars

Kevin Murphy, Civil & Environmental Consultants

John Tutor, Wood

Cailey Jones, Achen-Gardner Construction

Joe Soto, Pima County

Sergio Montano, City of Scottsdale

Nancy Cole, Pima County

Chris Ewell, APWA Board Liaison, City of Phoenix

New Hires

W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Arizona Names Alex Lindsey as Assistant Project Manager

Tucson, Arizona, September, 2018 – W.E. O’Neil is pleased to announce the addition of Alex Lindsey to our team of construction professionals. Alex will serve in the role of Assistant Project Manager in our Tucson office.

Alex brings more than five years of experience in the construction industry, where he has served in similar roles for other construction companies in Arizona and New York. His experience has been primarily focused on large-scale retail construction and renovation projects.

W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Arizona Names Mike Milewski as Scheduling Coordinator

Phoenix, Arizona, September, 2018 – W.E. O’Neil is pleased to announce the addition of Mike Milewski to our team of construction professionals. Mike will serve in the role of Scheduling Coordinator in our Phoenix office.

Mike brings 30 years of experience in the local construction market. During his professional career, he has served in the roles of Scheduling Engineer, Project Engineer, Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Scheduling Manager and Director of Scheduling. He is a demonstrated successful and results-driven professional specializing in keeping projects on timeline and on budget.

Public Works Job Opportunities
This is a new section where agencies can advertise their open positions. Please provide your advertisement and/or link to tbaker@lognsimpson.com or sniebel@woodpatel.com.

City of Surprise is seeking to fill a civil engineer position.

This position will be a part of the Engineering Development Review Division. The primary responsibilities will be development plan review.  https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/surprise?

City of Yuma is seeking to fill two positions.

  • CIP Project Manager
  • Registered Land Surveyor


The City of Tempe will be posting the following positions over the next month.

  • Contract Compliance Analyst (1)
  • Senior Civil Engineer – Dry Utilities (1)
  • Engineering Associate/SR Engineering Associate (2)
  • Right of Way Management Coordinator (1)

Go to https://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/internal-services/human-resources/job-opportunities to see what is available and/or sign-up for our e-Notification under “Job Posts” to automatically receive a notification when jobs are posted to the website - https://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/services/e-notification-signup.

Maricopa County is seeking to fill two Professional Land Surveyor positions.

YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/14NbAYEItpw

SAVE Arizona Teams with APWA to Spread the Word about VE

SAVE’s Arizona Chapter partnered with APWA to sponsor a half-day “ABC’s of VE” class at the annual APWA Arizona state conference in August. SAVE International Executive Vice President Renee Hoekstra, CVS of RHA, LLC provided instruction with assistance from Mike Bonar of Entellus. Eighteen participants, mostly from the government sector, discussed how to integrate value engineering into requests for proposals for architecture and engineering services. Proceeds were donated to the APWA Scholarship fund.  

SAVE’s Arizona Chapter also participated in two hour-long presentation slots in the conference that covered various aspects of value engineering.  The first was on The Town of Gilbert’s new Public Safety Training facility. Assistant City Engineer Susanna Struble and Assistant Fire Chief Rob Duggan joined Renee Hoekstra in a discussion of how VE was used to identify and finalize the project’s scope and budget so it could be included in the November 2018 ballot. 

The second presentation focused on Valley Metro’s South Central Light Rail Extension. Presenters discussed how VE, risk analysis, and the CMAR process combined to improve project development and integrate a large 30-member project team early in project design. The contractor shared that his point of view—that VE is just “looking for ways to cut costs”—shifted to an understanding of how much value it can offer to a project. 

The SAVE International Arizona Chapter thanks APWA for allowing us to once again be a part of the annual conference.

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