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Not a clue

Messages
5,353
Points
31
I work in the planning department of a rather large major city that I'd rather not name (many of you were probably here in mid-March for a conference - hint, hint) that did not have a permanent director for over a year. Finally, the Commission selected one who, much to the dismay of some staff members, local planners, pundits, etc., barely meets the qualifications of a Planner II/entry level position. It's obvious that politics had a major role in this particular selection. Have any of you ever experienced a situation such as this and how did you handle having to answer to someone whom you don't even consider your peer because your qualifications - education and work experience - far exceed theirs?
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
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13,853
Points
38
I'm in a similar situation with a twist: two years ago, one of our senior planners left to work in the private sector. He was very bright and a hard worker, recently degreed and promoted to senior. Now he's back as department director, obviously a political placement. No AICP, no supervisory experience, etc. There were a lot of misgivings (and resentment) at first, because so many planners here have a lot more experience, have their master's, are certified, are way older, and so on. And we were all pretty uncomfortable - about how to act around him - when he came back. But so far it's working. He's a likeable guy, takes a firm stand on issues, backs the planners up, etc. If he's playing catch-up in planning knowlege it doesn't show. Really, all we could do was wait and see how it worked. And stay positive. In your case, the guy may fall flat on his face and be out the door in short order. Just in case he stays, though, be sure he doesn't know you've questioned his qualifications.
 
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Planderella, to satisfy my curiosity I have to ask...did you apply for the position? I applied for, was offered, and accepted a Planning Director position three months after graduation! The city had gone almost a year without a Director before I was hired. Staff members felt the same about me as you feel towards your new boss.
Being fresh out of school, the Commissioners, developers, and others took it upon themselves to "mold" me. After two years of constant fighting, I was fired. I will not be molded, I will not play politics, and I do not cater to special interest groups. This was just over a year ago, the city is still without a Director and none of the staff (who are far more qualified) has applied for the position.

Don't criticize the new guy unless you applied for the position also.
 
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No, I never applied for the position. Even if I were qualified, I wouldn't have applied for it. Me and politics mix like oil and water. I was venting the day I posted the comment and have since gotten over the whole situation. There's no sense in driving myself crazy over something that I have no control over.
 
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It's good to hear that you have decided not to let it get to you. Leave it at the office and life goes on! I enjoy reading your input.
 
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