SLO County hires new public works director

Wade Horton has been hired as San Luis Obispo County public works director and will resign his post as deputy director of the city of San Luis Obispo Utilities Department to begin his new job Dec. 8.

The announcement was made at the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

Supervisor Bruce Gibson, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said in a news release that the supervisors were pleased to have Horton on board.

“We are particularly happy to have someone with Wade's energy and experience. He knows our area and knows our key issues. We are fortunate to have him,” Gibson said.

Horton will be filling a position vacated earlier this year when Paavo Ogren resigned as county public works director to become general manager of the Oceano Community Services District.

As public works director, Horton will lead the 190-employee county Public Works Department and serve as member of the county’s executive leadership team.

While serving as deputy director of the city’s Utilities Department, Horton has managed a 30-member staff and a $20 million annual budget while overseeing the daily operations of the water utility, which provides service to about 15,000 connections.

Before working for the city, Horton was a senior engineer for Penfield & Smith, a construction field engineer for Modern Continental and an associate engineer for URS Corp/Radian International.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Cal Poly and has served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 10 years. He is registered with the state as a professional engineer and as a Civil Engineering Corps reserve officer for the Navy.

“I believe Mr. Horton will bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to the position, and I look forward to having him join our team,” said County Administrative Officer Dan Buckshi.

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