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Waverly appoints public works director in advance of move into new complex

WAVERLY – As the city prepares to transition into a new public works complex likely next month, the administration has decided now is the time to hire a director solely focused on leading one of its largest divisions.

The Waverly City Council unanimously approved a recommendation Monday night to immediately promote Justin McGlaun, its water and sewer line maintenance superintendent, to the helm as public works director. The responsibilities were previously part of a dual role held by Mike Cherry, who will remain city engineer.

McGlaun, who had been superintendent since 2017, beat out one other internal candidate and will earn an annual salary of $93,698, according to Danielle Stratton, city human resources manager.

Stratton said McGlaun is evaluating whether there is a need to hire a replacement to fill his previous position.

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He will oversee about 20 full-time and part-time employees, although that number fluctuates and the estimate does not include seasonal workers, Stratton said.

“I’ve been involved in public works since 2006, in all aspects plowing snow, picking up dogs, you know anything, so I’ve been around a little while,” McGlaun told the council Monday. “And I really appreciate this opportunity. I think I can do a good job to further my career with the city of Waverly.”

Administrator James Bronner said the last year has seen the city go department by department evaluating whether personnel additions or subtractions are needed. He provided examples like the hiring of a new sergeant at the police department for the purposes of “succession planning” and an unnamed position in parks and recreation to manage new ball diamonds and facilities.

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In this 2012 Courier file photo, James Bronner is shown in his office in the Black Hawk County Courthouse. He was later named city administrator for the city of Waverly.

“As we keep progressing, when you look at public works and the complex (on Fifth Avenue Northwest) that is about to be finished in the next month or so, it is my belief that we need a full-time body out there as well. It’s one of the largest divisions in the entire city, and you’re talking about the largest infrastructure,” he said. “While the roads and streets are what people are familiar with, the underground infrastructure of water and sewer is just as big, if not bigger, and the costs are a little more substantial if things go wrong with them.”

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