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Thread: Planning Director job descriptions please

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    New York's beautiful Hudson Valley
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    Planning Director job descriptions please

    I am the director of planning for my small city. I feel completely overwhelmed most of the time, and I am fairly sure that I am being expected to take on quite a few responsibilities that would generally not fall within the scope of a planning director's job description and certainly were not on the AICP exam! For example: not only do I supervise our one planner, I also oversee the building inspector, code enforcement officer and city engineer. I handle typical planning projects, such as updating the zoning ordinance, etc., but I am also expected to coordinate road reconstruction, sewer replacement projects and other infrastructure/public works initiatives. I am supposed to manage our storm water program (we are an MS4), our IDA, and anything to do with transfer/sale/rental of municipally-owned properties. I attend planning board and zba meetings and am also expected to show up at city council meetings whenever they want me. And the latest project to be dumped on me - coordinating the city's capital budget. Does all this sound normal/typical? I would really like to know what other planning directors are expected to do - please, please share job descriptions and experiences!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Greensburg, Kansas
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    I never had engineering services with my gigs. It certainly adds to job security in the current days of cutting back. I have had economic development and have supervised the landscaping staff. A few jobs ago I had the Section 8 Housing program. The rest is quite typical. Capital budgeting belongs under you.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I don't seen anything in your post that I wouldn't expect to see in a director's job description.

    Mine is below:

    DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 2011.pdf
    "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

  4. #4
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Is there a municipal engineer on staff at your community? IMO, supervision of public works projects deserves the expertise of a PE and shouldn't be under the purview of a jack of all trades planning type. We coordinate the outreach portion of Phase II MS4 regs in our office but share responsibility for the other MS4 items and capital budgeting with DPW staff.

    You're running code enfocement as well? Again, that is its own discipline with its own set of skills and expertise. Do you attend NYSBOC conferences and certification workshops?

    Sounds to me like you've got 2-3 positions worth of work.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    New York's beautiful Hudson Valley
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    NH Planner - I like your job description better than mine! As MacheteJames points out, the tasks that really push me over the edge are code enforcement, MS4 and other engineering work. Regarding code enforcement - I do not attend NYSDOC conference and am not a licensed building inspector or code enforcement officer. Nor do I have the time or inclination to obtain a license.

    Perhaps I should also point out that I am severely underpaid as compared to other planning directors in my region, which makes the overwhelming responsibilities a little harder to take. (And I mean severely - I am paid 10% less than the next lowest-paid planning director and 30% less that the mean salary in my area) Now that I think about it, I should probably just quit!!!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Feb 1998
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    Greensburg, Kansas
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    Quote Originally posted by ssc View post
    I should probably just quit!!!
    An option. I always disliked code enforcement, but I developed efficient programs and delegated it off to staff. I hope you find a way out of your frustrations.

  7. #7
    It's been my experience that PDs need to be flexible. Over the years, I've had to do code enforcement, grant writing, storm water, floodplain, solid waste, recycling, traditional zoning/subdivision.site plan review, emergency planning, very limited economic development, transportation, etc, etc, etc. It's broadended by background and given me a view of the bigger picture. Further, in smaller jurisdictions, you were many hats.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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