Ask the editor: What are the duties of Georgetown’s public works director?

Joe Lanane managing editor Joe Lanane
managing editor
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What are the duties of Georgetown’s public works director?

The city of Georgetown’s first public works director, Octavio Garza, started Jan. 30. Garza is a civil and environmental engineer who brings more than 21 years of related work experience to the position, having worked in Waco and New Braunfels prior to this position.

That begs the question: What are the responsibilities of Georgetown’s first public works director?
Infrastructure development and maintenance generally fall under Garza’s purview, but there are additional duties that may not be as obvious.

As head of the newly formed public works division, Garza will also be responsible for the city’s street maintenance, transportation planning and stormwater drainage departments as well as the Georgetown
Municipal Airport and solid-waste and recycling services—all departments that previously reported to the city’s general manager of utilities, according to the city.

That means the public works division will have a hand in many city functions that regularly impact Georgetown residents.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.