St. Helena Public Works Director Erica Ahmann Smithies is leaving March 11 to become public works director in American Canyon.
Smithies grew up on a ranch in Carneros, earned a degree in agricultural engineering, and served as senior civil engineer in Petaluma before joining the St. Helena Public Works Department in 2016. She was promoted to public works director/city engineer in April 2017.
Smithies was responsible for public works projects such as removing the Upper York Creek Dam, designing upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, restoring city water service to the Meadwood and Madrone Knoll areas after the Meadowood tanks were destroyed during the Glass Fire, building a new sidewalk along Hunt Avenue, organizing St. Helena’s first road repairs to be funded by Measure T, and installing a public restroom near Money Way.
Smithies said she will miss St. Helena, as she has grown fond of her co-workers and local residents.
City Manager Mark Prestwich said the city will honor Smithies and thank her for her contributions during the March 9 City Council meeting, which will be her last. He said the city will use a recruiting firm to assist with the search for a new public works director.
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