Ahmad Alkhayyat, who took over as the county’s public works director last month, is focused on shaping the department into a more efficient machine.
“I’m promoting our staff on the idea that we’re all one public works department,” Alkhayyat said. “There’s no difference in which engineer can be available on any problem. I expect everybody, when they can, to help out.”
Alkhayyat was unanimously named director by the Board of Supervisors April 19. He served as interim director since Nov. 3, following the resignation of Johannes Hoevertsz, who left for a private position in Sonoma County.
“I considered it a six-month interview,” Alkhayyat joked. “But it’s an honor to be chosen for the position. It was quite overwhelming for me when the board made their decision.”
Along with his goal of making staff more flexible, Alkhayyat said he wanted to lead with a desire on serving the public.
“I will work to provide the leadership that our public works department needs, and will help us execute projects and deliver the thoughtful and efficient services our residents expect,” Alkhayyat said. “Customer service is a high priority, and we’ll work to better serve the people of Madera County.”
Outside the office, Alkhayyat said he’s an avid fisherman and soccer fan.
“In fact, I can whistle like a referee without the whistle,” Alkhayyat laughed as he demonstrated the loud whistling noise.
The Madera County Public Works Department has 128 staff members, and oversees everything from sewer systems to water projects and maintaining roads and bridges.
Alkhayyat, 48, has worked for the county the last nine years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Iowa State University, a master’s degree in business administration from University of La Verne, and is a registered civil engineer with the state.
Alkhayyat lives in the City of Madera with his wife Reem and three children; daughters Jude and Taleen, and son Hakam.