Public Works Week: Get to Know Kyla Johnson and Dean Kubani

May 22, 2019
by Delana Gbenekama

Public Works Week: Get to Know Kyla Johnson and Dean Kubani

In recognition of National Public Works Week, we are featuring 11 standout public works employees you should know! These employees are also being honored this week as Public Work's Employees of the Year.

Kyla Johnson, Facilities Maintenance

What does your job entail?
I humbly lead an amazing team that is responsible for supporting the Facilities Maintenance Division in accounts payable, procurement, budget, contract compliance and various administrative functions.  

What do you like most about your job (favorite thing to work on)? 
The absolute best part is learning the intricacies of our trades’ areas of expertise. I never imagined that I would gain foundational knowledge of subject matter such as: cooling towers, building automation systems, backflows, electrical switch gears, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), etc.  

What does Public Works mean to you?
Public Works is the hard, and often thankless, work done behind the scenes that makes the City look and run as it does. “Everyone sees the wine, but no one sees the crushing of the grapes.”

How long have you been a Public Works employee?
Approximately 90.5 pay periods (or 3 years, 5 months, 23 days)

What do you wish people knew about your job?
It requires just as much passion as knowledge. 

Anything else you’d like to add?
The “Yards” is smelly, dirty and, when it’s dark, quite scary but all my colleagues here (internally and externally) make it worthwhile. 

Dean Kubani, Administrative Services 

What does your job entail?
As the Assistant Director and Chief Sustainability Officer I provide support to the Office of Sustainability and the Environment and the Civil Engineering, Architectural Services, and Water Resources divisions, oversee the development and implementation of various policy efforts in these areas, and represent the department at Council meetings and other public events. 

What do you like most about your job (favorite thing to work on)? 
I tend to be fairly skilled at problem solving and I enjoy when I can help others in the department negotiate and resolve some of the challenges that they encounter with their work.  It gives me satisfaction to be able to help people overcome challenges and get to their goals.

What does Public Works mean to you?
Quite simply, Public Works means getting things done, and done well – that’s what we do every day!

How long have you been a Public Works employee? 
I began working for the City in 1994 in the Public Works Department’s Environmental Programs Division.  The division moved into the City Managers Office in 2008 when it became the Office of Sustainability and the Environment but we moved back home to Public Works in 2016.  So I guess I’ve spent 17 of my 25 years with the City in the Public Works Department. 

What do you wish people knew about your job? 
It’s not all fun and games in PW Admin!  When most people go home we are often still here, sometimes long into the night, helping to keep everything working smoothly. 

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m retiring on July 1 which is kind of bittersweet for me.  After 25 years at the City and 17 with Public Works I’ve made a lot of great friends and met some wonderful people who I will really miss working with on a daily basis.  It’s been a privilege to have played a small role in the many great accomplishments we’ve achieved as a department and a City over the years.
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