New director for Public Works

Bernie Schroeder served various positions in city for 24 years
By: Bridget Jones, Journal staff writer
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The city of Auburn has a new Public Works Department director. Auburn City Council approved the appointment of Bernie Schroeder to Public Works director in a unanimous vote Monday night. Schroeder, who has worked for the city for 24 years, currently holds the position of Engineering Division Manager. She will now assume the duties for both positions. These duties will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department and representing the city as director on various regional projects, Schroeder said. Schroeder said she is happy to have achieved something she’s been working toward for a long time. “It is an achievement that has been part of my goal for a lifetime,” she said. “I am very excited to have started so many years ago and come to this point. I’m very pleased and honored to have the support of the City Council and the community.” Although Schroeder received a pay raise for the promotion, she said the combination of the two positions lessens the financial burden on the city, which is necessary during tough economic times. “We had some layoffs in the last five years that dramatically impact how everybody does business,” she said. “Certainly overall it will save the city money.” Jack Warren, who served as the part-time interim Public Works director for four years, said he would work as an on-call city engineer when needed in the future. Warren said the city had been considering finding a permanent director for several years. “This was something that was going to happen eventually, but I think the budget situation in the city accelerated the time table.” Bob Richardson, Auburn city manager, said combining Schroeder’s two positions will save the city $20,000 to $40,000, because Schroeder’s original position is not being filled by someone else. Schroeder’s new annual salary is $129,500 before a 10 percent cut in pay that is currently standard for all city managers. Richardson said this is an example of the dedication Auburn city employees have to their jobs. “What we’ve been doing in the past several years is collapsing multiple jobs into one,” Richardson said. “And people have been stepping up and taking on more duties.” Richardson said he has no doubt Schroeder will make a great Public Works director. “I think she’ll do a terrific job,” he said. “She’s held down a huge responsibility in the department in the past. I think she’s fully prepared for that role.” Warren said it’s great that Schroeder was able to make her dream come true. “It is good for her,” he said. “It’s a career goal. I’m happy for her. She is ready for this; I trained her.” Schroeder said she is excited about playing an even bigger role in the Auburn community. “I’m very pleased because I have grown up here,” she said. “I went to high school here. I’m very happy to be able to live and raise my family here.” Reach Bridget Jones at