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County hires county works director
Darren Williams takes over for Dale Phillips
new deh county commission darren williams pic web
Barton County engineering technician Darren Williams will assume the position of county works director as of Monday, replacing Dale Phillips who retired June 30. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Long-time Barton County Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips retired at the end of June. On Monday, the County Commission appointed the man to take his place.

Darren Williams, the current engineering technician under County Engineer Barry McManaman, was promoted to the position of county works director. The job includes the maintenance and construction of county infrastructure, staff supervision, fleet and asset control, and budget management of the Road and Bridge, Noxious Weed and Memorial Parks departments, said Operations Director Phil Hathcock, who will supervise the position. 

“I think we’ve found the best person for the job,” commission Chairman Jennifer Schartz said. He’s been with the county for 13 years and he knows the area.

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Williams said. But, “we will continue to move forward.”

For now, Kay Thompson will continue as the interim noxious weeds director until she retires. Phillips had overseen this and Williams will eventually do so as well.

However, whereas Williams has considerable experience with road and bridge inspections, he is new to noxious weed control. This interim period will give him time to get up to speed.

The title “county works director” was chosen after commissioners rejected another title. Schartz said they first considered the title “public works director,” but in that case McManaman in engineering would become the department head, and he didn’t want the job.

Williams assumes the post Monday, July 17.