A staff reorganization that could place the city building department, code enforcement and public works under the supervision of one individual — a city engineer— gained preliminary approval March 5.

Aldermen gave its initial OK to an ordinance that would establish the position of city engineer, and included a description of the duties of the individual hired for the position.

Creation of the new position comes after Alderman Ed Gass, former public works director, lobbied his fellow aldermen to hire a civil engineer as the city building and planning director.

The mayor will appoint the city engineer with the approval of the board of aldermen.

The individual hired for this position must have a degree in civil engineering, public administration, construction management or business and have at least three years’ professional experience, preferably in municipal government.

The term of the appointment would run concurrently with the mayor by whom he or she is appointed.

The ordinance and job description spells out a diversified role authorizing the engineer to perform a wide range of activities in directing the land development activities of the city.

The city engineer will supervise the public works, planning, building and code enforcement staff. The city engineer al will oversee the activities of the public works department, serve as the building commissioner, planning director and zoning officer, which includes supervising the planning department staff and activities.

Everday duties will include supervising site development plans, overseeing the city’s street maintenance program and capital improvement program.

Updates of street system maps and the construction of municipal public works projects also will come under his or her responsibility and authority.

Additionally, the city engineer would be expected to assign duties and examine work, study department policies and procedures, maintain harmony among workers and resolve grievances.

Aldermen must complete a second reading of the bill for the measure to become law.