The Public Utilities General Manager, as chief executive, assumes direct charge of the business of the utilities subject to the control of the Utility Commission, in order to supply customers with an adequate and reliable electric, water and sewer service at the lowest rates consistent with costs and board policy, giving due regard to the utilities’ obligation to the customers, the employees and various government bodies who authorize the utilities existence and regulate its operation.
SCOPE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT:
The Public Utilities General Manager reports directly to the Utility Commissioners. The position directs and administers all activities of the utility, within a general framework of approved policies, budgets and programs developed by the Utility Commissioners. This position has frequent contact with members of the utility commission, state government officials and elected city officials, contractors, consultants, utility department heads, employees and general public. The position directly supervises the department heads of the various divisions within the Benton Utilities system.
The Public Utilities General Manager is responsible for the overall management and control of the operations and property of the utility system.
Assures that the Utility Commissioners are provided accurate, timely information to facilitate appropriate policy/decision-making.
Leads in the acquisition of electric power and water supplies to provide sufficient and cost effective resources for Benton Utilities’’ customers.
Assist the Utility Commissioners in establishing utility policies and objectives.
Administer policies and programs to achieve utility’s objectives and coordinate utility activities between departments to maintain operating efficiency.
Convene and preside at staff meetings to receive, exchange and convey information.
Initiate and conduct studies to forecast future utility needs, including facility and capital expenditures and use studies to support recommendations to the Utility Commissioners.
Submit annual operating budget and a capital budget quarterly to the Utility Commissioners, forecast five-year budget.
Ensure utility’s power, water and sewer operations are in compliance with all city ordinances/policies and applicable Federal, State, Municipal statues, guidelines, rules regulations and public utility principles/practices.
Maintains an effective relationship with the customers and the public and represents the utility in matters of city affairs, civic affairs and state and national organizations.
Ensure equitable administration of wages and salaries, employee benefit plans and performance appraisals.
Approves or recommends the approval of appropriate resources for the utility including the selection or removal of all utility employees.
Develop and direct supporting organization, including establishing the duties and responsibilities for top management (department head) positions.
Prepare materials and agenda for Board meetings.
Assign work through department heads and staff to ensure timely completion of projects and priorities.
Review the work of department heads and staff to ensure work product adheres to established quality standards and instructions.
Complete ongoing projects within schedule and budget so the utility receives the benefit of the investment through financial return and reliable service.
Carefully monitor work done by outside firms, including engineers and contractors. This may be facilitated through the use of the others (department heads), etc.
Reviews utility’s pronouncements and releases.
Participates in developmental activities, including work simplification programs, training groups, safe activities, employee group education and social groups.
Supervises every other facet of management not outlined above, where such factors are considered essential to proper management.
The Public Utilities General Manager seeks guidance from Utility Commissioners and is also guided by city ordinances and policies, as well as applicable Federal, State, Municipal statutes, rules, regulations in addition to public utility principles/practices.
The challenges for this position are 1) to remain current and informed on public utility regulations, employment-related issues, city ordinances/policies, and related Federal, State, Municipal statutes, rules and regulations; 2) ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing with internal and external customers; 3) to effectively disseminate information both internal and external; 4)to ensure utility services/operations are conducted in a professional, effective and efficient manner; 5) to prioritize and delegate duties and workflow appropriately; 6) to identify and secure necessary resources to accomplish utility goals and objectives; 7) foster a quality work environment by building employee trust and confidence.
The General Managers principal contacts are primarily internal to include: Utility Commissioners, department heads, supervisors and exempt and non-exempt employees.
The General Manager principal customers external to the utility include: citizens, attorneys, vendors, contractors, engineers, consultants. Accountants, auditors, and governmental agencies (to include grants).
The Public Utilities General Manager has the authority to direct and administer the overall operation of the Benton Utilities system as designated by the Utility Commissioners, within the compliance framework of city ordinance/policies, Federal, State and Municipal statutes, guidelines, rules/regulations; to delegate duties and supervise department heads, to conduct forecasts and prepare long range plans; to address customer concerns and conduct appropriate problem resolution; to approve or recommend the approval of appropriate resources for the utility including the selection or removal of all utility employees; to make recommendations and take appropriate action to ensure the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the utility system.
Safety Sensitive Position: This position has been deemed a Safety Sensitive position and any person performing duties in this position while under the influence of marijuana or any other substance (legal or illegal) that could impair the employee may constitute a threat to health and safety. Benton Utilities maintains a zero-tolerance for the use of any substance that may impair a Safety Sensitive individual. Consequences of a violation can be found in the Benton Utilities Employee Manual.
Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or business administration from an accredited institution is preferred. Master’s Degree in business desirable.
Substantial experience in either business administration, engineering or preferably, a combination of both. Experience should include at least ten years background in public utilities management or equivalent in either the public or private sectors with an emphasis on electrical.
Electric power and water utility operations.
Good supervisory, communicative, management, administrative skills and proficiency in use of a personal computer.
Licenses and Certifications:
Valid Arkansas Driver’s License
Expectation of General Manager to live within Benton City Limits