Mayor Dan Horrigan is beginning a national search for a new City of Akron Engineer, following the retirement of James (Jim) Hewitt, who has held the position since 2012. The City Engineer plans and directs the design and construction of all municipal infrastructure, including streets, sewers, bridges, public buildings, parks, sidewalks, and other City projects. The Engineering Bureau includes several divisions: Traffic, Design, Environmental, Construction, Operations Support, Plans and Permits, and Akron Waterways Renewed.
“I want to thank Jim Hewitt for his thirty years of dedicated service to our City, including the last 7 as City Engineer,” Mayor Horrigan said. “As we look to our City’s next chapter, I will be seeking to appoint a City Engineer who has the highest level of engineering expertise and an appreciation for the very real impact that construction has on neighborhoods, taxpayers, motorists, and workers. From the large scale improvements being made downtown, to the renewed investment in repaving in our neighborhood streets, to our efforts to correct our combined sewers – this position is key to my vision to achieve growth with equity, across the city.”
James Hewitt was hired on May 30, 1988 as an Engineering Technician. He worked his way through the ranks, serving as Engineering Projects Coordinator, Sewer Maintenance Superintendent, Water and Sewer Systems Manager, and Public Utilities Bureau Manager. He was promoted to City Engineer on April 2, 2012. Hewitt earned his Associate of Applied Science in Surveying and Bachelor of Science Construction Technology, both from the University of Akron. He holds licenses as an Ohio Professional Engineer (PE) and an Ohio EPA Class II Operator in both Wastewater Collection and Water Distribution. James has won numerous awards during this tenure at both the state and national level.
Importantly, Hewitt helped create the Akron Utility Intern program in 2006 in partnership with the Akron Public Schools, for high school students that were looking to enter the utility profession and might not be attending college. He has served as Chair of the All Akron Student Engineering Program to provide high school students with an opportunity to work with local Engineering companies. Jim has volunteered in the Akron community with organizations including the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and the American Heart Association.
“I have been blessed with a ‘journey of a lifetime’ working for the City, and have thoroughly enjoyed serving the great citizens of Akron,” Hewitt said. “Throughout my tenure with the City of Akron, I have worked on many great projects including Canal Park Stadium, Firestone Stadium, numerous parking decks, Mud Run Golf Course, Northwest Community Center, Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel, numerous sewer projects, and many others. I am proud to call the City of Akron home and will miss working with the extraordinary employees here.”
Hewitt’s last day with the City was July 31, 2019, which also marked his 26th wedding anniversary with his wife, Irene. The two are parents to adult sons Noah, Zachary, and Luke.
Mark Moore has been appointed as interim City Engineer while Mayor Horrigan conducts the national search. Moore previously served as manager of the Engineering Bureau’s Construction Division. Mayor Horrigan is seeking to fill the position within 90 days.