Bill Riebe joins City of Sarasota staff as the new director of the Utilities Department

Mitt Tidwell retiring after more than five years in the position

Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin (right) joins another city employee in welcoming Bill Riebe (center) to the city. The group gathered at the site of a new water main installation, at the intersection of Bahia Vista Street and East Avenue. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

Bill Riebe has joined the City of Sarasota staff as the new director of the Utilities Department, the city has announced. Riebe is a registered Florida professional engineer and a certified general contractor who “comes to us with extensive experience in the public and private sectors,” City Manager Tom Barwin wrote in his Feb. 2 newsletter.

Riebe previously served as utilities director for the Village of Wellington and the City of North Augusta, S.C., Barwin noted. Most recently, Riebe was vice president of a global engineering consulting firm, Barwin added.

“Executing projects efficiently, on time and on budget are top priorities for him as well as addressing residents’ concerns,” Barwin pointed out of Riebe. “For those on the interview committee, his expertise and approachable demeanor stood out. He tells us he’s as comfortable working with a field crew on a water main break as resolving customer concerns,” Barwin continued.

Riebe is replacing Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell, who is retiring “after doing a yeoman’s job” over the past five years, Barwin continued. Among the projects Tidwell oversaw was the successful microtunneling under the Hudson Bayou for Lift Station 87.

“We appreciate Mitt staying on board for a while to help with the transition,” Barwin wrote in the newsletter. (See the related story in this issue.)