Public Works director leaving Gilroy for Vacaville

Girum Awoke was hired by city in 2017

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Girum Awoke. Submitted photo

Girum Awoke, the director of Gilroy’s Public Works Department for three years, has been hired by the City of Vacaville.

Awoke will start his new position as Vacaville’s Public Works director on Nov. 4, Vacaville city officials announced Oct. 22.

“I am honored to be selected as the next Public Works director for the City of Vacaville and am grateful for the opportunity to serve the city with utmost dedication,” he said. “I look forward to working very closely with City Manager Busch, my colleagues in other departments, and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives that the city council has set forth for the City of Vacaville.”

Awoke was hired by Gilroy in 2017. He started his career as a project manager in the private sector in 2004 and transitioned to local government as a transportation engineer for the Maryland State Highway Administration in June 2006. He later worked for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation in Maryland before coming to Gilroy.

In Vacaville, Awoke will oversee 113 full-time employees and 29 part-time staff, an operating budget of $25 million, and capital improvements budget of $36 million.

According to data from the California State Controller, Awoke’s salary in 2019 was $194,342, plus benefits.

Terms of Awoke’s Vacaville employment were not released. A job listing for the position listed the salary between $175,715.52-$213,557.28, while the position was paid $220,960, plus benefits, in 2019, according to state data.

Gilroy will now open up a search to fill the vacancy.

“The city is preparing for the recruitment of a new Public Works director and remains committed to hiring those persons who are not only qualified for the positions for which they are interviewed, but are dedicated to serving our residents and community with grace and professionalism,” spokesperson Rachelle Bedell said.

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