St. Augustine City Manager John Regan announced to Historic City News local reporters today that Mike Cullum, an engineer with nearly forty years’ experience in the public and private sector utility industry, will take over as the city’s Public Works Director starting on May 1.
Martha Graham, who has held the position for the last decade, retires March 31. According to Human Resources Director Donna Hayes, a conditional offer of employment has been extended to Cullum at a salary of $107,250 plus benefits.
“Mike brings a vast portfolio of experience in complex engineering projects that affect a large number of stakeholders, and he is highly regarded for his people skills,” said St. Augustine City Manager John Regan in making the announcement. “His experience complements the talented staff in the Public Works Department, and he will provide outstanding leadership for the challenges our city faces.”
Cullum is not new to the area. For the past 25 years his engineering work has been with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) including the St. Augustine area since St. Johns County is one of the 18 counties in the district.
In just the past two and a half years as technical program coordinator for the SJRWMD, Cullum served as project manager for the $41M Black Creek Water Supply Development project, the 5,500 acre Silver Springs Forest Conversation Area restoration, the Prairie Creek/Paynes Prairie State Park structure rehabilitation and the Micco Regional Stormwater Park.
Cullum’s wide ranging and ever-increasing responsibilities at the SJRWMD included experience in design and construction of regional water management facilities, directing water analyses and technical evaluation of water quality for surface, ground and water supply systems, and even frequent meetings with and reports to legislative delegations and the leadership of other state agencies. He also worked with the South Florida Water Management District and private companies prior to joining the staff of the SJRWMD.
Cullum received both his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and his Master of Engineering degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida. A frequent presenter at professional conferences and often published in professional journals, Cullum has been a Professional Engineer (P.E.) since 1989, is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, is a past President of the American Water Resources Association-Florida Section, currently serves on the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Advisory Group, and participated in the 2007 Florida Earth Foundation/UNESCO-IHE Technology Exchange in Delft, The Netherlands.
Often described as the department that touches the most lives every day through its many services, the city’s Public Works Department is the city’s largest department with 118 employees working in seven divisions which include all water, waste water and storm water construction and operations; engineering services; streets and grounds; solid waste; and environmental and community services.