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Effective Aug. 21 Suzette Robinson is no longer director of Public Works. An Aug. 21 statement from City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said Ms. Robinson “has been separated from the City effective today. “

Ms. Robinson worked for City’s Public Works Department since 2006, and in 2010, she was promoted to the position of Public Works Director. 

During her tenure at the City, Ms. Robinson spearheaded the efforts to expand Evanston’s recycling program by increasing residents’ recycling capacity, securing grants for the program, expanding recycling collection to business districts, parks and multi-family properties, implementing education and awareness programs.

She also worked to improve Evanston’s walkability and bike-ability by securing City Council support to change streetscape design and provide funding, adopt new crosswalk standards that better protect pedestrians, fund bike infrastructure, approve plans to complete the biking network, approve Evanston’s protected bike lanes, and adopt a complete and green streets ordinance, said Mr. Bobkiewicz.

“Ms. Robinson also made it a priority to support and develop youth in our community by serving as a community service site for the Evanston Police Department, serving as one of the larger city employee sites for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program and providing internships and seasonal employment for Evanston youths home for the summer from college,” Mr. Bobkiewicz’ statement said. 

Mr. Bobkiewicz also announced the creation of a new Public Works Agency, which consolidates the Public Works and Utilities departments.  Over the past few months, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons led an evaluation team to assess the future needs of those departments. One result of that process was the recommendation of the Public Works Agency with four bureaus to carry out its functions.

Mr. Bobkiewicz said Mr. Lyons will be meeting with employees of both the Public Works and Utilities Departments over the next week to detail the proposed structure of the new Agency.  He will present the results of his review of the department operations to the City Council on Aug. 31.

Mr.  Lyons will become Interim Public Works Director to work with Utilities Director Stoneback on the implementation of the new Public Works Agency, which should be in place by the end of 2015. 

 “The creation of the Public Works Agency will reorganize the management structure of the former departments, but will not change positions that directly deliver services to the community.  No layoffs of employees represented by AFSCME are planned.  Changes are expected among the manager and supervisor ranks as some existing positions will be eliminated,” according to Mr. Bobkiewicz’s statement.