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Thread: Office structure

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Office structure

    We're having a debate at work about promotions, office structure, etc. Basically, the way my boss works it is that you start with the county at Planner I (or II or wherever you happen to get hired) and then every year and a half or so, you move up the pay scale. So if you are with the department for a year and a half, you move up to planner II. After 3 years, you move up to planner III, and so on. After a number of years, if everyone stays with the department, there is a chance that we'd have 6 senior level planners.

    I know that other places have a set number of senior planners, a set number of associate planners, and so on. How do other places do it? Pros and cons of each?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Number 1, make it so...

    what is this organized planning office of which you speak?

    I don't think I have ever worked in an organization that is that organized - wow

    wonder what that says about me...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    what is this organized planning office of which you speak?

    I don't think I have ever worked in an organization that is that organized - wow

    wonder what that says about me...
    Hah!

    Well, in our "organized planning office", we almost got into a fight about our structure this morning. What does that say about US?

  4. #4

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    I believe in functional organization and structure - to the extent I believe in any structure at all - rather than the boring and nondescriptive Planner I, Planner II, etc. Staff here all have a functional title - Environmental Planner, Development Review Planner, etc. - and get merit raises without changing titles. Length of tenure has nothing to do with it, only performance.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
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    In my fair department we have a
    Director;
    Assistant Director / Planner;
    Planner (me ) recognized as a Senior Planner - after 12 yrs.
    Zoning Admin;
    3 code enforcement/permit - 1 is recognized as a Senior CE Officer - after 20 yrs.
    3 GIS techs - 1 does permits also
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    My Department consists of:

    Director
    Town Planner (me)
    GIS Manager/Planner
    Department Secretary

    Positions do not shift. Titles remain the same.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    We have:

    1 Director of Planning
    1 Planner
    1 Zoning Administrator
    1 Plan Review Administrator
    1 Zoning Administrator Assistant
    1 Planning Secretary
    1 Intern (me)

    GIS is it's own separate department.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    I believe in functional organization and structure - to the extent I believe in any structure at all - rather than the boring and nondescriptive Planner I, Planner II, etc. Staff here all have a functional title - Environmental Planner, Development Review Planner, etc. - and get merit raises without changing titles. Length of tenure has nothing to do with it, only performance.
    We tried a system based on performance. Terrible. Everybody got pissed at everybody else. Bad feelings all around. The boss got burned on it.

    Now, its based on length of time with the department, which is NOT a great situation at all, but does appear to be the lesser of two evils.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Right now we have an interim planning director, three associate planners and one senior planner, plus adminstrative staff, and possibly a half-time planning tech in next year's budget.

    If our planning area zoning ordinance goes through, one of the associate planner positions will be restructured to include zoning adminstration with a suitable pay raise.

    As the sole senior planner, I am the master of my domain.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    Right now we have an interim planning director, three associate planners and one senior planner, plus adminstrative staff, and possibly a half-time planning tech in next year's budget.

    If our planning area zoning ordinance goes through, one of the associate planner positions will be restructured to include zoning adminstration with a suitable pay raise.

    As the sole senior planner, I am the master of my domain.
    Is there a chance for one of the associates to move up to senior, or are you the only one?

    Off-topic: How was the smith float?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Where I work everyone starts as a Planner II (even though Planner I does exist in the list of positions and pay ranges). Planner III is basically our code enforcement guy and Senior Planner is our land division guy. Us lowly Planner IIs work mostly on the long range planning stuff. I'll never become a Planner III unless I were to get the code enforcement job, or I could possibly jump up to Senior Planner if I were to ever take over the land division job, bypassing the Planner III designation.

    At my old job, I was Planner... the one and only, in addition to our Zoning Investigater and Planning and Zoning Official (the boss). When I asked if there was ever the opportunity to become a Planner II the big wigs looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. It was a foreign language to them.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    My curent employer has a strict hierarchy of staff and staff complements. In my department we have

    director
    manager
    2 seniors
    1 planner
    2 planner 1's

    This will not change until the director leaves, and then we will probably be assimilated into a different department. As for pay, the union takes care of it, based on job title and perceived responsibility.

    in reality, there is no difference between the planner and planner 1's, except pay.

    The hierarchial culture here is really bad and won't change. It creates a bunch of conflicts and hurt feelings as it is all about "respect" and deference, in a Godfather type of way.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  13. #13
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    Is there a chance for one of the associates to move up to senior, or are you the only one?

    Off-topic: How was the smith float?
    No plans to elevate him or her to senior planner if the zoning ordinance goes through. Probably create a new position- zoning adminstrator, who would continue to do subdivision review but also handle zoning matters.

    The Smith River float was awesome. Perfect weather and since it was early in the year, not a whole lot of people on the river. Two weeks after I flaoted one of the county commissioners flaoted and he got snow and rain nearly every day. We had fifteen minutes of rain one evening after we were in our tent.

    Saw lots of Canada goose with goslings. Also saw a jake turkey hanging out with geese, too, which seems odd. Maybe he wasn't having any luck with the "ladies" and was lonely.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    We have a:
    Director
    Planning Manager
    Principal Planner
    3 Senior Planners
    City Planner (me)
    2 Planning Technicians
    2 Admin Staff

    These positions are rigid, although the work that is done is not (as I have to work a couple 200+ acre PUDs as a level I). I will try to move up if someone leaves that is at the senior level (essentially a Planner II).
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Where I am, the planning and zoning functions are in different Divisions of the Community Development Agency. The break down is:

    Agency Director
    (Planning Division)
    Planning Division Manager
    Planner III (1) - me
    Planner II (3)
    Admin (1)

    (Zoning Division)
    Zoning Division Manager
    Planner III (1)
    Planner II (1)
    Zoning Technician (3)
    Admin (2)
    Satellite City Enabler

  16. #16
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    I doubt the last place I worked had a plan; it was based mostly on how much the turd-boss personally liked you. I worked there 5 years doing senior level work as a Planner 1. In fact there were 3 senior planners, 1 planner II and 4 or 5 planner I's. It was all about keeping people "down". Ugh, a year later and I still resent that place. Now I have a "City Planner" title and I am #2 in the chain of command (that's #2 out of 2) LOL Much better boss, much better office. We'll probably use the title approach and not have class levels. We do pay for performance here and we even have the ability to earn a bonus.

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