Read more about Twin Cities communities at

Richfield's new public works director has a big job to do — make that several big jobs — but she's eager to tackle them.

Kristin Asher last week was named to succeed Mike Eastling, who retired in the spring after some 30 years with the city. Asher, a civil engineer, has been with the Public Works Department since 2004, most recently as city engineer. She'll oversee about 50 employees and a budget of about $14 million.

A Minneapolis native and University of Minnesota graduate, Asher said she's excited to head the department in "a period of renewal" for the city.

Richfield is in the midst of several ambitious public works projects, most notably the rebuilding of 66th Street and Portland Avenue, along with utilities work through the city.