Parks, Natural Resources and Emergency Services Division Director (Exec 2, Exempt)

  • Seattle Parks & Recreation - Seattle, WA
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Nov 27, 2019
Full Time Parks and Recreation Management
  • Salary: $102,458.16 - $169,023.59 Annually Annually
  • Negotiable/DOQ: Yes
  • Apply By: Dec 31, 2019


Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is a national leader and innovator in the services and programs we provide to our residents who enjoy our public spaces such as parks, community centers, specialty gardens and swimming pools.  Our mission is to provide welcoming and safe opportunities to play, learn, contemplate and build community, as well as to promote responsible stewardship of the land.  We support healthy people, a healthy environment and strong communities.  We strive to deliver excellent customer service to each visitor and participant.  SPR is also deeply committed to advancing the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) by working to end institutional and structural racism.
SPR manages a 6,414-acre park system of over 485 parks and extensive natural areas. SPR provides athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, specialty gardens, and more than 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. The system comprises about 12% of the city's land area.
The Parks, Natural Resources and Emergency Services Division maintains these parks and open spaces by creating a positive and safe park visitor experience, and by using sustainable practices for environmental stewardship.  This division works 365 days a year on multiple shifts and operates 24 hours a day to provide an outstanding level of maintenance.
This Division is composed of four unique areas of responsibility:

  • Parks Resources: Responsible for citywide park maintenance (six maintenance districts); Encampment and RV cleaning in parks and on City Right Of Ways; heavy equipment operations; and Waterfront Park District maintenance
  • Natural Resources:  Responsible for horticulture for specialty gardens; pest management; wildlife management; the Green Seattle Partnership (restoration of natural areas and urban forests); Arborists and Tree Crew; trail maintenance; and the Green Youth Corps
  • Emergency Management and Security: Responsible for Emergency Management Operations; management of a 7 day after-hour call center; and the management of Security and Park Rangers
  • Performance Management and Finance: Responsible for budget development and monitoring; personnel management; Asset Management Work Order System reporting; Parks and Grounds maintenance standards; metrics and KPI performance management (including Race and Social Justice performance goals)

The Parks, Natural Resources and Emergency Services Division Director reports directly to the SPR Superintendent and provides leadership to the Parks, Natural Resources and Emergency Services Division staff.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the online application detailing your experience and qualifications for this position. Please be sure to list any licenses and certifications that you possess, along with any trainings you've completed.

Your application materials will be screened based on the ability to demonstrate the experience necessary to meet the Minimum Qualifications for this position. Top candidates will possess most or all the Desired Qualifications. Please review the information below carefully.

FIRST LOOK of Candidates will be December 10, 2019.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

  • Work with the Superintendent to set the overall vision for the Parks, Natural Resources and Emergency Services Division.
  • Direct all aspects of grounds maintenance in a division of approximately 300 FTE with five direct reports and biennial funding exceeding $50 million dedicated to preserving and maintaining SPR land.
  • Set the framework for Division Managers and employees to work within to make operational decisions in a decentralized and community guided service delivery model.
  • Work with division managers and supervisors to support and empower employees in performing their roles effectively.
  • Promote equity and inclusion by being a leader in maintaining safe and welcoming spaces for the community and visitors.
  • Align personnel management with the organization's commitment to team capacity building, embracing employees as the backbone of the organization and supporting an organizational culture that is customer service oriented.
  • Oversee all budgetary and fiscal matters to ensure operations remain within budgetary allocations and reach revenue target, following policies and procedures to properly account for all funds handled by the Division.
  • Direct personnel administration, in partnership with the Human Resources Division, including broad issues of classification/compensation, recruitment, training, discipline and labor relations, as well as collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Collaborate with Division Managers to develop and accomplish annual work plans associated with City and SPR Department goals.
  • Develop options and utilize existing systems as well as new approaches to track and assess data to be used in decision-making and process improvement.
  • Develop briefing papers, ordinances, resolutions, and agreements in coordination with the Law Department, the Budget Office, Mayor's Office staff, City Council staff and City Council members as needed.
  • Represent the department on citywide policy committees, providing policy and operational input to city decision makers including steering committees.

Job Requirements

Minimum Qualifications:

A bachelor's degree in Public Administration; Business Administration; Environmental Management; Forestry and Horticulture, and Parks and Recreation Management or a related field (or the equivalent of two years' experience and/or training and/or education in the fields mentioned above that provides the equivalent to work in the class), plus five years of increasingly responsible management-level experience in outdoor maintenance management, environmental stewardship, service delivery and/or business operations related to outdoor grounds maintenance management, including supervision of multiple direct reports. Comparable skills will be evaluated.

Current, valid Driver's license


  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience managing and directing employees in grounds maintenance functions for a large, complex and highly unionized organization.
  • Excellent leadership and supervisory skills including strategic thinking, sound decision-making, strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative approach to achieving results.
  • A commitment to the City's Race and Social Justice initiative as well as SPR's values of access, opportunity and sustainability.
  • Six years progressively responsible experience in Parks or Grounds Maintenance, Forestry, Horticultural Specialty Gardens Management, and/or Landscape Management, including five years of managerial experience.
  • Four or more years of successful experience planning, developing and implementing a variety of programs and partnerships with stakeholders, customers, peers, partner organizations and advocacy groups while maintaining positive relationships and collaborations with other operations divisions.
  • Five or more years of financial management experience effectively allocating large budgets and leveraging funding from a variety of sources at a high managerial level.
  • Strong analytical skills including proven financial management and policy development.
  • A proven track record of effectively managing relationships with employees, residents, community members, elected officials, partner organizations and advocacy groups.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • The ability to work under pressure, to adapt to changing circumstances, and to juggle competing priorities.

Unique characteristics of the ideal candidate include:

  • An experienced, thoughtful, proven leader.
  • Accessible, compassionate, positive and visionary.
  • High standard of personal and professional ethics and integrity with a passion for the environment and public service.
  • Able to function within a complex, regulatory environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively interpret and apply standards, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Creative problem solver with an inclusive team approach.
  • Excellent and open communication skills and ability to create a welcoming environment while challenging and supporting employees.
  • Ability to create and maintain authentic relationships and work collegially with staff and others who are outside his/her authority and in the community.
  • Politically astute and comfortable dealing at all levels of City government, concerning local and regional issues, while maintaining clear focus on Department values and vision.
  • Ability to function effectively within a large organization, and work successfully and collaboratively with peers, with a proven track record of working positively with the community, elected officials, and diverse ethnic, neighborhood, business, and advocacy groups.
  • Ability and experience in rebuilding an organization and creating an inclusive vision that mirrors the values of employees, community, and the Department.
  • Articulate and inspiring spokesperson with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong motivation, delegation, and decision-making skills with clear and consistent messaging.
  • Ability to effectively direct multi-dimensional responsibilities simultaneously while understanding and supporting a work/life balance.

Additional Information

SPR's Core Competencies are:

Accountability & Action: Holding yourself accountable for achieving goals, completing tasks, and delivering quality work. Demonstrating thoughtful initiative in actions and decision-making and promoting high quality standards.

Equity and Inclusion: Supporting the goals of the Race and Social Justice Initiative and the City's commitment to workforce equity.

Communication: Sharing and exchanging information and ideas with people in a variety of ways to help them understand and remember the information.

Service: An ongoing commitment to base decisions and actions on the needs and priorities of the City.

Teamwork: Leading as an engaged member of a team to build a cohesive team and facilitate the achievement of work group goals.
Aligning Performance for Success: Collaboratively guiding and engaging the team to accomplish defined work goals.
Direction and Delegation: Sharing authority and responsibilities with others to distribute decision-making and   accountability throughout the organization, enabling individuals to stretch their capabilities and accomplishing the organization's strategic priorities.