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Michael Whitfield hired as public works director after seven-month interim

COURTESY CITY OF MADRAS - new public works director Michael Whitfield The city of Madras has hired Michael Whitfield as its new public works director. Whitfield comes to the city with over 15 years of public works experience, and over 25 years in the private sector.

Whitfield and his wife were drawn to Madras by a desire to return to the Northwest. Now that his three children are grown, Whitfield and his wife, Erma, are looking forward to living in the community.

As a public works director, Whitfield is also excited for the growth that Madras has to offer.

"When I saw this position, I knew it was perfect," said Whitfield. "It's right up my alley and exactly what I love to do."

Whitfield is excited about several projects coming up in the community, and to learn what he can about the town. Specifically, he is excited and curious about the infrastructure improvements planned in south Madras, like the extension of Hall Road.

Whitfield comes with experience in a lot of engineering and public works fields, from serving as public works director in Falls Church, Virginia, to working with engineering firms on bridges and roads.

"The diversity of projects (in his career) has been really interesting," said Whitfield. "I think it's given me the knowledge to understand all of the different programs that every city and agency deals with."

Whitfield noted that he is also very experienced in obtaining grants and understanding what goes into getting that money. Grants, he noted, are very important in small communities like Madras, where budgets might be limited. During his time in Falls Church, Whitfield obtained grants to fully fund six engineers for the city. Grants make up a large part of project budgets for public works.

"I want to look at what is going to be the growth of the community and what the community is interested in," said Whitfield. "There's a lot of money out there, and I want to try and bring that to the community."

Whitfield and his wife have just moved to Madras, and his first day on the job is Aug. 1.

"I'm looking forward to being a part of the community, and looking for ways to make improvements, and make services better," said Whitfield. "There's always improvements to be made, and the growth and building of the community is continuous."

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