Edmonds public works director leaving for job in Redmond

Edmonds Public Works Director Phil Williams

Updated Friday to report that City Engineer Rob English has been appointed interim public works director.

City of Edmonds Director of Public Works Phil Williams will be leaving Edmonds to take a similar position in Redmond, the city announced Thursday. His last day will be Nov. 22.

Williams was hired by the City of Edmonds in June of 2010. Prior to coming to Edmonds, Williams spent six years as the director of public works for the City of Bremerton.

“Phil has been a valued member of our administration for many years, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to his position,” Mayor Mike Nelson said. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

The public works department oversees street and storm repair, the wastewater treatment plant, water/sewer division, and the city fleet, facilities and engineering. The city will begin the recruitment process to fill the role, and the mayor will appoint a new director, subject to city council confirmation. City Engineer Rob English has been named interim director.


  1. Thank you, Phil for your years of service to this City. While we have not agreed on a few very big issues during the years, your professionalism has always been noteworthy and your candor appreciated. You will enjoy Redmond as their budgeting by priorities model that Mike Bailey established years ago is fabulous and staff (hello Carrie Hite and Peter Holte) appear wonderful (we used to meet in Redmond for WRIA 8). Redmond is extremely active in WRIA 8 (hooray) and Peter is on the grant funding committee with me and I have learned a lot about stormwater from him over the years.

    So, Happy Trails, Phil!

  2. Love you, Phil. Thank you for taking the time to explain the complexities of civil infrastructure to me and residents… and even Dori Monson!

  3. Phil is a very good director; always very responsive. His departure is taking place with only seven working days notice. I have to wonder if he’s going voluntarily.

    1. Seven days public notice. We don’t know when he initially let the city know he’s taking another role. Also, please explain why his taking another job translate to him not leaving voluntarily?

      1. I have now learned elsewhere that it is publicly known that Phil is likely going to work for Redmond for only six months. Possibly he needs the six months to achieve some pension milestone. Whatever the reason, why would he voluntarily leave for an other job for only six months?

  4. I agree with Mr. Wambolt and others commenting here. Mr. Williams is the man to try to hire back when we finally make the decision to go with the Council/Manager system that I think is coming our way. It might not happen in my lifetime, but in time, it will happen. Part-time and hobby government just doesn’t work here anymore, if it ever really did?

  5. Dearest Phil,
    I so understand your decision for leaving even though the employees under you are going to miss you so much!
    You have been an outstanding leader to all of them and the City of Edmonds will definitely see the loss of a great leader as yourself.
    You have a special place in my heart and I truly feel for people you are leaving behind.
    I know Redmond will treat you with the respect you deserve and hope the best for you ❤️

  6. Phil is probably the best boss I’ve ever had. His even temperament and professionalism will be sorely missed.

    Best of luck to you in Redmond, Phil. Their team is gaining an extraordinary new member.

  7. What a tremendous loss to our city. Thank you Phil for your great work and dedication over the past 10+ years. You and your Public Works team have been just the best. We wish you all the best.

  8. Phil,
    I really appreciate your professionalism, depth of knowledge and responsiveness. It was great working with you when I was on Council. Redmond is gaining a terrific Director! All the best!

    1. Thankyou, Phil, for all your years of service to Edmonds and for your tremendous support of the Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative.
      Wishing you all the best in your new endeavors.

  9. Congratulations Phil, I’m sure this will be an exciting opportunity for you .
    A brutal loss to Edmonds.
    Phil has been an excellent boss and even more so …an advocate for Edmonds. I am sure he will continue to provide Redmond with that same exceptional leadership he has provided Edmonds. Thank you for your patience and counsel helping me be better.
    Good Luck!!!

  10. Phil, thank you very much for your dedication and service to the residents of Edmonds. You have served the residents and city well and have chosen the daily life path to be remembered in a positive light. I am sad to see you go but at the same time wish you all the success in your next opportunity.

    I appreciate all the quick responses you provided me over the years in answering questions or directing them to your staff. You and your staff always provide the help and reflect the professionalism you have conveyed on a daily basis. The comments by your staff in this thread speak for themselves. As a result of your efforts, I became and will remain a fan of Public Works. Take care.

  11. Phil is the consummate professional and one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever known and had the privilege to work with. His departure will leave a huge void.

    Good luck Phil, enjoy the new opportunity!

  12. Great! Maybe his replacement will actually give public notices of their work as they are required too, and treat their citizens with respect and dignity, which is sorely lacking from this department. Lived here two years, only negative experiences I’ve had with the city are all from this department, their red tape, and condescension.

  13. Director Williams builds his people and manages a broad range of projects with competence. Thank you Phil for your many years of service to the City of Edmonds. You will be missed.

  14. Phil, all the best to you as you join Carrie Hite in Redmond. Edmonds was so fortunate to have your leadership for 11 years and I always appreciated your insights, attitude, professionalism and responsiveness. Thank you for your service to our city.

  15. Phil Williams is one of the best. It’s going to be a tough search to find someone to replace him. Edmonds, with the diverse nature of every possible scenario (urban, rural, residential, Highway, side streets, rapidly growing and improving) presented unique challenges (not to mention the highly involved public) that Phil and his team always managed to tackle.

    Redmond is lucky to have him.

  16. Thank you so much for always being available and open to sort through ideas. You never ceased to be kind and respectful. It’s been a pleasure. Best of luck in Redmond. A big loss for Edmonds.

  17. I always mention Phil William’s name when I talk about good public employees. His touch on projects such as the Five Corners Roundabout made the process smooth. He always let the businesses in the area know what was happening so they could do their best. We will miss him in Edmonds. I wish him well in his new job.

  18. Sorry it’s taken me so long to catch up. This is truly a major loss for our City– First, it was Carrie Hite, and now Phil Williams. I have never had more pleasure working with one of our many invaluable staff members than with Phil Williams. He is a consummate professional who enjoys the respect of anyone he deals with in his most important position with the City. He will be sorely missed, and without any doubt in my mind, VERY difficult [if not impossible] to replace.

  19. Phil has left his “marks” on Edmonds. We can all be proud of the 5 Corners Roundabout. Most was paid with grants and we fixed a number of infrastructure issues all below ground. The Main Street project was another great addition, removing poles and creating wider sidewalks. Sorting out our water and sewer lines and developing a replacement plan is a major addition to the city. But my personal favorite is all the “tick marks” for parking improvements. They have enhanced parking by 20%! Those are the “marks” we all can see. Thanks Phil, you will be missed.

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