City of Pasadena Welcomes New Public Works Director


As a result of a nationwide search that spanned four months and attracted qualified candidates, Tony Olmos has been named public works director with the City of Pasadena effective Nov. 1. 230 employees will be in his department, which has an annual budget of $76.4 million.

Having served as the city's public works director for five years in Brea, Olmos brings 28 years of professional experience to Pasadena. His responsibilities include overseeing the administration, refuse, maintenance, engineering, fleet, environmental programs, and utilities (water, sewer, and stormwater). The County of Orange, Manhattan Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Fe Springs, and Santa Ana have entrusted Olmos with increasingly responsible positions, and he also held the roles of the city engineer, assistant director of engineering/chief engineer, and director of public works.

“I am confident that Tony will be a great addition to the City of Pasadena. In addition to having strong leadership skills, his qualifications are impressive. He has a track record of working well with the community—seeking input and providing solutions—as well as experience working with engaged constituents, leading change efforts, and building rapport and trust with employees and external stakeholders,” said City Manager Steve Mermell.

In addition to his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, Olmos also holds a Master of Science degree in civil engineering. His professional affiliations include the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Olmos was selected as the 2015 Public Sector Leader of the Year by the APWA.

Mermell continued, "Tony's passion for his work can be seen through his work.". His reputation is that he inspires creativity in his employees and develops them in their areas of expertise."

A search firm was retained by the City to assist with the process. Through the City's website, residents of Pasadena could share their ideas and feedback on a new director of public works. The search firm reviewed 56 applications; only five were considered qualified, and they participated in interviews with a panel of professionals from outside agencies and the City. From that group, the top three applicants were interviewed in early September by the assistant city managers and city managers.

Olmos is married to his wife of 25 years and is a proud grandfather to his three-year-old granddaughter. It is his passion to explore new places with his family and spend time with his two grown sons, ages 24 and 18. He has been a lifelong fan of the Lakers and Dodgers! "I am honored and excited to have been selected as the City's next director of public works. Olmos says he looks forward to applying his prior experience in engaging City staff and community to accomplish City Council goals.

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