APWA has announced its Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year for 2018. The Top Ten Leaders award program recognizes the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals from both the public and private sectors in North America.
“The Top Ten Public Works Leader Award aims to inspire excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials,” said APWA Executive Director, Scott Grayson. "Since its inception in 1960, the Top Ten Leaders award program has recognized 580 men and women who reflect the highest career standards of professional conduct for public works officials. The APWA Top Ten represent the best of the public works profession, and they are all to be highly commended on this honor."
The 2018 Top Ten award recipients include (view photo gallery):
Paul Woodard began his career as a Junior Civil Engineer for the California Department of Transportation in District 5 in San Luis Obispo. His first municipal position was as Assistant Village Engineer for the Village of Glencoe, Ill., in 1985. In 1990, he accepted a position with the City of Fitchburg as Director of Public Works/City Engineer. In 2014, he became Director of Public Works with the City of Janesville in Wisconsin. Woodard has served seven mayors, three city administrators, two city managers, and well over 50 city council members, adapting frequently to changing political environments, personalities and leadership philosophies to provide the highest level of service.
When Woodard started with Janesville in 2014, only six miles of road were being repaved per year. With a network of 330 miles, that would have required a pavement life cycle of 55 years, which was not realistic. Working with the City Council, this program was increased to nine miles in 2015 and 12 miles in 2016. That reduces the pavement life cycle to 28 years. Because of state levy limits, a referendum had to be held for the increased funding. This referendum failed even though the community had been asking for increased road repairs. Woodard’s recommendation to council, which was approved, was to increase borrowing and to increase the wheel tax from $10 to $20 per vehicle.
With the decision to increase the amount of street mileage being repaired every year, Woodard required the engineering division to not only inspect the manholes and inlets, but the pipe as well. From this effort, many locations of gas services protruding into the pipe were discovered. With the increased storm sewer work from the expanded Janesville street program, significant increases were needed to fund the necessary work. Taking a more conservative approach and recognizing these expenses will be an ongoing expense, Woodard recommended the work be funded through the annual budget and not borrowed.
After becoming active in APWA's Wisconsin Chapter, Paul chaired the awards committee and reinvigorated the Chapter's Awards Program, which remains very strong today. He served on several other Chapter committees and has held other leadership positions within the Chapter, including President and currently represents the Chapter on APWA's Council of Chapters. Currently serving as the Director of Public Works for the City of Janesville, WI, Paul can be reached at WoodardP@ci.Janesville.wi.us.