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Susan Klassen named head of Sonoma County public works department

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has promoted Susan Klassen to director of the county's Transportation and Public Works Department.

Klassen, 53, has worked for the county since 1985 and been co-director of transportation and public works on an interim basis since December.

The previous director, Phil Demery, retired in November. Klassen and another deputy director, Tom O'Kane, temporarily replaced him while applying for the top job.

A civil engineer, Klassen was appointed to deputy director of the department in 2003. She previously held engineering and managerial posts in the road and refuse divisions.

The department has about 185 employees and an annual budget of about $221 million, including state and federal funds.

It oversees the county's 1,382-mile road network -- one the county has struggled to maintain and modernize in the face of flat state support and a drop in local funding. The department also oversees the county airport, refuse facilities and transit services.

Klassen's salary is under negotiation. The range for the position is $152,531 to $185,179.


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