Eric Liljequist named public works director
After undergoing a rigorous recruiting and interview process, which included two rounds of interviews, the city of Woodburn has hired a full-time public works director in Eric Liljequist.
"I am pleased to announce Eric Liljequist as the city of Woodburn's next public works director," City Administrator Scott Derickson said in a press release. "Eric has many years of service with the city, bringing with him an easy-to-approach problem-solving style, the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and a genuine commitment to our staff and the entire Woodburn community. I believe Eric is the right leader at the right time to help move the city forward."
Former director Randy Scott retired in October 2016 and after the first round of applicants didn't net someone, Derickson continued with Liljequist, who has been with the city since 2008, as interim director.
After being interim director for a year, Liljequist decided to apply when the process was opened a second time. He was one of two finalists who went through a three-panel interview. He said he didn't feel ready when the first process was announced.
"I didn't apply for the position during the first interview process because I had only been the acting public works director for a few months and was not certain that I could fully implement all required job functions, including important duties such as completing a full fiscal year budget cycle and interacting effectively with the City Council," he said in the press release. "I found that I could successfully execute the required job functions and achieved tremendous professional fulfillment in performing the full duties of the director position. Therefore, I applied for the position when the second opportunity arose, realizing that is was an outstanding opportunity."
Liljequist was hired in June 2008 as assistant city engineer. He was promoted to city engineer in 2014. Prior to working in Woodburn, he was at the city of Hillsboro where he was a project manager in the water department.
Liljequist is a native Oregonian, born and raised in Salem before graduating from Oregon State University with a civil engineering degree in 1991.
He has been married for 26 years and has three children, two sons and a daughter. His daughter was just commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
Liljequist said being promoted to a job where he knows everyone he works with is a great situation.
"It's the perfect scenario because not only do I have good relationships with city staff, but I have the historical knowledge of our public works processes, which will facilitate effective and productive execution of the required job tasks," he said.
He said he would like to eventually hire a city engineer so he can focus on the overall duties of managing the public works department.
City Council is set to officially approve Liljequist as public works director on Dec. 11.