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Nicholas DeBar appointed Atascadero public works director 


Atascadero Public Works Director

The Atascadero City Council on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Nicholas DeBar to the vacant position of public works director/city engineer.

With the departure of Russ Thompson in June, the position of public works director/city engineer was left with a vacancy. To locate a well-qualified individual to fill that position, the city conducted a nationwide recruitment process, reviewed numerous applications, conducted extensive interviews and reviewed references. At the conclusion of process, DeBar was chosen by Atascadero City Manager Rachelle Rickard to fill the vacant position. Per city rules, all department director appointments are subject to council confirmation.

“We were looking for the very best qualified person we could find to fill the rigorous requirements of this position, and I believe that we did just that,” Rickard says. “Nick DeBar has an impressive resume and skill set, he scored very highly with all three of our interview panels, his references and background were impeccable, and everyone from our team who has met with him personally believes he’ll be a very good fit for the City of Atascadero. I’m really looking forward to having Nick join the team and being able to put his knowledge and experience to work”.

DeBar has over 20 years of experience working on public works infrastructure and facilities. His experience is comprehensive and includes planning, design, engineering, management, administration, and maintenance with a wide variety of municipal, transportation, aviation, site-civil, building, and structural projects. The vast majority of his career has been in the municipal realm and working closely with various departments, elected officials, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders.

DeBar graduated from University of California Davis with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis on structural engineering. He worked for the City of Davis public works for several years during and after college where he developed and implemented a citywide pavement management program and performed construction inspection.

In 1995, DeBar moved to Boise, Idaho where he began his 14-year career with private engineering consulting firms. In Boise, he worked as a project engineer for four years designing and overseeing various civil and structural engineering projects, but decided to return to his native Minnesota to continue his career and raise his young family. From January 1999 to March 2009, DeBar worked for several large consulting firms in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area performing project management and engineering design for a diverse collection of public works capital improvement projects. He supervised and controlled projects during all phases of project development and was the primary contact for many clients, often representing municipalities as city engineer.

Since March 2009, DeBar has been employed as director of public works/city engineer for the City of Mounds View, Minnesota – a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul. He is responsible for directing and overseeing the personnel, operations, budgets, and activities related to all municipal infrastructure including transportation systems; drinking water and wastewater collection systems; stormwater conveyance and flood protection; parks, trails, and recreation facilities; buildings and grounds; forestry, and fleet management. He performs city engineering duties that involve managing Rights-of-way, traffic, engineering standards, inspections, permitting, development reviews, wellhead protection, stormwater management, and all aspects of capital improvements.

DeBar is a licensed Professional Engineer (Civil) and is a LEED® Accredited Professional. He is a member of various professional associations including American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and American Public Works Association (APWA).

Regarding DeBar’s appointment, Mayor Tom O’Malley said, “Our public works department is a vital part of the city’s operations, providing a wide variety of essential services to our citizens including traffic engineering, maintenance of the city’s streets, parks, storm drains and sewers, and much more. Having a well-qualified and experienced individual at the helm of this department is very important. I believe that Mr. DeBar is a good fit for our community and will do a great job.”

DeBar has been married to his wife, Stacy, for nearly 24 years. They have a son and daughter who are a junior and freshman in college. He has many family relations in Central California and has visited the Atascadero area many times over the past 25 years. Outside of work he enjoys fishing, ice hockey, home improvements, skiing, and walking his golden retrievers.

Regarding DeBar’s confirmation councilman Bob Kelley said, “After an extensive recruitment and interview process, Mr. DeBar has been chosen as the best candidate for the public works director position. I’m looking forward to having him on board to assist the City of Atascadero, especially with the recent passing of the sales tax increase measure and the much needed road repairs in the city.”

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