The City of Newark, New Jersey is conducting a search for a highly motivated individual to serve as the Manager of the Division of Traffic & Signals (T&S) within the Department of Engineering. A proven transportation professional with established administrative experience will be selected to lead the office responsible for improving mobility in Newark, including transportation planning and street design and maintenance. The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to conduct an organizational assessment and identify restructuring proposals within the division and across the administration. The goal is to ensure that the city’s transportation and infrastructure policies, programs and investments are designed, managed, and operated in accordance with the Mayor Baraka’s Newark Forward agenda and his commitment to providing excellent public services and enhancing the quality of life in all neighborhoods.
THE CITY AND COMMUNITY OF NEWARK
The City of Newark consists of five wards, more than 25 dynamic neighborhoods, a thriving downtown, and world-class arts, entertainment and recreational amenities. Situated just 12 miles west of Midtown Manhattan, it is the Essex County seat and largest city in New Jersey. The city has a population of 284,242, and is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the Tri-State region, with a Black majority and significant representation from Hispanic and Latino, Asian and Caucasian residents. Located on the Passaic River just miles from New York Harbor, it encompasses 26 square miles with easy access to New York City and attractions across the nation’s most densely populated state.
Newark is also the nexus of the state’s rail, highway and freight networks, making it central to the region’s economy. It is in the center of the nation’s Northeast Corridor, accounting for one-fifth of the country’s GDP, and the historic Penn Station offers frequent connections to New York City and other major cities via New Jersey Transit (NJT), Amtrak, and the PATH train, as well as the city’s two light rail lines. Within the city, NJT carries 165,000 daily riders on 38 bus lines serving destinations across Northern New Jersey via vibrant commercial corridors and a network of major federal and state highways connecting the region. Newark Liberty International Airports employs 24,000 people, moves over 46 million passengers and is one of the nation’s largest air-freight hubs. The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is the third busiest in the United States.
Newark is also home to cultural venues such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as well as several corporate headquarters including Prudential Financial, Panasonic and Audible. The city is a higher educational hub for the state, with 50,000 students and researchers served by six institutions, including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Seton Hall University Law School.
MAYOR BARAKA’S AGENDA & CITY GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
Mayor Ras J. Baraka, currently serving his second four-year term, is head of the executive branch. The T&S Manager will further advance the Mayor’s Newark Forward agenda in creating a more empowered, safer, educated, collaborative and equitable city. Supported by public and private-sector partners, the Mayor is working to leverage Newark’s competitive assets to generate equitable economic growth for the city, state, region and beyond. His administration has developed creative solutions and supported major citywide initiatives that are delivering transformational change for residents and visitors alike, further advancing Newark’s renaissance into one of America’s great cities.
The Mayor appoints the heads of the 14 city departments, including the Department of Engineering, which houses T&S, as well as key partner agencies including Business Administration, Economic & Housing Development, which contains the city planning functions, Public Works and Public Safety.
Newark’s legislative body is the City Council and consists of nine members, with a president, a vice president, two at-large members, and one each for the north, west, south, east and central wards. All Council members are elected to serve four-year terms.
TRAFFIC & SIGNALS: WHO WE ARE
Traffic and Signals provides comprehensive planning, development, construction management, replacement, and operation of Newark’s transportation infrastructure. With jurisdiction over the city’s public right-of-way, the division not only designs and maintains the surface transportation network, but serves as the administration’s leading voice in mobility policy. With the support of Mayor Baraka, and the Director of Engineering Phillip Scott, Newark is looking for a division leader that can plan, build, operate and maintain multi-modal transportation and infrastructure systems; provide safe, equitable, and sustainable mobility for residents, businesses and visitors; contribute to the equitable economic vitality of neighborhoods through improved access to employment and services; and work in partnership with local transit providers and other city agencies.
The division comprises approximately 25 employees and an operating budget of $8.3 million. The office has jurisdiction over 340 miles of city-owned streets; 560 signalized intersections; 22,000 streetlights; and a growing bike lane network.
In addition to continuing the division’s current mission, Newark is also seeking a candidate that can review the division’s organizational structure and its position within the city administration structure to ensure the city is doing everything possible to provide safe, reliable and affordable mobility options for Newarkers. With the first phase of this assessment underway, the city is seeking a leader who can complete the study, recommend strategic changes, and lay the groundwork for an innovative transportation policy and operations agency that will serve Newark residents for decades to come.
KEY DIVISION INITIATIVES
- Reduce crashes and injuries and make city streets safer for all road users through the design, construction and maintenance of Newark’s right-of-way.
Improve access to employment and city services in historically underserved neighborhoods through street designs that better serve people on foot, on bicycles, on transit and in motor vehicles.
- Pursue programs and policies that expand transportation choices through bicycle sharing, ride sharing, mass transit, and the adoption of emerging transportation technologies.
- Support equitable economic and housing development and the implementation of the under-development Newark360 Master Plan and other established city, county, regional and state-wide priorities.
- Work closely with NJTransit, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and other partner agencies to support transit service and station improvements and coordinate major projects
JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Determine organizational goals and objectives and establish policies that ensure that Newark’s transportation infrastructure and programs are “best in class” and meet the diverse needs of the city.
- Work closely with the Mayor, partner agencies and other stakeholders to conduct an organizational assessment of the division and position it to develop and achieve Newark’s mobility and access goals.
- Manage budgets and contracts to enhance, operate and maintain Newark’s transportation policies, programs, services, and infrastructure, while also identifying additional funding sources such as public-private partnerships and grant opportunities.
- Determine agency fiscal and personnel needs; craft and regularly update agency budgets; and invest in infrastructure repairs and improvements.
- Develop and implement long- and short-range strategic plans that are based on data-driven performance measures and prioritize the needs of the community while optimizing the department budget.
- Serve as the public face of transportation policy in Newark; communicate the Division’s vision, purpose, and actions; and represent the city in meetings, public engagement sessions, conferences and other venues.
- Operate an effective, responsive and accountable organization that can attract and retain top quality staff and provide professional development opportunities to all staff in order to successfully innovate and implement the best practices to serve the evolving needs of residents.
- Measure performance through improved data collection, provide comprehensive information to the public, and guide investments in the city’s transportation assets to improve mobility and reduce operations and management costs where feasible.
- Foster collaborative and innovative partnerships with city, regional, state, and federal agencies, community groups, industry organizations and the non-profit and private sectors to advocate for the city’s policy and investment priorities
- Settle disputes or conflicts related to the division’s responsibilities and provide testimony as an expert witness.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
The ideal candidate will be a confident, collaborative, and decisive leader with good judgement, strong professional presence, and an inspiring demeanor who can develop and sustain a highly functional Division that very quickly demonstrates its crucial importance to the people of Newark. This candidate must maintain an effective team, and develop, mentor, and motivate staff members. This candidate will require sophistication in government finance and operations to maintain a fiscally responsible department, be committed to diversity, possess excellent oral and written communication skills, and be quick to understand how the City functions and the department’s roles. The candidate will have:
- A passion for safe, sustainable transport and infrastructure development and a desire to seek and apply innovations made in the field;
- A set of values characterized by a commitment to innovation, equity, compassion for people, service excellence, and responsive leadership;
- Knowledge of transportation management in a large, complex urban environment;
- Experience with transportation planning and construction projects and developing long-range plans;
- Political savvy and sensitivity to the interests of staff and a wide-range of stakeholder groups, strategic partners, elected officials, and administrative colleagues;
- Organizational and fiscal management skills noted for transparency, fairness, and clarity;
- A leadership style that is decisive and inspiring yet flexible and can bring diverse groups together toward common goals;
- The ability to deal with high-pressure situations, emotional maturity, personal and professional integrity, and a sense of humor;
- Ability to communicate across different formats – written, verbal, visual, etc. and for various audiences;
- Knowledge of federal, state and local transportation stakeholders, policies and procedures;
- The ability to navigate within city government, including the procurement process and the requisitioning materials and supplies;
- Sufficient technical experience to communicate with and direct staff on the division’s technical responsibilities, including the installation of underground cables, troubleshooting traffic signal equipment issues, etc.
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Transportation Planning, a closely related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
PE, MBA or AICP certification preferred.
Five years of supervisory experience managing, coordinating and supervising Engineering and/or Public Works activities including but not limited to, capital planning, grants management, transportation planning, policy development, and planning initiatives.
LICENSES / CERTIFICATIONS
Appointees will be required to possess a driver’s license valid in NJ only if the operation of a vehicle, rather than employee mobility, is necessary to perform essential duties of the position.
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
The salary for this position will align with industry standards and depend on experience and qualifications. The City of Newark also offers an attractive benefits package (including insurance for health, dental, vision, and life, short- and long-term disability, and commute assistance).
Newark residency or relocation required.
To be considered, please submit your resume and cover letter with the subject line “Traffic & Signals Manager” and current salary information electronically to resumes@NEWARKNJ.GOV. The position is open until filled.
Or mail to:
City of Newark
Division of Personnel
920 Broad Street, Room 212
Newark, NJ 07102