Salisbury City Manager Jim Greene, Jr. names Chris Tester interim public works director ahead of current Director W. Craig Powers’ final days with the city.
Tester began his career with the City of Salisbury in 2008 as an engineer in Salisbury-Rowan Utilities. In 2013, he transferred to public works. His duties included civil engineering and design of stormwater infrastructure, oversite of city street maintenance, management of street department staff, budgeting of street department funds, and coordination with city administration and city council. In 2019, he was promoted to assistant public works director where he directly manages garbage, leaf and recycling waste management; construction and maintenance of city infrastructure such as greenways, parks, bridges, streets; and stormwater drainage systems. He also supervised select project management of city infrastructure and facilities.
As interim director, Tester will manage a $9 million municipal budget, supervise nearly 100 employees who maintain city-owned roadways, cemeteries and telecommunications systems, in addition to maintaining the City’s fleet of vehicles and buildings.
“I am honored that Jim has put his faith in me to lead public works as the city begins the process of hiring a permanent director,” said Tester. “As we continue to work through staffing and procurement challenges, my plan is for our crews and professional staff to continue our service-focused tasks. Our mission is to keep the city clean and safe, and serve our customers effectively while being mindful of the efficient and responsible use of our budgets.”
“In my short time here in Salisbury, Chris has impressed me very much with his knowledge, expertise and leadership skills,” said Greene. “While we are disappointed to lose Craig and his institutional knowledge, I’m excited to welcome Chris as a member of our management team. I expect great things from Chris as we look at how public works best serves our community.”
Tester holds a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering and management from North Carolina State University and obtained his professional engineer license (P.E.) in 2009. He is a graduate of Leadership Rowan, the City of Salisbury City Manager Leadership Academy Graduate, and a North Carolina Department of Agriculture Public Pesticide Operator. Chris is a 2020 graduate of The University of North Carolina School of Government’s Municipal and County Administration program. His official first day is Monday, Oct. 21.
In the coming weeks, Salisbury City Manager and Salisbury Human Resources will work with public works to begin the search for a permanent director.
Powers, an 18-year Salisbury veteran, accepted a position with Rowan County.