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Mayor Hancock Launches National Search for Next Public Works Executive Director

Current Director Set to Retire, City Gives Thanks for Service 

DENVER – The City and County of Denver today launched a national search for the next leader of the Department of Public Works (DPW). Since the retirement announcement of Denver’s current executive director, Jose Cornejo, the Hancock administration has been gearing up for a far-reaching recruitment effort to identify an exceptional leader to serve in this critical role during a unique time for the city.

“Jose has spent the last five years serving Denver residents with excellence and has shown true dedication to his role of overseeing crucial city services. We wish him all the best in his retirement” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.  “As we embark on this process, Jose will remain in his role as Executive Director and  I have every bit of confidence that his insights will help us find a leader who will bring the same commitment to providing the best possible city services, facilities and infrastructure.”

Under Jose’s leadership, DPW has optimized the fleet department, which has saved the city $8 million, streamlined contracting and improved small, minority and women-owned business participation. In addition, the Transportation and Mobility Division was created and increased attention was focused on multi-modal streets, protected bike lanes, and pedestrian overpasses. DPW is also a lead in several Smart City pilot initiatives, including LED lights, environmental sensors, smart parking technology, and bus shelters.

For the last several years, Denver has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, creating a number of exciting opportunities and an equal number of complex challenges. The entire metro area continues to grow by nearly 5,000 net new residents per month. As the economic, cultural and transportation hub of the region, Denver is experiencing a significant increase in demand for services and infrastructure improvements.

With 1,300 employees and an operating budget of nearly $250 million, Denver’s Department of Public Works is one of the city’s largest and most exciting departments, managing the majority of services involving public infrastructure and facilities for residents and businesses.

“Enhanced mobility choices, smart flood protection, sustainable waste management:  Denver is on the hunt for a dynamic leader who brings the right balance of skill, knowledge and management expertise to ensure we are building a city not just for our people today but for generations to come,” the Mayor said.


The Department's broad portfolio of responsibilities includes day-to-day transportation management, snow plowing, street maintenance, right-of-way enforcement, parking, planning and construction projects (small to very large, vertical and horizontal), trash and recycling, graffiti abatement, fleet management, and wastewater construction and operations (sanitary and storm), among others.  

Much of the responsibility for meeting the service and infrastructure needs of today and tomorrow rest with the Department of Public Works, including implementation of a planned $600 million general obligation bond being considered for the November 2017 ballot.