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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Karen Valenzuela, Thurston County Commission Chair, 360-786-5440

Thurston County Commissioners Hire New Head of Public Works
New director takes over for retiring director

OLYMPIA - Thurston County Commissioners are pleased to announce the hiring of a new Director for the County Public Works Department. Ramiro A. Chavez will assume the duties from Donavan Willcut who is retiring at the end of August.

Chavez leaves the post of Transportation Division Manager with Pierce County Public Works to take the Thurston County position. He has more than 25 years of experience in civil engineering including 23 years in the public works arena. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from the Central University of Ecuador as well as registration as a professional engineer in the State of Washington and certification as a Program Management Professional.

Thurston County Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela says Chavez has the background to be a good fit with Thurston County Public Works. "In addition to his long experience in the field, he also brings familiarity with management of personnel, budgets and administration of state and federal grants, which are important skills for this position."

Public Works is one of the larger agencies of Thurston County government, with more than 165 full time employees and a budget of approximately $62-million a year. Divisions within the department include Transportation, Engineering, Development Review, Road Operations, Solid Waste, Noxious Weeds, Lakes and Parks.

Chavez says he is looking forward to the new position. "Thurston County is a growing area and has many of the challenges that growth brings to issues regarding transportation and all of the facets of public works. As a 25-year resident of the county, I'm anxious to get to know the great team at Thurston County and working with them to find comprehensive solutions to better serve our citizens."

Chavez will begin work on August 25.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3